How to run more than one NWN instance on the same computer

back to: Main Page

This assumes you are running NWN on windows 10. It should work similarly on other non mobile platforms. Screenshots are of Windows 10 in german language, sorry about that.
1. Create a new user data folder for ini files. Copy cdkey.ini, nwn.ini, nwnplayer.ini to new folder.
2. Create a shortcut to nwmain.exe
3. Add -userdirectory "c:\users\USER\new-ini-dir" to the target of the new shortcut

1. Create a new folder for your second set of .ini files.

The default location for the NWN folder with the userdata is C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\Neverwinter Nights. Where USERNAME is your real user name.
Default Userdata Folder
Create a new folder in C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\ and give it the name you want. For example Neverwinter Nights - 2
Copy the files cdkey.ini, nwn.ini, nwnplayer.ini to the new folder. You most likely do not need the toolset.ini since you can just use the toolset from your primary install.
Nwn Userdata Folder2

2. Edit copied cdkey.ini

Open cdkey.ini in the newly created folder with a text editor and put in your second cdkey.
New Key
(Hint: The cdkey in the screenshot is most likely not valid ;))

3. Create a shortcut to start 2nd NWN instance

Find the nwmain.exe. It will be in the bin folder of your game install. I installed my version of NWN with the Beamdog client and nwmain.exe is located in C:\BeamdogLibrary\00785\bin\win32.
The drive letter, C:, may be different depending on where you chose to install your game (like in the screenshot).
If you got NWN via Steam it will be in a different location. Look for a folder called SteamLibrary. Inside steam there should be an option to show where it is located, too.
Find Nwmain
Right click and copy the nwmain.exe. Then, in a location of your choosing, for example your Desktop, right click again in an empty place and select insert shortcut. Make sure it is insert shortcut and not just insert.
This will create a new shortcut to the nwmain.exe. Rename the shortcut to what you want it to be called.
Right click the newly created shortcut and open properties.
Go to the input field where it says Target or Destination (Ziel in the screenshot). Leave the existing text in there, unmodified, and add to the end: -userdirectory "C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\Neverwinter Nights - 2". If your folder name contains spaces, use the quotes. It's fine to use quotes in any case. Replace USERNAME with your actual user name, and the folder with the name of your second ini folder your created in step 1.

4. Change the player name for second NWN instance

Change the player name for the second NWN instance you want to run. In the new user data folder you created in step 1 for the copy of the .ini files, open nwnplayer.ini.
Find the Player Name= line and set your preferred player name there.

5. Start in windowed mode

You are now ready to run two instances of NWN. Start the first as usual and start the second with the shortcut you created. I recommend running both in windowed mode.