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Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the original Substance release. For the Master Collection re-release, see Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - Master Collection Version.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance cover
Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
Windows Success
Release dates
Windows March 27, 2003
Metacritic 77
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person, Third-person, Top-down view
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, Stealth
Art styles Realistic
Themes Contemporary, North America, Sci-fi, Supernatural
Series Metal Gear
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance on HowLongToBeat
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance on IGDB
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance guide on StrategyWiki
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance on MobyGames
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance on Wikipedia
Metal Gear
Metal Gear 1990
Metal Gear Solid: Integral 2000
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance 2003
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance 2014
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes 2014
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain 2015
Metal Gear Survive 2018
Metal Gear (MSX2) 2020
Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol.1 (series)
Metal Gear Solid Δ: Snake Eater 2024

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance is a singleplayer first-person and third-person and top-down view action stealth game developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and published by Konami. It is part of the Metal Gear series.

The original game, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, was released on PlayStation 2 in 2001, and chronologically takes place after the events of Metal Gear Solid and before Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The expanded re-release, Substance, was released in 2002 on PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and added new features such as Boss Survival Mode, Skateboarding mini-game, the additional Snake Tales storyline, additional 500 VR and alternative missions and Casting Theater, among other changes. It was later ported to PC by Success and released on March 27, 2003. However, the PC version was based on the European release, which features toned-down graphic imagery. In addition, the Skateboarding minigame was removed from the PC version due to Evolution Skateboarding not being released on PC.

The initial, unpatched release of the PC version has poor compatibility with most graphics cards and causing serious graphical issues, but can be fixed with third-party patches. Most of these problems are fixed in the GOG re-release.

General information Community Discussions Support Page


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Simple disc check
Windows (unavailable)
Unavailable due to licensing issues[1]

Version differences

The version fixes compatibility issues of the original 2003 release on modern Windows operating systems.[2]

Essential improvements


The latest official Patch 2.0 (ATI Patch) is available at and at
It fixes some graphical issues with ATI Radeon chipsets.

MGS2 V's Fix

Installer built from scratch with many fixes automatically applied.
Open source.
Includes the official patch 2.0 and sound fix.
Simplified resolution and graphics configuration process.
Nvidia & Intel fix automatically applied.
Nemesis2000 widescreen fix automatically applied.
Xbox 360 controller supported + restored vibration (uses XInput Plus).
V's button layout + simil-PS2 one.
Includes anti-aliasing (FXAA/SMAA).
Last updated on January 31, 2021. Outstanding issues reported on Github, such as the right stick and mouse not working, have yet to be resolved.


Requires MGS2 V's Fix.
A mod that disables the additional frame skipping during cutscenes, making them run at 60 FPS like on PS2.
Fixes physics-based objects during cutscenes that ran at half frame rate, most notably the rope during the first cutscene.
Use V's Fix
  1. After installing MGS2 V's Fix, download mgs2-60fps.asi
  2. Paste the file into <path-to-game>\bin\scripts.
Alternative method
  1. Download the 32-bit version of Ultimate ASI Loader by ThirteenAG.
  2. Rename dinput8.dll to winmm.dll and move it to <path-to-game>\bin
  3. Create a folder named scripts in <path-to-game>\bin and move the mgs2-60fps.asi to that folder.

PCGamingWiki Patch

Alternative to MGS2 V's Fix.
Fixes missing textures and other graphical issues.
Includes an enhanced control scheme.
Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Install Patch 2.0.
  2. Download PCGamingWiki Patch.
  3. Extract the contents of Patch to <path-to-game>\bin\.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\bin\*.ini[Note 1]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\savedata[Note 1]
MGS2 V's Fix (version 1.7 and above) will move savegames location to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\METAL GEAR SOLID 2 SUBSTANCE\.
System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy


General settings.
General settings.
Settings in the version must be changed with the included DirectX Configuration tool.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution
4K Ultra HD
See Widescreen resolution
Field of view (FOV)
See Widescreen resolution
Borderless fullscreen windowed only. Use SRWE for retail releases.
Anisotropic filtering (AF) only; up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA) only; up to 8x MSAA. Use MGS2 V's Fix for retail releases.
Vertical sync (Vsync) only
60 FPS
FMV cutscenes are capped at 30 FPS.
In-game cutscenes fluctuate between 30 and 60 FPS for cinematic purposes.
See MGS2 PC 60FPS Fix.
120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 60 FPS
High dynamic range display (HDR)

Widescreen resolution

Use MGS2 V's Fix
Use Widescreen Fix

For original retail release:

  1. Download Widescreen fix by nemesis2000.
  2. Extract all files from mgs2.7z to the installation folder (password: mgs2).
  3. Edit mgs2w.ini to set the resolution.

For version:

  1. Download and extract dinput8.dll.
  2. Rename dinput8.dll to winmm.dll, and place it inside the bin folder.
  3. Create a folder named scripts inside the bin folder located in the installation folder.
  4. Extract all files from mgs2.7z, except for d3d8.dll, to the newly created scripts folder.
  5. Rename mgs2w.dll to mgs2w.asi.
  6. Edit mgs2w.ini to set the resolution.


Supported exe size: 6,733,892 bytes.


The Right-Click button is used to shoot weapons, choke, drag, throw or drop enemies during gameplay.

Controller support

Use MGS2 V's Fix[citation needed]
Modern control scheme for Xbox 360/One controllers[4]
  1. Install both the Patch 2.0 and the PCGamingWiki Patch.
  2. Download this ZIP file and unzip it.
  3. Extract the contents into the installation folder by overwriting the existing files.
  4. Go to <path-to-game>\bin and make sure that padbtn.ini and padbtns.ini are set to Read Only mode.
  5. Run MGS2SConfig.exe and go to OPTIONKEY Config, then bind R2 to the END key on the keyboard.
  6. Connect the controller.
  7. Go to <path-to-game>\xpadder and run Xpadder.exe.
  8. Select the controller in the top section.
  9. Click the small controller icon, and open <path-to-game>\xpadder\xbox-controller.xpaddercontroller.
  10. Click the file icon on the right, and open <path-to-game>\xpadder\mgs2s.xpadderprofile.
  11. Close Xpadder and run the game.

The controls are the following:

- Left Stick = Movement

- Right Stick = Move Camera (Third person), Look Around (First person).

- Start = Menu, Pause.

- Select = Codec

- A = Crouch, Prone, Roll, Accept (Menu), Get Off Ledge.

- B = Attack, Knock, Back (Menu), Get Off Ledge.

- X = Choke (Press while standing), Throw (Press while moving), Drag Bodies (Hold), 
      Shoot (Press once to shoot, Hold to aim & Release to shoot).

- Y = Action (Open Doors, Climb Over, Climb Back Up, Interact)

- L1 = Left Gadget, Equipment Menu (Hold).

- R1 = Quick Equip, Unequip Weapon (Press), Right Weapon Menu (Hold).

- L2 = First Person View (Hold)

- R2 = Choke (Press while standing), Throw (Press while moving), Drag Bodies (Hold), 
       Shoot (Press once to shoot, Hold to aim & Release to shoot).


This fix aims to implement a modern approach to the control scheme. It is a combination of using xpadder and modifying the controller support. It is meant to be used with an Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller.


Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Certain cutscenes and transitions are presented in stereo
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
All PC versions only have English dubbing.
The same applies to the Japanese version.[5]
Unofficial translation by «7 Wolf» and translation by «8-bit»

Issues fixed

Green screen on the projector in Tanker Chapter

Fixed in the release.
Use MGS2 V's Fix[6]

Black screen at startup

Fixed in the release.
Sound Device Playback at 44,100 Hz
  1. Download and install the PCGamingWiki Patch.
  2. Press Win+R, then type mmsys.cpl and press Enter.
  3. Find the Default playback device, marked by a green icon, and double-click on it.
  4. Select the Advanced tab, then under the Default Format header, click on the drop-down menu.
  5. Set the playback frequency to 44,100 Hz, either 16 bit or 24 bit, and click OK.
Close MSI Afterburner
Use DirectSound3D restoration software
Access the Realtek control panel and set "Speaker Configuration" to Quadraphonic

Broken graphics (Black textures and/or Ugly shadows).

Use the PCGamingWiki Patch for older Geforce/Radeon GPUs
Manual fix by hex editing[7]
  1. For Retail versions, Install the Official Patch 2.0.
  2. Open mgs2_sse.exe (and mgs2.exe for retail releases) with a hex editor such as HxD.
  3. Search for geforce as a text string. Select only the instance that has RADEON to the left of it.


  1. Replace GeForce with removed.
  2. Then replace the RADEON to the left of it with GeForc. Case-sensitive!
  3. Save the changes.

For Intel GPUs/Dual Graphics Laptops:

  1. Replace RADEON with Intel(. No need to change GeForce.
  2. Save the changes.


This will allow playing at the highest Model Quality without visual glitches.
Compatible with Nemesis2000's Widescreen fix and crosire's d3d8to9.
If the above solutions don't work, set Model Quality in the Drawing tab to the second value.

Freezes on the intro video

Edit Windows Registry[citation needed]
  1. Press Win+R.
  2. Type regedit and press Enter.
  3. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\LAV\Splitter.
  4. Create a new Key named Blacklist and select it.
  5. Create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value named mgs2_sse.exe and double-click on it.
  6. Change its value data to 1 and click OK.


Alternatively, disable mpegvideo format in LAV Splitter Configuration program.

Caption language gets reset after each game restart

Change the operating system language[citation needed]
  1. Go to StartSettingsTime & LanguageLanguage.
  2. Choose a language from the Windows display language menu.
    Alternatively, under Preferred languages, select Add a language to install the desired language if not listed.


The game resets the captions to the operating system language, regardless of the in-game choice.
Changing the operating system language fixes the issue.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 8.1
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


MGS2: The Substance Of Subsistence (S.O.S.) Mod

A mod that adds a toggleable and fully controllable 360-degree third-person camera to the game. Just like the one used in MGS3: Subsistence.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98, ME
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium III 800 MHz or AMD Athlon
System memory (RAM) 128 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3.9 GB
Video card (GPU) 3D accelerator card
32 MB of VRAM
DirectX 8.1 compatible


  1. 1.0 1.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).


  1. METAL GEAR PORTAL SITE (archived) - last accessed on 2023-10-21
    "We are currently working on renewing the licenses for select historical archive footage used in-game, therefore, we have made the temporary decision to begin suspending the sale of METAL GEAR SOLID 2..."
  2. Fixes for METAL GEAR SOLID implemented by GOG.COM and fan-made mods recommendations - last accessed on May 2023
  3. Limitation for XInput gamepads - last accessed on November 2023
  4. MGS2: Substance PC xbox 360 controller for windows fix - last accessed on May 2023
  5. - last accessed on May 2023
  6. Green screen on the projector in Tanker Chapter · Issue #26 · VFansss/mgs2-v-s-fix - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  7. - last accessed on June 2023