Mass Effect 2, STALKER : Call of Prypiat and now BioShock 2 – it’s a good season for PC gaming once again. BioShock 2, the sequel to 2007 hit first person shooter, is without a doubt one of the most anticipated games this year. As expected, the game has got mainly positive reviews and a lot of people seem to be having a blast playing this title. But of course, no game is perfect and Bioshock 2 is no exception – there are some minor annoyances with it, which some readers have been kind enough to write to us about. We’ve put together a list of issues and possible fixes for them below – this’ll hopefully help you get a more complete BS2 experience. Also note that this article is a work in progress – more stuff will be added as they are discovered.
How to save progress in BioShock 2 with Games for Windows Live offline profile
BioShock 2 is a GFWL (Games For Windows Live) branded game. As some of you might already know, saves in most such games are managed by the GFWL system itself and you usually need to be logged into a Live profile to save/load in-game progress. But what if you aren’t connected to internet all the time, don’t have an online GFWL account or if you don’t want to be logged into GFWL for some other reason? Don’t worry – this doesn't mean you can’t save progress. With the use of an Windows live offline account, you’ll be able to save/load just fine. Obviously, it doesn't require an internet connection to create or log into one.
- Launch the game. Open the Windows Live menu.
- If you are already logged onto a profile (local or online), sign out (Create profile button will only become visible when you aren’t logged into anything)
- Click on ‘Create new profile’ button.
- In the dialog box that pops up DO NOT hit continue. Hitting continue will take you to a registration page for an ONLINE profile – that’s not what we want.
- Once in the ‘Create Gamer Profile’ window, scroll down so that you can see the bottom paragraph.
- Look for the hyperlinked ‘created a local profile’ link in last paragraph. Clicking this will allow you to create a new offline profile.
The method above will work with any game based on GFWL 3.1.
BioShock 2 crashes and offline accounts
Some users have reported about in-game crashes while playing the game with an offline account. This can happen if you have other BioShock 2 savegames created using another Windows Live profile. For example, if you are playing using an offline account now but used to play the game earlier with an online account, the game might crash on you. The solution is to delete all the saved games made using non-offline accounts and keep only the ones made using your current offline account.
How to fix fast, sluggish, accelerated or lagging mouse issues with BioShock 2
When BioShock 1 was released back in 2007, one of the most common complaints about the game was regarding the mouse movement. Some players experienced slowness, lagging and erratic movement while others got fast and accelerated control. You’ll know if this happens to you - it just wouldn’t feel right. One would think after three years the devs might have crushed this bug but alas, it seems to have made it to Bioshock 2 as well. Thankfully, a fix devised by the gaming community to solve the same issue in BS1 seems to work on BS2 as well. There are two methods you can try. One method is pretty short and involves only 2 steps. Second method has more steps but it also has a higher possibility of solving the problem. Try method 2 if method 1 doesn’t work.
Open the file C:\Users\AppData\Bioshock2\User.ini with a text editor. If path not found look under C:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Bioshock2\User.ini
Look for the text
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
Change it so that it looks something like
MouseX=IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Count bXAxis | IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Axis aMouseX Speed=1200.0
MouseY=IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Count bYAxis | IF_MOUSE_LOOK_ENABLED Axis aMouseY Speed=1200.0
Save and close the file. Launch the game and see if problem is resolved. If not, try method 2.
This is a longer version but lots more people seem to have had success with it. You can find a fully detailed step by step guide on how to do it in this forum thread. Solution is based on BioShock 1 but only things you need to change for this to work in BS2 is path and filename. (correct path and filename for BS2 is C:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Bioshock2\User.ini)
How to enable Anti Aliasing (AA) in BioShock 2
BioShock 2 is based on Unreal Engine 2.5 and UE is not very fond of Anti Aliasing. There is no in-game option to enable AA (just like in BS1) but you can force it through your video card’s control panel (you may also try using a tool like nHancer).
Enable following settings in nhancer 2.5.7 to get AA to work in BS2:
ambient occlusion 00020000 bioshock
aa compatibility 00000145 AA & HDR
aa compatibility dx10 general compatibility
-Courtesy SMX on NFOHump forums
However, if this does do any visible change, you may need to force the game into DX9 mode. To force DX9, start the game with –DX9 command line parameter (or add it to your desktop shortcut).
Following are general tips that apply to PC gaming in general – not just for BioShock 2. Might seem like bullsh1t but trust me these help a lot in avoiding random crashes, black screens, CTD and other pains in the ass.
- Install the latest DirectX runtime – Latest DirectX should be available in your Steam directory but if it’s not (or if you didn’t buy the game from Steam), you can download the latest monthly runtime from here. This is a standalone installer that will work in offline mode as well.
- Install Microsoft Visual C++ runtime libraries – I’m not sure if this is an absolute necessity for this game but it’s required for most games nowadays (as demonstrated by the case with Dragon Age : Origins). You can download the required files from this link.
- Update Video card drivers –
ATI Drivers: Download the latest ATI Catalyst drivers from this link: http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_catalyst.aspx
NVIDIA Drivers: Download latest official NVIDIA drivers from this link: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
- Update sound card and motherboard drivers – Overlooked by many but an essential step to playing games crash free. Click Here to download 3DP Chip for Windows Vista/XP/7 – This program will automatically detect your hardware and search for updated drivers for them.
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