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Release dates
August 21, 2007
October 7, 2009
BioShock at WineHQ
BioShock at Steam Charts
BioShock at SteamDB
 BioShock at Wikipedia
BioShock 2007
BioShock 2 2010
BioShock Infinite 2013

Key points

Information BioShock may crash on startup on Windows 7 and later. See Crash on startup.
Disadvantage Global lighting does not appear to be working properly on Windows 8.[1]
Disadvantage Ragdoll physics and animations are locked at 30 FPS.

General information

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


Source DRM Notes Keys
Retail Disc checkRequires online activation DRM: SecuROM. Requires online activation Windows. DRM: SecuROM. DRM details are not known OS X
GamersGate Requires online activation Windows. DRM: SecuROM.
GamersGate DRM details are not known OS X. DRM: Feral Interactive.
Humble Store DRM-free Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg
Mac App Store Availability Table Icons - Mac App Store.svg OS X only.
Steam Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg Windows only.
Information The retail, GamersGate (Windows), and (Windows) versions use SecuROM DRM; however, as of June 19, 2008 unlimited activations are allowed. An internet connection is required for installation.
Information A DRM-free Windows version is available as part of the Humble 2K Bundle.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Fix Launch the game with -nointro parameter


Information Patch 1.1 is essential for retail versions of the game. The Steam version is already patched.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

Windows %APPDATA%\Bioshock\*.ini

Save game data location[edit]

Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioshock\SaveGames\

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud Impossible
GameSave Manager Native

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Native WSGF WS Gold.svg
Multi-monitor Hackable WSGF MM Bronze.svg Use Widescreen Fixer if normal FoV hack isn't enough.
Ultra-widescreen Native WSGF UW Gold.svg
4K Ultra HD Native WSGF 4K Gold.svg
Field of view (FOV) Hackable See Field of view (FOV).
Windowed Native
Borderless fullscreen windowed Impossible
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Hackable See Anisotropic filtering (AF).
Anti-aliasing (AA) Hackable Can be forced through the NVIDIA Control Panel/AMD Control Center.
Vertical sync (Vsync) Native
High frame rate Native No FPS or refresh rate cap.[2] Physics and animations locked at 30 FPS.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Fix 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]

Fix Anisotropic filtering

  1. Open bioshock.ini with a text editor
  2. Find the following lines and set them to your desired values.


Input settings[edit]

In-game general control settings.
In-game key map settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native
Mouse acceleration Hackable See Mouse acceleration to disable.
Mouse input in menus Native
Mouse Y-axis inversion Native
Controller support Native This mode hides most options menus.
Full controller support Impossible
Controller remapping Impossible
Controller Y-axis inversion Unknown

Mouse acceleration[edit]

Fix Instructions

  1. Open User.ini with a text editor
  2. Find the following lines in both files and set them to these values.

Toggle Zoom[edit]

Fix Instructions

  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.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native
Surround sound Native Up to 7.1[3]
Subtitles Native
Closed captions Impossible
Mute on focus lost Impossible
EAX support Native EAX 5.[4]


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

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Native 3D Impossible Unknown icon.svg
Nvidia 3D Vision Native GG3D bronze.svg
TriDef 3D Native GG3D gold.svg
iZ3D Native GG3D bronze.svg
Devices Native Notes
3RD Space Gaming Vest Native
Razer Hydra Native

Issues fixed[edit]

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

Crash on startup[edit]

Information This fix circumvents the main crash issues related to OpenAL on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1

Fix Use updated DLL

Apply the BioShock Modern Systems Crash Fix.

Video settings not saving[edit]

Fix Force DirectX 9[citation needed]

Launch the game with -dx9 parameter.

Crashing when changing the resolution[edit]

Fix Change resolutions while in windowed mode

  1. Push Alt+ Enter before going in the Video Options menu.
  2. Set your desired settings, leave your resolution unchanged then push the Confirm button.
  3. While being outside the Video Options menu push Alt+ Enter.

Fix Force DirectX 9

Launch the game with -dx9 parameter.

Fix Edit default resolution

  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Builds\Release\
  2. Open Default.ini with a text editor.
  3. Find FullscreenViewportX and FullscreenViewportYlines under [WinDrv.WindowsClient] and set them to your desired values.

Excessive screen tearing (Nvidia)[edit]

Fix Instructions

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


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

Frame rate stuttering[edit]

Fix Disable V-Sync

Fix Force DirectX 9

Launch the game with -dx9 parameter.

Missing sound effects[edit]

Fix Install OpenAL for Windows 7 and up

  • Download OpenAL, install, then restart Windows.

Fix Windows XP (SP2) compatibility mode

  1. See compatibility mode.
  2. Go to <path-to-game>\Builds\Release and find Bioshock.exe
  3. Set the executable to run under the Windows XP (Service Pack 2) compatibility mode.

Fix Plug-in a microphone or a pair of headphones[5]

Fix Enabling Stereo Mix for Realtek HD[6]

  1. Open the Control Panel and navigate to Hardware and Sound, then go to Sound.
  2. Select the Recording tab, Right Click on any spaces and check Show Disabled Devices.
  3. Right Click on Stereo Mix then select Enable.

Fix Creative Audigy/X-Fi fix

  1. Open the Control Panel and navigate to Hardware and Sound, then go to Sound.
  2. Select the Recording tab, Right Click on any spaces and check Show Disabled Devices.
  3. Right Click on What U Hear then select Enable.

Gameplay breaking issues[edit]

Information 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.[7]

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.[8]

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 Native 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
Information 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. Tested by RaTcHeT302.
  2. New 120Hz Games Report
  3. BioShock Game Options - The BioShock Wiki
  4. Techgage - Creative EAX vs Asus DS3D GX 2.0
  5. No Sound Windows 8 SOLVED - Steam Community Discussions
  6. How to fix the "Bioshock.exe has stopped working" (Windows 7) - Steam Users' Forums
  7. Known Bioshock Issues
  8. Fort Frolic - The BioShock Wiki