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Need for Speed: Most Wanted

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the original game. 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
Monetization One-time game purchase, Cross-game bonus
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person, Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Racing
Vehicles Automobile, Street racing
Art styles Realistic
Themes Contemporary
Series Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Need for Speed
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 does not work on Windows Vista and later (see Availability for affected versions).

Need for Speed: Most Wanted is a singleplayer and multiplayer racing game developed by EA Black Box and published by Electronic Arts. It is the nineth entry in the Need for Speed series.

Most Wanted features an open world where players can drive freely around the city. The ability to allows players to be chased by the cops as a racer, which was absent in the Underground duology, made a return. The game's story mode focus on an unnamed racer as he participates in the illegal street racing scene in the fictional city of Rockport. The story continues in Need for Speed: Carbon.

It was released in North America on November 15, 2005, in Europe on November 25, 2005 and in Japan on December 22, 2005.


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 does not work 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. An alternate icon by Xerlientt can be found on SteamGridDB
A playable demo is available.
The original SafeDisc DRM was accompanied by custom DRM code which could the game was removing button Resume Career in Career main menu.

Version differences

Black Edition-exclusive content includes: two exclusive vehicles ('67 Camaro SS and BMW M3 GTR), eight custom cars (Toyota Supra, Lotus Elise, Porsche 911 GT2, Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG, Corvette C6, Mercedes-Benz SL 500, Porsche 911 Carrera S, and Corvette C6.R.), Black Edition pursuit challenge (features waves of supercharged SUV cops and the most aggressive police tactics), three exclusive races, dozens of unlocked Black Edition-only vinyls designs and a bonus DVD (celebration video of ten years Need for Speed, includes behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the game's cinematics.)[3]


Type Notes
Cross-game bonus Having a savefile from Need for Speed Underground 2 on the PC, will add an additional $10,000 to new games in Most Wanted.
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.


Type Notes
No microtransactions No microtransactions are available in this game.

Essential improvements


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

Skip intro videos

Use NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix[5]
  1. Install NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix.
  2. Set SkipIntro setting to 1 in <path-to-game>\scripts\NFSMostWanted.WidescreenFix.ini.
Delete or rename intro video files[6]
  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 the game language is not set to English, delete/rename the files corresponding to the language used instead, and in the PAL version, the file names will have PAL instead of NTSC at the end.

NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix

Requires the 1.3 patch.
Fixes several issues and adds proper support for widescreen resolutions, gamepads, increased audio quality, increased shadow resolution and much more.[7]
Use NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix[8]
  1. Download NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix.
  2. Extract the contents to <path-to-game>
  3. See NFSMostWanted.WidescreenFix.ini for all configurable options the mod has to offer.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

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

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\NFS Most Wanted\<user-id>\
Need for Speed: Underground 2 save game grants the player extra 10,000 in-game cash.[9]


General video settings
General video settings
Advanced video settings
Advanced video settings
Advanced video settings
Advanced video settings

Field of view (FOV)

Set custom FOV with RockportEd[12]
  1. Download Ultimate ASI Loader and extract it to <path-to-game>.
  2. Download RockportEd and extract it to scripts\ folder (create if it doesn't exist) in <path-to-game>.
  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[13]
  1. Install NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\scripts\NFSMostWanted.WidescreenFix.ini.
  3. Set WindowedMode function to desired setting. 1 activates borderless windowed mode, 2 enables borders, 3 enables window resizing.

Motion blur

Change motion blur with NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix[14]
  1. Install NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\scripts\NFSMostWanted.WidescreenFix.ini and set DisableMotionBlur to 1.
Disable motion blur manually[12]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Change the value of g_MotionBlurEnable from 1 to 0.


Input settings
Input settings

NFS XtendedInput

Improves gamepad support with support for both Xbox and PlayStation prompts, implements console-like controls and replaces zoom in/out function to its Xbox 360 counterpart.
No force feedback feature yet. Button rebinding can only be through NFS_XtendedInput.ini file as the Controls settings menu is disabled due to crashing the game in combination with this mod.[16]
This mod will reset controls to default.


Audio settings
Audio settings

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Mono and Stereo only. HRTF stereo virtualization with DSOAL.
Use Extra Options and set ShowSubs=1 in the .ini.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio
The main menu uses licensed music.
By default, the game might play sound in 22.05 kHz.

Force high quality audio

Install NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix[14]
ForceHighSpecAudio variable set to a value of 1 (default value) in <path-to-game>\scripts\NFSMostWanted.WidescreenFix.ini enables this fix. Forces game to use 44.1 kHz sample rate audio.

Natural stereo virtualization

Use DSOAL[citation needed]
  1. Download DSOAL.
  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
For further information check out preconfigured DSOAL to use especially for this game with some tweaks here


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Includes UK and US version.
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.
Available here. Localization with added subtitles is here (requires setting ShowSubs=1 in Extra Options). Also contains faithful to original fonts.
Fan translation, download.

Manually change game's language

Registry edit to change game language[17]
When setting this value to Chinese (Traditional), Japanese, Korean or Thai, the game crashes on boot. See Game crashes when executed in Asian languages for more information.[18]
  1. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\EA Games\Need For Speed Most Wanted\.
  2. Find the language key and double click it.
  3. Change the value to the following list below:
    • English UK
    • English US
    • Chinese (Traditional)
    • Danish
    • Dutch
    • Finnish
    • French
    • German
    • Italian
    • Japanese
    • Korean
    • Polish
    • Russian
    • Spanish
    • Swedish
    • Thai


Certain languages may not work for FMV and voices if the installed game doesn't come with it.

Japanese FMV/voice mod

This mod will allow to play the game in Japanese FMV and voices while retaining the current language version. Note that this may not compatible with languages that have native audio for the FMV and need to rename it to corresponding file name.
Japanese FMV/voice mod[citation needed]
  1. Download the Japanese FMV/voice mod.
  2. Extract it into <path-to-game>.


For certain languages of FMV that have native audio, please refer to the original file name and rename it accordingly.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
4 Use Nucleus Co-op.
LAN play
4 All players needs to set the game to same version and language as hoster, connected to the router, and run the game as admin to find the LAN server.
Online play
4 Online play was retired on August 2011.[19] Fan-maintained online client available here[citation needed]

VR support

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

Issues unresolved

Game crashes when executed in Asian languages

Chinese (Traditional), Japanese, Korean and Thai are making the game crash at boot. There's no fix except to change the language to a language different than these.[18]

Game crashes when beating Blacklist 4 and marker selection rewards using some unofficial mods.

No fix known yet.

Issues fixed

Improve performance

Higher frame rate is difficult to achieve, even on modern systems.[11]
Install NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix[20]
SimRate variable (controls refresh rate of the gameplay engine) set to a value of -1 (default value) in <path-to-game>\scripts\NFSMostWanted.WidescreenFix.ini enables this fix. Allows the game to reach higher performance in the menus and during races.[20]

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

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: rename executable of already installed game[21]
  1. Install the first game. It doesn't matter whether it's Underground or Most Wanted.
  2. Go to the installation folder of the just installed game.
  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

Fix left stick deadzone[22]
  1. Install NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix.
  2. Deadzone can be adjusted in <path-to-game>\scripts\NFSMostWanted.WidescreenFix.ini.

Crash issues

Install MWFixes[23][citation needed]
Fixes several crashes related to "Pure virtual function call" error, Attrib::StringToLowerCaseKey and more.[23]

Can't set shadows in in-game settings menu on an Intel GPU

On a PC with Intel GPU (or with Nvidia Optimus technology), the Shadow detail option is inactive.
Install NFS Most Wanted Widescreen Fix[24]

Missing sun flare

Seems to only happen on modern operating systems.[citation needed]
Turn off Vsync[25]
Limit the frame rate to 59 FPS[26]

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
Shader Model support 2.0 [27]
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Disable AI catch-up (rubber band effect)

Use NFSMWExOpts[28]
This option is marked as Experimental and thus might cause unexpected bugs or instability.[28]
  1. Download NFSMW Extra Options.
  2. Extract the contents of the archive to <path-to-game>.
  3. Open NFSMWExtraOptionsSettings.ini in a text editor.
  4. Change NoCatchUp = 0 to NoCatchUp = 1.

NFSMW: Upscaled HUD

Recreation of NFSMW 2005's UI from scratch using mostly vector materials, with original texture proportions to help keep the same look. Images are AI upscaled.
If used with the Xbox 360 stuff pack, the mod should be installed first, and the Xbox 360 pack second.

Extra Options

Includes quality of life improvements and fixes to the vanilla game to make the experience better.
Adds a lot of optional options to play around with.

HD Reflections

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.

Unlimiter with Extra Customization

Script mod which fixes some issues and makes some improvements for added cars(if you're planning on adding any).

The smol fix

Includes various small fixes.


Fixes crash when player-driven AI cop cars hit physics objects.
Properly centers the window in borderless mode and disables the Windows mouse cursor.
Fixes for most frame pacing and stuttering issues.

NFSMW Camera Hack v1.0

Custom camera views can be created and saved as presets (e.g. cockpit view)
Steering wheel doesn't turn

Leftover Brakes Fix

This mod aims to restore the custom brakes leftover from NFS Underground 2.

Xbox 360 stuff pack

Shaders, water, textures, reflections, screen filter, skybox, normal maps and more taken from or modified to look like the Xbox 360 version, where they are superior.
If using this in combination with Upscaled HUD mod, make sure to install that mod first.[citation needed]
The mod's shaders don't work with AMD graphics cards and require using a workaround, mentioned in ReadMe.txt. The mod may not look and/or perform the same.

NFSMW XenonEffects

Restores particle effects (i.e. sparks and contrails) as seen in Xbox 360 version.

Front-End Shadows

Standalone script that enables dynamic shadows in the front-end, like in the Xbox 360 version.

Recompiled Vinyls

A port of high quality 1024x vinyls from the Xbox 360 version and optionally re-adds the cut vinyls for every tunable car.

Xbox Rain Droplets

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

World Controller

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

Beta Content Mod

A mod that returns almost every cut content from NFS Most Wanted.
Has very poor mod support and is likely to be incompatible with most.
Requires new save game

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

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

Most Wanted HQ Mod

Compilation of lore-friendly mods and patches
Non-Texmod Modern Rockport texture pack integrated

System requirements

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] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[2]
  2. Applications writing to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE will be redirected to other locations based on various criterias, see the glossary page for more details.


  1. Not Loading in Windows 10; this will break thousands of - Microsoft Community - last accessed on 2017-01-16
  2. Microsoft - MS15-097: Description of the security update for the graphics component in Windows: September 8, 2015 - last accessed on 2018-02-16
  3. EA Games - Need for Speed: Most Wanted- Black Edition (retrieved) - last accessed on 2019-11-11
  4. EA - Patch 1.3 Changelog (retrieved) - last accessed on 2019-11-11
  5. [NFS] New FOV Values, Updates, and Adjustments #1027 - ThirteenAG/WidescreenFixesPack - GitHub - last accessed on 2022-12-14
  6. Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-12-04
    Indeed, renaming attract_movie_english_ntsc.vp6, ealogo_english_ntsc.vp6, and psa_english_ntsc.vp6 or removing them indeed allows the game to boot directly to the main menu without any input. Only a very short, like 1 second, loading screen might appear just before the main menu is shown.
  7. Need For Speed Most Wanted (2005) Widescreen Fix - GitHub - last accessed on 2022-12-04
  8. Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-12-04
    Tested and indeeds adds features it promised, like widescreen resolution support.
  9. Verified by User:Blackbird on 2016-10-22
  10. 10.0 10.1 Need for Speed Most Wanted (2005) Widescreen Fix - last accessed on 2022-12-05
  11. 11.0 11.1 Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-12-04
    GTX 1070 and I7 4790K: around 113 FPS in the main menu and around 85-99 FPS during a Quick race with max (advanced) settings with not other tweaks or fixes applied and Vsync disabled. Which is very low for such an old game and high-end hardware from 2015. Measured with RTSS.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Verified by User:Keith on 2017-12-19
  13. Pull request #1117: NFS:MW - implement windowed mode by xan1242 - last accessed on 2022-09-08
  14. 14.0 14.1 Verified by User:Nessy on 2022-11-24
  15. NFS XtendedInput - [TODO Rumble support in the near future] - last accessed on 2023-07-16
  16. NFS-XtendedInput - GitHub - last accessed on 2022-12-04
  17. Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-12-04
    Tested with Black Edition. Changing language register key to values in the Windows register location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\EA Games\Need For Speed Most Wanted\ to a value like Dutch or Danish indeed changed the in-game language to that language.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-12-04
    Tested with Black Edition. Changing language register key to values of Chinese (Traditional), Japanese, Korean and Thai in the Windows register location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\EA Games\Need For Speed Most Wanted\ indeed crashes the game on boot. Thus when following instructions mentioned in Manually change game's language.
  19. EA - Online Services Shutdown - last accessed on 2022-11-10
  20. 20.0 20.1 Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-12-04
    GTX 1070 and I7 4790K: from around 113 FPS in the main menu and around 85-99 FPS during a Quick race to 400+ in the main menu and around 150-160 FPS during a Quick race with max (advanced) settings with no other tweaks or fixes applied than ThirteenAG's fix and Vsync disabled. Measured with RTSS.
  21. Verified by User:Mrtnptrs on 2022-12-04
    When having either Underground or Most Wanted installed and trying to run the setup.exe of the other, will result in the setup showing the option to Play the already installed game instead of showing Install to install the second game. Renaming the executable speed.exe of the already installed game to something else and running the setup of the other game indeed fixed the problem and allowed both games to be installed.
  22. Need for Speed - Analog sticks deadzone · Issue #165 · ThirteenAG/WidescreenFixesPack - last accessed on 2017-04-05
  23. 23.0 23.1 MWFixes - NFSMods - last accessed on 2022-12-04
  24. Verified by User:Tecc on 2021-06-25
    Tested with Intel GMA 4500M.
  25. Need For Speed UndergroundSpeed Exe 2022 12 05 20 05 54 01 1 - last accessed on 2022-12-05
  26. Verified by User:Rouward on 2023-02-02
    Tested with framerate cap and Vsync enabled.
  27. xan1242 comments on Xenia lets you control the car in NFS MW05! - last accessed on 2017-05-16
  28. 28.0 28.1 NFSMWExOpts/NFSMWExtraOptionsSettings.ini - GitHub - last accessed on 2022-12-04