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Release dates
August 21, 2007
October 7, 2009
BioShock at Steam Charts
BioShock at SteamDB
 BioShock at Wikipedia
BioShock 2007
BioShock 2 2010
Minerva's Den
BioShock Infinite 2013
Burial at Sea - Episode One
Burial at Sea - Episode Two

Key points

Information Using launch options you can skip intro videos.
Disadvantage Field of view, antisotropic filtering, and mouse acceleration all require hacks to toggle, see their respective sections for details.

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


[edit] Availability

Source(s) Store unlock Notes
Retail Retail
Amazon (Windows) Amazonstore.png
Amazon (OS X) Amazonstore.png
GamersGate (Windows) Gamersgate.png
GamersGate (OS X) Gamersgate.png
OnLive Onlive.png
Steam Steamicon.png Windows only.[1]
Information For the Retail, GamersGate (Windows), and (Windows) versions of BioShock, SecuROM DRM is enabled. However, as of June 19 2008 you are allowed unlimited activations. You require an internet connection to install the game.

[edit] Essential improvements

[edit] Patches

Patch is currently at Version 1.1. It is heavily recommended to patch to the latest version, as the un-patched game can become unbeatable at one point. If purchased or activated from Steam, the game is automatically patched to the latest version.

[edit] Skip intro videos (Steam)

Fix Set -nointro propertyLink

  1. Find BioShock in your Steam Library
  2. Right click it
  3. Press Properties
  4. Press Set Launch Options
  5. Input -nointro

[edit] Skip intro videos (Windows)

Fix Set -nointro propertyLink

  1. Right click the shortcut for BioShock
  2. Press Properties
  3. Target: C:\...\*.exe -nointro

[edit] Game data

[edit] Configuration file(s) location

Windows %APPDATA%\Bioshock\

[edit] Save game data location

Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioshock\SaveGames\

[edit] Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud Impossible
GameSave Manager Native

[edit] Video settings

In-game video settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Native WSGF WS Gold.png
Multi-monitor Hackable WSGF MM Limited.png Field of view needs to be set manually; see Field of view (FOV).
Ultra-widescreen Native WSGF UW Gold.png Field of view may need to be set manually; see Field of view (FOV).
Field of view (FOV) Hackable Horizontal FOV Lock must be Off; see Field of view (FOV).
Windowed Native
Borderless fullscreen windowed Impossible
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Hackable Set in bioshock.ini; see Anisotropic filtering (AF).
Anti-aliasing (AA) Hackable Can be forced via graphics card control panel[2]
Vertical sync (Vsync) Native
High frame rate Native No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[3]

[edit] Field of view (FOV)

Fix Modify user.ini fileLink

Information This fix does not work with the German censored version of the game.
Information You must disable the Horizontal FOV Lock (Options, Graphic Options, Horizontal FOV Lock) otherwise the game will be Vert- instead of Hor+.
  1. Open User.ini with a text editor.
  2. Scroll down to the controls and search for NumPad0= or use Ctrl+F to search for NumPad0=. You do not have to choose "Numpad0", you can also choose to use another key.
  3. Replace NumPad0= with NumPad0=SetFov 100. Replace 100 with a different value if you want.
  4. When in-game, press the 0 on your numpad to change the FOV. Certain events will reset the FOV (e.g. zooming with any of the weapons). In this case just press 0 on your numpad again.

Fix Use Flawless WidescreenLink

Information This fix works best with the horizontal FOV lock set to ON.
  1. Download and install Flawless Widescreen
  2. Run Flawless Widescreen and download Bioshock plugin
  3. Select Bioshock from plugins section
  4. (Optional) Adjust settings according to your liking
  5. Start the game.

[edit] Anisotropic filtering (AF)

Fix Anisotropic filteringLink

  1. Open bioshock.ini with a text editor
  2. Under the [D3DDrv.D3DRenderDevice] and [D3DDrv10.D3DRenderDevice10] lines change LevelOfAnisotropy= to 16

[edit] Input settings

In-game general control settings.
In-game key map settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native
Mouse acceleration Hackable Enabled by default, see Mouse acceleration to learn how to disable it.
Mouse input in menus Native
Mouse Y-axis inversion Native
Controller support Native Most menus become hidden when gamepad controls are enabled. so make sure to set all options before switching to gamepad mode.
Full controller support Impossible
Controller remapping Impossible
Controller Y-axis inversion Unknown

[edit] Mouse acceleration

Fix Edit configurations filesLink

There are two configuration files that you will need to modify. They are located at C:\Program Files (x86)\2K games\BioShock\Builds\Release\DefUser.ini and %APPDATA%\Bioshock\User.ini.

Open up both files and make the following changes to each one:

1. Add this to the end of each file:
2. Find the section of the file with the key bindings. It will look like this:
3. Change one of the binds to J=set Engine.PlayerInput MouseAccelThreshold 0.0 | set Engine.PlayerInput MouseSmoothingMode 0, with J being replaced with the key of your choice.
4. Do a search and replace on both files, replacing every instance of Speed=2500 with Speed=500 if you are a lower sensitivity player, or maybe "Speed=1000" if you like higher sensitivity.
5. Each time you start a new game the mouse acceleration will be turned on again until you press that key that you bound to "set Engine.PlayerInput MouseAccelThreshold 0.0 | set Engine.PlayerInput MouseSmoothingMode 0". So, press that each time you start a load a game or start a new one.

[edit] Audio settings

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

[edit] Issues unresolved

[edit] Subtitles Issue

The in-game subtitles run very fast, where the first part of any dialog is correct, but the other parts just appear and disappear very quickly

[edit] Issues fixed

Information TweakGuides has created a comprehensive guide for fixing issues in this game. It can be found here.

[edit] Game-breaking issues

Extremely minor spoilers follow, but they detail glitches that should be avoided. In order of possible encounter:

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.

[edit] Excessive screen tearing

Fix For NVIDIA cardsLink

  1. Go to the NVIDIA Control Panel.
  2. Click 3D Settings.
  3. Add the Bioshock.exe to the list.
  4. Under its options, enable FXAA and V-Sync.

[edit] Stuttering frame rates

Fix Run in DirectX 9 modeLink

  1. Right click Bioshock in your Steam library.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Click Set launch options and enter -dx9 into the field. This will force the game into running in DirectX 9 mode.
Information If this does not work, follow the fix below.

Fix Disable VsyncLink

Information To play the game in DirectX 10 mode without getting a stuttering framerate, disable Vsync or try the fix below.

Fix Disable Steam Community in-gameLink

  1. Right click Bioshock in your Steam library.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Uncheck Enable Steam Community in-game.
Information This only applies to users who are running the Steam version of the game.

[edit] Can't change resolution from 1024x768

Fix Can't Change Resolution From 1024x768Link

  1. Locate Default.ini in C:\Program Files (x86)\2K Games\Bioshock\Builds\Release\
  2. Edit with Notepad. Scroll down 2/3rds down to the [WinDrv.WindowsClient] section (or Ctrl-F to search for "Fullscreen", no quotes). Edit the FullscreenViewportX and FullscreenViewportY values to desired resolution then save the file.
  3. Update Graphics Card drivers from AMD or NVIDIA.

[edit] Bioshock will not be fullscreen when alt-tabbing to it

Fix Instructions for WindowsLink

  1. If on Windows, press Alt+ Enter.

Fix Instructions for any other OSLink

  1. In the game settings change the resolution to anything other than its original resolution.
  2. Press Cancel when it asks you to confirm.

[edit] Audio

[edit] No sound

Fix Plugging in a microphoneLink

Try plugging something into your computer's microphone port. It could even be headphones or speakers.

Fix Compatibility Mode for Windows XP SP2Link

  1. Locate Default.ini in C:\Program Files (x86)\2K Games\BioShock\Builds\Release\Default.ini
  2. Edit with Notepad. Scroll down to [FMODAudio.FMODAudioSubsystem] or Ctrl+F to use the find function to search for MaxChannels. Change the MaxChannels=128 line to MaxChannels=64 and save the File.
  3. Locate and right click Bioshock.exe in C:\Program Files (x86)\2K Games\Bioshock\Builds\Release\
  4. Select "Properties" and change compatibility mode to Windows XP (Service Pack 2).

Fix Fix for Realtek HDLink

If your motherboard uses a Realtek HD audio device do the following:

  1. Open your control panel and choose Sound
  2. Click the Recording tab
  3. Right-click and tick Show Disabled Devices
  4. A device called Stereo Mix should appear, right-click and enable Stereo Mix.

If Stereo Mix does not appear, you should update your audio drivers.

Fix Fix for Creative Audigy/X-FiLink

If your have installed a Creative Audigy or X-Fi soundcard do the following:

  1. Open your control panel and choose Sound
  2. Click the Recording tab
  3. Right-click and tick Show Disabled Devices
  4. A device called "What U Hear" should appear, right-click and enable "What U Hear".

[edit] Crash on startup in Windows 7 64-bit

On some systems, Bioshock will crash on startup due to a bug with how OpenAL is implemented. To fix this:

Fix Run in Compatibility Mode[8]Link

  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Go to Builds\Release\
  3. Right-click on Bioshock.exe
  4. Choose Properties.
  5. Go to the Compatibility tab.
  6. Check Run this program in compatibility mode for and choose Windows Vista.
  7. Click Apply.
  8. Start the game normally.

Alternatively, uninstalling OpenAL and/or Rapture3D can resolve the issue:

Fix Uninstall Rapture3D and/or OpenALLink

  1. Open Programs and Features:
    • Vista and newer: Open the Start screen/Start menu, type appwiz.cpl, press Enter.
    • Windows XP: Press Win+R, type appwiz.cpl, press Enter.
  2. Uninstall OpenAL and Rapture3D, if present.

[edit] System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP 7
Processor (CPU) 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 x2
System memory (RAM) 1 GB 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 8 GB 8 GB
Video card (GPU) 128 MB of VRAM
Shader model 3.0 support
nVidia GeForce 7900 GT
nVidia GeForce 8600
512 MB of VRAM
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. FAQ: Why is (game title here) not available on Steam for Mac??!? - Steam Users' Forums
  2. BioShock Tweak Guide: In-Game Settings -
  3. New 120Hz Games Report
  4. BioShock Game Options - The BioShock Wiki
  5. Techgage - Creative EAX vs Asus DS3D GX 2.0
  6. Known Bioshock Issues

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