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Shift 2 Unleashed

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Shift 2 Unleashed
Shift 2 Unleashed cover
Slightly Mad Studios
Electronic Arts
Madness Engine
Release dates
Windows March 29, 2011
Metacritic 84
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
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 racing game developed by Slightly Mad Studios and published by Electronic Arts. It is the seventeenth entry in the Need for Speed series and the second entry in the Need for Speed: Shift duology.

Just like the first game, Shift 2 focuses on on closed-circuit racing and have realistic car handling model. The game also added in-helmet camera, night-time racing, and the Autolog feature.

It was released in North America on March 29, 2011, followed by Europe on March 31, 2011.

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
Games for Windows Marketplace (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
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
This game is no longer available digitally.
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

Skip intro videos

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

General settings.
General settings.

Configuration file(s) location

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

Save game data location

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


Control settings
Control settings
Advanced Control settings
Advanced Control settings

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
The default mapped controls will be used for Drag and Standing Mile mode and will not use the user-mapped controls.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Option in "Advanced Control" Settings.
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
Xbox button prompts
Use the 360 controller prompts mod.
Impulse Trigger vibration
Use X1nput[2]
PlayStation controllers
Generic/other controllers
Racing wheels are supported.
Button prompts
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M


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
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Choice between metric and imperial measurements
Simplified Chinese
Translation by 3DM team
Traditional Chinese
Originally planned, but this language don't added in-game.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
Local play
LAN play
Online play
Game servers were shut down on August 31, 2021.[3]

VR support

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

Issues unresolved

Intermittent flickering in cockpit view on Nvidia Maxwell GPUs

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.[4][5]

Force feedback issues

Tyre grip is missing.

Issues fixed

A poster on NoGripRacing details numerous fixes for a number of problems here, and is used as a source for some of the fixes below.

Crash to desktop when loading a race

Install NVIDIA PhysX
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\install\PhysX\
  2. Run the PhysX_SystemSoftware.exe installer
  3. Restart the computer.

Settings do not save

To save settings, use the Shift key. However, there seems to be a bug in the game that reverts changed values to their old values.

Low graphics quality

Force anisotropic filtering to 16x through the graphics card's driver.

Cars feel like "floating"

This is mostly caused by the default settings being very loose. See this thread for how to tweak them for more responsive handling.

Steering input lag

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 re-selecting the "Custom" controller scheme in game.[6]

This should work with the custom wheel file as well. Disable 'Allow Game To Adjust Settings' in the Logitech Profiler.

Low frame-rates in Origin version

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

Anti-aliasing not working

Anti-aliasing in the game is software-based, and makes the 'classic' anti-aliasing not work. With ATI cards, the Morphological Filtering can be enabled in the driver, but at the cost of a significant performance drop.

Other information


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


Middleware Notes
Physics PhysX
Audio FMOD API v4.32 (The soundbanks where the music stored was encrypted, while the sound effects one isn't.)
Cutscenes Bink Video

System requirements

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 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data: