Max Payne 3

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Max Payne 3
Release dates
June 1, 2012
June 20, 2013
Max Payne 3 at WineHQ
Max Payne 3 at Steam Charts
Max Payne 3 at SteamDB
 Max Payne 3 at Wikipedia
Max Payne
Max Payne 2001
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne 2003
Max Payne 3 2012

Key points

Information The ambient occlusion setting should be set to SSAO, due to the way it performs.[1][2]
Advantage The PC version features high resolution textures, high quality shadows, tessellation and more PC-specific features while also being fairly well optimized.
Disadvantage Max Payne 3 requires the Rockstar Games Social Club DRM to be installed in order to fully activate the game, along with all its DLCs separately, it also uses a fairly restrictive DRM called GameShield IronWrap.[3]
Disadvantage The OS X version also suffers from multiple issues, one being the complete lack of multiplayer, due to the GameSpy services being shut down.[4]
Disadvantage Unnecessarily forced, long loading times during most cutscenes.

General information

Information GeForce Tweak Guide
More information Steam Community Discussions
More information Steam Users' Forums for game series


Steam and Rockstar Games Social Club online key verification on launch.
Source DRM Notes Keys
Retail Requires online activation Does not unlock a digital download.[5]
Steam Availability Table Icons - Steam.svgRequires online activation DLC is loaded through the Rockstar Games Social Club account.
GamersGate Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg
Information All versions require Rockstar Games Social Club for activation and online features.
Information All versions use GameShield IronWrap DRM.[3] Rockstar have not disclosed details of how many machine activations are allowed nor any other restrictions.[6]

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Rockstar Games\Max Payne 3

Save game data location[edit]

Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Rockstar Games\Max Payne 3\Profiles

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud Impossible
GameSave Manager Native
Information Rockstar's Social Club supports save game cloud syncing.

Video settings[edit]

Advanced graphics settings.
Letterboxed behavior example (16:10 resolution used).
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Native WSGF WS Silver.svg other aspect ratios than 16:9 are letterboxed in non-engine cutscenes
Multi-monitor Native WSGF MM Gold.svg
Field of view (FOV) Hackable See Field of view (FOV).
Windowed Native Can also use the -windowed parameter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed Hackable Use Windowed Borderless Gaming.
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Native Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA) Native Low to Very High FXAA and 2x, 4x or 8x MSAA options.
Vertical sync (Vsync) Native
High frame rate Native No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[7]
Information Max Payne 3 supports 3D on Nvidia cards.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Fix Change AspectRatio to 5:2[8]

Information Gallery comparison on forums.
Advantage Changes field of view from ~70 to ~90.
Disadvantage Causes distortion of everything including icons, HUD, movies.
  1. Edit %USERPROFILE%\Rockstar Games\Max Payne 3\graphics.xml using Notepad.
  2. Adding line or change value to <AspectRatio>5:2</AspectRatio>

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native
Mouse acceleration Native
Mouse input in menus Native
Mouse Y-axis inversion Native
Controller support Native
Full controller support Unknown
Controller remapping Unknown
Controller Y-axis inversion Unknown

Audio settings[edit]

Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native Music, SFX
Surround sound Native Up to 5.1 output[9]
Subtitles Native
Closed captions Unknown
Mute on focus lost Native


Language UI Audio CC Notes
English Native Native Native
French Native Impossible Native
German Native Impossible Native
Italian Native Impossible Native
Japanese Native Impossible Native
Korean Native Impossible Native
Brazilian Portuguese Native Native Native
Polish Native Impossible Native
Russian Native Impossible Native
Spanish Native Impossible Native
Ukrainian Native Impossible Native An Ukrainian fan patch is available here
Information Most languages can be forced by using -language Language. For Brazilian Portuguese use -language Portuguese. See Command line arguments.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play Unknown
Online play Native OS X multiplayer no longer works.[4]

Issues fixed[edit]

Nothing happens at "Initializing" screen[edit]

The game must be installed under C:/ProgramFilesx86/Steam/Steamapps/Common/Max Payne 3 in order for Social Club to load, which is required to play the game. If the game was installed to a custom steam folder, copy (not move) it to the default ProgramFilesx86 folder, then have Steam uninstall the game, then reinstall it to the default location. Steam will detect the existing files and fix the installation, and the game will proceed properly. If the problem is not solved:

  • Ensure the MaxPayne3.exe does NOT have compatibility or Admin rights settings applied.
  • Use the -scdetectproxy steam launch option.
  • Delete the Social Club install folder. (Do not use the uninstaller.) Install an earlier version of Rockstar Games Social Club such as v1.0.9.7. Run the game and it will tell you to update the Social Club program. Run the installer from Max Payne 3's MP3Installers folder.

Unable to sign into Rockstar Games Social Club[edit]

Fix Delete files[10]

  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Delete maxpayne3_steam.ini, steam_api.dll and steam_appid.txt
  3. Verify integrity of game cache.

Game will not launch[edit]

Information The game will not launch for many users.[11]

Fix Change to DirectX 9

This can be fixed by going into safe mode, and changing the game to DirectX 9.[12]

  1. Install game.
  2. Update GPU drivers.
  3. Restart PC.
  4. Right click game > properties > set launch options.
  5. Type -safemode -windowed
  6. Game settings > set to DirectX 9, with choice of screen resolution and fullscreen.
  7. Exit game
  8. Right click game > properties > set launch options - remove all options.

Negative mouse acceleration and frame dependent mouse sensitivity[edit]

Information Even after the patch which introduced a mouse acceleration toggle, some players experience negative mouse acceleration as well as framerate dependent sensitivities.
Information There are currently no true fixes for the negative mouse acceleration.

Fix Reduce graphics settings

Turning off FXAA, MSAA, and vsync may help to make negative mouse acceleration tolerable.

Game goes to pause menu randomly[edit]

This error is usually caused by having an Xbox 360 Wireless Network Adapter plugged into USB.

Fix Remove Xbox 360 Wireless Network Adapter

Error code 1641 on launch[edit]

Fix Restart

Information This error is related to .Net 3.5.
  • Restarting the computer should fix the error, but if not try reinstalling .Net 3.5 and restarting.

Game crashes with StackHash_XXX Error[edit]

Fix Administrator privileges

Run maxpayne3.exe as an administrator.

Fix Fix Data Execution Prevention setting

Ensure Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is set to the default (Windows programs and services only).


Information This error message can be caused on the Steam version of the game when Steam is forced by the OS into compatibility mode.


Information Follow these steps to stop Windows Vista/7 from forcing Steam into compatibility mode:[13]
  1. Hit start->run->regedit
  2. Go to key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers
  3. Look for an entry with your path to steam.exe
  4. Delete that entry
  5. If you don't find it there try HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers

Graphics settings not saving[edit]

Information Game may report that video memory is 0/0. This may be caused by older graphics drivers which need updating.

Fix Edit graphics.xml[14]

One fix is to edit %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Rockstar Games\Max Payne 3\graphics.xml

Steam version product key activation error[edit]

Fix Move installation folder

For the error message "no activations remaining for this activation key" or "cannot contact activation server [15] when trying to activate the game over socialclub.

  1. The issue can be remedied by moving your max payne 3 installation from <Steam-folder>\steamapps\common to <Steam-folder>\steamapps\<user-id>
  2. Right click on maxpayne3.exe
  3. Run it as an administrator.[16] Once this is done, the game will activate properly.

Requires Service Pack 1[edit]

Information The game may show the error message 'Requires Service Pack 1 or superior'.

Fix Requires Service Pack 1

  1. This can be fixed by finding the maxpayne3.exe file.
  2. Right clicking and setting the compatibility mode to "Windows XP (Service Pack 3)".[17]
  3. Running maxpayne3.exe as an administrator may also fix the problem.

Asus software[edit]

Information Asus software 'Smart Doctor' or 'Asus Gamer' may cause crashing.

Fix Uninstall Asus software

Game freeze during startup[edit]

Can be fixed by reinstalling Rockstar Games Social Club before launching. This have to be done every time before launching the game

Other information[edit]

Command line arguments[edit]

Information Add parameters to a commandline.txt file in the installation folder, or see command line arguments for other methods.
Parameter Description
-adapter Force specific DirectX adapter starting from 0.
-aspectratio Force aspect ratio [width:height].
-availablevidmem Force Video RAM limit to the amount specified (MB).
-cpucount Force CPU count if query is not successful.
-d3dmt Force multi-threaded DirectX runtime.
-dx10 Force DirectX 10 if available.
-dx10_1 Force DirectX 10.1 if available.
-dx11 Force DirectX 11 if available.
-dx9 Force DirectX 9.
-frameLimit Force VSync [0, 1, 2]
-fullscreen Force Fullscreen mode.
-fxaa Force FXAA quality [0..3].
-gpucount Force GPU count if query is not successful.
-height Force vertical resolution.
-language english Force English language.
-language french Force French language.
-language italian Force Italian language.
-language german Force German language.
-language spanish Force Spanish language.
-language russian Force Russian language.
-language portuguese Force Portuguese language.
-language polish Force Polish language.
-MSAA Force MSAA [0..5].
-MSAAQuality Force MSAA quality level.
-nomouseaccel Disable mouse acceleration.
-outputMonitor Force specific monitor starting from 0.
-reflectionquality Force reflection quality [0..3].
-refreshrate Force refresh rate.
-safemode Force game to load with safest settings.
-shadowquality Force shadow quality [0..3].
-ssao Force SSAO [0..1].
-stereo Force 3D stereo support [0..1] (1 is on)
-tessellation Force tessellation quality [0..3].
-texturefilterquality Force the Anisotropic texture filter quality [0..4].
-texturequality Force the texture quality [0..2].
-useHighQualityShaders Force usage of high quality shaders [0..1].
-waterquality Force water quality [0..2].
-width Force horizontal resolution
-windowed Force windowed mode.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista XP, Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) Intel Dual Core 2.4 GHz or AMD Dual Core 2.6 GHz Intel Dual Core 3 GHz or AMD Dual Core 3 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB 3 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
35 GB
Video card (GPU) NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
AMD Radeon HD 3400
512 MB of VRAM
NVIDIA GeForce 450
AMD Radeon HD 4870
1 GB of VRAM
Operating system (OS) 10.7.5
Processor (CPU) Intel Dual Core Xeon
Core i Series 2.4 GHz or greater
System memory (RAM) 4GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 32 GB
Video card (GPU) NVIDIA 8800GT
AMD Radeon HD 4870
512 MB of VRAM


  1. Max Payne 3 Performance Thread - Page 3 - Forums
  2. Max Payne 3 Tweak Guide | GeForce
  3. 3.0 3.1 [ProjectRYG v2.0 & v3.0] RYG Evaluation- Max Payne 3
  4. 4.0 4.1 Effect of GameSpy Closure on Past Rockstar Titles – Rockstar Support
  5. Information about the Steam version of Max Payne 3 – Rockstar Support
  6. Rockstar Support on Twitter: "@PalZer0 We don't announce max activations, reset timers, etc. but we can make sure that you can play the game on computers you own. :)"
  7. New 120Hz Games Report
  8. A working FOV / aspect ratio tweak! - Steam Users' Forums
  9. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up
  10. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Unable to sign into rockstar social club
  11. Game will not launch... >.< - Steam Users' Forums
  12. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Game will not launch... >.<
  13. Fix: Steam thinks its running in compatibility mode
  14. Changing graphic settings - Steam Users' Forums
  15. Freezing, "in use," or "no activations remaining" when clicking OK to link Steam with Social Club – Rockstar Support
  16. Can't Activate Max Payne 3, Error Contacting Activation Server? - Page 4 - Steam Users' Forums
  17. Fixed Service Pack 1 Issue. - Steam Users' Forums