Shift 2 Unleashed

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Shift 2 Unleashed
Shift 2 Unleashed cover
Slightly Mad Studios
Electronic Arts
Madness Engine
Release dates
Windows March 29, 2011
Metacritic 84
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
Shift 2 Unleashed on HowLongToBeat
Shift 2 Unleashed on IGDB
Shift 2 Unleashed guide on StrategyWiki
Shift 2 Unleashed on MobyGames
Shift 2 Unleashed on Wikipedia
Need for Speed: Shift
Subseries of Need for Speed
Need for Speed: Shift 2009
Shift 2 Unleashed 2011

Shift 2 Unleashed is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person and third-person racing game in the Need for Speed: Shift series.

General information

Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Requires online activation
Can only be used x times
Gamesplanet logo.svg (unavailable)
Can only be used x times
Origin (unavailable)
Can only be used x times
Steam (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Can only be used x times
Includes free DLC pack. Redeemable on Origin as well.
Icon overlay.png
All versions require TAGES Solidshield DRM with 5 machine activation limit. Online activation through EA servers is required.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
PC DLC Pack Free download containing the Legends Pack and the Speedhunters Pack, archived by EA here. Direct link for the patch for the physical release. Direct link for the patch for non-Origin digital releases.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Skip intro videos[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Movies\
  2. Replace the original BootFlow_in.bik and BootFlow_out.bik with the ones from this mod.

Game data[edit]

General settings.
General settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED\graphicsconfig.xml
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/47920/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED\profiles\default.sav
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/47920/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

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


Graphics settings
Graphics settings


Control settings
Control settings
Advanced Control settings
Advanced Control settings


Audio settings
Audio settings

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Master, Vehicle, Sound Effects, Speech, Music and Online Player Mute available.
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Traditional Chinese


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
Local play
LAN play
Online play
Game servers were shut down on August 31, 2021

VR support[edit]

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

Issues unresolved[edit]

Intermittent flickering in cockpit view on Nvidia Maxwell GPUs[edit]

Players have reported an issue with Nvidia's Maxwell video cards where a single black frame is rendered at random moments when using cockpit view.[2][3]

Issues fixed[edit]

A poster on NoGripRacing details numerous fixes for a number of problems here.

Should it be deleted, the text of the post is as follows:


  • Low graphics quality
  • Low FPS and stutters
  • Input lag
  • Poor FFB
  • Cars feel like floating instead of driving on asphalt
  • AA not working
  • Settings (car set-up, graphics) do not stick


  • Force AF to 16x through the gfx card driver
  • Edit DampeningEnabled="1" string to "0" in vehicleset_pc_custom_pad.xml and reselect controller scheme in game (to custom pad of course). Should work with custom wheel file as well. Disbale 'Allow Game To Adjust Settings' in Logitech Profiler.
  • FFB is different for sure in Shift 2. The one thing really missing is tyre grip in the FFB.
  • This is mostly caused by the default set-ups being very loose. See this thread for how to tweak set-ups for more responsive handling.
  • Apparently AA in S2U is software-based that makes the 'classic' AA not work. With ATI cards, you can enable Morphological Filtering in the driver, this gives good AA but comes with a huge performance drop. For Nvidia cards, read this thread.
  • To save a set-up, use the Shift button. However, there seems to be a bug in the game that reverts changed values to their old values.

Steering input lag[edit]

Input lag where the car doesn't respond for a significant amount of time while steering can be resolved by changing the DampeningEnabled="1" string to "0" in vehicleset_pc_custom_pad.xml and reselecting the "Custom" controller scheme in game.[4]

Low frame-rates in Origin version[edit]

Disable Origin In-Game[citation needed]
  1. In Origin, click the "Origin" menu in the upper left, then select "Application Settings"
  2. Go to the "Origin In-Game" tab
  3. Disable the option "Enable Origin In-Game" via the radio-button

Crash to desktop when loading a race[edit]

Install NVIDIA PhysX even though you have a radeon GPU.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP SP3
Processor (CPU) Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
AMD Athlon X2 64 2.4 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 7 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8 Series
ATI Radeon HD3000 Series
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>/47920/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (47920) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.