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BioShock cover
Irrational Games
2K Australia
macOS (OS X) Feral Interactive
macOS (OS X) Robosoft Technologies
2K Games
OS X Feral Interactive
Unreal Engine 2.5
Release dates
Windows August 21, 2007
macOS (OS X) October 7, 2009
BioShock guide at StrategyWiki
BioShock at Wikipedia
BioShock 2007
BioShock 2 2010
BioShock Infinite 2013
BioShock Remastered 2016
BioShock 2 Remastered 2016

This page is for the original version. For the remastered version, see BioShock Remastered.

Key points

BioShock may crash on startup on Windows 7 and later. See Crash on startup.
Physics and some animations are locked at 30 FPS. See below how to modify the lock.

General information

Official Forum
BioShock Wiki - Large wiki for the BioShock series
Steam Community Discussions


The retail, and (Windows) versions use SecuROM DRM. There is no activation limit.[1] An internet connection is required for installation.
All Mac OS X versions, excluding the Mac App Store, use Feral Interactive's DRM system which requires online activation.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
Plasmid Pack Freeware, included with patch 1.1
macOS (OS X)

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Launch the game with -nointro parameter[citation needed]

Remove physics and animation frame rate cap[edit]

By default, physics and some animations are capped to 30 FPS.
Use Bioshock Physics Unlocker[2]
  1. Download Bioshock Physics Unlocker
  2. Extract BioshockPhysicsUnlocker.exe to the game's executable folder (typically located in <path-to-game>\Builds\Release\)
  3. Open BioshockPhysicsUnlocker.exe, type your desired frame rate, and push Enter.

BioShock Tweaker[edit]

Allows you to change settings that are not normally adjustable from the options menu (i.e. custom resolution).


Patch 1.1 - Steam version is already patched and the humblebundle DRM free version too.

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %APPDATA%\Bioshock
macOS (OS X)

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Bioshock\SaveGames\
macOS (OS X)

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Requires Patch 1.1 for Hor+ FOV.
See Field of view (FOV).
Requires Patch 1.1 for Hor+ FOV.
4K Ultra HD
Requires Patch 1.1 for Hor+ FOV.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use Borderless Gaming.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See Anisotropic filtering (AF).
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Can be forced through the NVIDIA Control Panel/AMD Control Center. Only in DX9 mode.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
Physics and animations are locked at 30 FPS.[3] See above how to modify the lock.
120+ FPS
No FPS or refresh rate cap.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

3rd party fixes[citation needed]
Custom key binding[4]
  1. Go to %APPDATA%\Bioshock\
  2. Make a backup copy of user.ini.
  3. Open the original copy and locate the keybinds by searching for "F10=".
  4. From here, you may use any unassigned keybinds to set a desired FOV, or to reset the FOV to its default value. For example, to make F10 set the FOV to 120, you'd change the line "F10=" to
    F10=SetFOV 120
    To make F11 reset the FOV, you'd change the line "F11=" to

Note: The game may automatically reset your FOV upon loading or after cinematics. You may still use your custom keybinds to change the FOV to your desired value.

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

Anisotropic filtering[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open bioshock.ini.
  3. Find the following lines, and set them to these values.


Input settings[edit]

In-game general control settings.
In-game general control settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Mouse acceleration
See Mouse acceleration to disable.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
This mode hides most options menus.
Full controller support
Must be turned on in the customize controls menu.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Additional information
Button prompts
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback

Mouse acceleration[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini.
  3. Find the following lines and edit them accordingly:
W=MoveForward | set Engine.PlayerInput MouseAccelThreshold 0.0 | set Engine.PlayerInput MouseSmoothingMode 0

You can download this small script in order to automate the process.

Mouse sensitivity[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini.
  3. Find the following lines and edit the speed values of all 10 occurrences:
MouseX=IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Count bXAxis | IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Axis aMouseX Speed=2500.0
MouseY=IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Count bYAxis | IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Axis aMouseY Speed=2500.0
You can download this small script in order to automate the process.

Hold to Zoom[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open User.ini.
  3. Find the button zoom is mapped to (default is Z, in this case RightMouse)
  4. 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.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Up to 7.1[5][6]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 5[7]


Language UI Audio Sub Notes

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Native 3D
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Helix Mod: Bioshock.
TriDef 3D
Devices Native Notes
Tracked motion controllers
Supports the Razer Hydra.[citation needed]
Controller Full support See Input settings for details.
3RD Space Gaming Vest

Issues unresolved[edit]

Minor spoilers ahead.

Arcadia: Langford's Safe[edit]

In Arcadia, searching Langford's safe with the Scrounger tonic equipped will cause the safe's contents—including an essential quest item—to disappear.

Fort Frolic: Bathysphere[edit]

In Fort Frolic, leaving the area by using the bathysphere adjacent to the entry bathysphere causes the stage curtains to close upon returning to the area, rendering the Cohen's Masterpiece quest un-completeable, and preventing the player from accessing the exit bathysphere.[8]

Fort Frolic: Rapture Records[edit]

When attempting to kill Silas Cobb, using the Hypnotize plasmid, as doing so will prevent a scripted task from triggering, thus trapping the player in Rapture Records.[9] In order to fix this issue, you must kill yourself (e.g., through the use of the Incinerate! plasmid), or reload an older save.


If your saves do not go far back enough, then the first two issues are game-ending. Technically, modifying the save file or using a trainer would also fix the issue, but neither solution has been documented.

Issues fixed[edit]

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

Crash on startup[edit]

Update OpenAL[citation needed]

Crash upon autosave/quicksave[edit]

Delete last autosave/quicksave in save game data location and configuration file(s) location[citation needed]

Crashing applies default settings[edit]

Set configuration files to read-only[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. In properties, set bioshock.ini and User.ini to read-only.


Additionnal changes to settings cannot be made while files are set to read-only.

Video settings not saving[edit]

Force DirectX 9[citation needed]

Launch the game with -dx9 parameter.

Audio cutting out[edit]

Edit the maximum number of channels[10]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open bioshock.ini.
  3. Find the following line, under [FMODAudio.FMODAudioSubsystem], and increase the number of channels.
Enable EAX[11]
  1. Install OpenAL.
  2. Go to %WINDIR%\System32 (or %WINDIR%\SysWoW64 for x64 OS's).
  3. Copy over wrap_oal.dll into the same folder where Bioshock's executable is located (steamapps\common\bioshock\Builds\Release\).
  4. Rename this file openal32.dll.
  5. Enable EAX audio in the in-game options.

Crashing upon changing resolution[edit]

Edit default resolution[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open bioshock.ini.
  3. Find the following lines, and set the desired values.
Change resolutions while in windowed mode[citation needed]
  1. Push Alt+ Enter, before entering the Video Options menu.
  2. Set the desired resolution, then apply the changes.
  3. Leave the Video Options menu, then push Alt+ Enter again.

Excessive screen tearing (Nvidia)[edit]

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


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

Frame rate stuttering[edit]

Disable V-Sync[citation needed]
Force DirectX 9[citation needed]

Launch the game with -dx9 parameter.

Can't enable EAX in game after updating OpenAL and copying wrap_oal.dll to Bioshock folder and renaming it to OpenAL32.dll[edit]

Enable Stereo Mix in sound control panel[12]
  1. Right click the speaker symbol on the bottom right of your desktop
  2. Click "Recording devices"
  3. Right click in the box and click "Show Disabled Devices"
  4. Right click "Stereo Mix" and click "Enable"
  5. Now you should be able to turn on EAX in the Bioshock sound menu

Sound missing after intro sequence (Windows 8 or Windows 10)[edit]

In Windows 8 and later, Bioshock may have no sound, and it may be impossible to progress past the bathysphere scene as the NPCs become stuck and won't move.
Run the game in Windows XP SP3 compatibility mode[13]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9, 10
OpenGL 2.0 OS X only.
Shader Model support 3, 4 A shader model 2.0 hack is available here. Note that there were other attempts in the past besides this one though most links are dead, unfortunately.
64-bit executable
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
macOS (OS X)
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
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. Activation limits removed on BioShock for the PC - 2K Forums
  2. Choppy Physics Fix
  3. New 120Hz Games Report
  4. adjusting FOV in bioshock 1 - Steam Users' Forums (retrieved)
  5. Sound Blaster Gaming: BioShock Audio Guide (retrieved)
  6. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up
  7. Techgage - Creative EAX vs Asus DS3D GX 2.0
  8. Known Bioshock Issues
  9. Fort Frolic - The BioShock Wiki
  10. Steam Community Guide - Fix audio cutting out - last accessed on 2017-02-12
  11. Sound cutting out in Bioshock 1
  12. Win 10 and no sound