Microsoft Sidewinder Strategic Commander in Windows 7 64-bit

Because Shattered Horizon was free on Steam the weekend I originally wrote this article and its movement system in zero-gravity space is more full-3D than most FPS games, I wanted to bust out the old Microsoft Strategic Commander. Unfortunately it hasn’t been supported since Windows XP, and I’m on Windows 7. Read on for how to get it working.

The most important thing was finding some freeware called “Strategic Engine 1.3” made by Philip Merwarth. Its user interface is more minimalist than Microsoft’s original one, but it looks like all the same functionality’s there–even timing-based scripting accurate to 10ms and getting the buttons to light up. Looks like he might’ve added a few extra features too, if my memory of the old intereface is correct.

I would tell you to check the “Donate” link in the software’s Miscellaneous menu if you want to support the coder, but given that the “check for updates” link is currently broken, I don’t know if any donation money would ever actually get to him. If you find this, Mr. Philip Merwarth, thank you.

I’ve mirrored the installer file here for anyone interested.

 

P.S. So far I’ve gotten two emails back from people thanking me for hosting here (both before I migrated to a site that would’ve allowed them to post thanks as comments)

Thank you so much! *kiss*

and

Hi Nicolas,

thank you very much for providing this article and download mirror because I had been searching for long where to download this software !

Nom I'm able to use my Strategic Commander hardware on Win7 64.

Cheers,

94 Replies to “Microsoft Sidewinder Strategic Commander in Windows 7 64-bit”

  1. Thanks so so much,it work on my win7 64 bit very nice,I’ll donate when I get a way for that,promise..one day

    1. Thank you for all that you have done, without your program I probably would have given up playing, its true when they say its hard to teach an old dog new tricks…..

  2. Hi! Just to say you’re a hero for mirroring the drivers. 🙂

    Here are some search terms to help others find this page…

    “strategic commander driver” “strategic commander engine” “stategicsetupv1.3”

  3. Hi!

    I’m here to say: Thank you!

    I’ve been looking for a way to use this hardware gem (which I happened to re-discover a few days ago) on Windows 10 64-Bit, and this program works like a charm. Now I can use this great device again.

  4. Getting a Runtime Error 76 when trying to load software. I am(shall I say my son is) running Windows 8.1 but we will be getting the Windows 10 upgrade tonight. My son is really hoping to use the Strategic Commander he found while rooting around my computer “burial ground”. Please help.

    1. While I can’t guarantee that an upgrade to Windows 10 will fix all problems, I will say that both I and everyone I’ve spoken to have been pleased by the improvements Windows 10 made over 8.1. Best of luck and do let us all know what happens with it.

  5. Thanks you for your page and download mirror. when I started looking I was expecting to be looking for hours. It took 10 mins. Thx

  6. Found one of these bad boys at goodwill I don’t know where my old one went I thought it was just a nostalgia thing is awake I can use it again

  7. Found one of these bad boys at goodwill I don’t know where my old one went I thought it was just a nostalgia thing is awesome I can use it again

  8. Tons of Thanks, as an old gamer i thought i could never use this gear again.

    Moreover it work perfectly on windows 10.

    /Bow

  9. ok I got the MS Commander and found this site for the software but encountering a couple of things when trying to install it. Windows 7 64bit. I get this error, failure to expand shell folder constant “userdocs” and my Virus software pops up saying “Bitdefender Ransomeware Protection” blocked a potentially unsafe app, attempting to change or delete your files: documents. Any thoughts on this??

    1. The failure to expand shell folder constant sounds like a direct result of bitdefender preventing it from accessing that constant or that folder.
      Bitdefender blocking it may be based on either of two things: possibility one is that either my site and/or that file’s been compromised (in which case you’d be the first person reporting it). Possibility two is that on a global scale, it’s an uncommonly-downloaded-and-used-enough file that bitdefender’s database doesn’t recognize it, and is acting on the safe side; this has become relatively common in antivirus software and I generally like it on principle, but it gets the occasional false positive.
      If it’s any reassurance, you should be able to completely block it in your OS or bitdefender firewall settings with no ill side-effects. The only part of it that I remember using the network/internet was the built-in donation link, but as mentioned by previous posters, that’s been unusable for awhile now.
      Let us know if/how you try it out again and whether you find a solution to your problem
      ~N

  10. Thank you so much I have fond memories of this fantastic controller from FPS gaming but wanted to use it as an alternative controller when working in Photohsop but Microsoft obviously stopped supporting it on Windows 7 64 bit(amongst others). I’d been unable to find the software from other online links and I’m extremely grateful to you for hosting it and making it available. Thanks again for making an aged gamer a happy chappy once more.

  11. I have written a small program that allows the Strategic Commander to be used in as a DirectInput joystick on Windows. You can find it on github:

    https://github.com/ComicSansMS/stratcom-vjoy-feeder/releases/

    This relies on vJoy, a virtual Joystick device driver.

    In case you want to write your own software for the Strategic Commander, I open-sourced a small library (https://github.com/ComicSansMS/libstratcom) that makes it very easy to interact with the device. This one is even cross-platform and runs on Linux and Mac as well.

  12. I have tried it on Windows 10 and it does work. The UI flickers but other than that it’s fine. I did not do anything special with the installer, just ran it as it was. I was amazed really. I thought it would fail and then I’d have to mess about with various compatibility modes. Not at all. Thanks Nicolas, and thanks to Philip Merwarth whereever you are. Kudos and positive karma coming your way!

  13. most Excellent dude. owned from first release but never used it. Kids grown up and got plenty time to play now. THANKYOU

  14. Thankyou so much for this. Installed and works great on Windows 10, nice to see some posts about a (great) long forgotten bit of kit.

  15. Thank you from Canada, installed and works !!! On Windows 10 64bit just remembering how to use it and getting use to using it again. Thank you from someone who did not know how to fix it.

  16. Thank you very much. This driver work on Windows 10 64 bit.

    For anyone looking for a macOS, OSX, Sierra, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, or Sierra, lookup http://usboverdrive.com/ which has a fantastic utility for all USB-Connected devices.

    If anyone finds something similar to USB Overdrive for Windows. Holler!

  17. Thank you from France… preliminary trials on going (with french keyboard !)
    just a little feedback, to avoid the process stacked, I have been obliged to create a batch which “taskkill /f /im StrategicEngine.exe” before to run it again

    1. May have to create a key mapping profile for each program yourself, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work for all of the programs you listed

  18. just loaded up om windows 10 64 bit
    lights up straight away looks great all the functions are spot on
    I take my had off to you sir and if I can donate some $$ for your trouble I will be happy to do so
    Brilliant.
    Fallout 4 is never going to be the same …..

  19. Hello,

    First, thank you so much for not only taking the time to make this driver, but for also sharing it with the rest of us as well. I just installed this to use while playing Guild Wars 2. I am able to setup most buttons, but am still having some small issues. One problem I’m having is that the SC makes my character walk (at random), even though I’ve remapped the buttons. I’ve changed the button configuration within the SC engine to match my keyboard bindings, but am still having issues. Would it be possible for you to make a video, with a detailed explanation and guide to setting this up , and to post it on youtube? Thank you for your time.

    1. Yes, I know that you are only posting information, and a link to Mr. Philip Merwarth’s work, but I hope he will see this, and know people appreciate his work. In addition to you, for making this a bit easier to find.

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