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Need for Speed: Shift

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Need for Speed: Shift
Need for Speed: Shift cover
Slightly Mad Studios
Electronic Arts
Madness Engine
Release dates
Windows September 15, 2009
Metacritic 83
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person, Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Racing
Vehicles Automobile, Track racing
Art styles Realistic
Themes Contemporary
Series Need for Speed: Shift, Need for Speed
Need for Speed: Shift on HowLongToBeat
Need for Speed: Shift on IGDB
Need for Speed: Shift guide on StrategyWiki
Need for Speed: Shift on MobyGames
Need for Speed: Shift on Wikipedia
Need for Speed: Shift
Subseries of Need for Speed
Need for Speed: Shift 2009
Shift 2 Unleashed 2011

Need for Speed: Shift is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person and third-person racing game in the Need for Speed: Shift and Need for Speed series.

General information

Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
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Games for Windows Marketplace (unavailable)
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Origin (unavailable)
Requires online activation
Can only be used x times
SecuROM PA DRM, unknown machine limit. A De-Authorization Tool is available.
Steam (unavailable)
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This game is no longer available digitally.
Steam's Origin key is stored in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Electronic Arts\Electronic Arts\Need for Speed Shift\ergc
A free demo version is available from Patches-Scrolls


No DLCs were made available for the PC version. DLC content for the console versions can still be accessed by modding the game; see How to get DLC cars and tracks.

Essential improvements


Community overhaul

Requires patch 1.0.2.
Users of NoGripRacing forums, made a community patch that fixes many of the bugs left in the game and improves driving experience. Remember to follow carefully the installation guide of Overhaul Mod.

Skip intro videos

Delete/rename video files[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Movies.
  2. Delete or rename Attract.bik and Franchise_Ident.bik.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\NFS SHIFT\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/24870/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\NFS SHIFT\<user-id>
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/24870/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.
Steam Cloud


Graphics settings
Graphics settings


Controls settings
Controls settings
Adjust control settings
Adjust control settings


Audio settings
Audio settings

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
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
12 Added in a patch (see Patches).[3]
Online play
12 Formerly only 8 players could participate, but recent patches raised the number of players to 12.
Shut down on August 31, 2021.[4]

VR support

3D modes State Notes
User created game profile, see vorpx forum profile introduction.

Issues fixed

Microstuttering on Windows 8

NFS Shift might experience fps stuttering when running on Windows 8.[citation needed]
Windows compatibility mode[citation needed]

Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows Vista (SP2).

Insanely slow loading on Windows 10

NFS Shift can experience extremely slow loadings when running on Windows 10.[citation needed]
Windows compatibility mode[citation needed]

Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows Vista (SP2). Right click on icon and click on "troubleshoot compatibility".

The game always restarts with default graphics settings

Reduce the refresh rate

Don't set the refresh rate to 144Hz or higher in the game options. 120Hz does not work either under certain conditions.[5]

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
Shader Model support 3.0
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Physics Nvidia PhysX
Audio FMOD API v4.28
Cutscenes Bink Video 1.9n


How to get DLC cars and tracks

Install the DLC files[6]
  1. Install the NFS Shift 1.02 patch for your region.
  2. Unpack the game with Shift unpacker.
  3. Copy JSGME to the installation folder. Run the executable and allow it to create the MODS folder.
  4. Download the DLC files (cars and tracks) and extract them in the MODS folder.
  5. Run JSGME again and click the right arrow button to install the DLC files.
  6. Add -loose to the NFS Shift shortcut/launch options.
If you have the old 'game_unpacker.bat' script, use the new 'shift_unpacker.bat' script. This new script will fix the issue with the invisible Team Racing Pack vehicles.

UI Gamepad Icons

Add Missing Gamepad Icons for UI
  1. Download Gamepad Icons.
  2. Unpack "Gamepad"
  3. Open the preferred button icons folder (PlayStation or XBox)
  4. Replace "Global.bff" in ../Need for Speed Shift/UI/Textures with the "Global.bff" from the unpacked zip.
  5. Launch the game. It should immediately be working in the main menu.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP SP3
Processor (CPU) Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6 GHz
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
1.5 GB (Vista, 7)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 6 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 7800 GT
ATI Radeon X1800 XT
256 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 3.0 support


  1. 1.0 1.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/24870/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (24870) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.