Return to the Roots

Return to the Roots or RttR is an open source add-on type of remake of The Settlers II. This means it requires the original game files in order to work as Ubisoft did not give Settlers Freaks (the group developing RttR) a permission to redistribute the files. This means you need The Settlers II: Gold Edition for RttR to work.

Return to the Roots
Return to the Roots supports multiple operating systems, being playable on Windows 7, Vista & XP as well as Mac OS X and Linux. RttR adds a few features from limiting the total amount of catapults a player can build to fully working Internet multiplayer. Playing in Internet Lobby requires you to register at RttR forums, but you can also setup Direct IP games. AI is also in development, but the main attraction at the moment is the multiplayer. There is no single player campaign at the moment.

Download & community

You can find latest stable releases and nightly builds at RttR download page.

How to help

Settlers Freaks is always interested of new developers, and there are other kind of interesting projects such as “New People” based on Babylonians that needs working hands with graphics. There is also some interest at creating new “Settlers II like” graphics and sounds, but at the moment of writing this there is not yet enough people to get this done anytime soon.

Note: RttR is a project started by German fans. This means a lot of the existing discussion has been in German and some parts of their site is also available only in German. However they are open for “internationalization” so you are free to write in English on their site.


Source code is available at Launchpad, you need Bazaar to download the history & source. The initial download will be huge, over 700 MB!

Bugs & feature suggestions

You can report bugs here, improvement suggestions are welcome at the forums.

Translation & proof reading

The game language strings are changeable at Launchpad. You need to register there to be able to do new suggestions. The English language is in need of a native level speaker to correct mistakes! RttR developer needs to accept your suggestions before they are used in the game, so it is a good idea to go to their IRC channel, forum, or otherwise let them know you’ve done changes to your chosen language.


  • gazzlowe

    Hello I would like to ask you if is possible to run rttr in would be great to play it on an android tablet

    • Well, WinXp works – nobody ever tried Win95 but our Devs always said it SHOULD work^^

  • Krsiak Daniel

    Hi guys, why do you not make: … project to fund this RTTR thing ?
    So you can get money to develop and have more people. There are hundres of old school folks like me (born 1985) who still love and play this game.

    • Spikeone

      This is the same like crowd founding right? Well, as far as I know, we can’t do this because we have no active Devs, means we can’t reach a target or something (Isn’t this what user would like to know?). Yeah, well, maybe that should have been done then when the project started.
      But everything I tell doesn’t need to be the truth, it’s just what I (think) know about the project.

      I hope my information help you 😉

    • GeoffBarnard

      Hello – re ‘old school folk (born 1985)’ ???
      I was born 1950 – what does that make me?
      I still love & play S2, never went to later versions!

  • Gruffmeister

    Is the RTTR source code inclusive of the original settlers 2 source code? I’d very much like to have a look at the AI pathway scripts / code for ships etc. Some of the original AI is very frustrating when you have multiple harbours / ships. I’m a PhD student in Computer Intelligence, so I guess it’s in my field of interest and I’d like to see how the original works and fix it!

    • RttR is written from scratch and is open source so you are free to have a look at it and develop it further. The original code hasn’t been touched on, it is still proprietary and it’s logic hasn’t been reverse engineered.

      • Gruffmeister

        Cool thanks for the info, just downloaded RTTR and had a go at it. Very good for a pre-release. Noticed a few bugs in the AI though, which I might have a look at if you don’t mind? One main example is the resource always seems to go to the storehouse first before being sent to the place that needs it – this counteracts the gameplay of placing “like buildings” near each other. Can be a problem if you’re low on resource

        • I haven’t written a single line of code for RttR 🙂 At the moment they have a lack of developers and if I’m right they are also considering a rewrite, but with the lack of devs it is unlikely to go nowhere anytime soon. Haven’t had a look at their forums for a good while by now, just what I remember from the last time I had some chat on their IRC channel at #siedler2.5 on Freenode.

          As far as I can tell any contributions are appreciated 🙂

          • Gruffmeister

            Yeah I think I initially heard about RttR a few years ago. Between then and now I kinda forgot about settlers 2! Only just picked it back up again, found a whole pile of bugs in the original so thought about RttR again. Maybe I can contribute something 🙂 no promises haha!

          • Spikeone

            Well, sadly, we have no active Dev’s anymore. Also there is only one person left who is “active” (means you may could contact him) who is able to upload something to the svn to change the nightly versions. Changes would be great, not regarding in which part 🙂

  • Jon Faulder


    I just downloaded settlers 2 return to the roots, i changed the resolution in game and now i can’t change it to full screen or can’t change the resolution back, i try re-installing the game through dosbox and adding the mod again but it still doesnt change things i cant do anything or play the game as my resolution is screwed up and i cant revert back to original settings can anybody help me with this? extremely frustrated.

    • Spikeone

      If you have windows just navigate to your ‘Saved Games’ folder and either remove the config file or edit it.

  • Agus

    im on linux mint and it was impossible to compile this game. Too many libs missing and there’s always errors… is there any tutorial to do it?