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Sonic R (2004)

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This page is for the limited 2004 re-release. For the original 1998 release, see Sonic R.

Sonic R
Sonic R cover
Traveller's Tales
Windows Sega PC
Release dates
Windows 2004
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Racing
Art styles Cartoon
Series Sonic R
Sonic R (2004) on IGDB
Sonic R (2004) guide on StrategyWiki
Sonic R (2004) on MobyGames
Sonic R (2004) on Wikipedia
Sonic R
Subseries of Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic R 1997
Sonic R (2004) 2004

Key points

Improved compatibility with newer operating systems with a larger modding community than the 1998 version.
The network mode is almost completely removed.
The graphics settings menu is made inaccessible and when manually accessed, many functions are disabled.

General information

Sonic Retro - A huge fan site for everything Sonic the Hedgehog.


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Use launch command ignorecd or install Sonic R Updater to bypass disc check.
This port is exceedingly rare and release information is poorly documented. It is currently thought that it has been released only in Portugal, UK and Australia. Copies of it are also not clearly labeled, instead appearing as a reprint of the original 1998 game.[1]

Essential improvements

Sonic R Updater

Fixes a runtime error that causes poor frame-rate on modern hardware, removes the disc check, adds modding support thanks to Sonic R Mod Loader, custom resolutions and widescreen support, windowed/borderless fullscreen modes, and loading music from the installation folder instead of the disc.
How to install Sonic R Updater[2]
  1. Install Sonic R from the disc or copy the contents of the disc to a convenient location on your computer.
  2. Download Sonic R Updater from the link above or its Github page.
  3. Run sonic_r_updater_*.exe and follow its instructions. If the patcher does not auto-detect the game's installation folder, point it to <path-to-game> manually.
  4. Adjust graphics settings from the Graphics tab of Sonic R Mod Loader and enable desired mods from the Mods tab, then click Save & Play to save your settings and launch the game.

Featured mods

Some of the featured mods are included with Sonic R Updater.
Included in Sonic R Updater
  • ADX Music - A mod to use more efficient looping ADX format audio for music instead, opting for improved version of tracks from the Sega Saturn version in some cases.
  • RemoveStrays - A fix for various graphical bugs tied to how the game maps textures for the user interface.
  • Sega Saturn Style Colors - A mod that fixes and restores vertex colors. This makes the game look more lively and colorful than it did before, as well as more accurate to the Saturn version. Additionally it makes Radiant Emerald translucent like it's Saturn counterpart.
  • EggRobo Texture Fix - Fixes a texture error where EggRobo's gun shows part of Tail's eye.
Additional notable mods
  • Widescreen Assets - Readjusts and crops the original 4:3 GUI assets to properly fit in 16:9 instead of stretching them. This also fixes banner in menus so they don't abruptly cut off when playing in widescreen.
  • Resort Island Fix - Fixes out-of-place floormaps of Resort Island.
  • Knuckles Shoe Fix - Corrects an error with Knuckles's shoe texture so they don't appear like Tails's shoes.
  • Sonic & Robotnik Texture Fixes - Fixes texture issues with Sonic and Dr. Robotnik (Eggman).
  • Tails Inner Ear Fix and optional Shoe Fix - Edits the UVs of Tails' ears and shoes to appear white like in other games and his icon.
  • Super Sonic Shoe Texture Fix - Edits Super Sonic's model's UV to fix a buckle of the shoes to appear on the outer side and fix z-fighting problems.
  • Metal Knuckles Has Green Eyes - Changes the eye color of Metal Knuckles so they appear faithful to official artwork.
  • Alternate Ending Screens - Replaces the stock ending screen images with Upscaled official promotional renders. A widescreen supported version is also available. (Optional if using Widescreen Assets mod)
  • Gems Collection Textures - Ports over the User Interface textures featured in the Sonic Gems Collection version of the game, 4:3 Only, will be stretched in Widescreen.
  • Music R - A mod that changes most if not all of the music in the game.
  • Gentle Ring Sound - Replaces the loud and grating stock ring pick-up sound effect from the 2004 version that can cause audio clipping issues with a softer, sound-balanced one (taken from Sonic 2).
  • Improved SFX - A sound effects enhancement mod that replaces the default sound effects with higher quality ones taken from other Sonic games.
  • Sonic 3D Blast Sounds - Replaces the default sound effects with ones from the Sega Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast (Which were reused in the Saturn version of Sonic R, Recommended Sound pack).
  • Improvement Mod - An attempt at trying to improve on some of Sonic R's issues by tweaking the game in several ways, like rebalancing characters and colision models.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\sonicr.inf[Note 1]
<path-to-game>\keys.bin[Note 1]
<path-to-game>\joystick.inf[Note 1]
General settings are stored in sonicr.inf. Key bindings are stored in keys.bin. Controller bindings are stored in joystick.inf.

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\save\[Note 1]
<path-to-game>\ghost\[Note 1]
<path-to-game>\bin\demos\[Note 1]
Saves are stored in <path-to-game>\save\. Time Attack ghosts are stored in <path-to-game>\ghost\. Recorded replay demos are stored in <path-to-game>\bin\demos\.


Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Sonic R Updater.
See Sonic R Updater.
4K Ultra HD
See Sonic R Updater.
Field of view (FOV)
Viewing angle can be panned between three different heights with the Camera button. Sonic R Mod Loader also has a cheat that readjusts the camera FOV to be similar to the Saturn/1996 PC version.
See Sonic R Updater.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See Sonic R Updater.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Force in GPU control panel or use Sonic R Updater for SSAA. Set display mode to Windowed Fullscreen, then select 2x Native resolution.
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Always enabled by default, but Sonic R Updater adds a toggle.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Capped at 30 FPS.
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.

Change draw distance

Use hidden hotkeys[3]
Reportedly has unlimited draw distance valves compared to the 1998 version, however, increasing the draw distance above 6 can cause minor transparency graphical bugs with shield power-ups.

Use F1 to decrease draw distance or F2 to increase it.


Input settings
Input settings
Controller remapping.
Controller remapping.

Controller support

To use XInput-based controllers with proper D-pad and trigger support, a fix is required.
Instructions for XInput Plus[5]
  1. Download and run XInput Plus, and then set the Target Program to Sonic R.exe.
  2. Go to the Key Assign tab, then go to Left Stick and assign it to Multiple Key, then check Left Stick and DPAD.
  3. Go to the DirectInput tab, check Enable DirectInput Output, change the Guide button function to Button13 from its drop-down menu, and then click the Customize button and remap the buttons and triggers as the following:
    • Left/Right Trigger: Button 7/8
    • Back/Start: Button 9/10
    • Left/Right Stick Button: Button 11/12
  4. (Optional) For multiplayer, go to the Advanced tab of the DirectInput settings, and under the DeviceID section, click the Detect button to assign a controller to a player and then press a button on the controller to register it to the player.
  5. Go to the Setting tab, uncheck Enable Init Beep to disable XInput Plus' confirmation beep sound and then click Apply to save the settings and install the XInput Plus *.dll files into the game's installation folder. The game should be able to register XInput D-pad and analog triggers as DirectInput buttons.
Sega Saturn-like control layout for XInput Plus[5]
An alternative controller configuration for XInput Plus that mimics the original controls from the Sega Saturn version on an XInput controller.
  1. Perform Step 1 of the downloading and running XInput Plus and configurating it for the game above.
  2. Go to the Key Assign tab, then change the following controls as shown:
    • Left Stick: assign it to Multiple Key, then check Left Stick and DPAD.
    • A: assign it to Multiple Key, then check A and Y buttons.
    • X: assign it to Multiple Key, then check X and B buttons.
    • LB: assign it to Multiple Key, then check LB and RB buttons.
  3. Resume configurating XInput Plus for the game from Steps 3 through 5.
  4. Launch the game, go to Options → Controls, then go to Set Joystick with your controller and remap the buttons as the following: Action: X/B Buttons, Pause: Start Button, Accel.: A/Y Buttons, L.Brake: Left Trigger, R.Brake: Right Trigger, Camera: LB/RB Buttons. If mistakes were made during the in-game remapping process where buttons clashes with each other, simply delete the joystick.inf file from <path-to-game> and start over.


Sound settings
Sound settings

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
SFX, Music
Surround sound
No speech outside of the announcer and toggleable vocal tracks.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Sonic R Updater changes this so the music is audible when focus is lost due to bass_vgmstream support being added.
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
European version only.
European version only.
European version only.
Local retail version only.
European version only.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
4 Versus
LAN play
Online play
Asynchronous multiplayer

Issues fixed

Game runs at unstable frame-rate on modern hardware

Patch the game with Sonic R Updater.[7]

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 7, 9 For Direct3D 9 support, install Sonic R Updater.
Shader Model support 2, 3.0 For shader model support, use Sonic R Updater.
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95, 98, ME, XP
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 90 MHz
System memory (RAM) 16 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 20 MB
Video card (GPU) DirectX 7 compatible
Sound (audio device) DirectX-compatible sound card


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).


  1. Sega PC Reloaded - Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board, Page 5 - last accessed on March 27, 2019
  2. Verified by User:AmethystViper on 2020-07-17
    Patched with the 1998 release.
  3. Sonic R (Windows)/2004 Release Differences - The Cutting Room Floor - last accessed on March 27, 2019
  4. Verified by User:AmethystViper on 2020-07-17
  5. 5.0 5.1 Verified by User:AmethystViper on 2020-07-12
    Confirmed working with an Xbox One controller via Bluetooth. The Sega Saturn control layout was referenced from a guide from GameFAQs and emulating the Sega Saturn version via Mednafen.
  6. Verified by User:AmethystViper on 2020-07-17
    Local multiplayer tested with keyboard and three controllers (Xbox One, 8bitdo SN30 Pro, and Logitech F310) configured as DirectInput controllers with XInput Plus.
  7. Verified by User:AmethystViper on March 27, 2019