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BioShock cover
Irrational Games
2K Australia
OS X Feral Interactive
OS X Robosoft Technologies
2K Games
OS X Feral Interactive
Unreal Engine 2.5
Release dates
Windows August 21, 2007
OS X October 7, 2009
BioShock 2007
BioShock 2 2010
BioShock Infinite 2013

Key points

BioShock may crash on startup on Windows 7 and later. See Crash on startup.
Physics and animations are locked at 30 FPS. See below how to modify the lock.

General information

Official Forum
BioShock Wiki - Large wiki for the BioShock series
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Users' Forums for game series


The retail, and (Windows) versions use SecuROM DRM. There is no activation limit.[1] An internet connection is required for installation.
All Mac OS X versions, excluding the mac store, use Feral Interactive's DRM system which requires online activation.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Launch the game with -nointro parameter

Remove physics and animation frame rate cap[edit]

By default physics and animations are capped to 30 FPS.
Use Bioshock Physics Unlocker[2]
  1. Download Bioshock Physics Unlocker
  2. Extract BioshockPhysicsUnlocker.exe to the game's executable folder (typically located in <path-to-game>\Builds\Release\)
  3. Open BioshockPhysicsUnlocker.exe, type your desired frame rate and hit Enter


Patch 1.1 - Steam version is already patched and the humblebundle DRM free version too.

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %APPDATA%\Bioshock

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioshock\SaveGames\

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Field of view (FOV).
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use Borderless Gaming.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See Anisotropic filtering (AF).
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Can be forced through the NVIDIA Control Panel/AMD Control Center.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
Physics and animations are locked at 30 FPS.[3] See below how to modify the lock.
120+ FPS
No FPS or refresh rate cap.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Flawless Widescreen
  1. Use Flawless Widescreen.
  2. Download the Bioshock plugin, set the desired fixes, then run the game.
  3. Turn Horizontal FOV Lock on in-game.

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

Anisotropic filtering
  1. Open bioshock.ini with a text editor
  2. Find the following lines, and set them to these values.


Input settings[edit]

In-game general control settings.
In-game general control settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.

Mouse acceleration[edit]

  1. Open User.ini with a text editor
  2. Find the following lines and edit them accordingly:
W=MoveForward | set Engine.PlayerInput MouseAccelThreshold 0.0 | set Engine.PlayerInput MouseSmoothingMode 0

You can download this small script in order to automate the process.

Mouse sensitivity[edit]

  1. Open User.ini with a text editor
  2. Find the following lines and edit the speed values of all 10 occurrences:
MouseX=IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Count bXAxis | IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Axis aMouseX Speed=2500.0
MouseY=IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Count bYAxis | IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Axis aMouseY Speed=2500.0
You can download this small script in order to automate the process.

Hold to Zoom[edit]

  1. Open User.ini with a text editor.
  2. Find the button zoom is mapped to (default is Z, in this case RightMouse)
  3. Change it so it looks like this:
RightMouse=ZoomCycle | onRelease ZoomCycle

Note: This works for walking and crouch as well, changes their lines to (in this case the buttons are Shift and CTRL)

Shift=Walking | onRelease Walking
Ctrl=Duck | onRelease Duck

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Up to 7.1[4][5]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 5.[6]


Language UI Audio CC Notes

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Native 3D
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Helix Mod: Bioshock.
TriDef 3D
Devices Native Notes
Tracked motion controllers
Supports the Razer Hydra.[citation needed]
3RD Space Gaming Vest

Issues fixed[edit]

TweakGuides has created a comprehensive guide for fixing issues in this game.

Crash on startup[edit]

Update OpenAL

Video settings not saving[edit]

Force DirectX 9[citation needed]

Launch the game with -dx9 parameter.

Crashing when changing the resolution[edit]

Edit default resolution
  1. Open bioshock.ini in the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Find the following lines, and set the desired values.
Change resolutions while in windowed mode
  1. Push Alt+ Enter, before entering the Video Options menu.
  2. Set the desired resolution, then apply the changes.
  3. Leave the Video Options menu, then push Alt+ Enter again.

Excessive screen tearing (Nvidia)[edit]

  1. Go to the NVIDIA Control Panel. Open the 3D Settings menu.
  2. Add Bioshock.exe to the list. Enable FXAA and V-Sync.


This should be necessary due to "somewhat broken MLAA"[citation needed]

Frame rate stuttering[edit]

Disable V-Sync
Force DirectX 9

Launch the game with -dx9 parameter.

Missing sound effects[edit]

Install OpenAL

Sound cutting out[edit]

Enable EAX[7]
  1. Install the latest version of the OpenAL drivers
  2. Go to C:\Windows\System32 (or C:\Windows\SysWoW64 for x64 OS's)
  3. Copy over wrap_oal.dll into the same folder where Bioshock's executable is located (steamapps\common\bioshock\Builds\Release\)
  4. Rename this file openal32.dll
  5. Enable EAX audio from the game options.

Sound missing after intro sequence (Windows 10)[edit]

Run the game in Windows XP SP2 compatibility mode

Gameplay breaking issues[edit]

Minor spoilers ahead.

In Arcadia (the fifth level), do not have the Scrounger tonic equipped around the time you search Langford's Safe. The safe holds a required quest item. To fix this issue, you must reload an earlier save and remove the tonic by visiting a Gene Bank. Once you have the item from the safe, you can safely use the Scrounger tonic for the rest of the game.

In Fort Frolic, do not leave the level using the Bathysphere that you begin the level next to. If you do leave Fort Frolic using that Bathysphere then when you return to Fort Frolic the curtain that needs to be open to perform the "Cohen's Masterpiece" quest will be permanently closed. If this happens then you cannot get to the Fort Frolic exit Bathysphere to progress to the next level.[8]

In Fort Frolic, it is possible to get trapped in Rapture Records. When trying to kill Silas Cobb, don't use the Hypnotize plasmid. If you do and the Big Daddy kills Cobb before he's able to perform a scripted task, you must return to the main map by killing yourself. (The Incinerate! plasmid at your feet works well.) Reloading an old save is also an option.[9]

If your saves to do not go far enough back then the first two are game-ending issues. Technically, modifying the save file or using a trainer would also fix the issue, but neither solution has been documented.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9, 10
OpenGL 2.0 OS X only.
Shader Model support 3, 4
64-bit executable
OS X only.[citation needed]


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok
Audio FMOD
Cutscenes Bink Video, Flash

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP SP2 Vista
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium IV 2.4 GHz AMD Athlon 64 x2
Intel Core 2 Duo
System memory (RAM) 1 GB 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 8 GB 8 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 6600
ATI Radeon X1300
128 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 3.0 support
Nvidia GeForce 7900 GT (DirectX 9)
Nvidia GeForce 8600 (DirectX 10)
512 MB of VRAM
DirectX 10 compatible
Operating system (OS) 10.5.8
Processor (CPU) 1.4 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1.5 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 8 GB
Video card (GPU) 128 MB of VRAM
Requires an Intel processor. The game does not support Intel GMA integrated video chipsets (older Mac minis and MacBooks), but does run on GeForce 9400M graphics cards or better.


  1. Activation limits removed on BioShock for the PC - 2K Forums
  2. Choppy Physics Fix
  3. New 120Hz Games Report
  4. Sound Blaster Gaming: BioShock Audio Guide (retrieved)
  5. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up
  6. Techgage - Creative EAX vs Asus DS3D GX 2.0
  7. [1]
  8. Known Bioshock Issues
  9. Fort Frolic - The BioShock Wiki