Need for Speed: Most Wanted

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

For the 2012 game, see Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012).

Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Need for Speed: Most Wanted cover
EA Black Box
Electronic Arts
Release dates
Windows November 15, 2005
Metacritic 82
Genres Racing
Vehicles Street racing
Series Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Need for Speed: Most Wanted on HowLongToBeat
Need for Speed: Most Wanted on IGDB
Need for Speed: Most Wanted guide on StrategyWiki
Need for Speed: Most Wanted on MobyGames
Need for Speed: Most Wanted on Wikipedia
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Subseries of Need for Speed
Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2005
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) 2012


SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see Availability for affected versions).


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc v4 DRM[Note 1]
SafeDisc retail DRM no longer functions properly on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
This game is not available digitally.
A faithful higher resolution desktop icon can be found on the community site.
Demo (its speed.exe can be used in retail 1.2 version of the game; may be incompatible with widescreen mod).

Version differences[edit]

Black Edition content includes:[3]
  • '67 Camaro SS and BMW M3 GTR
  • Specially tuned rides
  • Three exclusive races
  • Black Edition challenge
  • Bonus DVD

Essential improvements[edit]


Patch 1.3 is the last patch for the game. Resolves a number of issues and is strongly recommended.[4]

NFSMW HD Reflections[edit]

Scales the resolution of road, vehicle, and rear view mirror reflections.
Adds traffic lights, car shadows, shader and particle effects to the rearview mirror.
Restores geometry such as front-end reflections and world detail.

Skip intro videos[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\MOVIES\
  2. Delete or rename attract_movie_english_ntsc.vp6, ealogo_english_ntsc.vp6, and psa_english_ntsc.vp6.


If your game is not in English, delete/rename the files corresponding to your language instead, and if you have the PAL version, the file names will have PAL instead of NTSC at the end.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\EA Games\Need for Speed Most Wanted\[Note 2]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\NFS Most Wanted\<user-id>\
Need for Speed: Underground 2 savegame grants you extra in-game cash[5]

Video settings[edit]

General video settings
General video settings
Advanced video settings
Advanced video settings
Advanced video settings
Advanced video settings
ThirteenAG's fix requires the latest patch. See Patches.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Use ThirteenAG's fix and NFSMW HUD Adapter.
Use ThirteenAG's fix and NFSMW HUD Adapter.
Use ThirteenAG's fix and NFSMW HUD Adapter.
4K Ultra HD
Use ThirteenAG's fix and NFSMW HUD Adapter.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
See Windowed.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See Windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Limited support.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
40 FPS cap in multiplayer.
120+ FPS
Higher frame rate is difficult to achieve on modern systems and can cause weird camera behavior. Installing ThirteenAG's fix comes with a 60 FPS limit, which can be changed in d3d9.ini.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Set custom FOV with NFS-VltEd[6]
  1. Download NFS-VltEd.
  2. Extract the contents and open the application.
  3. Click on File → Open and select the installation folder.
  4. On the left side, expand camerainfo and default.
  5. Select the camera you want to modify (bumper, close, etc.)
  6. On the right side, expand FOV and change the value beside [0] to the FOV you want.
    • For the hood camera, you may have to change the value for each car individually.
  7. Click on File → Save to apply the changes.
Set custom FOV with RockportEd[6]
  1. Download Ultimate ASI Loader and extract it to the installation folder.
  2. Download RockportEd and extract it to scripts\ in the installation folder (create if it doesn't exist).
  3. Start the game and press Insert to show/hide RockportEd.
  4. Select the Camera Editor and adjust the FOV slider.
  5. Click on Save Preset to apply the changes.


Other options such as camera height and vertical angle can also be adjusted.


Set windowed mode[6]
  1. Download ThirteenAG's fix.
  2. Extract scripts\ and dinput8.dll to the installation folder.
  3. Create wndmode.ini inside the root folder of your game installation.
  4. For bordered window change the line Border=0 to Border=1 (or add it if you haven't launched the game after creating the file) in wndmode.ini.

Motion blur[edit]

Disable motion blur manually[6]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Change the value of g_MotionBlurEnable from 1 to 0.

Input settings[edit]

Input settings
Input settings

Audio settings[edit]

Audio settings
Audio settings

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Mono and Stereo only. HRTF stereo virtualization with DSOAL.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
By default, game plays sound in 22.05 kHz. To change into high quality 44.1 kHz, set level of details to 2 or max (sometimes to level 3), and restart the game.[citation needed]

Natural stereo virtualization[edit]

  1. Download DSOAL from here.
  2. Drop dsoal.dll, alsoft.ini and dsoal-aldrv.dll near the game's executable (<path-to-game>)
If you already copied HRTFs to %APPDATA%\OpenAL\ before, the game will use it. To disable it change line in alsoft.ini: hrtf=false
You may want to check out preconfigured DSOAL to use especially for this game with some tweaks here


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Traditional Chinese
Available here.
Fan translation, download.

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
4 Use Nucleus-Coop Unofficial mod.
LAN play
4 All players needs to set the game to same language as hoster to find the LAN server.
Online play
4 Online play was retired on August 2011 [8]

Issues fixed[edit]

TweakGuides has created a comprehensive guide for fixing issues in this game.

Poor frame rate and crashes[edit]

Install DirectPlay
Windows 8/8.1/10 removes important DirectX components, causing game to run poorly, and possibly lead to multiple crashes. These components can be brought back by installing DirectPlay. More about DirectPlay here.
  1. Go to Control Panel, and select 'Programs'.
  2. Select 'Turn Windows features on and off'
  3. Click on 'Legacy Components' and check the box 'DirectPlay'.
  4. Select OK, once the installation is done, restart your computer.
It is recommended to reinstall the game after installing DirectPlay.

Can't install both NFS Underground and NFS Most Wanted (2005) on the same PC[edit]

This problem occurs because both games use the same name for their main executables (speed.exe). After installing one game and attempting to install the other, its autorun program assumes it's already been installed.
Workaround[citation needed]
  1. Install the first game. It doesn't matter whether it's Underground or Most Wanted.
  2. Go to the installation folder.
  3. Change the name of speed.exe to anything else.
  4. Install the other game.
  5. Restore the original name of the first game's speed.exe.

Controller deadzone issues[edit]

Fix left stick deadzone[9]
  1. Install ThirteenAG's fix.
  2. Deadzone can be adjusted in NFSMostWanted.WidescreenFix.ini.

Stability issues[edit]

Install MWFixes[10]
Fixes and improves the game's stability.

Can't set shadows on Intel GPU[edit]

On a PC with Intel GPU (or with Nvidia Optimus technology), the Shadow detail option is inactive.
Install ThirteenAG's fix[citation needed]

Menu lag on multi core systems[edit]

Change CPU Affinity[citation needed]
  1. Open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Look for nfs.exe process.
  3. Right-click it, then click Set Affinity.
  4. Leave a checkbox on 1 with the other unchecked.
  5. Click OK.

Game settings keep resetting[edit]

Run the game in compatibility mode[citation needed]

Set options: "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" and "Run program as an administrator".

Microstutter on modern machines[edit]

Limit FPS to 64.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Shader Model support 2.0 [11]
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes

Disable AI catch-up (rubber band effect)[edit]

Use NFSMWExOpts[citation needed]
  1. Download NFSMW Extra Options.
  2. Extract scripts\ and dinput8.dll to the installation folder.
  3. Open NFSMWExtraOptionsSettings.ini.
  4. Change NoCatchUp = 0 to NoCatchUp = 1.


NFS Most Wanted REDUX[edit]

Total conversion Mod that contain the best community creations.

NFSMW Extra Options[edit]

Script mod which improves your gaming experience in many ways.

High Quality Vinyls[edit]

A port of the high quality vinyls from the Xbox 360 version to PC.

Modern Rockport[edit]

Improves texture quality and removes the orange filter.
Comparisons between various texture mods can be found here

Alex.Ka 4K Textures[edit]

4K quality texture pack.

Most Wanted Eternal[edit]

Improves the world textures, lighting, skyboxes, etc.

HD - Ideal Graphics[edit]

Aims to improve the visuals without ruining the original feel of the game.
Archived download link

NFSMW Reshaded[edit]

Graphics enhancement mod.

NFSMW World Controller[edit]

Can be used to change the camera, time speed, and HUD visibility.

NFS Music Player[edit]

This is a custom music player replacement and a BASS library interface for NFS.

Xbox Rain Droplets[edit]

Basic implementation of Xbox rain droplets from SkyGFX for other games.

X360 stuff[edit]

Restores Xbox 360 graphics effects.

NFSMW Remastered UI[edit]

HD UI without requiring TexMod, re-scaled most of the icons and other things.

NFSMW: Upscaled HUD[edit]

UHUD is a recreating of NFSMW 2005's UI from scratch using mostly vector materials, with original texture proportions to help keep the same look.

Upscaled Minimap Textures[edit]

Upscaled map in menus (not in game map on HUD).

Fiery Cop Explosion Mod[edit]

Restores the effects resembling presented in PS2 demo cinematic/trailer.

Original Music in 44.1 kHz[edit]

Replaces the in-game 36kHz music with its 44.1 kHz counterparts.[12][citation needed]

Desert mod[edit]

Adds a desert look to the game.

Most Wanted HQ Repack[edit]

Balanced compilation of lore-friendly community mods and patches.

MW - XBOX 360 Cutscenes to PC (PAL & NTSC)[edit]

Converted HD Xbox 360 movies to .vp6 to work with the PC port.
English FMVs only. HD Spanish FMVs also available.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 2000
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 1.4 GHz
System memory (RAM) 256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 2000 MX or GTS Series
ATI Radeon 7500
Intel 950/i915g
S3 GammaChrome S18 Pro
32 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0 compatible
Sound (audio device) DirectX 9.0c compatible
Controller Keyboard and Mouse


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[2]
  2. When running this game without Administrator elevation, 32-bit programs writing to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE will be redirected to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node (more details).