BioShock 2

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BioShock 2
BioShock 2 cover
Developers
2K Marin
2K China
2K Australia
DLC Iron Galaxy Studios
Multiplayer Digital Extremes
macOS (OS X) Feral Interactive
macOS (OS X) Open Planet Software[1]
Publishers
2K Games
OS X Feral Interactive
Engines
Unreal Engine 2.5
Release dates
Windows February 9, 2010
OS X March 29, 2012
BioShock
BioShock 2007
BioShock 2 2010
BioShock Infinite 2013
BioShock Remastered 2016
BioShock 2 Remastered 2016

This page is for the original version. For the remastered version, see BioShock 2 Remastered.

Key points

Steam version DRM switched from Games for Windows - LIVE and SecuROM to Steam.[2]
The Steamworks patch introduced some audio level balance issues.[3]
Ragdoll physics and animations are locked at 30 FPS.

General information

2K Games Forum
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Users' Forums for BioShock and BioShock 2

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail Optional Steam unlock.[2]
Gamesplanet
Games Republic Requires online activation
Green Man Gaming
Green Man Gaming
Humble Store
Steam Bundled with BioShock 2 Remastered
All non-Steam Windows versions require Games for Windows - LIVE DRM.
All Windows retail and digital versions of BioShock 2 activate on Steam.[2] Activation unlocks all DLC, including Minerva's Den.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
Minerva's Den

Essential improvements[edit]

Patches[edit]

A Title Update is available for the Games for Windows - LIVE version. The game should automatically prompt for the update when using a LIVE profile; the updates can also be downloaded manually (update 1, update 2).

Fix audio balance issues[edit]

For Steamworks version only

The Steamworks patch introduced some audio balance issues, most notably gun fire is much quieter as well as other sound effects. The sound effects can be restored by downloading a modified .ini file:

Restore correct audio settings[citation needed]
  1. Download SoundMixStates.ini from Fix Quiet Guns and Unbalanced Audio - Restoring the Retail Audio Mix.
  2. Go to <path-to-game>\SP\Content\System and place SoundMixStates.ini inside.

Skip intro videos[edit]

Use -nointro parameter[citation needed]

Use -nointro command line argument.

Game data[edit]

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

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioshock2\SaveGames
macOS (OS X)
Achievements and saves for the Steam and Games for Windows - LIVE versions are separate (a new game is required when switching versions).

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %APPDATA%\Bioshock2Steam
macOS (OS X)

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Custom FOV settings will not work in multiplayer.
3rd party fixes[citation needed]
Bind FOV to key press[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini.
  3. Scroll down to the [Default] section and bind SetFOV # to any unused key (# being the desired FOV).
  4. During the game, press the key you defined in User.ini to set the custom FOV.

Notes

Any custom FOV settings will be reset automatically at various times during gameplay when control is taken away from the player; i.e. for cutscenes. Zooming down iron sights will also yield this effect.

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

Raise AF Above Default Value of 4X[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\SP\Builds\Binaries\
  2. Open Default.ini.
  3. Edit the line LevelOfAnisotropy=4 to LevelOfAnisotropy=# where # denotes the max level of AF supported by your graphics card(s). For example, change the line to read LevelOfAnisotropy=16.

Anti-aliasing (AA)[edit]

MSAA can be forced through your graphics driver's control panel.
SGSSAA can be forced in DX9 mode via Nvidia inspector with the compatibility flag 0x000010C1[5] Example what inspector should look like

Ambient Occlusion (AO)[edit]

AO can be forced through your graphics driver's control panel.
HDAO+ (denominated High quality) can be forced in DX9 mode via Nvidia inspector with the compatibility flag 0x0002002D[6] Example what inspector should look like

Input settings[edit]

In-game control settings.
In-game control settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping
Mouse buttons 4 and 5 are not recognized by the multiplayer key binding menu, but can be manually bound in UserMP.ini.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Additional information
Button prompts
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Up to 7.1 output
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost

Localizations

Language UI Audio CC Notes
English
French
German
Italian
Russian
Spanish

Network[edit]

Online features in non-Steam versions require a Microsoft account (optional for offline play).

Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play
Online play

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Native 3D
Nvidia 3D Vision
Use Helix Mod: Bioshock 2 (DirectX 9 only)
TriDef 3D
iZ3D
Devices Native Notes
3RD Space Gaming Vest

Issues unresolved[edit]

Audio Cutting Out in Combat Sequences[edit]

On some computers, user audio will cut out during combat sequences.

Mouse sensitivity not correctly adjusting[edit]

On some computers, the game's mouse sensitivity will be extremely low, and raising the values makes mouse movements imprecise.
Possible mouse acceleration fix (doesn't work for everybody)[7]
  1. Set in-game sensitivity to "1"
  2. Disable mouse acceleration in-game.
  3. Quit the game.
  4. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  5. Open User.ini.
  6. Bulk replace every Speed=2000.0 with whatever your desired sensitivity value is (300 is a good starting point)

Issues fixed[edit]

Crash on startup[edit]

Delete damaged save files[citation needed]
  1. Go to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioshock2\SaveGames\
  2. Copy your savegames somewhere as a backup
  3. Sort the folder by "Date modified"
  4. Delete damaged save file causing the game to crash on startup > this will probably be the newest save and/or quicksave

Menu flickering[edit]

Disable or force vsync[citation needed]
Disable Vsync from the in-game settings menu.
Force Vsync through graphics adaptor.

Game brightness is extremely high in DirectX 9 mode[edit]

This behavior is triggered by notification popups from the Steam overlay
Disable Steam Overlay[citation needed]
  1. Right click on Bioshock 2 in your Steam library and select Properties
  2. Uncheck "Enable Steam Community In-Game"
Editing launch options[citation needed]

Use the -nogamma command line argument.

Left Plasmid hand disappears[edit]

This glitch is especially likely when using the Scout-Plasmid.[8] Therefore, it is advisable to quick save before using it.
Respawn[citation needed]
  1. Make sure Vita-Chambers are enabled.
  2. Being killed and respawning should fix the left hand.

Game cannot load or save[edit]

There are damaged save files bugging up the game's ability to load or save
Delete damaged save files[citation needed]
  1. Go to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioshock2\SaveGames
  2. Copy your savegames somewhere as a backup
  3. Sort the folder by "Date modified"
  4. Delete damaged save file causing the game to crash on startup > this will probably be the newest save and/or quicksave

Game crashes in DirectX 10 mode[edit]

Increase Texture Streaming Memory Size[9]
This increases the size of the texture cache.
  1. Open Bioshock2SP.ini. Steam users will find this in %APPDATA%\Bioshock2Steam.
  2. Find the line "TextureStreamingMemoryLimit=512.000000" and increase the amount to something inline with your video card (ie 2048)
Activate DirectX 9 mode[citation needed]
This switches the game to DirectX 9 instead of the default DirectX 10.
  1. Create a shortcut to Bioshock2Launcher.exe somewhere convenient.
  2. Right click this shortcut, select Properties and add -dx9 in the target box after the quotation mark.
  3. Now launching the game from this shortcut will force the game to run in DirectX 9.
Uninstall update KB2670838[10][citation needed]
This will uninstall Internet Explorer!
Tested on Windows 7
  1. Open the start menu
  2. Go to control panel
  3. Under "Programs" click "Uninstall a program"
  4. On the top left "View installed updates"
  5. After all the updates are displayed, simply search for KB2670838.
  6. Uninstall it

No little sister voice acting[edit]

Bug causes little sisters to become mute.
Set sound quality of standard sound device[citation needed]
  1. Start > type "sound" > open the soundpanel.
  2. Right-click on your common sound device > go to the tab "advanced" > set sound quality to lowest (CD quality).
  3. After you made your changes, click OK.

Other information[edit]

API[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[edit]

Middleware Notes
Physics Havok
Audio FMOD
Cutscenes Bink Video, Flash
Multiplayer Games for Windows - LIVE, Steamworks

Hold to duck/aim down sights[edit]

Hold to duck[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini.
  3. Replace Aliases[13]=(Command="Toggle bDuck|Axis aUp Speed=-1200.0",Alias=Duck) with Aliases[13]=(Command="Button bDuck",Alias=Duck).
Hold to aim down sights[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini.
  3. Find the keybind that has the word "ZoomCycle" attached to it (T by default)
  4. Replace T=ZoomCycle with T=ZoomCycle | onRelease ZoomCycle

Disable auto-aim[edit]

Set AutoAim in Bioshock2SP.ini[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Bioshock2SP.ini.
  3. Edit the line AutoAim=True to AutoAim=False.

Disable Xbox 360 Controller vibration[edit]

Set Vibration in Bioshock2SP.ini[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Bioshock2SP.ini.
  3. Edit the line Vibration=True to Vibration=False.

Inject EVE Hypo[edit]

Inject EVE Hypo[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini.
  3. Scroll down to the [Default] section and bind InjectBioAmmo to any unused key.

Pick individual items from containers[edit]

Pick individual items from containers[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini.
  3. Scroll down to the [ContainerUIActive] section and bind CollectContainerItemInSlot 0, CollectContainerItemInSlot 1 and CollectContainerItemInSlot 2 to any unused keys.

Performance tweak (Havok)[edit]

Improving Havok physics engine performance[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\SP\Builds\Binaries\.
  2. Open Default.ini.
  3. Edit the line HavokNumThreads=2 to represent the number of cores in your machine's CPU. For example, using a quad-core CPU, change the line to HavokNumThreads=4.
  4. Some systems may require doing the same with Bioshock2SP.ini, located in %APPDATA%\Bioshock2Steam\
Improving Engine Memory usage[citation needed]
  1. Go to %APPDATA%\Bioshock2Steam\
  2. Open Bioshock2SP.ini.
  3. Search for the line TextureStreamingMemoryLimit, change this to match your graphics card's VRAM e.g. 2048 for 2 GB
  4. Also change TextureStreamingDistanceLimit to 10000

Bypass Games for Windows - LIVE[edit]

A fake version of xlive.dll can allow you to play the single-player without having GFWL installed.
Preexisting saved games are not compatible with this fix.
Use BioShock 2 fake xlive[11]
  1. Download BioShock 2 fake xlive.
  2. Extract xlive.dll to <path-to-game>\SP\Builds\Binaries\.

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP SP2 Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) AMD Athlon 64 3800+ 2.4 GHz
Intel Pentium IV 530 3.0 GHz
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.60 GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 2.13 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB 3 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 11 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 7800 GT
ATI Radeon X1900
256 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
ATI Radeon HD 4830
512 MB of VRAM
DirectX 10 compatible
OS X
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 10.9.5 (Mavericks) 10.10.5 (Yosemite)
Processor (CPU) 2 GHz 2.4 GHz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 18 GB 18 GB
Video card (GPU) 256 MB of VRAM 512 MB of VRAM

References

  1. Feral Support | BioShock 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 News - BioShock 2 Updated
  3. Fix Quiet Guns and Unbalanced Audio - Restoring the Retail Audio Mix
  4. New 120Hz Games Report
  5. http://www.forum-3dcenter.org/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=9254703&postcount=2348
  6. http://forums.guru3d.com/showpost.php?p=4799483&postcount=271
  7. PC Tweaks: lower mouse sens, toggle duck and zoom/aim - 2K Forums
  8. Frequent Loss of Plasmid Hand
  9. http://steamcommunity.com/app/8850/discussions/0/540741859213676880/
  10. http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=411190623
  11. Timeslip's utilities, mods and patches