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Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
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 (2020) 2020

Key points

The unpatched retail version of the game is notorious for its poor compatibility with most video cards, causing serious graphical issues. Most of these problems are fixed in the GOG release, but can be fixed with third-party patches otherwise.

General information Community Discussions Support Page


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

Version differences

The version fixes compatibility issues of the original 2003 release running under 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.
Official 2.0 patch & sound fix included and automatically applied.
Easy resolution and graphics setup.
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.
Anti-aliasing (FXAA/SMAA) included.

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.

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 available for the release. Set the Display Mode to your display's native resolution and Presentation to Windowed via the DirectX Configuration tool. Use SRWE for the original retail release.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Only available for the release. Only application defaults, 16 samples, or Disabled in the DirectX Configuration tool. Force in the GPU Control Panel for the original retail release.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Only available for the release. Can be set to application defaults, 2x-8x MSAA, or Disabled in the DirectX Configuration tool. Use MGS2 V's Fix for the original retail release.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Only available for the release with its DirectX Configuration tool. For the original retail release force it through the GPU control panel.
60 FPS
FMV cutscenes are capped at 30 FPS.
In-game cutscenes fluctuate between 30 and 60 FPS for cinematic purposes.
120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 60 FPS.
High dynamic range display (HDR)

Widescreen resolution

Use MGS2 V's Fix
Widescreen Fix

For original retail release:

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

For version:

  1. Download, extract it and rename it to winmm.dll and place it inside the "bin" folder.
  2. Create a folder named "scripts" inside the "bin" folder located in the installation folder.
  3. Extract all the files from "mgs2.7z" except d3d8.dll to this newly created "scripts" folder and rename mgs2w.dll to mgs2w.asi.
  4. Modify mgs2w.ini to select the resolution among otherfixes.


Supported exe size: 6,733,892 bytes.


While playing the Right Click button is used to shoot any weapons, choke, drag, throw or drop enemies around.

Controller support

Use MGS2 V's Fix[citation needed]
"Modern" controller layout for Xbox 360/One Controller[3]
  1. If you haven't done it already, install the official patch and the PCGamingWiki Patch from above.
  2. Download the zip archive from here and open/unzip.
  3. Extract all the contents into the installation folder. Overwrite existing files.
  4. Go to <path-to-game>\bin and make sure that padbtn.ini and padbtns.ini are set to Read Only!
  5. Launch MGS2SConfig.exe and go to OPTIONKEY Config and bind R2 to the END key on your keyboard. Hit OK and Exit the launcher.
  6. Connect your controller.
  7. Go to <path-to-game>\xpadder and launch Xpadder.exe.
  8. Select your 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 launch the game.
  12. Enjoy!

The controls are the following

  • Left Stick - Move
  • Right Stick - Move camera (Third person) / Look around (First person)
  • Start - Menu/Pause
  • Select - Codec
  • A = Crouch / Prone / Roll Button / Accept (Menu) / Get Off Ledge
  • B = Attack / Knock / Back (Menu) / Get Off Ledge
  • X = Choke (Tap while Standing) / Throw (Tap while Moving) / Drag Bodies (Hold) / Shoot (Tap Once to Shoot, Hold to Aim, Release to Shoot)
  • Y = Action Button (Open Doors, Climb Over/Climb Back Up, Interact)
  • L1 = Left Gadget / Equipment Menu (Hold)
  • R1 = Quick Equip/Unequip Weapon (Tap) / Right Weapon Menu (Hold)
  • L2 = First Person View (Hold)
  • R2 = Choke (Tap while Standing) / Throw (Tap while Moving) / Drag Bodies (Hold) / Shoot (Tap 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 game's controller support, and 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
The PC versions were based on versions that used the English dub, even in Japan.[4]
Unofficial translation by «7 Wolf» and translation by «8-bit»

Issues fixed

Green screen on the projector in Tanker Chapter

Fixed in the release.
Install MGS2 V's Fix[5]

Black screen at startup

Download the PCGamingWiki Patch.
Sound Device Playback to 44,100 Hz[citation needed]
  1. Push Win+R, then type mmsys.cpl.
  2. Find the Default playback device, marked by a green icon, and Double Click on it.
  3. Select the Advanced tab, then under the Default Format header, click on the drop down menu.
  4. Set the playback frequency to 44,100 Hz, either 16bit or 24bit, then hit OK.

Broken graphics on GeForce/Radeon GPUs

Download the PCGamingWiki Patch.

Missing textures

Download the PCGamingWiki Patch.
Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\bin and launch MGS2SConfig.exe.
  2. Under Drawing, find Model Quality then set it to the second value.

Missing shadows and other textures on laptop with dual graphics

Sometimes there is an issue with missing shadows, for example when Snake sees enemies' shadows and Raven's shadow. There's also an issue with missing textures such as ugly water on a laptop with dual graphics, even if you already applied PCGamingWiki Patch.
Hex edit exe file[citation needed]
  1. Download and apply the PCGamingWiki Patch. But DO NOT copy mgs2.exe and mgs2_sse.exe from the Patch folder to <path-to-game>\bin.
  2. Open mgs2.exe and mgs2_sse.exe with a hex editor such as HxD.
  3. Search for text-string geforce. There should be a text-string RADEON to the left of it.
  4. Replace RADEON with Intel(.


Compatible with Nemesis2000 widescreen fix.

Game freezes on intro video

Blacklist game in LAV Filters[citation needed]
  1. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\LAV\Splitter.
  2. Create a new key named Blacklist and select it.
  3. Create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value named mgs2_sse.exe and select it.
  4. 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 your windows langauge[citation needed]
  1. Select Start > Settings > Time & Language > Language.
  2. Choose a language from the Windows display language menu, or, under Preferred languages, select Add a language to install the one you want if it isn't listed.


The game will reset the captions to your windows language independently of your in-game choice, changing the Windows system language, fixes this.

Other information


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

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 - last accessed on 2021-11-20
    "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
  3. MGS2: Substance PC xbox 360 controller for windows fix
  5. Green screen on the projector in Tanker Chapter · Issue #26 · VFansss/mgs2-v-s-fix