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Thief: Deadly Shadows

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Thief: Deadly Shadows
Thief: Deadly Shadows cover
Ion Storm
2004-2009 Eidos Interactive
2009-2023 Square Enix
2023-present Eidos-Montréal
Retail re-release Sold Out Software
Russia Noviy Disk
Unreal Engine 2
Release dates
Windows May 25, 2004
Metacritic 85
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Third-person, First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Stealth, Immersive sim
Art styles Realistic
Themes Steampunk, Fantasy, Medieval, Victorian
Series Thief
Thief: Deadly Shadows on HowLongToBeat
Thief: Deadly Shadows on IGDB
Thief: Deadly Shadows on MobyGames
Thief: Deadly Shadows on Wikipedia
Thief: The Dark Project 1998
Thief II: The Metal Age 2000
Thief: Deadly Shadows 2004
The Dark Mod (unofficial spin-off) 2009
Thief 2014

Thief: Deadly Shadows is a singleplayer third-person and first-person stealth and immersive sim game in the Thief series.

The game was briefly developed by Looking Glass Studios in the few months between finishing Thief II: The Metal Age and the studio's shutdown in May 2000, and was picked up by Ion Storm Austin to which some of the original developers have moved. After release, the game received a single official patch.

The game does not suffer from significant issues when running out-of-the-box, but a set of community fixes and mods exists as part of the Sneaky Upgrade, which has become the de facto way of playing for most users.

General information

TTLG Forums - Thief Series
TTLG Forums - modding & mission design Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
SecuROM 5 DRM disc check. The official editor contains the 1.1 executable with removed DRM.
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Manual, wallpapers, soundtrack, avatars and design sketches included.
Green Man Gaming
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Humble Store
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Games for Windows Marketplace (unavailable)
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A free demo version is available from GameFront.

Essential improvements


Patch v1.1 is the latest retail patch. Digital distribution versions already include this patch.

Skip intro videos

Change ShowIntroMovies in DEFAULT.INI[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\System\ and open DEFAULT.INI.
  2. Go to the [PCStartup] section.
  3. Change ShowIntroMovies=True to ShowIntroMovies=False.
  4. Save the changes.


A detailed tweak guide for gameplay, graphics and other aspects is available.
Archived download for the rare DXtool needed at some point in guide

Sneaky Upgrade

Includes "Thief 3 Gold", "The Minimalist Project" and "John P.'s texture pack" (all optional).
Adds native widescreen/multi-monitor support and fixes compatibility issues.
Gold mod removes most of the loading zones in the levels, expands maps and fixes bugs.
Minimalist Project aims to provide an experience more like Thief: The Dark Project and Thief II. Increases the difficulty of the game.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\System\Default.ini[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/6980/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\save\SaveGames[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/6980/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


Video settings.
Video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Install the Sneaky Upgrade to unlock all resolutions in-game.
Install the Sneaky Upgrade to unlock all resolutions in-game.
Install the Sneaky Upgrade and set SneakyTweaker HUD Width to 1.0.[2]
4K Ultra HD
Use Sneaky Upgrade.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Toggle with Alt+ Enter.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Called MultiSampling (causes crashing and hanging); also see Use MultiSampling and Bloom together.
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Certain issues with lockpicking and ladder above 60 FPS. Use Sneaky Upgrade to avoid this issue.[3]
High dynamic range display (HDR)

Field of view (FOV)

This game uses vertical FOV. See FOV Calculator for help.
Set vertical FOV in Sneaky Upgrade[citation needed]
  1. Install the Sneaky Upgrade.
  2. Run the game and set the desired resolution.
  3. Go to <path-to-game>\save\Options\.
  4. Open SneakyOptions.ini.
  5. Change VerticalFOV to the desired vertical FOV and save the changes.


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
A plugged in controller may crash the game if you rebind keys; fixed with Sneaky Upgrade.
Mouse acceleration
Negative mouse acceleration can be disabled with Sneaky Upgrade.
Mouse sensitivity
See Mouse sensitivity.
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Set in Options, Control.
Controller support
If plugged in, a controller can occasionally cause auto-walking. Additionally, a plugged in controller may crash the game if you rebind keys.
Controller types

Mouse sensitivity

Set horizontal and vertical mouse sensitivities
  1. Install Sneaky Upgrade.
  2. Open the SneakyTweaker and go to Sneaky Upgrade/Tweaks.
  3. Change the Mouse Sensitivity Factor to your liking, with 1.0 being the default value.
  4. Press Apply and start the game.


Audio settings.
Audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Sound Effects and Music
Surround sound
Up to 7.0 output with DirectSound3D restoration software.
Subtitles for all speech (disabled by default).
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 3,[4] EAX 4[5]
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Included in digital versions but needs this package to enable.
Included in digital versions but needs this package to enable.
Fan translation by KGy.
Included in digital versions but needs this package to enable.
Retail only. Patch for digital release here.
Brazilian Portuguese
Retail only; CD Expert. Translation.
Official localization by Noviy Disk; local retail only.
Fan translation by Clan Dlan, download.
Fan translation by Dark Glyphs, here.

Issues fixed

Intro movie keeps repeating

This problem occurs on multi-core systems and is fixed by the Sneaky Upgrade.
Use the Sneaky Upgrade[citation needed]

Garrett starts floating in midair

Equip your bow and get ready to fire it, then press space to holster the arrow

Garrett gets stuck when lockpicking and trying to ladder

Caused by an animation bug due to uncapped framerates.[6]
Use the Sneaky Upgrade
See Frame rate capping and apply a maximum frame rate of 100 or lower.

Game freezes or crashes when trying to load a save file

Use the Sneaky Upgrade

Temporary switch to desktop or black screen when loading

Use Sneaky Upgrade[citation needed]
  1. Run the Sneaky Upgrade installer.
  2. When shown the installation options, enable the desktop effects fix.
  3. Continue installing normally. The game will now load without interruption.


A black screen may be seen momentarily at the start of loading a save when switching resolution.

Use MultiSampling and Bloom together

MultiSampling and Bloom can't be both on at the same time; enabling either will disable the other one.
Enable both settings[7]
  1. Enable Bloom in-game (leaving MultiSampling disabled).
  2. Force anti-aliasing through the graphics card's control panel. Both effects will now display together.


It causes major framerate drops on low-end machines and high end machines, so force bloom externally along with antialiasing through control panel and with reshade for the bloom instead to avoid this issue both are extremely GPU demanding settings.

Use Reshade's bloom without original game's bloom bluriness

Bloom is enabled in-game, the image becomes blurry because of the original shader code. This can be bypassed using ReShade.
Enabling ReShade effect[8]
  1. Install the latest d3d8to9 (This library translates the game's DirectX 8 API calls to DirectX 9, so it allows ReShade to work).
  2. Install the latest ReShade to <path-to-game>\System\ using DX9 API. Download standard shader packages.
  3. Edit <path-to-game>\System\reshade.ini and edit the following parameters:
  5. Enable and tune any bloom effect (e.g. PPFX Bloom). This will allow better quality bloom without blurring the picture.


FXAA anti-aliasing and PPFX SSDO (Ambient Occlusion) can be enabled in Reshade.
MXAO, ray-tracing and some other shaders can crash the game.

Vsync option not working

Use dgVoodoo 2
  1. Download dgVoodoo 2.
  2. Copy dgVoodooCpl.exe and D3D8.DLL from \MS\x86\ into <path-to-game>\System\.

Jittery/Laggy movement

Use D8VK
  1. Download the latest D8VK (This library translates the game's DirectX 8 API calls to Vulkan).
  2. Copy D3D8.DLL from x32 to <path-to-game>\System\ and overwrite any files, if asked.


Superior performance over d3d8to9.
Does not fix all jitter, some is unavoidable.

VR support

3D modes State Notes
User created profile, requires dgVoodoo 2, see profile introdution.
Note: Profile may not work with the latest wrapper, in case of issues please report to the vorpx forum.

Other information

Enabling HBAO+ on Nvidia graphics cards

Use the Ambient Occlusion flag 0x0000001E with Quality or High Quality.
Using Ambient Occlusion flag 0x0000001E[9]
  1. Install the Sneaky Upgrade and enable the 'Mouse Improvements' option.
  2. Download and run Nvidia Profile Inspector.
  3. Under Profiles select Thief 3 Deadly Shadows.
  4. Under Ambient Occlusion compatibility insert the flag 0x0000001E.
  5. Under Ambient Occlusion usage select Enabled.
  6. Under Ambient Occlusion setting select a quality level. In order to use HBAO+ you must use Quality or High Quality.
  7. Click Apply changes.
Introduces "bleeding", which affects certain game/HUD elements.


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 8
Shader Model support 1.1
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok
Audio DirectSound3D


Thief: Deadly Shadows ESRGAN Pack

AI upscaled textures & cinematics for Thief: Deadly Shadows. Requires Sneaky Upgrade to play.
Not only all the textures upscaled but also modified MatLib (material library) file included to add or restore normal maps for all the materials lacking them.
Comes in two versions:

  • Full pack - all the upscaled textures and modified MatLib. With this pack, the game may be slower to load
  • Light pack - downscaled version of the full pack but with all the MatLib and normal files improvements. Loads much faster with better visuals than the original game

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 2000
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 1.5 GHz
System memory (RAM) 256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon 8500
Nvidia GeForce 3 Ti
64 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0 compatible
Shader model 1.1 support
Sound (audio device) DirectX 9 device


  1. 1.0 1.1 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).
  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>/6980/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (6980) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.


  1. Thief: Deadly Shadows - Games for Windows - last accessed on 19 August 2022
  2. Thief: Deadly Shadows | WSGF
  3. Thief Deadly Shadows "VSync Fix" proposal - last accessed on May 2023
  4. GameSpy: Thief: Deadly Shadows - Volume I - last accessed on May 2023
  5. Discovering EAX® 4.0 ADVANCED HD™ in Thief: Deadly Shadows™ - - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  6. Thief 3: Deadly Shadows - lockpicking issue - last accessed on January 2024 - GOG Support Center
  7. Verified by User:Garrett on 15 March 2013
  8. TTLG: Sneaky Upgrade discussion - last accessed on May 2023
  9. Guru3D's HBAO+ Compatibility Flags Thread - last accessed on May 2023