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Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

For the 2005 game, see Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Need for Speed: Most Wanted cover
Criterion Games
Electronic Arts
Release dates
Windows October 30, 2012
Metacritic 78
Monetization One-time game purchase, DLC, Subscription gaming service
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, North America
Series Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Need for Speed
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) on HowLongToBeat
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) on IGDB
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) guide on StrategyWiki
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) on MobyGames
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) 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

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)[Note 1] is a singleplayer and multiplayer racing game developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts. It is the nineteenth entry in the Need for Speed series.

A throwback to the original Most Wanted, the game features a open world where players can drive around freely, while can be chased by cops during free roam and race. The game doesn't feature a story mode.

It was released in North American on October 30, 2012, followed by Europe and Japan in November 2, 2012 and November 15, 2012 respectively. The Windows version is missing contents from the Wii U version of the game.

General information

Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Epic Games Store
DRM details are not known
Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store
Included exclusively with Xbox Game Pass for PC as part of its version of EA Play.
Included with EA Play.
Manual link for EA App purchase.
Icon overlay.png
Included with EA Play (Steam).
Windows (unavailable)
All versions require Origin DRM.

Version differences

Limited Edition content includes:
  • 4 hours of Double Speed Points in Multiplayer
  • Satin Black livery and Early access to the Porsche 911 Carrera S and Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale in Multiplayer[1]


Type Notes
DLC The DLC include new cars.
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.
Subscription gaming service Available via EA Play.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Complete DLC Bundle Includes Terminal Velocity, Movie Legends, NFS Heroes and Ultimate Speed
Deluxe DLC Bundle Includes Terminal Velocity, Movie Legends and NFS Heroes
Movie Legends Pack
NFS Heroes Pack
Terminal Velocity Pack
Ultimate Speed Pack
Premium Modification Unlock Includes Mod Unlock 1, Mod Unlock 2 and Mod Unlock 3
Mod Unlock 1
Mod Unlock 2
Mod Unlock 3
Multiplayer Booster Pack Includes all satin black liveries originally only attainable by pre-ordering
Time Saver Pack

Essential improvements

NFSMW (2012) HD Effects

Increases quality of reflections, shadows, draw distance, and other various effects.
Re-enables Cinematic Mode, a setting which improves the level of detail and quality of various effects.
Fixes a bug regarding vegetation not rendering until the resolution was changed.
Adds a toggle for drawing HUD and screen dirt.

NFSMW (2012) Realistic Plugin v4.02 by Racer_S

Option to disable crash camera
Camera Control mod is integrated (adjustable FOV and camera position)
Adjustable force-feedback and raw input option

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Criterion Games\Need For Speed(TM) Most Wanted\
Microsoft Store
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/1262560/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Criterion Games\Need For Speed(TM) Most Wanted\Save\
Microsoft Store
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/1262560/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Epic Games Launcher
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.
Steam Cloud
Handled through the cloud sync of Origin.
Xbox Cloud
Speed Points and Level progressions are stored on game's server. Synced between multiple platforms and cannot be reset.
Custom avatar is stored on game's server. Cannot be changed anymore since Autolog online service has been shutdown.


Display settings.
Display settings.
Graphics settings.
Graphics settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Can be adjusted via Racer_S realistic plugin
Toggle with Alt+ Enter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
SSAA 2x and 4x
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See Vertical sync (Vsync).
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 60 FPS.[2]
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Vertical sync (Vsync)

Instructions to disable[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open config.NFS13Save with a text editor.
  3. Find the following line, and set it to this value.

Run the game at screen refresh rate

The game enforces a 60 Hz refresh rate. This results in huge tearing artifacts when V-Sync is disabled and huge input lag when V-Sync is enabled.
For monitors that support more than 60 Hz, the following might help[citation needed]
  1. Download Special K.
  2. Copy SpecialK32.dll into the game folder.
  3. Rename SpecialK32.dll to dxgi.dll.
  4. Start the game and exit.
  5. Open dxgi.ini in the game folder.
  6. Change RefreshRate=-1.0 to RefreshRate=0.0 under [Render.FrameRate].
It is recommended to also disable V-Sync otherwise, stuttering might occur.

Framedrop issue

Mostly happening when smoke effect is on the screen.
Disable Ambient Occlusion effect.[citation needed]


General settings.
General settings.
Prompt given if using unknown DirectInput controller without button binding.
Prompt given if using unknown DirectInput controller without button binding.

Xbox Series X|S controllers

The game will claim that the controller has not been set up if it is connected via Bluetooth, even though the car will control just fine behind the dialog box.
Connect the controller via USB

Input lag issue

Reduce the input lag
  1. Disable V-Sync
  2. Set low latency mode to Ultra in graphics control panels.
  3. Racer_S realistic plugin makes input more responsive (also adds new cameras and some other options).


Audio settings.
Audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music and effects.
Surround sound
5.1 and 7.1 supported.
Setting located in Gameplay settings.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Does not pause the game.
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Traditional Chinese
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
LAN play
Online play

VR support

3D modes State Notes
Native 3D
Use the Racer_S realistic plugin.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 10, 11
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Photo Mode

Restores disabled photo mode.
Requires connection to Autolog, otherwise you won't be able to enter photo mode.
Attempting to take a photo either disconnects you from Autolog or crashes the game.

Beta cars

Three cars have been removed during development, but thanks to these mods they can be restored.
The cars are the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the Hummer H1 Alpha, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
They are not accessible by the EasyDrive menu or jack spot. A vehicle spawner is needed.

Porsche 911 GT2 Cut Bodykit

Restores a cut body kit for the Porsche 911 GT2.

Single Races for Hidden Cars

Allows use of the two multiplayer-exclusive cars, the Ford Focus ST and the Slim Jim-promotion-based Dodge Charger SRT, in single-player, adding two jack spots and eight events for each car.
Also adds eight single-player events for each of the three beta cars.
Mod does not add jack spots for the beta cars, but a vehicle spawner mod is included in an "Extras" folder.
Mod may cause the game to crash at random when driving the beta cars.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Vista SP2
Processor (CPU) 2.0 GHz Dual Core
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 20 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
ATI Radeon HD 3870
512 MB of VRAM
DirectX 10 compatible
Sound (audio device) DirectX compatible


  1. Also known as Need for Speed: Most Wanted – A Criterion Game.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data: