Homecoming Launcher Manual

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About

This covers Settings, Features, and Client Behavior. If you just want to start playing the game, return to Homecoming Launcher for installation instructions.

Settings

You can change launcher settings by clicking on the Gear Icon in the upper right of the window next to the minimize and close buttons. You can also visit Settings by clicking on the ellipses button (...) on any profile card on the left hand side.

General Settings
Affects Launcher behavior.
  • Install Location - Shows the client folder where the files for the Homecoming Launcher and the City of Heroes client exist on your computer. The client is a portable app, so to change this location simply close the launcher and client windows before moving the entire folder to another area. You'll need to change any Desktop and Start Menu shortcut icons present to reflect the new location.
  • Exit after launching - Default: Off. Copies the old client behavior of closing lthe auncher before the game starts. Useful on systems with limited resources.
  • Allow multiple instances - Default: Off. When enabled, clicking a play button in the launcher starts another copy of the game client. You can have as many clients open as system resources will allow (Primarily, your system RAM is the deciding factor - You need 8-16GB to run up to three accounts at once.) If left off, each launcher profile (card on the left hand side) only launches one copy of the game client, and will not launch again until the prior client is closed.
NOTE: This use of the client falls under the Homecoming multiboxing policy:
  • When Server Status is at 1500 users or higher in a shard, maximum one account per user when logging into that shard.
  • Otherwise, if a shard has less than 1500 online, you may have no more than three accounts logged in at once.
More info on the Announcements Forum. Note that this is not concerning the total online players on Homecoming itself. (Only for an individual shard: currently Excelsior, Everlasting, Indomitable, Torchbearer, and Reunion.)
  • UI Scale - Default: 100%. Allows users with high-DPI/Retina/120 PPI+ monitors to increase the size of the client window manually, up to 200%. The client window is scalable, and allows for fractional settings in-between 100 and 200%. This does not affect the in-game client: UI Scale and Depth settings in City of Heroes itself are unchanged from this setting.
Advanced Settings
These settings should only be used in specific scenarios or as extreme troubleshooting measures to resolve a problem.
  • Disable Hardware Acceleration - Default on most systems: Off. Default on Windows 7, 8, and Wine (Mac/Linux): On. Fixes graphical glitching, mouse-over disappear of elements, and other issues by using an older method to draw the launcher screen. Note that this may affect certain features such as shard status and launcher profile status (closing/reopening the launcher may clear up "broken elements" if this happens.)
  • Do not check for updates automatically - Default: Off. Launcher only checks for client updates from user command. To check, click on the ellipses for the profile (...) and select "Check for Updates". This setting overrides the Profile settings below. It is strongly recommended to leave this setting off.
  • Do not automatically update the launcher - Default: Off. Launcher does not update itself. On the same screen, a user can manually check for an updated launcher by clicking "Check for Updates" in the bottom right corner.
  • Update Branch - Default: release. Allows users to pick an update branch. Choices are "Release" and "Test" (a branch that gets QA updates to the launcher before they go out on the "Release" branch. This only affects the launcher itself and does not enable or update the prerelease/beta clients; for example, the same beta client is installed regardless of this setting.
Profile Settings
This only affects the profile selected on the left in the Settings panel, i.e.: Homecoming, Prerelease or Beta. There's a separate page for each profile.
  • Automatically update - Default: On. Checks for an updated client upon start of Homecoming Launcher. Unchecking this means every time the Launcher starts you may have a "Wrong Version" error come up when the client needs updating. It is strongly recommended to leave this setting on.
  • Hide - Default: Off. Removes the Launch Profile from the Homecoming Launcher screen. To restore it, turn this setting off.
  • Architecture - Default: Depends on system, most of the time, 64-bit. This is mostly for troubleshooting or situational purposes, but the client installed should reflect the architecture the system is running. If on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, or 10 on a 32-bit installation, your only choice will be 32-bit. (Open the Control Panel for a hint, or Settings. Use the System page, and note the system architecture reported there.) Otherwise, you can elect to run City of Heroes in 32-bit mode on a 64-bit system. This is not recommended, especially for multiple instance use, as the 32-bit client can use no more than 4GB of RAM.
  • Reset graphics settings on next run - Default: Off. Useful if you picked a graphics mode or resolution which crashed out of the game and prevents you from logging back in. Checking this option removes any graphics settings and puts you on "Safe Mode" visuals (Super VGA resolution, Recommended settings). This option only triggers once, and defaults to "Off" on the next run.
  • Show debug console - Default: Off. Shows a console window with feedback messages from the client during gameplay. Useful for error messages and troubleshooting when the game crashes or fails to start. This console only highlights client issues, and does not show account issues or errors past logging in to the game.
  • Extra Launch Parameters - Default: none. Allows you to enter console command line arguments to pass to the client whenever this profile is started.

Troubleshooting

Most of Homecoming Launcher is automated as much as possible, however, there are times where the Launcher has issues.

Can't Start The Client

I installed Homecoming Launcher in the same directory as Tequila, now neither will launch the game.
Homecoming Launcher requires a NEW DIRECTORY. It changes the folder structure of the client, and very few files & directories from Tequila match up to the new client folder locations. They can not run from the same folder.
We suggest starting over in a new folder if you did this. If Homecoming Launcher doesn't find your Tequila install as a result, you'll need to copy any local files you need from the old locations to the new ones yourself, such as costumes, power customizations, and architect files. There's a forum thread with more information.
When I run Homecoming Launcher, the screen is all black. -OR- I can see parts temporarily, but they disappear or turn black after moving away.
NEW - Go to Settings, Advanced Settings, check "Disable Hardware Acceleration", and close/reopen the launcher.
Note that this is a fallback to GDI rendering, which may not be as responsive as using the default.
When running Homecoming Launcher, there's no left sidebar with the Homecoming Logo or any cards with clients installed.
This happens on older betas of the Homecoming Launcher that run from "hcinstall.exe" rather than the actual launcher program, "launcher.exe" in the "\bin\win64" folder ("\bin\win32" if 32-bit). You can delete any "hcinstall.exe" files you find in your game folder or any download folders on your system once the installation has finished. If deleting the installer breaks the launch shortcut, it needs to point to the correct "\bin" folder copy of "launcher.exe".
Homecoming Launcher shows "Ready" on the game, but does not patch even when closed and reopened. When I launch the game, I get "Wrong Version" errors.
Close the Launcher. Head to "\settings\launcher\profiles" at the directory where the game is installed, and delete all the .json files you see. This will force them to be redownloaded. Restart Homecoming Launcher, and it will show the profiles as not installed. Click on the Install button, and it will update the files normally. (The client isn't being reinstalled from scratch. Any files that are correct will be verified and not changed.)
Homecoming Launcher doesn't launch the game. I get an error stating "The code execution cannot proceed because VCRUNTIME140.dll was not found. Reinstalling the program may fix this problem."
Either Windows Update has downloaded an update to Visual C 2015 Runtime that requires a system restart, or a reinstall of the runtime occured with another program that affected the one City of Heroes depended upon.
Note also that the architecture is important: if you are starting from scratch and you install "Visual C 2015 Runtime (x32)" on your system, you cannot use that runtime to play City of Heroes in x64 mode. You can either open the Settings panel on Homecoming Launcher (click the gear in the upper right) and set the Architecture to 32-bit (not recommended for newer systems), or go to the Microsoft website and install the x64 runtime. You can find it here. (Click Download, then choose "vc_redist.x64.exe".)
If you are on an older system that does not support 64-bit, your only choice in all of the above is 32-bit. "Visual C 2015 Runtime (x64)" will fail to install in the first place, you must choose "vc_redist.x32.exe" in the link above, and in Homecoming Launcher set your profiles to 32-bit mode.
I tried "Multiple Instances" mode, and when I log one in, the other one says "You have been forcibly disconnected...". What gives?
This is not a Homecoming Launcher issue. The same occurs when using two HC Launcher instances, running HC Launcher and Tequila in separate instances, multiple instances from Tequila to enter the game, or if you're using two separate computers to login at once on the same account. They're all the same to the server concerning account access.
The City of Heroes Server only allows one account logged in at a time. For multiple instance mode, every client launched needs a separate login into the game to be on at the same time. (Meaning a New Forum Account, then visiting Game Account Center to make a new username and password.) Also important to note: it is not possible to log in two characters from the same account online at once, and characters from one account cannot be transferred to another, even if you own both accounts.

Older Systems & Compatibility

I need to use a command argument to start the game, such as "-usecompatiblecursors". How do I do that in Homecoming Launcher?
Click the Settings button -OR- click the ellipses "..." in the bottom right corner and choose "Settings". You can enter these arguments in "Extra Launch Parameters." Parameters can be found in Game Client.
I royally screwed up my graphics settings for City of Heroes and had to resort to Task Manager and "End Task". When I run it again, I can't get to the Login prompt at all now.
Click the Settings button -OR- click the ellipses "..." in the bottom right corner and choose "Settings". Check the box for "Reset graphics settings on next run." Click "Close" and try it again.
I've used Tequila before, and Homecoming Launcher asked to copy my Issue 24 files and user data to the new installation. But my architect mission data and screenshots aren't present. Why?
The Launcher does not copy those files to reduce hard drive impact. Users with a large screenshot collection and/or architect mission data may run low on disk space if duplicated, impacting system updates or swap file use in Windows. You'll need to manually copy/move over any files from Tequila that you want to keep.
What are the system requirements for Homecoming Launcher?
The same as the game client. Homecoming Launcher has been tested and verified working in the following:
Microsoft: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, and Windows versions 7, 8, 8.1, & 10.
MacOS/OS X: Yosemite, El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, & Catalina.
Linux: Latest versions of ArchLinux, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Linux Mint, & Ubuntu.
Hardware specs still apply. A 1GHZ processor, at least 2GB RAM, and a graphics card/on-board graphics capable of playing the game is still required.

Utilities

I want to use Titan Icon and/or Paragon Chat. How do I install them with Homecoming Launcher?
Those tools are incompatible with Homecoming Launcher. The folder locations are different, and both tools expect the files to be in the old Cryptic/Paragon Studios client folder locations.
If you wish to use those tools, one possibility is keeping Tequila around and updating Homecoming Launcher separately. If you do not use Tequila to play Homecoming, patching on Tequila is not required to keep using Icon/Paragon Chat since those tools only use the Issue 24 files with no changes.
I use VidiotMaps or another mod that involves the Data folder. How do I install mods in Homecoming Launcher?
Same place as Tequila. The "\data" folder in the client can take those files. The same data folder applies to all launch profiles. As with Tequila and the Live Client if a mod is broken or causing problems, you can rename the folder to something else to run the client normally, or remove files in there that are causing issues.

Portable Application Use

If Homecoming Launcher is a Portable App, can I use it with a cloud-sync file service, such as Dropbox, Microsoft 365, or Google Drive?
Yes, however setup and maintenance is on your own. A good idea is disabling "passive update" features so running a patched client on another system doesn't cause errors (an example: on Microsoft OneDrive, right click on the client folder and choose "Always Keep On This Device". Check your sync status on all of systems and get in the habit of waiting for "Up To Date" from OneDrive before starting Homecoming Launcher.)
This doesn't save on bandwidth concerning updates, it only changes the server where the patched files come from. The practical reason to do this is to keep costumes and other local files in-sync everywhere you play the game. This doesn't affect server-based info, such as chat and window settings (which are saved on the server between sessions regardless of the system in use.)
Do I need to install Visual C 2015 Runtime on my other Windows systems as well, even if the Launcher and Client Files are an exact copy?
Yes. The client will not start without it.
Do I need to install Visual C 2015 Runtime on Mac or Linux?
This dependency is already covered in the Wine application package, and is not required for Mac or Linux gameplay. Updates to the runtime occur in the regular update process for Wine on your system.
So in theory, if I have multiple computers in the house and slow Internet, if I copy the Homecoming Launcher folder from a patched system and paste it to the same installation on other computers using a flash drive, that will patch systems, right?
Yes. Your client files will be included, so any costumes, screenshots, data folder mods, or Architect Missions will go with it as well.

Command Line Use

Homecoming Launcher also has a command line app to use in Windows to perform patching and launch the game by script. Assuming you choose the default directory, and you use the 64-bit client to play the game, the file is located in "C:\Games\Homecoming\bin\win64\launchercli.exe".

The following arguments work with LauncherCLI.exe.

Command Example Description
list > launchercli list Shows a list of installed profiles and their ID names.

Profiles by ID:
live: Live Client. Used for the live game service.
beta: Beta Client. Used for Beta Testing an upcoming patch or revision.
pre: Prerelease Client. Used for quick-release tests that doesn't involve a major revision to the Live Client.

install > launchercli install live Installs a given profile by ID Name.
uninstall > launchercli uninstall beta Uninstalls a given profile by ID Name.
update > launchercli update pre Performs updates on the given profile by ID Name. Shows a progress counter and returns to command prompt when finished.
verify > launchercli verify live Performs a file check on a given profile by ID Name. Once all the files pass or fail validation, returns to command prompt when finished.
launch > launchercli launch live [''arguments''] Selects the given profile by ID Name and launches Homecoming: City of Heroes. Returns to command prompt once the client shows the "Loading" graphic.

The [''arguments''] area (no brackets needed) is where you can enter command-line arguments for the Game Client to launch. You do not need to use any to start the game, and certain arguments have been removed concerning Homecoming: City of Heroes (-authserver isn't accepted any longer, for example.)

To be able to use these commands anywhere in your filesystem, a possibility is adding your directory containing the "LauncherCLI.exe" file to your environment's PATH variable. (i.e.: typing "LauncherCLI update live" anywhere on your system drive in Windows Command Prompt will patch your client.)