Mafia 2, the game we have all been waiting for 10 long years, is finally here. PC version is due to be released on the 24th in North America, 26th in Australia and 27th in PAL region. A demo was made available several weeks prior to the official release of the game so avid gamers could try it out before buying. If you thought the demo was good, just wait till you see the real thing. While Mafia 2 is not a perfect game, it’s a clearly one of the best PC games to be released this year. Anyways this post is not yet another Mafia 2 review – objective of this article is to provide some useful troubleshooting tips so that you can get the best of this game without annoyances. We have also included some guidelines on how to improve Mafia 2 performance, in case you have run into slow frame rate issues.

Download and install the latest PhysX system software & DirectX

First things first. Mafia 2 is a heavily PhysX dependent game. If you have a PhysX supported graphics card, having the latest version of NVIDIA PhysX System Software installed is an absolute necessity. Currently, the latest stable version of PSS is v9.10.0513. If you look closely at release notes for this build, it actually has one entry titled “Bug fixes for Mafia 2”. So yeah, you’d want to download and install it prior to running Mafia 2. You can download PhysX System Software separately from this location (Note that the latest Geforce driver release 258.96 includes an older version of PhysX – v9.10.0513 does not come bundled with these drivers).

You will also want to upgrade your current DirectX installation to the latest monthly build. You can download the latest monthly runtime from here. For further optimizations, do everything mentioned in ‘The Essentials’ section in this article.

Improve Mafia 2 performance with the APEX clothes fix

Some of you with even mid-high range video hardware might find slowness, stuttering and other framerate related issues while playing Mafia 2. Thankfully, there is one simple fix you can try to get a massive framerate boost without losing too much visual quality. The game uses dynamic clothing (realistic clothing simulation) not only for the main character but for all NPCs as well. This is a very CPU and GPU intensive task and can take up quite a lot of resources. You can safely disable dynamic clothing for NPCs and keep it on for the main character only – this should greatly improve frame rate. Step by step instructions on how to apply the clothes fix may be found below:

  1. Navigate to your Mafia 2 installation directory.
  2. Navigate to Edit/APEX/CLOTH directory. Make a full backup for CLOTH folder before you start modifying its contents.
  3. Inside the CLOTH directory, delete all files except - those starting with VITO, and the two files m2skeleton and ClothRemapTable.

This will leave dynamic clothing on for the main character and revert to static clothing for NPCs.

Improve Mafia 2 performance by removing particle effects

You can remove particle effects in a similar manner. While this too will improve Mafia 2 performance, the loss of visual quality will be more noticeable than the clothes fix.

  1. Navigate to your Mafia 2 installation directory.
  2. Navigate to Edit/APEX/Effects directory. Make a full backup for Effects folder before you start modifying its contents.
  3. Remove the Effects directory. This will disable all particle effects in game, including bullet damage, smoke and will lower the quality of explosions as well.

Note: The performances fixes above were based on a similar solution devised for Mafia 2 Demo. For a detailed account on how this works, refer to this article.

Random crashes, black screen errors, authentication issues, controls getting inverted & more

I have seen folks reporting a lot of problems with the game on several gaming forums. These include random crashes, black screen errors, authentication error messages, control issues and so on. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that most of those had problems with the game were playing Mafia 2 copies leaked online with either beta or incomplete cracks. There are about 10 different modified executable for the game out there and some of these are very badly done. If you are using a pirated version of Mafia 2, you may experience one or more of the following issues :

  • Random crashes to desktop on certain chapters. For example, you might experiences crashing in chapter 3 or chapter 7, sometimes when trying to enter vehicles.
  • Health (or energy) drops to 0 in certain chapters
  • Movement issues and controls getting inverted
  • Error message : Authentication failed - game experience will be negatively affected

Only way past these barriers is to either buy the game or switch to a better pirated copy :D (and please do not post links to torrents or cracks here – this is not a warez blog). Personally, I recommend buying the game as the developers clearly deserve the credit.

Note that if you switch between different copies of the game (different pirated copies or later switch to a legitimate copy after using a pirated version), you might have to create a new game. Quoted from NFO of one of the releases out there:

If you have used any of these hacked demo cracks out there, then make sure you start a new game, as your old saves will make the game crash. The main reason: it wont work is because those "cracks" are modified demo exes.
More fixes will be added as they are discovered. This article is a work in progress.

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3 Comments

  1. mwe12 // 8/24/2010 10:07:00 AM  

    to fix the last bugs just wait for the REAL proper scene crack,instead of using p2p sh!t!

  2. PJCman2001 // 8/27/2010 07:21:00 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  3. Courtney Winter // 7/06/2012 11:32:00 AM  

    Creative ideas flourish best in a shop which preserves some spirit of fun. Nobody is in business for fun, but that does not mean there cannot be fun in business.

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