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Saints Row 2

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Saints Row 2
Saints Row 2 cover
Developers
Volition
Windows CD Projekt Localisation Centre[1]
Linux Virtual Programming[2]
Publishers
Former THQ
Current Deep Silver
Russia Buka Entertainment
Engines
CTG[3]
Release dates
Windows January 7, 2009[4]
Linux April 14, 2016[5]
Reception
Metacritic 72
IGDB 81
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, Shooter, Open world
Vehicles Automobile, Flight, Helicopter, Naval/watercraft
Art styles Realistic
Themes Contemporary
Series Saints Row
Saints Row 2 on HowLongToBeat
Saints Row 2 on IGDB
Saints Row 2 guide on StrategyWiki
Saints Row 2 on MobyGames
Saints Row 2 on Wikipedia
Saints Row
Saints Row 2 2009
Saints Row: The Third 2011
Saints Row IV 2013
Saints Row: Gat out of Hell 2015
Saints Row: The Third Remastered 2020
Saints Row 2022

Warnings

GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).

Saints Row 2 is a singleplayer and multiplayer third-person action, shooter and open world game in the Saints Row series developed by Volition and published by THQ. The game was originally released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and later ported to PC by CD Projekt Localisation Centre, informally referred to by Volition as "CD Projekt Black" to contrast itself from CD Projekt Red.[1]

Upon release of the PC version on January 7, 2009, reviewers noted the version suffered a wide array of issues such as unplayable performance, graphical issues, subpar driving controls, and lack of mouse support in menus.[6][7]

In the first two months of release, THQ released patches focused on improving general performance and crashes, removing the original 32 FPS cap, adding 16:9 resolution support, as well as various other fixes,[8][9] though the game remained affected by critical issues that there would never be an official fix for, necessitating modders to step in. The DLC for the game were never released for PC and remains exclusive to the console versions.

The development of a free patch, handled by Volition, for the PC version was announced in October 2019. It was noted that this patch would bring performance improvements, bug fixes, improved draw distance, improved audio quality, various enhancements and all DLCs from the console version as well as restore online coop and multiplayer through Steamworks integration.[10][11] In February 2023, the patch remained unreleased, but still in development according to Volition.[12] After the closure of Volition in August 2023, the current state of the patch is unknown.

As of 2023, mods remain essential to fix multiple issues affecting the game, add new QoL features, as well as improve compatibility with modern systems. The GOG.com version has a 30 FPS frame rate cap to fix various animation and cutscene issues, though this can be removed.

General information

Saints Row Wiki
Saints Row Mods forums
GOG.com Community Discussions for game series
GOG.com Support Page
Steam Community Discussions

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Linux
GamersGate
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Linux
Gamesplanet logo.svg
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Linux
GOG.com
DRM-free
This release is somewhat more stable than Steam's.
Windows
Green Man Gaming
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Linux
Humble Store
DRM-free
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Steam
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Linux
Amazon.com (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Linux
Games for Windows Marketplace (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
[13]
Windows
The German version of the game is heavily censored and will not work with mods and tools.[14] German copies are also not available for Linux.[15]
DLC was never released for the PC version, as support was pulled early.

Essential improvements

Timing related issues

Depending on the CPU speed of your CPU, the game can run at either double or triple the intended speed.
Use Saints Row 2 Powertools[citation needed]
  1. Extract the contents into <path-to-game>
  2. Run install.cmd as administrator
  3. Edit Powertools.ini and set speed value
  • percentage = 1.0 - default value and results in no change
  • percentage = 0.78 - game runs at 78% speed

Determining the right value

  1. Install the Stopwatch Test
  2. Follow the instructions in the readme file

Notes

Powertools will only work correctly with the GOG.com and Steam versions.
Fix timing issues (Command Prompt)[citation needed]
Enables HPET. Not recommended as it is a command that normally should only be used for debugging and can slow down general performance for this and other games.[16][17]
  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator
  2. Copy and paste the following line: bcdedit /set useplatformclock true
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Restart the computer.
  5. Play the game.
  6. Repeat above steps, but then with the following command bcdedit /deletevalue useplatformclock. It turns off HPET again, which is Windows' default state for optimal performance.

Mods

Gentlemen of the Row Super Mod

Includes critical bug fixes and tweaks
Includes bonus content with over a hundred new items, music, and customization options in-game.
Installing Gentlemen of the Row
  1. Extract the contents of the mod into a new folder
  2. Run Create_Custom_GotR_v1.9.2.bat
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions and create a custom configuration
  4. When finished, press P in the main menu to create a patch
  5. The custom patch will be located in MY_CUSTOM_PATCH
  6. Place patch.vpp_pc, preload.tbl, and preload_anim.tbl into <path-to-game>.

Notes

In order to play co-op with this mod, you both must have the exact same configuration.
Back up the original files before replacing them.
"Misc Homie Pack" and "Villain Homie Pack" mods included in this pack can cause issues. Use this mod to fix those.

Monkey Patch​

Alters the original Saints Row 2 executable file with patches and fixes that can't be implemented by other means.
This project:
  • Removes ads from the game, and telemetry (if used by the game).
  • Removes the framerate limiter of the GOG release.
  • Integrates OpenSpy as a replacement for GameSpy.
  • Fixes the speed-up bug automatically without the need to use Powertools.

Juiced Patch

An add-on for Monkey Patch that provides even more fixes for graphical side of the game.
This project:
  • Fixes frame rate issues better than DXVK.
  • Fixes synchronization of objects and characters in cutscenes.
  • Adds a toggle to fully uncap the game's frame rate.
  • Extends draw distance of shadows and trees.
  • Enhances quality of the Ambient Occlusion effect.

Overhauled Stilwater

A very similar mod to the Gentlemen of the Row Super Mod, but without bonus content and with the additional fixes and sound quality improvements.
Already includes High Quality Radio Mod.
Incompatible with the SuperUI mod, since it uses a modified version of this mod as one of the fixes.

Cutscene Patch

Aims to fix (as much as possible) all cutscene issues in Saint's Row 2, including Story cutscenes and Activity cutscenes.
Fixes PC exclusive cutscene issues as well as the ones that are prominent in the other releases of the game.

Fixed Characters & Correct Zombie Carlos Animations

Fixes issues with character models and their animations.

Missions Fix Pack

Fixes missing details and inconsistencies in few missions.

Fixed Sales Ads

Fixes the unlock percentage for various Store Sales to restore intended effect of sales being indicated more often and throughout the game's story.

SuperUI

Tweaks many aspects of the user interface to be more intuitive.
Ability to purchase clothes and ammo from any crib.
Requires Gentlemen of the Row Super Mod.
SuperUI settings will not save if changed from pause menu.
Installing SuperUI
  1. Open the folder where you extracted Gentlemen of the Row
  2. Open optional_mod_stuff, then 1-MODDERS_-_PUT_YOUR_OWN_PERSONAL_MODS_HERE
  3. Extract the contents of SuperUI into this folder
  4. Open vint_lib.lua with NotePad and change settings if necessary
  5. Run Create_Custom_GotR_v1.9.2.bat and create a new patch

Recommended Settings

SUI_PLATFORM = "PC" - Change this to XBOX360 or PS3 if using a controller
SUI_MODERN_HUD_LAYOUT = false - Disables Saint's Row 3 styled HUD layout
SUI_TUTORIAL = 0 - Disables tutorial messages

Poor Quality Music on Radio

The PC port of Saints Row 2 has a very poorly compressed audio with quality of 22050 Hz mono.
This mod replaces the PC sound banks with the Xbox 360 version, converted in 32000-44100 Hz stereo.
Install High Quality Radio Mod
  1. Download the High Quality Radio Mod
  2. Extract the files into <path-to-game>.
Use Linux version's music
This method replaces PC sound banks with high quality sound banks Linux version.
Do not replace audio.vpp_pc, or the game will fail to load.
  1. Run download_depot 9480 401480 in the Steam console
  2. Replace all music*.vpp_pc files in the <path-to-game> with the new downloaded depot's files.

Skip intro videos

Move, delete or rename video files[18]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Videos.
  2. Move, delete or rename logo_thq_hd.bik and logo_volition_hd.bik.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows %LOCALAPPDATA%\THQ\Saints Row 2\
Linux $XDG_DATA_HOME/volition/saintsrow2/AppData/Saints Row 2/
This game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location

System Location
Windows %LOCALAPPDATA%\THQ\Saints Row 2\
Linux $XDG_DATA_HOME/volition/saintsrow2/AppData/Saints Row 2/

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud

Video

Display settings.
Display settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
For unlisted resolutions, use Saints Row 2 Resolution Editor
Multi-monitor
See the WSGF entry.
Ultra-widescreen
See the WSGF entry.
4K Ultra HD
See the Saints Row 2 Resolution Editor.
Field of view (FOV)
Use Gentlemen of the Row Super Mod.
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
2x and 4x, unknown method
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
GOG.com version is capped at 30 FPS;[19] see High frame rate. Over 30FPS, animations and cutscenes can have issues, but that can be fixed by Mods.
120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 100 FPS.[20]
High dynamic range display (HDR)
In-game option refers to HDR Rendering, not HDR output display.

High frame rate

The GOG.com version has a forced 30 FPS cap to fix cutscene issues.
Use Monkey Patch[21]
Disable frame rate limiter[22]
  1. Go to %PROGRAMDATA%\GOG.com\Galaxy\support\1430740458\1430740458\add\NVI.
  2. Open Nvidia Inspector and click the button next to the Driver Version.
  3. Type Saints Row 2 in the search filter, go to the bottom and select Frame Rate Limiter.
  4. Click on the rightmost button to change it to its default setting, or select PS_FRAMERATE_LIMITER_DISABLED.
  5. Click on the apply changes button.
  6. Also, GOG modded the executable to cap the framerate.[23] It can be disabled by downloading this patcher. Copy <path-to-game>\SR2_pc.exe to the patcher's folder, run unlock.cmd which will patch the executable to uncapped one, and copy SR2_pc.exe back to <path-to-game>. The patcher also comes with lock.cmd to revert the changes.

Input

Control settings.
Control settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Remapping
Mouse acceleration
Tagging minigame uses forced acceleration. Can be partially mitigated with this mod.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
However, mouse can be used on the map to place waypoints.
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
Only the 360 controller is officially supported.
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Z-Axis labelled as "Button 11" and "Button 12".
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
PlayStation controllers
Generic/other controllers
Additional information
Button prompts
For both prompts you need to use Gentlemen of the Row Super Mod
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M
Mouse conflicts with right stick.

Audio

Audio settings.
Audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Sound Effects, Music, Voice.
Surround sound
Outputs to 5.1 speakers but is simply stereo spanned across surround speakers.[24]
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Music begins when a new song starts.
Royalty free audio

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Traditional Chinese
Czech
STEAM
Danish
Dutch
French
German
Heavily censored.
Italian
Japanese
Polish
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation; download.
Russian
Spanish
Swedish

Network

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
LAN play
12 Co-op, Versus
Co-op mode and two Versus modes "Death Tag" and "Cat & Mouse" are limited to 2 players. Other Versus modes are playable for up to 12 players.
Online play
12 Co-op, Versus
Original GameSpy servers are defunct. Use OpenSpy.

Connection types

Issues unresolved

Multiplayer lobby for Gangsta Brawl and Strong Arm modes boot people out when others join

The network code for Saints Row 2 is extremely sensitive, and when coupled with the speed and timing issues of the game, can forcibly disconnect certain users when others join. The game's PC multiplayer is considered inherently broken with the exception of co-op.

Poor Quality Sound Samples

The PC port of Saints Row 2 has a very poorly compressed audio with quality of 22050 Hz mono. While there are methods to fix the music quality, there is not presently any method to fix voices or sound effects.

Issues fixed

The Unofficial FAQ hosted on the game's Steam Users' Forum may be helpful in finding fixes for any issues you may be having.

Crashing on startup

Modify settings.dat[citation needed]
The settings.dat file is often the cause and can be found in the saves folder (%LOCALAPPDATA%\THQ\Saints Row 2\settings.dat).
  1. Add the following parameter on startup to force the game to start with default settings: defaults.
  2. Delete the existing settings.dat, and the game will recreate a fresh one the next time it is run. This file only contains video and audio settings like resolution, draw distance, volume, etc.
  3. Download a windowed 800x600 settings.dat here.
Change how the game launches[citation needed]
  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Set SR2_pc.exe to run in compatibility mode for Windows XP SP3 and disable visual themes / desktop composition options.
  3. Uncheck the Disable all enhancements option in the speaker properties (Control Panel > Sound > Speakers > Properties > Enhancements > Disable all).
  • Some users have reported that changing the language fixes a bug where the game crashes when a loading screen reaches 60%.
Other solutions[citation needed]
  • Verify integrity of the game cache on Steam and GOG Galaxy.
  • Temporarily disable a second monitor.
  • Remove or disable all non-essential USB devices.
Sometimes the game mistakenly identifies a usb device as a controller which can cause a crash.

Crashing when loading a save

Save often to multiple slots[citation needed]
Crashing on save load is an indication of save corruption or as a result adding or removing mods. A vanilla game and savegames where mods are installed are not compatible.
  • Save manually in a new slot after every mission so the previous save is accessible in the event that the current save corrupts.
This is recommended even with the original vanilla game.

Crashing when starting a new game

Install DirectX 9.0c end-user runtimes and run the game in windowed mode[citation needed]
Unplug any controllers[citation needed]

Scroll issue when navigating menus

Scroll Issue when navigating menus[citation needed]
Saints Row 2 has this issue with certain USB devices which are falsely identified as gamepads.
  • Unplug all USB devices except your keyboard and mouse.
  • For Saitek keyboards, temporarily disable this device in Device Manager.
Certain Saitek keyboards install their own HID-Compliant Game Controller entry in Device Manager to enable extra functionality like keystroke macros.

Stuttering

As a result of issues surrounding the original engine, some stuttering may be observed during gameplay due to streaming issues.
Run the game on a faster HDD unit.[25]

The Ronin Mission at the airport (Orange Threat Level) crashes after the middle cutscene

Use the Gentlemen of the Row Super Mod[citation needed]
Skip the cutscene[citation needed]

The Samedi mission loading the van with drugs (Riot Control) is bugged in co-op

This mission cannot be finished in co-op unless in the rare case when the mission initializes correctly at that point.
Use the Gentlemen of the Row Super Mod[citation needed]

Text in the top left of the screen

Disable Powertools OSD[citation needed]
It is likely that the OSD (On Screen Display) for Powertools was accidentally activated which contains game info helpful to modders.
  • This OSD can be toggled on and off with Scroll Lock.

Timeout when trying connect to a co-op game

Open port[citation needed]
Saints Row 2 needs to have the following port open/forwarded for both the host and client: 4200 TCP and UDP.
  • Open port 4200.
  • If there is still a time out, disable Hamachi virtual network adapter and/or open the following ports for both TCP and UDP:
    • 27900 (Master Server UDP Heartbeat)
    • 28900 (Master Server List Request)
    • 29900 (GP Connection Manager)
    • 29901 (GP Search Manager)
    • 13139 (Custom UDP Pings)
    • 6500 (Query Port)
    • 4200 (Game)
  • If it still doesn't work, host a non-password protected game.

In-game sound is in mono or only coming from one speaker

Lower hardware acceleration[citation needed]
  1. Navigate to Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > Audio tab > "Advanced..." button in Sound playback section > Performance tab.
  2. Lower Hardware Acceleration to "Basic acceleration".
Dolby sound[citation needed]
  1. Navigate to sound/playback/Dolby.
  2. Make sure the checkbox is ticked.
Audio manager[citation needed]
  1. Navigate to the audio manager.
  2. Change the "default format" from 24-bit, 44kHz (studio quality) to 16-bit, 44kHz (cd quality).
  3. Ensure both L and R analog channels play back.

Objects held by characters in cutscenes are misaligned

Limit frame rate to 60 FPS or below[citation needed]
  1. Use a tool such as Nvidia Inspector for GeForce cards or RadeonPro for Radeon cards to limit the game's frame rate to 60.
  2. If the problem persists, limit it to 59, 58 or 30 frames instead.

Other information

API

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

Middleware

Middleware Notes
Physics Havok
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer GameSpy

Launch Options

By using command line parameters you can force the game to use the specified language or access other features. (List was mostly taken from Gentlemen of the Row Super Mod's Readme files)
Parameter Description
forcelang_en Set language to English
forcelang_de Set language to German
forcelang_fr Set language to French
forcelang_es Set language to Spanish
forcelang_it Set language to Italian
forcelang_nl Set language to Dutch
forcelang_se Set language to Swedish
forcelang_dk Set language to Danish
forcelang_pl Set language to Polish
forcelang_cz Set language to Czech
forcelang_ru Set language to Russian
forcelang_ch Set language to Simplified Chinese
forcelang_jp Set language to Japanese
showfps Show FPS and various debug information during gameplay
2ndmon Force the game to be displayed on the second monitor
defaults Reset settings (graphics, controls, etc)

System requirements

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 Dual-Core 2.0 GHz
AMD Athlon XP Dual Core
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 15 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 7600
ATI Radeon X1300
128 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 3.0 support
Sound (audio device) DirectX 9.0c compatible
Linux
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 14.04.3, 15.04, Linux Mint 17.1, SteamOS Brewmaster
Processor (CPU) Intel Core i5-4570T 2.9 GHz
AMD FX-4300 3.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 7 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce GTX 460
AMD Radeon HD 6850
1 GB of VRAM


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Steam - Saints Row 2 - General Discussions - [V] IdolNinja (Michael Watson, Community Manager, Volition) - last accessed on 2022-09-27
    "CD Projekt Black did the PC port of Saints Row 2 for THQ. This is not the team that created The Witcher, which was CD Projekt Red.

    I'm not sure if CD Projekt Black still exists, but they have not responded to our queries. Volition had very little involvement with the SR2 PC port, and that was mostly handled by THQ.
    "
  2. Softpedia - Saints Row 2, Saints Row 3, and Both Overlord Games Are Being Ported by Virtual Programming - last accessed on 2022-09-27
  3. What does CTS stand for? - Saints Row Mods - last accessed on 2017-05-14
  4. THQ Ships Saints Row 2 for Windows PC - IGN - last accessed on 2023-09-22
  5. Saints Row 2 - Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row 2 now available for Linux and SteamOS! - Steam News - last accessed on 2016-04-14
  6. GameSpy - Saints Row 2 - last accessed on 2022-09-27
  7. Saints Row 2 Review - IGN - last accessed on 2022-09-27
  8. News - Saint's Row 2 Update Now Available - last accessed on 2022-09-27
  9. News - Saint's Row 2 Update Released - last accessed on 2022-09-27
  10. Volition will release a new patch to fix the PC performance issues of Saints Row 2 - DSOGaming - last accessed on 2022-08-31
  11. Saints Row 2 Mega Patch is coming!!! - Saints Row Mods forum - last accessed on 2022-09-27
  12. Volition Steam Discussions response SR2 patch - last accessed on 2023-02-20
  13. Saints Row 2 - Games for Windows - last accessed on 19 August 2022
  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocu8JqD7EEk
  15. Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row 2 now available for Linux and SteamOS! :: Steam Community - last accessed on 2016-04-15
    "* The German release of Saints Row 2 PC is still only available for Windows operating systems due to issues with the original source code."
  16. BCDEdit /set - Microsoft Ignite - last accessed on 2022-09-27
  17. HPET ON vs HPET OFF ( WINDOWS 10 ) - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-09-27
  18. "How to remove the starting cutscenes?" and "How to extract the music?" | Saints Row Mods
  19. To be stickied: SR3 DLC disabling and SR2 port report and mod, page 1 - Forum - GOG.com
  20. New 120Hz Games Report (archived) - last accessed on May 2023
  21. Verified by User:Patrxgt on 2024-05-06
  22. Saint's Row 2 locked at 30 fps, page 1 - Forum - GOG.com - last accessed on May 2023
  23. gog.com - last accessed on May 2023
  24. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up - last accessed on May 2023
  25. Saints Row 2 on Steam - last accessed on 2016-04-14
    "Disclaimer: Due to issues surrounding the original engine, some stuttering may be observed during gameplay. These types of streaming issues may be improved with faster HDD units."