Max Payne

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Revision as of 10:25, 12 August 2020 by Mars icecream (talk | contribs) (Remedy forums have been taken down, sadly)
Max Payne
Max Payne cover
Remedy Entertainment
Mac OS (Classic) Feral Interactive
macOS (OS X) Westlake Interactive[1]
Windows Gathering of Developers
Mac OS MacSoft
Rockstar Games
Russia 1C-SoftClub
Release dates
Windows July 23, 2001
Mac OS (Classic) July 16, 2002
macOS (OS X) July 16, 2002
Metacritic 89
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, Shooter
Art styles Realistic
Themes North America, Contemporary
Series Max Payne
Max Payne on IGDB
Max Payne guide on StrategyWiki
Max Payne on MobyGames
Max Payne on Wikipedia

Max Payne
Max Payne 2001
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne 2003
Max Payne 3 2012

Key points

Some sounds are missing on Windows Vista and later. See Missing audio.
Unofficial startup hang patch should be applied to prevent the game from locking up during startup.
The game does not work on new Ryzen Zen 2 processors.[2] See JPEG errors on AMD Ryzen CPU.

General information

Max Payne Wiki
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
SafeDisc v2 DRM[Note 1].
macOS (OS X)
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Green Man Gaming
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Humble Store
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SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).

Essential improvements


Patch 1.05 is the latest official patch for the game. The Steam version is already patched.

Unofficial patches

Startup hang patch
Max Payne Fix It All A combined patch with ThirteenAG's Widescreen Fix, Direct X 9 wrappers for Vsync, and a sound fix.
Max Payne 1, Complete FixPack A combined patch with ThirteenAG's Widescreen Fix, a high-res texture pack, and different options for video wrappers and sound fixes.

Skip intro videos

Launch the game with the -skipstartup parameter[citation needed]

Skip Launcher

Launch the game with the -nodialog parameter[5]

Max Payne Remastered

HD texture pack using ESRGAN, an upscaling method that takes a low-res image and adds realistic details to it.

Game data

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

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Remedy Entertainment\Max Payne\
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/12140/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Max Payne Savegames\
Mac OS (Classic) {Boot}:Documents:Max Payne Saved Games or user's Documents folder
macOS (OS X) ~/Documents/Max Payne Saved Games/
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/12140/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud


Launcher general settings.
Launcher general settings.
Launcher advanced settings.
Launcher advanced settings.
In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.
Can only be changed in the launcher.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Use ThirteenAG's fix.
4K Ultra HD
Use ThirteenAG's fix.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Toggle with Alt+ Enter or use the -window parameter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See Borderless fullscreen windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Can be improved by forcing 16x in the graphics card control panel.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Up to 8x MSAA.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Always enabled.
Use d3d8to9 on Windows 10.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Uncapped frame rate may break the physics.[6].Use d3d8to9 (only windows10) and set monitor on 60hz to fix

Field of view (FOV)

Set FOV with widescreen fix[citation needed]
  1. Install ThirteenAG's fix.
  2. Edit MaxPayne.WidescreenFix.ini.
  3. Set FOVFactor to the desired value.


FOVFactor value is capped at around 1.43.
It might turn the nightmare levels unplayable, since these sections of the game already alter the camera FOV.

Borderless fullscreen windowed

Force borderless fullscreen[citation needed]
  1. Download and run DxWnd.
  2. Click on Edit, then Add.
  3. Set the Path to <path-to-game>\maxpayne.exe.
  4. Set Desktop for borderless fullscreen windowed.
  5. Click on DirectX tab, set DirectX 8.
  6. Click OK, then File and Save.


In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game mouse settings.
In-game mouse settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music, Effects
Surround sound
Up to 7.0 output with DirectSound3D restoration software.
Cutscenes only, not in-game voices and intro.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support


Some regions only have certain languages available. All audio languages can be downloaded from here.
Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail only. Patch for digital release here or subs only
Brazilian Portuguese
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Fan translation. Details missing—please edit this page and add it.

Issues unresolved

Corrupted files in the French version

The French Steam version of Max Payne has corrupted files, with the error message "Invalid Data Read from R_memory File("part1_level1b")". Reports indicate issues with the files x_level1.ras, x_level2.ras and x_level3.ras.[8][9]

There are visible polygon seams when running under Windows 10

When the game is running under Windows 10 there are a lot of visible polygon seams when both Hardware T&L and MSAA (any type) enabled. The only known workaround to this is to disable one of these options or use supersampling (use Nvidia Inspector for Nvidia Cards).

Issues fixed

Installer fails on Windows 7 64-bit and later (Retail)

Default installer on disc root is 16-bit.
Run from setup[10]
  1. Run Disk1\setup.exe from the disc instead.
  2. Click Yes on prompts regarding not enough memory and install anyway.

Missing audio

Restores DirectSound (better quality).
Use Creative Lab's ALchemy Software[12]
  1. Download and install ALchemy.
  2. Launch ALchemy.
  3. Add a new Profile (skip to Step 11 if using retail version of the game).
  4. Name it "MaxPayne".
  5. Select Use Game Path and navigate to Max Payne's install directory.
  6. Set Buffers to 4.
  7. Set Duration to 25.
  8. Set Max Voice Count to 128.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Click the newly created profile and then click ">>" to enable it.
  11. Close ALchemy and play.


Even better quality DirectSound wrapper to use with Creative cards as well as others.
The Max Payne profile will automatically show up in ALchemy when using retail version of the game.
Use an unofficial patch[13]
  1. Download the unofficial patch.
  2. Extract the contents to the installation folder.
  3. Run MaxBatch.bat.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Relies on automated lossy sound files recompression into other format.

The launcher does not start

Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows 98 / Me[citation needed]

JPEG errors on AMD Ryzen CPU

Use a fixed rlmfc.dll[14]
  1. Download this file.
  2. Extract it in <path-to-game> and overwrite rlmfc.dll.
Instructions to do the fix manually here.

Game crashes or videos fail to load

Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows 98/Windows Me[citation needed]

Error: setFullscreen - creating the device failed: E_FAIL

Use ThirteenAG's fix[citation needed]

Exception in engineInit: Unable to load save game "Files"

Reinstall the game on the C: drive[citation needed]

Exception in startupInit: Directory \data not found

Move the game to a folder without spaces[citation needed]

Reinstall the game to a folder without spaces in the folder path (e.g. C:\Games\MaxPayne).

Disable anti-aliasing[citation needed]
(Steam) Move the game to a folder without spaces[citation needed]
  1. Set up a new Steam library folder without spaces in the folder path (e.g. C:\Steam).
  2. Remove the game and install it to the new Steam library folder.
  3. Go to that folder and go into SteamApps\common.
  4. Rename the Max Payne folder to MaxPayne.
  5. Go back to the SteamApps folder and open appmanifest_12140.acf with a text editor.
    • If Windows Notepad can't read it, use another text editor like Notepad++.
  6. Change the line "installdir" "Max Payne" to "installdir" "MaxPayne"
  7. Restart Steam.
  8. If needed, run the game in compatibility mode for Windows 98 / Me.

Game won't launch on AMD graphics cards, still shows up in task manager

Use the Unofficial startup hang patch[citation needed]
Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows 98 / Me[citation needed]
Roll back CCC drivers to 12.6 from here[citation needed]
See Force CPU affinity to run the game on one core[citation needed]

Jumps and dodges are too short, making the second nightmare level impossible

Cap the game to 60 FPS
Use a Direct3D 8 to Direct3D 9 wrapper and set monitor on 60hz

Reshade/SweetFX doesn't work

This problem occurs when using the Thirteen AG Widescreen Patch.
Use the d3d8to9 wrapper[citation needed]
  1. Rename Thirteen AG Widescreen Patch's d3d8.dll file to dinput.dll. It is located in the game's root folder.
  2. Download d3d8to9 and place it in the game's root folder.
  3. Install ReShade or SweetFX as DirectX 9.

VR support

3D modes Native Notes
Requires D3D8to9 wrapper, see vorpx forum profile introduction.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 7, 8 Direct3D 7 in cutscenes only. Everything else is in Direct3D 8.
Mac OS only.
Shader Model support 1.1
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)


Middleware Notes
Audio DirectSound3D

Command line arguments

See command line arguments on how to use the following options.
Parameter Description
-screenshot Enables F10 for taking screen shots. Screen shots are saved to the "screenshots" folder in the Max Payne installation folder.
-nodialog Skips the Max Payne startup dialog when loading the game (uses options previously set).
-skipstartup Skips the startup video.
-disable3dpreloads If the system runs out of texture memory while loading a level, this option may prevent the game from crashing due to a driver error.
-window Runs the game in a windowed mode, in the resolution selected from the Max Payne launch dialog. Not all 3d accelerators support running in a windowed mode.
-novidmemcheck Disables the video memory check at the start of the game.
-developer Enables "developer mode", including console (toggled with F12).
-developerkeys Enables special developer keys. Requires developer mode. Using developer keys can break the game flow.
-showprogress Shows extended loading information. Requires developer mode.
-profile Enables in-game profiler. Toggle profile with F11, and see console aliases for profiling options.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95 OSR2
Processor (CPU) 450 MHz
System memory (RAM) 96 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 530 MB
Video card (GPU) 16 MB of VRAM
DirectX 8.0 compatible
Sound (audio device) DirectSound compatible
Mac OS
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 9.1
Processor (CPU) PowerPC G3 400 MHz
System memory (RAM) 128 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 900 MB
Video card (GPU) OpenGL compatible
16 MB of VRAM
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.2
Processor (CPU) PowerPC G3 400 MHz
System memory (RAM) 128 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 900 MB
Video card (GPU) OpenGL compatible
16 MB of VRAM


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[3] and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[4]
  2. 2.0 2.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/12140/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (12140) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.