System Shock 2

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System Shock 2
Release dates
August 11, 1999
June 18, 2013
April 1, 2014
System Shock 2 at Co-Optimus
System Shock 2 at SteamDB
 System Shock 2 at Wikipedia
System Shock
System Shock 1994
System Shock 2 1999

Key points

Advantage Install SS2Tool to add widescreen/multi-monitor support and fix various compatibility and performance issues.
Information Install outside C:\Program Files (x86)\ to avoid problems.[1]

General information

Information Modding guide on The Port Report
More information SHODANPEDIA - A wiki for the System Shock series
More information TTLG Forums - System Shock Series
More information Forum
More information Forum - SS2 Troubleshooting Guide
More information Community Discussions
More information Support Page
More information Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys
Retail DRM details are not known DRM-free
GamersGate Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg
Humble Store Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg
Steam Availability Table Icons - Steam.svg
Information OS X and Linux versions use Wine.

Essential improvements[edit]


Advantage Essential patcher which integrates the NewDark patch and fixes various issues.
Information Use SS2Tool for all versions of the game.

Recommended mods[edit]

Information Modding guide available on The Port Report.
  • SHTUP - 'Shock Texture Upgrade Project' enhances object texture quality.
  • Rebirth Beta 03a - enhances polygons of enemies, gore and gibs.

OS X version[edit]

Modding the Wineskin version can be done by firstly installing the Windows version in a virtual machine, patching it and installing all desired modifications and then replacing the System Shock 2 installation within the Wineskin version with the custom version. If you are using the Steam version it may be necessary to deactivate Steam's "Keep up to date" function for this to work.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

Windows <path-to-game>\*.cfg
OS X <path-to-game>/Contents/Resources/drive_c/Games/System Shock 2/
Linux ~/.systemshock2/systemshock2/drive_c/Program Files/SystemShock2/*.cfg
Information cam.cfg contains game settings.
Information cam_ext.cfg is the configuration file for the game once patched using SS2Tool.

Save game data location[edit]

Windows <path-to-game>\
Information Save games are kept in multiple folders, e.g. \save_0\, \save_1\

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud No native support
GameSave Manager Native support

Video settings[edit]

General settings.
FOV of 150.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Native support WSGF WS Gold.svg Native for digital versions; for retail versions install SS2Tool.
Multi-monitor Native support WSGF MM Silver.svg Native for digital versions; for retail versions install SS2Tool.
4K Ultra HD Native support WSGF Incomplete.svg Native for digital versions;[2] for retail versions install SS2Tool.
Field of view (FOV) Hackable Edit cam_ext.cfg. See Field of view (FOV).
Windowed Hackable Edit cam_ext.cfg. See Windowed.
Borderless fullscreen windowed Hackable Enable Windowed mode, then use desktop resolution in-game.
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Native support Native for digital distribution versions; for retail versions install SS2Tool.
Anti-aliasing (AA) Native support Native for digital distribution versions; for retail versions install SS2Tool.
Vertical sync (Vsync) Hackable See Vertical sync (Vsync).
60 FPS Native support
120+ FPS Hackable See High frame rate.


Fix Edit cam_ext.cfg to change windowed mode

  1. Open System Shock 2\cam_ext.cfg using Notepad.
  2. Change ;force_windowed to force_windowed

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Fix Edit cam_ext.cfg to change field of view (FOV)

  1. Open System Shock 2\cam_ext.cfg using Notepad.
  2. Change ;fov 90 to fov # (any number).

Vertical sync (Vsync)[edit]

Fix Enable vsync

Disable vsync in the video card control panel.

High frame rate[edit]

Information The game may run too fast at 120 Hz without this change.

Fix Edit cam_ext.cfg to change timings

  1. Open System Shock 2\cam_ext.cfg using Notepad.
  2. Change ;vsync_mode 7 to vsync_mode 7

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native support Full remapping available, but no 'default' can be loaded.[3] (although in the steam version there is a "standard FPS" preset available)
Mouse acceleration No native support
Mouse input in menus Native support
Mouse Y-axis inversion Native support
Controller support No native support
Touchscreen optimised No native support

Audio settings[edit]

Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native support
Surround sound Native support Up to 7.0 output[4]
Subtitles No native support
Closed captions No native support
Mute on focus lost No native support
EAX support Native support EAX (2[citation needed]) and A3D. For further info refer to this thread


Language UI Audio CC Notes
English Native support Native support Native support
German Native support Native support Native support
Italian Unknown Unknown Native support See here


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play Native support 4 Co-op
Online play Native support 4 Co-op

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Peer-to-peer Native support
Dedicated No native support
Direct IP Native support


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP (outbound) 2300-2400, 28800-28900
UDP (outbound) 2300-2400, 28800-28900
Information UPNP support status is unknown.

Issues fixed[edit]

Random crashing[edit]

Fix Use SS2Tool

See SS2Tool.

Left-clicking or dragging does not work[edit]

Fix Use SS2Tool

See SS2Tool.

Small game window or black screen[edit]

Fix Edit cam_ext.cfg to disable multisampling

  1. Open System Shock 2\cam_ext.cfg using Notepad.
  2. Comment out and change multisampletype 8 to ;multisampletype 8


Fix Enable SS2Tool Safe Mode

  1. Download and run the SS2Tool installer.
  2. At the Choose Components installation step, enable Safe Mode.
  3. Click Install and finish installing.

UI too small on high screen resolutions[edit]

Fix Edit cam_ext.cfg to enable ui scaling

  1. Open cam_ext.cfg in notepad or any other text editor.
  2. Uncomment the line ;d3d_disp_scaled_2d_overlay 64 by removing the semicolon.
Note: If the above does not fix the issue, you may try scaling the ui to arbitrary resolutions by re-commenting out the above line (add back in the semicolon), uncommenting the line ;d3d_disp_scaled_2d_overlay 640 480 and adjusting the 640 and the 480 to your desired resolution. However, this may cause the ui to become blurry/pixelated, so try the initial fix first.

Runs too fast at 120Hz[edit]

Fix Edit cam_ext.cfg to change timings

See High frame rate.

System requirements[edit]

Operating system (OS) XP, Vista, 7, 8
Processor (CPU) 1.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2 GB
Video card (GPU) DirectX 9.0c compatible
Operating system (OS) 10.7.0
Processor (CPU) Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2 GB
Video card (GPU) 256 MB of VRAM


  2. Does the steam version of System Shock 2 support 4k resolution? : pcgaming
  4. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up