EA has ended multiplayer support for all BFME series games. As such, third-party programs are now required to play BFME online. The Battle for Middle Earth community uses a program called GameRanger.
Download GameRanger here. After you've installed GameRanger, created your account, and signed in, you'll be confronted with the GameRanger interface.
GameRanger does not have game-specific lobbies. Instead, rooms are sorted by a game filter. By changing your game filter, you can control which games you see rooms for, allowing you to see rooms for multiple games at a time. We recommend changing your filter to "My Games" so that you only see rooms for games that you're interested in.
Each room is the equivalent of a hosted game. The difference between GameRanger and EA's online interface is that hosted games are not removed from the list once they begin. This is to show you that people are actively playing the game on GameRanger, rather than it appearing like few people are online at a given time simply because their games have already started. If a game has started, a green light will appear in the right hand column. Since you obviously can't join games that have already started, you shouldn't try to join any games that happen to have a green light.
If you want to host a game room, the button to do so is in the upper right. Alternatively, join an existing game room.
Here's an example of a GameRanger room. Note the player list on the right. If a player's name appears in italics, he is having connectivity issues (see below). If there is a green dot next to his name, that means he's currently in-game. If you're the host, you'll have a "Start Game" button. Pressing this button will launch the game that you selected when you created the room, skipping intro movies. (If you already have BFME open, be sure to close it before pressing "Start Game," or it won't work.) The game should automatically launch Network mode and host a game. (If for some reason your game doesn't autohost, just navigate to Network manually and you'll be fine.) Now, just wait for your opponent; his game only begins to launch at this point, so he may take a little while to arrive. If you're not the host, then when the host presses "Start Game" you will receive a "Waiting for Host" notice. This means that the host's game has started, and you're now waiting for it to finish loading so that it can perform some connectivity wizardry that will allow you to connect with him. Just be patient, and yours will start soon. You'll also automatically join Network, though you'll have to manually select the host's game from the list.
Be aware that due to a bug in the game's Network lobby (NOT a GameRanger bug that would be fixed by using a different networking client), you will be kicked from game rooms unless you regularly "respond" to the host by typing in chat, reselecting your color, etc.
Be sure to include the game size and the tag [1.05] in the game name. It's extremely annoying to start a game, only to discover that your opponent isn't on 1.03. Do not join somebody's game if he hasn't listed [1.05] in the game name; he's probably on 1.03, and if he's not, then he needs to learn our rule for naming rooms with the patch. Instead, send him a PM to recommend that he visit our site to learn about joining our community.
Here's an example of a good room name: [1.05] 1v1 Fords. "1v1" is optional, since this should be indicated by the size of the game room if you've set two players as the max room size.
That's all you need to know to get online and start playing with us. May the Battle for Middle-earth continue!
-This guide made by Forlong.