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The Need for Speed

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This page is for the original 1995 game. For the 2016 reboot, see Need for Speed (2016).

The Need for Speed
The Need for Speed cover
Pioneer Productions
Electronic Arts
Release dates
DOS August 31, 1995
Windows 1996
The Need for Speed guide on StrategyWiki
The Need for Speed on MobyGames
The Need for Speed on Wikipedia
Need for Speed
The Need for Speed 1994
Need for Speed II 1997
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (series)
Need for Speed: High Stakes 1999
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed 2000
Need for Speed: Underground (series)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (series)
Need for Speed: Carbon 2006
Need for Speed: ProStreet 2007
Need for Speed: Undercover 2008
Need for Speed: Shift (series)
Need for Speed: World 2010
Need for Speed: The Run 2011
Need for Speed Rivals 2013
Need for Speed (2016) 2016
Need for Speed Payback 2017
Need for Speed: Edge 2017
Need for Speed Heat 2019

Key points

Re-released as The Need for Speed: Special Edition, featuring extra content and improvements.
(Special Edition) Windows version will not run on Windows NT versions. Run MS-DOS version in DOSBox instead.

General information

Need for Speed Wiki


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Disc check DRM for Windows version. DRM-free for MS-DOS.

Essential improvements[edit]


All patches are available from The Need For Speed SE Patches (Archived from original).

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\GAMEDATA\CONFIG\
Windows <path-to-game>\GAMEDATA\CONFIG\[Note 1]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\GAMEDATA\SAVEGAME\[Note 1]

Video settings[edit]

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
X-axis can be used for steering.
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Y-axis can not be used to accelerate/brake.
Controller support
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
through JCU.exe
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
FFB implementation doesn't work on modern systems.
Simultaneous controller+KB/M

Audio settings[edit]

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
race music, menu music, sound effects
Surround sound
8-bit mono, 8-bit stereo, 16-bit stereo
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
Local play
LAN play
Via modem or IPX (use DOSBox for TCP/IP or UDP/IP).
Online play
Use DOSBox modem/IPX emulation.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Software renderer
DOS video modes VGA, SVGA
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes

System requirements[edit]

Operating system (OS) 4.0 (5.0 for Special Edition) or later[2]
Processor (CPU) 75 MHz Intel Pentium
System memory (RAM) 8 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 MB
Video card (GPU) 256 color VESA-compatible SVGA-compatible
512K of VRAM
Sound (audio device) Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster 16, Sound Blaster AWE32, Sound Blaster Pro and 100% compatibles, Gravis Ultrasound/ACE and 100% Compatibles, Ensoniq Soundscape, Microsoft Sound System[3]
Other Modem (For Two-Player Online Play), Null-Modem Cable (For Two-Player Local Area Play)

Special Edition Windows Version[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) 75 MHz Intel Pentium
System memory (RAM) 12 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 30 MB
Video card (GPU) 512 K of VRAM
DirectX 2.0 compatible
Sound (audio device) DirectX 2.0 compatible
Other IPX-Compatible Network Card (For 2-6 Player LAN Play), Modem (For Two-Player Online Play), Null-Modem Cable (For Two-Player Local Area Play)


  1. 1.0 1.1 When running this game without Administrator elevation, activity in %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMFILES(X86)%, and %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\ (more details).