BioShock 2

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BioShock 2
Release dates
February 9, 2010
March 29, 2012
BioShock 2 at WineHQ
BioShock 2 at Steam Charts
BioShock 2 at SteamDB
 BioShock 2 at Wikipedia
BioShock 2007
BioShock 2 2010
BioShock Infinite 2013

Key points

Information DRM switched from Games for Windows - LIVE and SecuROM to Steam.[1]

General information

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


Source DRM Notes Keys
Publisher website Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg Windows version only.
Mac App Store Availability Table Icons - Mac App Store.svg OS X version only.
Steam Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg Windows version only.
Retail DRM details are not known Optional Steam unlock.[1] Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg
Information All non-Steam Windows versions require Games for Windows - LIVE.
Advantage All Windows retail and digital versions of BioShock 2 activate on Steam.[1] Activation unlocks all DLC, including Minerva's Den.
Information Achievements and saves are separate from Games for Windows - LIVE meaning that a new game is required when switching from Games for Windows - LIVE to Steam.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
Minerva's Den Windows

Game data[edit]

Save game data location[edit]

Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioshock2\SaveGames

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

Windows %APPDATA%\Bioshock2Steam

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud Impossible
GameSave Manager Native

Video settings[edit]

Graphical options.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Native WSGF WS Silver.svg
Multi-monitor Native WSGF MM Silver.svg Use Widescreen Fixer with this plugin to fix HUD scaling.
Field of view (FOV) Hackable Use Flawless Widescreen to increase FOV up to 25°. Otherwise, see Field of view (FOV).
Windowed Native
Borderless fullscreen windowed Impossible Window will not re-size correctly.[2]
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Hackable See Anisotropic filtering (AF).
Anti-aliasing (AA) Hackable See Anti-aliasing (AA).
Vertical sync (Vsync) Native
High frame rate Native No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[3] Physics simulation and many animations are locked to 30 fps.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Disadvantage 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. Custom FOV settings will not work in multiplayer.

Fix Bind FOV to key press

  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.

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

Fix Raise AF Above Default Value of 4X

  1. Go to the installation folder
  2. Go to \SP\Builds\Binaries\
  3. Open the file titled Default.ini.
  4. 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]

There is no native AA support in BioShock 2. AA can be forcibly enabled, however, through your graphics driver's control panel. Please consult the user guide for your particular graphics driver on how this is performed. For Nvidia cards you can force SGSSAA (2x-8x) in DX9 Mode via Nvidia inspector with the AA bit - 0x000010C1 - [4] Example what inspector should look like

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native Mouse buttons 4 and 5 are not recognized by the multiplayer key binding menu, but can be manually bound in UserMP.ini.
Mouse acceleration Native
Mouse input in menus Native
Mouse Y-axis inversion Unknown
Controller support Native
Full controller support Native
Controller remapping Unknown
Controller Y-axis inversion Unknown

Audio settings[edit]

Audio options.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native
Surround sound Native Up to 7.1 output
Subtitles Native
Closed captions Impossible
Mute on focus lost Native


Language UI Audio CC Notes
English Native Native Native
French Native Native Native
German Native Native Native
Italian Native Native Native
Spanish Native Native Native


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

Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play Unknown
Online play Native

Issues unresolved[edit]

Audio Cutting Out in Combat Sequences[edit]

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

Mouse sensitivity not correctly adjusting[edit]

Information On some computers, the game's mouse sensitivity will be extremely low, and raising the values makes mouse movements imprecise.

Fix Possible mouse acceleration fix (doesn't work for everybody)[5]

  1. Set in-game sensitivity to "1"
  2. Disable mouse acceleration in-game.
  3. Quit the game and open User.ini with a text editor
  4. 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]

Fix Delete damaged save files

  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

Fix Uninstall KB2670838[6]

Menu flickering[edit]

Fix Disable or force vsync

Information Disable Vsync from the in-game settings menu.
Information Force Vsync through graphics adaptor.

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

Information This behavior is triggered by notification popups from the Steam overlay

Fix Disable Steam Overlay

  1. Right click on Bioshock 2 in your Steam library and select Properties
  2. Uncheck "Enable Steam Community In-Game"

Left Plasmid hand disappears[edit]

Information This glitch is especially likely when using the Scout-Plasmid.[7] Therefore it is advisable to quick save before using it.

Fix Respawn

  1. Make sure Vita-Chambers are enabled.
  2. Being killed and respawning should fix the left hand.

Game cannot load or save[edit]

Information There are damaged save files bugging up the games' ability to load or save

Fix Delete damaged save files

  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]

Fix Activate DirectX 9 mode

Information 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.

No little sister voice acting[edit]

Disadvantage Bug causes little sisters to become mute.

Fix Set sound quality of standard sound device

  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]

Hold to duck/aim down sights[edit]

Fix Hold to duck

  1. Go to the Configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini with your text editor of choice.
  3. Replace Aliases[13]=(Command="Toggle bDuck|Axis aUp Speed=-1200.0",Alias=Duck) with Aliases[13]=(Command="Button bDuck",Alias=Duck).

Fix Hold to aim down sights

  1. Go to the Configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini with your text editor of choice.
  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]

Fix Set AutoAim in Bioshock2SP.ini

  1. Go to the Configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Bioshock2SP.ini with your text editor of choice.
  3. Edit the line AutoAim=True to AutoAim=False.

Inject EVE Hypo[edit]

Fix Inject EVE Hypo

  1. Go to the Configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini with your text editor of choice.
  3. Scroll down to the [Default] section and bind InjectBioAmmo to any unused key.

Performance tweak (havok)[edit]

Fix Improving Havok physics engine performance

  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Go to \SP\Builds\Binaries\.
  3. Open Default.ini.
  4. 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.
  5. Some systems may require doing the same with "Bioshock2SP.ini", located in %APPDATA%\Bioshock2Steam\

Fix Improving Engine Memory usage

  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

Skip intro videos[edit]

Fix Method 1

  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Go to \SP\Content\BinkMovies\.
  3. Delete or rename Dev_Logo_PC.bik, Dev_Logo_PC_EFS.bik and Dev_Logo_PC_EIG.bik.
  4. The game will now boot directly to the main menu.

Fix Method 2

  1. Add -nointro to the Bioshock 2 shortcut or launch options for Steam.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP SP2 7
Processor (CPU) AMD Athlon 64 3800+ 2.4 GHz or Intel Pentium 4 530 3.0 GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.60 GHz or 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 7800GT
ATI Radeon X1900
256 MB of VRAM
ATI Radeon HD 4830
512 MB of VRAM


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 News - BioShock 2 Updated
  2. Tested by User:Andytizer on April 23, 2013.
  3. New 120Hz Games Report
  5. PC Tweaks: lower mouse sens, toggle duck and zoom/aim - 2K Forums
  6. If you've tried everything else, and bioshock 2 still crashes, try this :: Steam Community Discussions
  7. Frequent Loss of Plasmid Hand