How To Use BF2 Battle Recorder

Battlefield 2: BattleRecorder


The BF2 BattleRecorder allows a round to be recorded and easily distributed. It allows a player to watch a “replay” of the entire round from any players point of view or perspective and can be a great tool for match play to determine if any players are using cheats or hacks. During playback, it is possible to rotate camera angles, switch between players and free camera modes, and use shuttle features such as fast forward, slow motion, stop, rewind, and pause.

The following commands can be used to control the game replay and camera in a recorded demo. (Note: the term “Demo” depicts the recording itself)

Q – opens the Playback Rose. Move the mouse to highlight the desired playback option and press the Left Mouse Button to select. Options available here that are not bound to separate keys include “Restart” and “Quit”.
T – opens the Camera Rose. Choose the camera option or cycle through the available players.
1 – Pause the playback (also available in the Playback Rose).
2 – Playback recorded session at normal speed (also available in the Playback Rose).
3 – Playback recorded session at 5% of normal speed (also available in the Playback Rose).
4 – Playback recorded session at 25% of normal speed (also available in the Playback Rose).
5 – Playback recorded session at 50% of normal speed (also available in the Playback Rose).
6 – Playback recorded session at normal speed (also available in the Playback Rose).
7 – Playback recorded session at 150% of normal speed (also available in the Playback Rose).
8 – Playback recorded session at 300% of normal speed (also available in the Playback Rose).
Spacebar – cycle between players.
Right Mouse Button – cycle between free camera and player camera.
Mouse wheel – zoom camera in and out when locked onto a player.
W, A, S, D, Ctrl and Shift – move free camera around map, forward, left, backwards, right, down and up.
Mouse look – aim free camera.

Basic Rendering Instructions
Playing back a demo outside the client and recording your camera movements

  • This mode lets you record a camera path to go with a demo recording so that they can be played back together. The camera works exactly as described in the instructions above but all movements you make are recorded.
    • If working from the machine that recorded the demo, drop the demo.cmd file provided with this update (click here to download the demo.cmd file) into the root of the Battlefield 2 install folder.
    • If working from a client that has downloaded a demo from the game’s front end:
    • Create a “Demos” folder in the root of the game install folder.
    • Move the demos you wish to render from into the demos folder from their normal location in you’re my Documents folder.
    • Drop the demo.cmd folder found below into the root of the game install folder.
  • Launch the demo recording as follows
    • Launch the Command Prompt and browse to the game’s install directory.
    • E.g. type “cd c:\Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield 2″ and hit ENTER
  • Type “demo.cmd +c ” and press enter.
    • E.g. “demo.cmd +c mydemo mydemocam” will record a Demos\mydemocam.bf2cam for demo Demos\mydemo.bf2demo
    • Before quitting the game, wait for the message ‘camera file closed’ in the console or the camera file will be broken.

Playing back a demo with pre-recorded camera movements

  • This mode combines the previous steps and shows you a take with both the demo and camera tracks active.
    • Launch the game as follows: demo.cmd
    • To watch the demo with the default recorded camera use: demo.cmd -def

Rendering images to disk

  • This mode writes out an AVI file to disk based on a demo file and a recorded camera file.
    • Launch the game as follows: demo.cmd +r
    • A dialog box pops up where you can select encoder (Xvid or Divx is recommended) and the quality settings for that encoder.
      • If you want to stop rendering before the end of the demo, press ‘R’

Capturing sound

  • This mode tries to set up an ideal environment for recording sound.
    • Launch the game as follows: demo.cmd +s
    • Use external recording software to capture the sound from the playback.

Information for Server Admins

Impact on server performance The Battle recorder feature can impact server performance in two ways:

  • A bandwidth hit (if the demos are uploaded on the same machine that is running the game server.) We strongly recommend that you do not run battlerecorder on the same server you are using to host gameplay. Instead, set up a separate ftp server to host demo files.
  • A performance hit – dependent on the demo quality setting, which is found on the BF 2 server launcher UI. The demo quality setting can range from the default setting of 1 (lowest quality / minimal performance hit) to 10 (maximum quality / biggest performance hit.) Depending on the server specifications, you’ll want to set your demo quality appropriately. We recommend no more than quality 5, the highest quality was built in for users that are creating movies / trailers with the Battlefield 2 engine. Due to the demands even the lowest setting of quality can have, we do not recommend running BattleRecorder on any server that is configured for 64-players.


  • FTP server (only if using a separate machine from the server to host demos.)
  • Web server – our in game downloading system requires http transfers, and does not support ftp downloading.

How To Set It Up
To activate the BF2 Battle Recorder using the BF2 Server Launcher UI the admin must:

  • Enable the AutoRecord option.
  • Input the address where users can download demo files (this has to be in the format of an http: address, as the Battlefield 2 front end does not support ftp downloads.) IMPORTANT – at the end of the address (i.e. 123.456.7.8/demos/) make sure you include the final slash, or the demo download url won’t parse correctly in the Battlefield 2 front end, and clients won’t be able to download your demo.
  • If the FTP server is password protected (which we strongly recommend) the admin must use a text editor to make changes to the rotate_demo.cfg file located in the c:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2 Server folder to contain the proper server address, user login and user password.

The section of the file you must edit is shown in its default state here:
# login information for the ftp server goes here
ftp_server = my.ftp.server
ftp_user = my_user
ftp_password = my_password

Make sure to enter the full address for the ftp server as shown below:
# login information for the ftp server goes here
ftp_server = ftp:\\
ftp_user = user
ftp_password = userpassword

Inside the rotate_demo.cfg file, you will also be able to set the maximum number of demo files to keep in the rotation, before older demo recordings are overwritten.

Once the above steps have been completed correctly the server will post a recording of the action to the specified server at the end of each round.