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
Monetization Sponsored
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: 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 first-person and third-person racing game in the Need for Speed: Most Wanted series.


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).
The PC version does not include graphic enhancement of the Xbox 360 version mainly world details, textures, reflections and HD videos due to hardware differences, only daytime cycle and higher car model were remained.[3]
This game is not available digitally.
A faithful higher resolution desktop icon can be found on the community site.
A playable demo is available. (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:[4]
  • '67 Camaro SS and BMW M3 GTR
  • Specially tuned rides
  • Three exclusive races
  • Black Edition challenge
  • Bonus DVD


Type Notes
Sponsored Game is sponsored by multiple real life brands

Essential improvements[edit]


Patch 1.3 is the last patch for the game. Resolves a number of issues and is strongly recommended.[5]

NFSMW: Upscaled HUD[edit]

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 you plan on using Xbox 360 stuff pack, make sure you install this mod first, and the Xbox 360 pack second.

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.
HD Content Support required to work correctly.

Original Music in 44.1 kHz[edit]

Replaces the in-game 36 kHz music with its 44.1 kHz counterparts.[citation needed]
Google cache with links on site's heavy loads

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 the game is not in 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.

Controller support improvements (NFS XtendedInput)[edit]

Improves gamepad support by implementing native XInput support into the game
Reimplements console-like controls with replacing zoom in/out function to its Xbox 360 counterpart
Xbox and PlayStation prompts are both supported
No force feedback feature yet.
Rebinding can be made only through .ini file. It's disabled in game menu, as for now it crashes the game.
Controls are reset to default.

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 the player extra in-game cash[6]


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.
Use ThirteenAG's fix and NFSMW HUD Adapter.
Use ThirteenAG's fix and NFSMW HUD Adapter.
4K Ultra HD
Use ThirteenAG's fix.
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)
May cause sun flare to be disabled when enabled.
60 FPS
40 FPS cap in multiplayer.
120+ FPS
Higher frame rate is difficult to achieve on modern systems. Installing ThirteenAG's fix comes with a 60 FPS limit, which can be changed in d3d9.ini.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Set custom FOV with NFS-VltEd[7]
  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 to modify (bumper, close, etc.)
  6. On the right side, expand FOV and change the value beside [0] to the desired FOV.
    • For the hood camera, the value might have to be changed for each car individually.
  7. Click on File → Save to apply the changes.
Set custom FOV with RockportEd[7]
  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[7]
  1. Download ThirteenAG's fix.
  2. Extract scripts\ and dinput8.dll to the installation folder.
  3. Create wndmode.ini inside the root folder of the game installation.
  4. For bordered window change the line Border=0 to Border=1 (or add it if the game has not been launched yet after creating the file) in wndmode.ini.

Motion blur[edit]

Disable motion blur manually[7]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Change the value of g_MotionBlurEnable from 1 to 0.


Input settings
Input settings

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Use ThirteenAG's fix to adjust deadzone
Full controller support
Use NFS XtendedInput.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
Use NFS XtendedInput.
Xbox button prompts
Use NFS XtendedInput.
Set ControllerIconMode = 0 in NFS_XtendedInput.ini
Impulse Trigger vibration
DualShock 4 controllers
Use NFS XtendedInput.
DualShock button prompts
Use NFS XtendedInput.
Set ControllerIconMode = 1 in NFS_XtendedInput.ini
Light bar support
Connection modes unknown
Generic/other controllers
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Use NFS XtendedInput.
Haptic feedback
DirectInput only. For XInput controllers use this hack.
Keep in mind that the implementation of force feedback in PC version was made with steering wheel in mind and differs from console versions, not in the best way.
Simultaneous controller+KB/M


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
By default, the 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
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
Traditional Chinese
Japanese release.
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[edit]

Registry edit to change game language
  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

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


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.[8] Fan-maintained online client available here

VR support[edit]

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

Issues unresolved[edit]

Game crashes when executed in Asian languages in Windows 10[edit]

Chinese (Traditional), Japanese, Korean and Thai are not working in Windows 10 and there's no fix except to change the language to one other than these.

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[11]

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.[citation needed]
Enabling V-Sync in the game options might help too.

Missing sun flare[edit]

Turn off Vsync.[citation needed]

Can't join Multiplayer room resulting in crash[edit]

Run the game as administrator.[citation needed]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Shader Model support 2.0 [12]
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


No middleware information; you can edit this page to add it.

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.


Extra Options[edit]

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.

Unlimiter with Extra Customization[edit]

Script mod which fixes some issues and makes some improvements for added cars(if you're planning on adding any).
Not compatible with ModLoader

The smol fix[edit]

Includes various small fixes
Not compatible with ModLoader

Leftover Brakes Fix[edit]

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

Xbox 360 stuff pack[edit]

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.
Not compatible with ModLoader.
If you want to use this with upscaled HUD, make sure you install the HUD before this mod.

Front-End Shadows[edit]

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

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.

Recompiled Vinyls[edit]

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[edit]

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

World Controller[edit]

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

Beta Content Mod[edit]

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

Most Wanted HQ Mod[edit]

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

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] 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. 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).