BioShock Wiki

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BioShock Wiki
BioShock Wiki

Main Menu[]

The main menu of BioShock on PC.

This is the main menu of BioShock using an Xbox 360 controller.

This is the main menu of BioShock. On PC the player can control it with the mouse. The console versions of the menu is a little bit different as one can see. The player can navigate with the controller and when they highlight an option, the sound of a piano can be heard.

  • Continue

Only available if one has started a new game. The player can continue their last saved progress.

  • New Game

One can begin a whole new game, by selecting one's preferred difficulty (Easy, Medium, Hard, or Survivor). If the player is using a controller, the game first asks them to set the brightness level.

  • Load Game

One can load up a saved game.

  • Credits

Watch the list of creators of BioShock.

  • Director's Commentary (Remastered version only)

Watch unlocked Commentary of the Directors.

  • Museum (Remastered version only)

Visit the Museum of Orphaned Concepts.

  • Downloadable Content (Playstation 3)/Additional Content (Remastered version)

Select and play one of the three downloadable Challenge Rooms.

  • Options

Takes the player to the options screen, where they can set many different options.

  • Exit

Exits to Windows.

Additionally, the PlayStation 3 version of BioShock features an additional option:

  • Extras

Here, the player can view special movies and cutscenes. They include a demo video, the respective intros to J.S. Steinman and Sander Cohen, and the BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams trailer.

Options Screen[]

The options screen of BioShock on PC.

If the player clicks on "Options" in the main menu, this screen pops-up. Here one can set different options.

  • Graphics Options

If the player has performance problems with the game, here they can solve them by turning some graphical options off.

  • Customize Controls

Here one can bind the keyboard keys, and turn on the Xbox 360 controller.

  • Audio Options

The player can increase and decrease the music and sound volume of the game, along with other options.

  • Gameplay Options

One can fine tune BioShock gameplay here.

Audio Options[]

Audio options screen on PC.

Here the player can set all the audio-related settings in BioShock.

  • Audio Mode

The player can choose what kind of speaker setup they have. (Mono, Stereo, Quad, Surround, 5.1, 7.1, ProLogic)

Note: Changing this option requires the player to restart the game.

  • Use Reverb

Turn this option on if one wants to have reverberation effect through the game. Turn it off if the player has audio related problems.

Note: Changing this option requires the player to restart the game.

  • Use Creative EAX Audio

If the player's sound card supports Creative's EAX then they can turn this on to make the sounds in the game more realistic.

Note: Changing this option requires the player to restart the game.

  • Sound Effect Volume

All the weapons, Turrets, and explosions volume can be decreased/increased with this slider.

  • Music Volume

One can decrease/increase the volume that can be heard in the game with this slider.

  • Voice Over Volume

The player can set the volume of their shortwave radio with this slider.

Graphics Options[]

Graphical options on PC.

Here one can set all the video-related options in BioShock.

  • Resolution

The player can choose the game's resolution with the slider.

Note: If a widescreen resolution is chosen, one may have to toggle the horizontal FOV lock to see in a true widescreen FOV.

  • Windowed Mode

Turn this on if one wants to run the game in windowed mode. Playing in windowed mode requires more computer resources.

  • Vertical Sync

Turn this on to eliminate any image tearing in the game. The game's FPS will be locked at the refresh rate of the player's monitor.

  • Shadow Maps

Turn it on if one wants every actor in the game to cast a real-time shadow.

  • High Detail Post Processing

When turned on the game will apply HDR lighting/bloom effects.

  • High Detail Shaders

Increases amount of reflections on surfaces.

  • Real Time Reflections

Turn this on and the water in the game will reflect every surface and actor.

  • Distortion

Turn this on for heat and water distortion effects.

  • Force Global Lighting

Turn it on to force global, generic lighting sources instead of lighting coming from individual sources.

  • Directx10 Detail Surfaces

The player can only turn this on if they have Windows Vista and a DirectX 10 compatible video card. The game has some differences in DX10 mode: The trail the player leaves behind in water looks more realistic, and the game will soften the shadow maps and creates soft edged particles. Note: It seems that these effect are automatically turned on if one has Vista and a DX10 card.

  • Horizontal FOV Lock

Turn it off if one is playing on a widescreen monitor.

Note: This option is only available if the player has the the 1.1 patch installed.

  • Graphics Quality

Allows the player to set three generic performance presets: high, medium, and low graphic details.

  • Texture Detail

Allows the player to set three generic texture quality presets: high, medium, and low.

Gameplay Options[]

Gameplay options screen on PC.

This is the gameplay options screen, where one can set gameplay related options.

Note: If the player is using an Xbox 360 controller, they will not be able to reach these options from the main menu, instead they can only reach them in-game.


One can set the game difficulty anytime during the game using this slider. The game recommends "Easy" for those that are new to first-person shooters, "Medium" to those who have played FPSs before, and "Hard" for seasoned veterans. "Survivor" is given the subtitle "every bullet counts" (On Xbox 360 requires Ultimate Rapture Edition to be available).

On Easy difficulty:

  • Enemies have 40% health (e.g. a default Thuggish Splicer has 40 health, and a standard Bouncer has 1100 health).
  • Enemies only do 17.5% damage (e.g. a Pistol shot only does 3.5 damage).
  • Enemies are less accurate and less agile.
  • Plasmids cost 50% EVE (aka half as much) (e.g. Enrage costs ~ 15 EVE).
  • Random loot is more generous.

On Normal difficulty:

  • Enemies have 100% health (e.g. a default Thuggish Splicer has 100 health, and a standard Bouncer has 2750 health).
  • Enemies do 100% damage (e.g. a Pistol shot does 20 damage).
  • Enemies possess standard accuracy and agility.
  • Plasmids cost 100% EVE (e.g. Enrage! costs ~ 30 EVE).
  • Random loot is standard.

On Hard difficulty:

  • Enemies have 155% health (e.g. a default Thuggish Splicer has 155 health, and a standard Bouncer has 4263 health).
  • Enemies do 150% damage (e.g. a Pistol shot does 30 damage).
  • Enemies are more accurate and more agile.
  • Plasmids cost 130% EVE (e.g. Enrage! costs ~ 39 EVE).
  • Random loot is less common.

On Survivor difficulty:

  • Enemies have 240% health (e.g. a default Thuggish Splicer has 240 health, and a standard Bouncer has 6600 health).
  • Less EVE restored after dying and being resurrected by a Vita-Chamber
  • Enemies are very accurate and very agile.
  • Random loot is scarce.

On Easy and Normal difficulty, the player will not die instantly from a "fatal" injury; instead their health will be reduced to 1, and they'll only die if they take 1 more hit. For example, if they only have 20 health, and take 30 damage, instead of ending up with -10 health (i.e. dead), they will still be alive, with 1 health.

Adaptive Training[]

Gives the player helpful tips during the game. After completing a first playthrough it is recommended to turn this option off, as the tips it gives are basic and, in most cases, obvious. Although helpful for the forgetful such as how to use a First Aid Kit.

Horizontal FOV Lock[]

This option controls the width of the field of vision ("off" gives a wider screen view, while "on" is zoomed in.)

Dialog Subtitles[]

Puts subtitles in the game whenever a dialog is heard. Some dialogues do not have subtitles, for example, Jack's line at the very beginning of the game. The subtitles may also disappear before the dialogue is finished.

Art Subtitles[]

If an art in the game has writings on it, and one turns option on, the player will see the writing pop-up on their screen. This is mainly useful for foreign-language versions of the game.


In the console versions of the game, once the player successfully shoots at an enemy, the target reticle will follow the enemy as the enemy moves if this option is turned on.

Quest Arrow[]

This arrow is located on the center-top of the screen. It shows where one must go to finish their active quest.

Item Shimmer[]

This option makes all items in the game produce a golden shine, so one can easily spot them.

Usable Object Highlight[]

It's the same as item shimmering, but this applies to usable objects only.

Unlock Framerate[]

In the console versions of the game, this option can be used to maintain the framerate at 60 frames-per-second instead of the typical 30 frames-per-second, but visual quality may decrease.

Disable Vita-Chamber[]

This option was added in the 1.1 patch. If the player turns it on and they die in the game, they will be brought back to the Main Menu. Turn this off if one wants a real challenge.

Customize Controls[]

The control options screen on PC.

  • Mouse Sensitivity

This changes the sensitivity of the player's mouse. In summary, it changes the speed of looking around in the game.

  • Invert Look

Inverts the mouse's Y axis in the game (i.e. if the player moves the mouse up, they will aim downwards and vice-versa).

  • Vibration

If one wants their controller to make vibration effects in the game, turn this on.

  • Use Xbox 360 Controller

Turn this option if one wants to use their controller. Only XInput-compatible controllers, such as Microsoft Xbox 360 controllers, are supported. If the player turns this on they can control the whole game (including menus) with the controller.

  • Customize Keys

The player can bind their keys here. If one chooses this the game will notify them about losing all the changes they made on this screen.

Bugs / Glitches[]

  •  Icon xbox.png If someone attempts to use the Survivor difficulty mode with the saves and/or installation of the original, non-Ultimate Rapture Edition game, said difficulty mode won't work correctly and behave as if set to Easy. The only fix is to remove the original installation and start a new game.[1]

See Also[]