System Shock: Enhanced Edition

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Although this game has been released, it remains under active development - information may change frequently and could be outdated or irrelevant.
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System Shock: Enhanced Edition
System Shock: Enhanced Edition cover
Original game Looking Glass Studios
Enhanced Edition Nightdive Studios
Nightdive Studios
Current Kex Engine
Original System Shock engine[1]
Release dates
Windows September 22, 2015[2]
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control, Point and select
Genres Immersive sim, Shooter
Art styles Realistic
Themes Cyberpunk, Horror, Sci-fi, Space
Series System Shock
System Shock: Enhanced Edition guide on StrategyWiki
System Shock: Enhanced Edition on MobyGames
System Shock: Enhanced Edition on Wikipedia

Key points

Modern source port of System Shock offering features such as hardware acceleration, improved widescreen, in-game control rebinding, and more.
On 6 September 2018, a major update of the Enhanced Edition ported it to the Kex Engine, offering additional features such as higher resolutions, mouselook, rebindable keys and use of the high resolution assets from the Mac version [3]

General information Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions
System Shock, the biggest forum about the game.
SHODANPEDIA - A wiki for the System Shock series


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Includes System Shock as Classic Edition.[4]
Green Man Gaming
Icon overlay.png
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (see notes)
Includes System Shock as Classic.[5]
Can be played without Steam by using the command-line argument -no-social.[6]

Essential improvements[edit]

Gigaquad's Enhanced log texts mod[edit]

Matches the text to match with the spoken audio.
Updated to work with the Sept 2018 source port.


Improves music playback. Windows 10 users may want to see MIDI mapper workarounds First.

High-res objects[edit]

Note that this mod is currently incompatible with the Sept 2018 source port release.[7]
Improves texture quality whilst not suffering from the slow downs the DOS version had.
  • Download only "hi-res3DSS.rar", ignoring "v2" - version 2 only adds adding parameters, useless if you don't want to mod the game.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\kexengine.cfg[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/410710/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %APPDATA%\Nightdive Studios\System Shock EE\savegame\archive\savgam**.dat
%APPDATA%\Nightdive Studios\System Shock EE\savegame\archive\currsave.dat
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/410710/pfx/[Note 2]
Saves made before the Source Port Update are stored in <path-to-game>\res\data\[8] or <path-to-game>\res\missions\archive\.

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
HUD is stretched.
HUD is stretched.
HUD is stretched.
4K Ultra HD
HUD is stretched.
Field of view (FOV)
Slider - 45-119° (horizontal).
Toggle with Alt+ Enter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Runs in Borderless Fullscreen by default.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Always on.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
MSAA x2, x4, x8 and x16.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Set in <path-to-game>\kexengine.cfg.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
The game crashes when uncapped.

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Always reads keys as if QWERTY keyboard layout was used.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Separate slider for cursor and freelook sensitivity.
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Simultaneous controller+KB/M

Enable reloading and switching ammo with a single keyboard key[edit]

Few people know that System Shock has (and always had) a shortcut for both reloading and switching alternate ammo types (Alt+← Backspace and Ctrl+← Backspace). Unfortunately these keyboard shortcuts are less than convenient for modern standards. Luckily they can be changed in Enhanced Edition.

Edit controls.cfg[citation needed]

Add the following lines, preferably under the "custom profile" section:

    bind r	 	    cmd.ammotype default 0
    bind shift+r	    cmd.ammotype default 0
    bind tab	 	    cmd.ammotype default 1
    bind shift+tab 	    cmd.ammotype default 1
Requires R (stand) to be rebound for use by reloading.
Additional binding that may be worth looking at and changing are Alt+' (throw grenade), Ctrl+' (next grenade), Alt+: (use patch), Ctrl+: (next patch) and Ctrl+A (automap).

Adding mouse-wheel support[edit]

The following section is redundant since the 6 September 2018 Source port update; the game now natively supports binding actions to mousewheel up and down
Use AutoHotkey[citation needed]

Copy the following into a text editor and name it MOUSEWHEEL.AHK:

#ifWinActive, ahk_class SDL_app
#SingleInstance Ignore

SendEvent +{q Down}
Sleep 200
SendEvent +{q Up}

SendEvent {q Down}
Sleep 200
SendEvent {q Up}

; Middle mouse button: Grenade, the "e" key below counters ModePicking allowing you to retain aim after prepping the grenade
SendEvent, !{'}
SendEvent, !{'}
SendEvent, {e}

; 4th mouse button = Inventory left
XButton1::Send, !{[}

; 5th mouse button = Inventory right
XButton2::Send, !{]}

WheelLeft::Send, !{[}
WheelRight::Send, !{]}

Assuming you already have the AutoHotkey suite installed, compile the script into an application. Now open a text editor again and copy the following into it, save it as a .bat file:

TITLE System Shock: Enhanced Edition

Place both the batch file and the compiled app into your System Shock: Enhanced Edition installation folder and use the batch script to launch the game.

If you modified the key bindings you may have to modify the script as well to be compatible with your new layout (! is for Alt, ^ is for Ctrl, + is for Shift).
Making the Steam launcher and GOG Galaxy open the scripts instead of the executable alone may require compiling the batch script into an exe, renaming sshock.exe (don't forget to edit the batch to reference the new name prior to compiling) and name the newly compiled batch in it's place.

Audio settings[edit]

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music, Digital FX, Audio Message Volume.
Surround sound
Toggle Messages setting under Audio Options. Words are not exact representations of audio. Fix available in the from of Gigaquad's Enhanced log texts mod.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
This game supports General MIDI for music.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation, download
Fan translation, download

Issues fixed[edit]

System Shock won't launch[edit]

Turn off MSI afterburner[9]
Run the game in Windows 95 compatibility mode[10]

Game crashes with "ERROR!" after intro[edit]

Move the game installation path to somewhere that is shorter than 64 characters.[11]

Final boss fills the screen too fast[edit]

Enable V-sync[12]

Reactor code is no longer randomized[edit]

Replace archive.dat[14]

Download the archive.dat file and replace the one found in \res\data. The tool reactor-rng can also be used to patch a game that is already in progress.

Note: This fix can cause issues with the automap MFD on the second level. The display can become off-center and significantly zoomed out, preventing the player from using the mini-map.[13]

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
User created game profile, see vorpx forum profile introduction.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Added in source port update.
Utilizes SDL 2.0 for output.
Software renderer
Edit shock.ini and set SoftRenderer to on.
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


The 6 September 2018 source port introduced official mod support.

SYSTEM SHOCK: ReWired[edit]

The very first full fan made singleplayer campaign for the original System Shock in over 24 years!

Cortex Reaver Challenge[edit]

A challenge room that pit the player up against Cortex Reavers using a Laser Rapier; kill as many as you can before you die, there is no restoration chamber.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 7
Processor (CPU) 1 GHz
System memory (RAM) 128 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1 GB
Video card (GPU) OpenGL-Compatible Card


  1. When running this game without Administrator elevation, activity in %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMFILES(X86)%, and %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\ (more details).
  2. 2.0 2.1 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>/410710/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (410710) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.


  1. [1] - last accessed on 2019-12-21
    "We wrote the engine from scratch for System Shock, but we knew we had time pressure, and I was thinking "Gee, this is too bad, I wish we had another six months" so that the engine would support completely arbitrary surfaces instead of being tile based."
  2. Release: System Shock -
  3. "The Source Port Update" is available now!
  4. SystemShock Enhanced DOS?, GOG Community Discussions for the System Shock series
  5. System Shock: Enhanced Edition on Steam
  6. System Shock: Enhanced Edition :: Source Port Update #1 is available now! - last accessed on November 2018
  7. SS1 hires objects mod needs a fix
  8. System shock enhanced edition, can't load saves, page 1 - Forum -
  12. [2] GOG Community Discussion
  13. [3], System Community Discussions