Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004)

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

For the original game, see Sid Meier's Pirates!.

Sid Meier's Pirates!
Sid Meier's Pirates! cover
Firaxis Games
macOS (OS X) Robosoft Technologies
Initial Atari
2005-present 2K Games
OS X Feral Interactive
Release dates
Windows November 22, 2004
macOS (OS X) August 29, 2008
Modes Singleplayer
Themes Piracy
Series Sid Meier's Pirates!
Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004) guide on StrategyWiki
Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004) on MobyGames
Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004) on Wikipedia
Sid Meier's Pirates!
Sid Meier's Pirates! 1987
Pirates! Gold 1993
Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004) 2004


The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.

Key points

Often known as Pirates!: Live the Life to distinguish from the original game.
Frame rate is capped at 30 FPS.[1]

General information Community Discussions Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SecuROM DRM disc check.
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
The Mac OS X version is no longer sold digitally.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Delete or rename video files[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Assets\Bink
  2. Delete or rename firaxis_logo.bik and Logos.bik


1.02 patch is the latest version.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Pirates!\Config.ini
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3920/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Pirates!\
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3920/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


Video Settings.
Video Settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Stretched 4:3, Default Resolution of 1400x1050 without GUI Loss (Anything Beyond this de-synchronizes the mouse). Use Skid_Sultan's Widescreen fix.
4K Ultra HD
2880x2160 (the 4:3 equivalent) can be forced via the INI file.
Field of view (FOV)
See Windowed.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use Borderless Gaming. Note: This can de-synchronize the mouse, so use the keyboard for menus.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Forcing MSAA through the graphics card control panel causes the pre-rendered cutscenes to flicker.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Frame rate is capped at 30 FPS[1] with 60 FPS in some scenes.


Set in Config.ini[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Config.ini.
  3. Go to the bottom of the file.
  4. Add the line fullscreen = 0
  5. Save your changes.


In some cases, this may cause strange issues with the mouse in menus, such as having to click to the lower right of a button for it to activate.

Stretched Widescreen[edit]

Forcefully Stretched Widescreen[2]
  1. Download the Skid_Sultan's Widescreen fix.
  2. Follow Dr.Skid's guide on how to properly configure the patch.


This patch utilizes the Dgvoodoo API to force the game to scale by stretching to fit.
To play with a working cursor, the game must run in a stretched 4:3 resolution. This will make the game a bit blurry.
To play in a stretched 16:9 (Internally still maintaining aspect ratio), the game will have a desynchronized mouse cursor making it only playable with the keypad but with sharper image quality.


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Check KeyMap.ini in the Configuration folder.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
If using windowed mode, the mouse may desynchronize from menus, making them frustrating to use.
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.


Audio Settings.
Audio Settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Dolby Surround or Creative EAX
Most dialogue is in Simlish (e.g. "Shoo-Ban!" When getting in a barfight)
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail version, download.
Retail version, download.

Issues fixed[edit]

Severe performance issues[edit]

This issue has been present since release. Although the 2005 1.02 patch addressed many issues, some users (especially those with high spec, modern systems) still experience low frame rates, with currently no available solution.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
OS X only.
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
32-bit only.[3]

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 1.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1.2 GB
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0b compatible
macOS (OS X)
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 10.4
Processor (CPU) PowerPC G4 1.4 GHz
Intel 1.4 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1.4 GHz
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM


  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>/3920/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (3920) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.