Doom Multiplayer on a Laptop in DOS Using TCP/IP Over Wi-Fi

Welcome to this detailed article on how to play multiplayer Doom via TCP/IP wirelessly (and/or wired) on a DOS laptop. Networked games in Doom usually use NetWare, but I had issues with this so looked for an alternative. This alternative also allows deathmatch over the Internet.

The traditional Doom multiplayer experience involves chunky PC desktops or towers with CRTs and speakers. But what if we could do the same wirelessly, using old laptops? The great thing about laptops is that they have a much smaller footprint, especially if they have built-in audio, and some still run on their original batteries (both my Toshibas do).

Doom over Wi-Fi has definitely been done before. I'm pretty sure it's possible to play multiplayer Doom wirelessly using modern hardware and emulation, but this article is not about that. It's about how to achieve the same on original hardware: older laptops based on the 486 and Pentium family. The target audience of this article is someone who has one or more PCMCIA-equipped laptops (and Ethernet-equipped desktop/laptop computers, optionally) that you want to play multiplayer Doom on. There are projects on how to bridge Ethernet to Wi-Fi on a PC of any age, for example, but this particular article is about minimising the hardware involved so that it's truly portable and as era-correct as possible. 


1. Introduction

Sorry to start with a disclaimer, but this is the Internet, so...

DISCLAIMER: this project has emphasis on 'fun' rather than accuracy. I have spent many hours consulting various sources to ensure that the information enclosed here is correct. Where I'm not sure of something, I have made this clear. This whole process is currently experimental and work-in-progress and the more people that get involved and test it out, the more successful and accurate it will become. I make few guarantees and hope that, by reading this article and having a go, you accept the risks (and enjoyment) of potentially getting things wrong and maybe wasting a bit of money on buying stuff that doesn't work, for example. It happens in this hobby. These kind of situations are great opportunities to learn and pass on information and that's the spirit of this article. If you do find out something that contradicts what I've stated here, or adds to it, please let me know. Thanks!

Also, in order to keep this article relevant, I make some quite big assumptions that you have a good working knowledge of DOS on the PC, such as how to copy files, run programs, how memory allocation works and how to edit startup files, because that's too much to explain here and there's plenty of info elsewhere. There is not an abundance of info on Wi-Fi under DOS, so I'd like to stick to that. I also mostly assume that you have worked with wireless networks, wired networks and PCs before in some way and understand terms like 802.11b, IP address, subnet, WEP, PCMCIA, access point, hexadecimal, Ethernet, ISA, PCI, ISO, conventional memory, etc. so if you don't understand something, that's another opportunity for you to research stuff. (I do also partially explain some of these things anyway because I'm me.)

Note: all the links in this article work at the time of publication (Oct '22). If you find that a link doesn't work, it's possible the site or page was taken down. You can try locating an old version via The Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive by simply pasting the link in there.

2. TL;DR

Although this article attempts to cover one small subject, it has ended up being... quite long. Over 5,000 words, in fact. As such I've composed this 'too long; didn't read' section for advanced users who just want the gist of what to do so they can get on with it. It assumes that you already have Ethernet cards installed in your desktop PCs, at least one laptop with PCMCIA, and DOS 6.x plus Doom (same version, 1.2 or above) on all computers involved. Here are the steps in basic terms:

  1. Setup an 802.11b network using an appropriate wireless access point or gateway.
  2. Acquire a Lucent Orinoco compatible PC Card (one for each PC to be connected).
  3. Download the ISO containing the drivers and install the Card Access Driver (WVLANCAD.SYS) according to the manual and install it.
  4. Configure the packet driver by editing PACKET.INI and setting the network name and station name.
  5. Run the Orinoco packet driver with the command WVLAN42.COM /L and do the same for whatever packet driver your Ethernet card uses.
  6. OptionalInstall, configure (static IP is best) and use mTCP's PING utility to test your connection.
  7. Copy Kali 1.2 onto each computer (Ultimate Doom should already be installed).
  8. Configure Kali by editing KALI.CFG and by adding your IP address and such to WATTCP.CFG.
  9. Run Kali and play multiplayer Doom!

3. Early Wireless Networking

Welcome to the main article! A bit of history and context is necessary before we get into it. In the era of Doom (let's call it the mid-1990s) it was rare for a laptop computer to have networking hardware built-in. It was more common for a modem to be included, but laptops of this era almost exclusively used expansions in the form of the PC Card. I won't say much about this (read more here) other than that it was a standard, introduced in June 1990 by the PCMCIA, designed to add functionality to laptop computers, including video grabbers, audio, SCSI, FireWire, networking, etc. Yes, PCMCIA is the organisation and PC Card is the product. See it as an ISA bus for laptops (later the CardBus standard was introduced, which was equivalent to PCI).

There were few wireless network products available at the time and there was no standard established for this, so competing products were incompatible. One such example was WaveLAN by Lucent (formerly NCR and AT&T), which is now very rare. No doubt people were playing Doom (and other games) over Novell-based networks in the mid-'90s, but any documentation that existed then would be hard to find and would lack general relevance. This is because the technology was standardised in 1997 and called 802.11. Lucent's new product adopted the name WaveLAN IEEE, which was incompatible with previous generations.

4. Wireless Networking in DOS

Given how well established Lucent's technology was, Apple decided to adopt it for their AirPort product in 1999, when the 802.11b standard was introduced. This was the first widely-adopted consumer Wi-Fi product and led many other members of the tech industry to do the same and introduce products based on Lucent's. The problem with all this is that DOS wasn't a particularly commonplace OS in 1999, and even less so in 2001 when Wi-Fi really became widespread, so manufacturers just didn't bother to make drivers for it. I have a number of 802.11b cards that only support Windows 95 and up. In fact the WaveLAN IEEE cards (later renamed Orinoco) are the only ones that have proper DOS support. Actually that might not be entirely true - I've read, and heard anecdotally, that Cisco Aironet cards also work in DOS, but I've not worked with these at all so cannot say with any confidence that they do. Maybe someday I'll be able to write a guide on this, too.

The only thing that made this entire project possible was that the drivers and documentation for the WaveLAN cards is so damn good and easy to locate. This is the manual I consulted in the process of writing this guide, if you're technically-minded or just curious.

5. Acquiring Hardware

Before you go any further, you're going to need these two things:

1. A wireless access point / router / base station capable of creating an 802.11b network

It's quite possible that the wireless-capable router you have in your home right now is capable of 802.11b networking. One modern router I owned until recently (by Virgin Media) had a 'guest network' feature capable of 802.11b. You only need to consult the documentation of your particular router or flick through the configuration screens to find out if it can do what you need.

The alternative is to get an original wireless access point or ADSL router from about 20 years ago. I don't have any advice on acquiring a suitable base station really, but one from a better-known manufacturer such as 3Com, Buffalo, Linksys, 2Wire, D-Link, DrayTek or Netgear may make things easier - they could usually be configured via a web interface and it will be easier to get the documentation online. Either way, there's a high chance you'll have to consult the manual for whatever you acquire, because that will tell you how to perform a factory reset and how to log in to configure it.

Security note: if you're new to this, one thing to bear in mind is that 802.11b uses an encryption method called WEP, which is fundamentally broken. This means that it's insecure, so you need to make your own decisions about what this means for your own network. If your access point is only going to be used to connect a DOS laptop to another DOS laptop then you don't need to connect it to anything else at all and it pretty much eliminates any risk. If you did want to connect it to desktop PCs, an easy way to manage this would be to have a completely separate network for your old PCs. Bear in mind that the type of 'guest network' I mentioned above on newer routers usually isolates wireless clients from the rest of the network for this reason, so while you can get Internet access, you won't be able to send network traffic between wired and wireless computers with this method.

2. A Lucent WaveLAN compatible PC Card

Although there are hundreds of thousands of these things in the world, many have been recycled, some of them will still be in active service and some of them are knocking about in someone's drawer of old crap. As a result, you will likely have to hunt one down. You will also need one for each computer you want to network wirelessly but they don't need to 'match' in terms of their model or brand, just their compatibility. eBay is unfortunately going to be the most successful way to do this, certainly if you're in the UK. You might also have luck with any other second-hand selling platform in your country or territory. They are beginning to become scarce, but I recently purchased one for £9.99 so this isn't going to cost you an arm and a leg. Some people are trying to sell them for £50, though.

Luckily there were hundreds of clones made of the Lucent Orinoco card. If you want to maximise the chances of you finding a compatible card, I have found an extensive list of products that use the Orinoco chipset for you to browse and consider. There may well be more, but this is the information that exists at the moment and, even then, the only way to know for sure would be to install one in a PC and see if it works. Generally speaking they all look the same physically, so that's a massive clue when you're hunting.

A Lucent WaveLAN Silver IEEE 802.11b PC Card

A Dell TrueMobile 1150 Series PC Card. Note the position of the Status and Activity LEDs and how they are in the same position as those on the Lucent card. This is your 'tell'

The only cards I can 100% guarantee will work so far (because I've used them in real life) have a * next to them, but listed below are some of the more common models that you are likely to come across and which, based on photos and documentation, I'm pretty certain are Orinoco clones:

  • *Lucent WaveLAN IEEE (silver / gold)
  • *Lucent / Agere / Avaya Orinoco (silver / gold)
  • *Avaya World Card (silver / gold)
  • *Dell Truemobile 1150 (model PC24E-H-FC)
  • *Enterasys RoamAbout 802 (models CSIWS and CSIBD )
  • *Compaq WL110 / WL210 / WL215
  • ELSA AirLancer MC-11
  • Buffalo AirConnect WLI-PCM-L11
  • Sony PCWA-C100
  • IBM High Rate Wireless LAN PC Card (model 09N9863)
  • Toshiba Wireless LAN PC Card (model PA3064U-1PCC)

Also might be, but I can't verify because I can't find photos and/or documentation:

  • HP 150WL
  • Intel Pro/Wireless 2011

Some of these cards were also built-in to the access points themselves so you could salvage one that way. For example, the original AirPort base station has a genuine WaveLAN PC Card in it. Weirdly, although the AirPort card itself uses the Orinoco chipset, it's not PCMCIA compliant - it just looks like it - which is why it's not on the list. Here are access points that I'm pretty certain have an Orinoco card in them, again based on careful research:

  • Apple AirPort Base Station (Graphite) (manual)
  • Lucent RG-1000 (manual)
  • Lucent AP-500, AP-1000 and Orinoco WavePoint-II (multiple external cards)
  • Enterasys RoamAbout Access Point 2000 (model CSIWS) (manual) (card is external)
  • Compaq WL310 Gateway
  • Buffalo AirStation WLAR-L11
  • Elsa LANCOM Wireless IL-11

And these maybe but I can't verify because of lack of documentation:

  • Dell RG1000
  • Buffalo AirStation WLA-L11
  • IBM Access Point Model 9085

The other option you may wish to pursue is making a desktop PC wireless. As far as I know, Lucent did not manufacturer an 802.11b-compliant ISA or PCI card itself. Instead they used a PC Card bridge (an ISA or PCI card that a PC Card can plug into) so, if you want to have a wirelessly-networked desktop computer, you're going to need one of these. As far as I can tell these are generic and should 'just work', but we all know how hardware manufacturers like to be dicks and lock down their products. Proceed at your own risk. I've never installed one of these so I can't help, unfortunately. Documentation for the product will be your best bet for such an option.

ISA-to-PCMCIA card bridge

6. Getting Started

Once you've acquire these bits of kit, we can get going. This is the hardware I used on this project:

  • Toshiba Tecra 740CDT
    • Pentium MMX 166MHz
    • 16MB EDO RAM
    • 13.3 Active Matrix TFT Display
    • 2x PCMCIA slots
    • CT65554 graphics chip
    • 2GB hard drive
    • Floppy drive and external CD-ROM (swappable)
    • Modem, serial, parallel, PS/2, IR, VGA
    • Crystal CS4232 audio, SB Pro compatible
    • Lucent Orinoco Silver WiFi PC Card
  • Toshiba Satellite 320CDT
    • Pentium MMX 233MHz
    • 64MB EDO RAM
    • 12.1" Active Matrix TFT Display
    • 2x PCMCIA slots
    • CT65555 graphics chip with 2MB EDO RAM
    • 4.1GB hard drive
    • Built-in floppy drive and CD-ROM
    • Serial, parallel, PS/2, IR, VGA
    • Yamaha OPL3-SA3 audio, SB Pro and WSS compatible
    • Compaq WL110 WiFi PC Card
  • Desktop PC
    • AMD 5x86 160MHz
    • 64MB EDO RAM
    • 15" EIZO SVGA CRT monitor
    • S3 Virge/GX 4MB
    • 2GB hard drive
    • Miro Miroconnect 34 Wave (IBM MWave) SB Pro and GM compatible
    • 3Com Etherlink III (3C509) network card
  • Apple AirPort Base Station (Graphite)
  • Network switch to connect the base station to other Ethernet devices (but, configured correctly, the wireless base station can be used in isolation).

And this is the software:

  • DOS 6.x installed on all PCs
  • Ultimate Doom installed on all PCs (other versions may work but have not been tested)
  • Software install CD for Lucent wireless cards
  • Kali 1.2 (cracked version by DiNK!)
  • Optional: packet driver for whatever Ethernet card(s) you have (Many herehere and here)
  • Optional: the mTCP suite of programs (for testing your connection)

Tech note: Toshiba laptops of this era (and possibly others) have an option in the BIOS to configure the PCMCIA slots as "PCIC" or "16-bit CardBus". Although the CardBus mode supports PC Cards (according to the manual), in my case I had to use the PCIC mode, so be aware that you might have to do something similar.

7. The Wi-Fi Card Driver

Note: To maximise the chances of success here, it would be best to simplify your system as much as is reasonable to eliminate potential problems in advance. The easiest way to do this is to physically remove other devices and disable their drivers by commenting them out in CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. You can always add them back in later. Alternatively, if you're using a boot menu, you could add a new section.

Perhaps surprisingly, many Ethernet cards (be they ISA or PCI) don't need a driver loaded in CONFIG.SYS in order to work. This may seem counter-intuitive to those of us that are familiar with the standard headache of installing sound cards and such. A utility can be run to configure the card, but those settings are stored on the card itself. Instead, a driver is loaded from the command line for the network protocol you're going to be using once the PC has booted. We'll come onto that later.

PCMCIA cards, however, do usually need a device driver and the Lucent Orinoco is such a card. There are a number of ways to install this software but first you need to download it from the Proxim website. I used the program 7-Zip to expand the contents of the ISO on a modern computer and then copied the files to floppy disk. Alternatively you may wish to just burn the ISO to a CD (useful if you want to set it up in Windows). The specific files we want are in the path DRIVERS\MS-DOS (or MS_DOS in some versions I've seen). There are 3 folders in here called CAD, ODI and Packet but we don't need the ODI folder for this. Although they're in separate folders on the CD, it doesn't matter where they end up on the target machine. I created a folder called C:\DRIVERS\NET, for example, and put them in there, but you may wish to just copy both folders as they are. You will need:

  • WVLANCAD.SYS from the CAD folder
  • The contents of the Packet folder

CAD does not stand for Computer Aided Design, which is the first thing my brain thinks of when it sees that acronym. Instead it stands for Card Access Driver. The WVLANCAD.SYS driver needs to be loaded via the CONFIG.SYS file on startup. This can be used in conjunction with something called Card Services for DOS, which are drivers providing support for PCMCIA cards. These drivers might already be installed on your laptop, so check and refer to page 122 of the Orinoco manual if you want to go that route (essentially it means you can use the driver without specifying any settings). Here's an example of how the driver is usually loaded, to be added at the end of CONFIG.SYS:


*Remember to use the full path to the driver e.g. C:\DRIVERS\NET\WVLANCAD.SYS
  •  The 'I' parameter specifies the IRQ for the card, much like a sound card or anything else. 10 or 11 are good ones to choose as they are usually available and often the default option for network cards.
  • 'B' is the I/O port address in hexadecimal. Again, if you've ever set up a sound card, you probably came across the value 220 as standard for the I/O port (also typed 0220h). There are many possible values for this, but the manual cites 1300 and 340 as possible options, so best to stick to one of these if you're not sure. 300 is also often used for network cards.
  • 'M' specifies the start of the upper memory range to be used by the card, also in hex. In most cases, you can use the range I've specified here (E100), but you might need to change this depending on your setup. Remember, all of this is only necessary for wireless cards.
I've got it setup as above on three different laptops (albeit all Toshiba ones) and it works fine, so you can probably skip the next section, which is Memory Management.

If you have done everything correctly, you should get a nice confirmation message when the driver loads on restart:

If not, you might get something like this:

In my case this was because the PC Card slots were not configured correctly in the BIOS, but it's also what you would get if the card is not compatible with the driver. There might be other potential errors that the driver can produce, but I have no idea what they might be and they are not documented in the manual. This is where you're going to have your own ingenuity. Retro-computing Twitter is also a handy place to ask people for help.

8. Memory Management (Optional)

Working out which upper memory range to use for the PC Card depends on your setup and requires some investigation. We will need the program MSD.EXE (Microsoft Diagnostics, included with MS-DOS 6.0 and upwards, and I recall using it with 5.0, too), which is capable of displaying some of the resources described above and which of them are available. Other memory mapping tools are available.

MSD's main screen

MSD's memory map page

Press M on the keyboard to open the memory map.

Being familiar with this page is very useful for DOS power users generally and, although explaining it fully is beyond the scope of this article, I'll try and demystify it a bit. (For a more in-depth explanation, check out Jim Leonard's excellent video on the subject at his Oldskool PC channel.)

The map will look different depending on what software was loaded on startup. In my case nothing extra has been loaded but, if EMM386.EXE or drivers are present, it will look different. There is a legend at the top of the screen indicating what the symbols mean. (I have combined two screenshots into the picture above to show the whole thing - normally you would have to scroll to see it all.)

What it shows is a map of the upper memory area (UMA), which is memory between 640K and 1024K. Sections of UMA are called upper memory blocks (UMBs). Most of these are unused by a standard DOS install, and a canny user can squeeze drivers and TSRs into these available areas to free up as much of the 640K of conventional memory as possible. Each block is defined by an address in hexadecimal from A000 to FFFF. If you look at the area between C000 and C7FF, it's coloured light grey, which means it's occupied by ROM (this is the video BIOS), so we can't use that area. The sections shaded black are 'available' and they are:
  • A000 to B7FF
  • C800 to EFFF
So, theoretically, we can use any block within these ranges in my case. Visually, the network card we're working with will occupy nearly 4 lines in the diagram above. For example, if the memory address E000 was specified, the LAN driver would use an area starting there and going up to EEFF (just short of the end of that section, which is EFFF). This isn't ideal because it leaves a small gap of available memory. Ideally we would avoid fragmenting the RAM like this, so we can shift it to the top of this memory area by starting at E100 instead. Then the small gap of memory is added on to the section available before E100. I don't know if this is making sense at all.

Advanced users: there is also the option of loading the actual driver into high memory. I'll leave it up to you whether or not you want to do this as it requires EMM386. If you do this, you should probably add an exclusion for this memory area, otherwise it could potentially load other programs there and cause issues. This is what my line looks like accordingly:


As mentioned though, it's generally better to keep things as simple as possible at this point because it will massively reduce the amount of potential problems and resulting troubleshooting. Let's get this thing working first, then we can tweak it later on. Doom uses a DOS extender, which means it doesn't give too much of a shit about available conventional memory. Other games might.

9. Physical Network Setup (Optional)

This step is only necessary if you are combining desktop PCs into your multiplayer setup. The easy bit is having a network card installed in each desktop computer and connecting those cards via Ethernet cable to a switch, which itself is connected to your retro Wi-Fi access point. Most home routers have a switch built in, but usually only providing 4 ports. You may wish to expand your setup depending on your needs: I've got a basic 8-port, gigabit switch by 3Com that I bought years ago. This connects to my router, and my PCs connect to this.

You will also need a 'packet driver' for each network card that's installed. If you can't find the driver for your card herehere, or here, you're going to need to do some hunting. In my case, for example, you have to specify a software interrupt when you run the driver (so you could have multiple cards in one PC) e.g. 3C5X9PD.COM 0x60. That's literally all you need to do on a desktop PC to get the hardware setup. Next you need to head to section 14 (TCPSetup) to configure the IP address.

10. Wireless Network Setup

I've gone with an original Apple AirPort Base Station (Graphite) for this because I had one back then and I know how it works. It doesn't have a web interface, however, and is a bit more of a pain to configure, so much so that I've written a dedicated article on the subject (not yet available). 

Wireless access points can usually be configured in one of two modes: bridge or router. If you are connecting to an existing network, choose bridge. This makes the access point 'transparent' i.e. it just connects clients to your existing network. If you are creating a new network, separate from your existing one, configure it as a router. You can then have it running DHCP and everything else for your new network.

Whichever device you've chosen to use, we want to continue keeping it simple. So set up the network with a simple name that's easy to spell and has no special characters in it. DoomNet might be a nice idea. Also disable encryption to begin with, because we just want to establish if it works first. You might want to use WEP or MAC address authentication later but that's entirely up to you as it adds a layer of complexity and makes troubleshooting more difficult.

Setting up a wireless network is an entire article in itself, which I obviously can't include here. All I can really recommend is that all computers being used should be on the same subnet e.g. 192.168.1.x or 10.0.0.x

11. The Wireless Packet Driver

Next we need to configure the packet driver. In the folder where you copied the drivers, there should be a file called PACKET.INI. This must be in the same folder because the driver will look for it when it loads.

Tip: If you forgot where something is in DOS and you need to find a file on a drive, then you just change to the root directory (by typing CD\ so that C:\ shows as the prompt) then type DIR PACKET.INI /S or whichever file you're looking for - the /S option searches all folders on the disk. If you have more than one partition or drive, check there, too.

If you've installed DOS correctly, you should be able to use the DOS Edit program to make changes to this file by typing EDIT PACKET.INI. The default version of the file has a lot of information in it explaining the various settings so refer to that if you wish. Comments beginning with a semicolon (;) are ignored by the driver. Here's a version of the file that I've trimmed down to summarise the important settings.

Some lines from the PACKET.INI file

As you can see, only the top two lines aren't commented out as these are the absolute basic requirements to get this working. You can configure the other options later on if you really want to. All you need to do is change the Wireless_Network_Name value to match your chosen network name (make sure it matches perfectly), and set a Station_Name to describe your computer e.g. Tecra or Laptop1. We don't need anything else.

If you have configured your Wi-Fi card driver correctly in the previous step and have the card installed in a working slot, you should now be able to load the wireless packet driver. Note: my card would only initialise in the bottom PCMCIA slot, so try out different things if you're having problems. The packet driver is called WVLAN42.COM and should be in the folder where you installed the drivers. Load it by typing WVLAN42 /L. Once you have done this, you should see at least one light activate on the card (ideally the other will be flashing if it has connected to the access point correctly) and you'll get a message like this on the screen.

As you can see, it correctly reports the IO address we chose when setting up the driver in CONFIG.SYS, and the IRQ is displayed as hexadecimal, so it's 10 (0A follows 09 in hex). We can also see the MAC address and the interrupt (which can be changed in PACKET.INI if desired). It's possible you might get an error, though.

This is what is displayed if the card cannot be detected, if it's faulty, or if it's incompatible. If needed, the packet driver can be unloaded by typing WVLAN42 /U so you can try again after changing things around. I can only wish you good luck at this point.

12. Installing mTCP (Optional)

It's usually a good idea to test the connection before proceeding but you could actually jump to step 14 if you want to see if it works. If it does, then you don't need to do this step at all.

You will need to know the IP address of your gateway (aka router) or access point (or some other know. mTCP is very small and actually fits on the same floppy I used to copy the drivers across. If you wish to consult the documentation it's here. All you need to do is copy the mTCP folder onto the target PC and it's done. The next step is to create a config file. Open EDIT again and include the following lines:


Obviously change the info above to whatever is relevant to your setup:
  • The PACKETINT setting must match whatever was displayed when the driver loaded in the previous step.
  • Because of how the next step works, it's really best that we use a static IP for IPADDR. I like to use numbers higher than 200, because I have this impression (possibly false) that it reduces the likelihood of conflicts. In reality what you want to do is restrict automatic IP allocation to values below 200, and use the >200 range for static allocation.
  • The NETMASK is rarely anything other than what's listed above for a home network.
  • If your access point is configured as a router, the GATEWAY should match your access point's IP address. If it's setup as a bridge, this should be your main router's address. The IPADDR value should also be in the same subnet, so if the gateway is at, then you need an IP like, for example.
Then save it wherever you want (I used C:\) and call it whatever you want (I went with MTCP.CFG). Finally you need to set up the environment variable so that mTCP knows where to find the settings. This is done by typing MTCPCFG=C:\MTCP.CFG (replacing the filename and path with whatever you chose).

Now you can ping your gateway. In my case I would do this by typing PING and you should see the following output:

This means that each ping was sent from the computer and was received by the gateway. Some network devices block pings. If yours does, you'll have to ping a different device on your network, ideally the other computer(s) you're going to be gaming with.

13. Troubleshooting

This is the output you'll get if the ping command was unsuccessful:

This can be for a number of reasons, so here are some basic things to check:

- Check that the access point is online.
- Try pinging from another device to ensure the destination is reachable.
- Make sure your computer has a unique IP address or it could be clashing with another device.
- Some laptops are fussy about the PC Card slot that you use. Try a different one and reboot.
- Check that the PC Card works in another computer.
- Make sure the WiFi network name is correct in PACKET.INI.

Other than that, this is not the article for extensive networking troubleshooting tips, so you'll have to dig around elsewhere. Once you can ping, the following steps will work.

14. Kali

If you've got this far, congratulations: you have reached the final step and are about to play networked Doom... wirelessly!

Kali is an evolution of a program that was initially called TCPSetup and simply allowed networked Doom via an IP address instead of NetWare which used IPXSetup. It was later called iDoom, but then renamed iFrag for obvious copyright reasons. iFrag started using a 'tracker' - a server on the Internet that kind of hosted multiplayer games. A very clever and handy system, but that tracker system doesn't exist anymore so the software is obsolete. Kali was the final version of this set of programs and can be easily used on a LAN or over the Internet. It actually tricks Doom into thinking that NetWare is the protocol being used and this works better than earlier versions, in my experience.

This guide recommends the use of a cracked version of the software. If you take a look at the Kali website, you will see that the authors have released the key generator for the Windows version. Unfortunately it seems that this doesn't work for the DOS version, so using a cracked version is the equivalent.

This step needs to be completed for all computers: once Kali is copied to your computer, you need to edit the WATTCP.CFG file included in its directory and enter the IP address for that computer. Make sure each PC has a different IP.

Once you've done this, nominate one of your computers as the 'server' and run Kali without any options. You then run Kali on the other computers but include the IP address of the server in the command line e.g. KALI Once all the computers have made their connection, the deathmatch launcher program will load on screen and you will be able to press F10 to start your deathmatch!

15. Conclusion

I really hope someone finds this guide useful. If you do encounter success, particularly with trying out Orinoco clones, I would love to hear about it. I can be found on Twitter (@brassicGamer) so feel free to tag me. I would also be happy to help with troubleshooting or anything that's unclear. Best of luck!


Version History

1.2 (24-07-23) Changed entire article so that the process uses Kali instead of TCPSetup, which proved to be unpredictable and inconsistent.
1.1 (9-06-23) Added Troubleshooting and Memory Management sections, upgraded Compaq WL110 to 'verified' status, minor edits.
1.01 (21-10-22) Upgraded Enterasys RoamAbout PC Card to 'verified' compatibility status, minor edits.
1.0 (18-10-22) Original version of article.