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Each time that I'm try to laung the game I'm get a pop-up saying that F18.exe has stopped working.

I'm be able to make this game working in Windows 7 x64, changing compatibility settings in F18start.exe, but this not works with Windows 8.1
Well, the game is apparently not compatible with Win 8/8.1 (gamecard mentions only Windows XP, Vista, 7).
triock: Well, the game is apparently not compatible with Win 8/8.1 (gamecard mentions only Windows XP, Vista, 7).
I'm suspect that is by in W8/8.1, the desktop composition cannot be disabled.
Well, I'm happy to report that I can fly this game in Windows 8.1 64 bits under very specific and unexpected circonstances.

One of the good things about GOG is the ability you get to save your installer. In this case, it made all the difference.
So here's the thing : I fought a long time, and failed, trying to play this game until I remembered I had an older version from GOG stashed on one of my many USB HD.
This is important : the version I used is and dates back to 2012. The actual GOG version is 2.0.0.

At first, I ended up with the same issues, but when I tried again the installer in administator mode, things went a lot smoother. I had to set the compatibility mode to Windows XP (SP3) and select 16bits color mode.

And it worked !

I can play training missions and campaigns though some effects are not as good as they used to be (transparency, clouds layers, and whatnot.). The antialiasing also have a tremendous impact on the framerate though I have a pretty powerful PC. But, other than that, it does work !

I find it rather odd that in the process of upgrading F/A-18 Superhornet, GOG actually broke the compatibility with win 8.1.
I hope my explanations can bring some light and help some of you who have tried to run this game in vain until now.
Maybe someone at GOG could take a look at this issue and modify the current installer.

Until then, best of luck to everyone.

Post edited February 07, 2015 by andromedius
Well, I fixed the issue with the game running slow when AA is active.

I just had to open the control panel of my graphic card (an Nvidia but it should be okay with an AMD card too).

Then :
- Unchecked Threaded Optimization.
- Activated V-Sync and Triple buffering.

Important :
If you're running a SLI or Crossfire system, you MUST deactivate one of your graphic processors.

And now the choppy frame rate has totally vanished ! The game is fully playable with Anti-Aliasing on.

DI F/A 18 Superhornet is still challenging, definitely not the greatest of all combat flight simulators, but it has its moments and I really enjoy the pre take-off carrier operations

Hope this helps.

Post edited February 14, 2015 by andromedius
This just remembered me that I have an old version of the installer backed up in a pendrive, and yes, it works.

I'm tried to have the two version installed at once, but if the last version is installed, none of the two works, regardless of the install order, so I suspect that the last version add some odd compatibility path.
Well, as I wrote before, I tried with the up-to-date version of the installer and failed miserably each time (even in administrator mode when installing the game).

So far it seems that the only way to get this bird flying is to use the older installer. What I don't get is why GOG updated the installer as it brings more issues than it solves.

I've flown a few missions and I must say I'm pretty pleased by the difficulty and the intensity required to achieve the objectives.
I remembered playing the game back in the days and being kinda disappointed because jane's F/A-18 was released around the same time.

Some of my griefs with the sim :

- the commands for wingmen are severely lacking (no 'check my six', no 'report contacts', no 'engage bandits/ground targets' and whatnot). The 'follow me' order is also a joke. It can't compare to the Jane's F-A-18 full coms menu options.

- Wingmen taking off first (which, unless I'm mistaken, is not the correct/standard procedure) and rushing to their objectives without a care in the world for their leader.

- No precise signalization from your wingmen when they engage the enemy other than 'I've got a bogey on screen'.
Radio chatter doesn't help building your situational awareness.

- There's also the absence of 3D viewing in the Mission Planner (it was a great tool in all the previous DI sims) which really hurts your planning and strategy for each mission. It's a shame that the new 3d engine and lack of proper time development forced it out of the sim.

But even with these obvious flaws, I do like DI F/A-18E Superhornet, surely because we haven't got a modern decent F/A-18 Combat flight simulator since the end of the nineties.
Such a shame !

I just hope GOG decide to modify the installer or upload the older one so people can fly again this puzzling sim.
It's worth a try.

Fly safe,

Post edited May 08, 2015 by andromedius
Tried installing this one, on 8.1 x64 and get up to the briefing, but crash on entering the mission.

Any update on the issue?

GOG it would be nice if you can make available the old installer also or fix the issue, after all we have payed for this.


I've managed to make this game working (training/quick start/campagin) on 8.1 x64 with the folliwing:

Hornet Installer 2.0
* Run installer normally (don't think it make any difference)

* f18.exe compatibility settings:
~ Windows 98/Me
~ Reduced color mode: 16 bit
~ Disable display scaling
~ Run as administrator

* Nvidia settings
~ Disable thread optimization
~ Single display performance mode
~ V Sync enable
~ Triple buffering enable

*Game settings:
~ Leave disabled audio 3D
~ Virtual cockpit leave disabled
~ Everything else set to MAX
Post edited July 25, 2015 by OldOldGamer
using Win10 64 bit and was getting crashes to desktop everytime i entered a mission as well. the only setting that worked for me is:

Compatability mode to Windows 95
Reduce to 16 bit colour mode
Run as administrator

the only thing is that the skybox colouring looks quite poor on bad weather missions. not sure if that was normal though.
Also selecting the Preferences in game would go to the settings box in desktop and then crash. Using the settings box from outside of the game worked fine still.
Post edited December 12, 2017 by tedeee