*** If you are running the Steam or Good Old Games release of System Shock 2, download and run the System Shock 2 Mod Pack instead. ***
Every once in a while I run into someone who would like to go back and play System Shock 2. The problem is that out of the box the game will not run on anything remotely modern. The game used to be a a giant pain to get working, but thanks to the efforts of Kolya, we now have a single tool to run that fixes just about every issue the game had with running on modern computers. There are also a lot of great mods out there that make the game look fantastic.
Here are the steps I would suggest to get System Shock 2 working:
Installation & Getting mod ready
- To install the game just copy the “shock” folder from the CD to your computer. (80 characters maximum path length. On Vista & Win7 do not copy to Program Files.)
- Install the SS2Tool but uncheck “Bug Fixes” as none of them are needed anymore.
- Extract System Shock 2 Patch to your desktop.
- Extract new_dark.zip and contrib.zip into your game folder.
- Install the SS2 Modmanager
Installing the mods is easy using the mod manager.
- Add your downloaded mods via the File menu.
- Select the mod in the Mod List.
- Click the Activate-button.
- Start the game.
Shock Texture Upgrades
SHTUP is a mod for System Shock 2 which aims to increase the resolution of all the common (and quite a few of the not-so-common) object textures. A secondary objective of the mod is to correct all other graphical glitches, such as typos, continuity errors, texture alignment errors, and so on. All of this is to be done while sticking as closely as possible to the original art style.
Tacticool Weapon Replacements
These are replacement weapon models for System Shock 2 made by Mercurius.
- Tacticool Wrench
- Tacticool Shotgun
- Tacticool Pistol
- Tacticool Grenade Launcher
- Tacticool Laser Pistol
- Tacticool Assault Rifle
Eldron Psi Amp
A much improved Psi Amp and hand model by Eldron.
- If you’re on WinXP with a HD Radeon videocard, you’ll need to use SS2Tool v3.1. (more info)
- On Vista/Win7: Start the game as administrator.
- If the game crashes at the start, try renaming the file LGVID.AX to LGVID.AX.BAK and see the Videos / Cutscenes Guide
- If you just installed SS2Tool and the game crashes after the loading screen, reboot.
- If you only see a white or black screen in the game (but can hear sounds)
- Do not use compatibility modes, it can actually stop the game from running. (Note that compatibility settings survive re-installation.)
- Don’t install cracks, it’s unnecessary.
- On Vista/Win7: You may have to “Disable desktop composition” (Aero) in shock2.exe’s compatibility tab.
- Broken Use/Shoot Mode Problem (If you cannot drag items in the inventory)
- Sound problems
- Multiplayer Guide
- System Shock 2 Manual
- The Mother Of All Guides
A special thanks to SystemShock.org, the source for most of the information found here.