(Note that these are the PC controls and do not apply for the PS1 or Sega Genesis versions.) The game has controls like other PC RTS games. First things first, to select a unit, left click on it when the cursor is over it. To order said unit to attack, left click on an enemy unit while you have your cursor over the enemy unit and you have a unit(s) selected. To select multiple units at once, drag-select a box around a group of units. This group can be issued orders just like a single unit can. Alternatively, you can also select a group of units by shift-clicking each one. If you ever want to deselect a group, just right click. If you want to deselect a specific unit from a group, just shift-click it again. If you want to give a group or unit a hotkey so you can select them later just hold CONTROL then hit a number on your keyboard. Now if you want to select a group later, you can just hit the number you assigned them.
- Hold CTRL while you have a unit selected and click anywhere. This makes the unit(s) force attack the place you ordered them to attack and they will not stop attacking that area until you tell them otherwise.
- Hold ALT while you have a unit selected and click anywhere. This makes the unit(s) move to that location, even if the default is to shoot. This is generally used by armour to overrun enemy infantry. You will have great difficulty playing the game if you do not use this.
Controlling your Base
Like other RTS games, Command & Conquer lets you build a base. To start building a base, you need to have a unit called a Mobile Construction Vehicle (MCV). You must deploy the MCV by selecting it, then left clicking on it in a flat, open area whilst having it selected. This will create a building called a Construction Yard, which allows you to build other buildings. It will also open up a sidebar, which has building/unit options. Left click on an icon inside the sidebar to build it. Alternatively, to cancel/postpone a production, right click on it once to put it on hold (the production will not lose any progress but will not continue producing until you left click on it again) and right click the production another time to cancel it in which you will get your money refunded. Speaking of money, you need it to produce units/buildings. To get money you need to build a refinery which deploys a vehicle called a harvester which harvests tiberium. When the harvester harvests enough, it will return to the refinery and you will get 700 dollars which you can use for production/repairs (this process repeats itself as long as you have the harvester and refinery). Note that you may only build one of each TYPE of unit/building at a time (one vehicle, one infantry etc.). To build infantry, you must have a building called a Barracks or Hand of NOD (faction dependent). This will make more icons open up on your sidebar (infantry). The same thing goes for the Weapons Factory/Airstrip (vehicles, again faction dependent) and Helipad (air). To look at different options along the sidebar left click on one of the arrows at the bottom of the sidebar. You can also repair buildings that were damaged by the enemy units by clicking the Repair button near the top of the sidebar then clicking a building (this will cost you money). You can also sell buildings you built and get refunded half of the purchase price by clicking the Sell button then clicking a building (you can also sell vehicles if they are repairing on the Repair Bay building then using the aforementioned method on the unit). Selling buildings is a great way to go if you are being attacked and a building is about to be destroyed as it denies the kill from the enemy and gives you some cash. You will get a couple of basic troops if you sell a building too. And, if you have a radar (acquired by building the Comm Center) you can hit the map button to make the Radar zoom in/out. And, if you have a Base Defense building (Guard Tower, Turret, Advanced Guard Tower and Obelisk of Light) you can select them then order them to attack like units (except they cannot move).
Various Specific Functions
Various units/buildings have specific functions in case you need them. With the APC and Chinook Helicopter, you can order infantry to enter them (you must do this one at a time) then use the vehicle to bring them somewhere faster and with more armour. When they are done their journey you can select the vehicle and left click on it to unload them. You can use these tactics to bring various units into their base without the enemy knowing, allowing you to do more damage. The harvester also has various functions, as you can select them and order them to harvest specific Tiberium, (left click on Tiberium when having them selected) and order them to return to their refinery by left clicking on the refinery when a special cursor appears. Engineers can capture buildings simply by left clicking on an enemy building (that is not a defense) with them selected.