Information on the technology and technical requirements of BioShock.

Engine Edit

Note: This information applies to the original release of BioShock.

BioShock was originally going to run on an enhanced version of the Vengeance engine, the highly modified version of Unreal Engine 2.5 technology used by previous Irrational Games titles, Tribes: Vengeance, SWAT 4, and SWAT 4: The Stetchkov Syndicate.

However, in an interview at E3 in May 2006,[1] Ken Levine revealed that "we've moved to Unreal Engine 3.0, we've done a lot of modifications on top of it," particularly to the way the engine handles water effects, which he claims will be very impressive, "We've hired a water programmer and water artist, just for this game, and they're kicking ass and you've never seen water like this."

BioShock utilizes the DirectX 10 feature set when available, but it also runs on older DirectX 9 hardware.[2]

Note that Shader Model 2.0 cards such as the ATI X800XT or X850XT require a community-developed and (as of 2007) imperfect modification to run BioShock.[3]

Official requirements Edit

Original ReleaseEdit

Announced on BioShock's official site and at E3 2007, the official system requirements for BioShock are as follows.

Minimum Recommended
Operating System Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista
CPU Pentium 4 2.4 GHz (single core) Intel Core 2 Duo Or AMD Athlon 64 X2
System RAM 1 GB 2 GB
Video card DirectX 9.0c compliant card with 128 MB RAM (NVIDIA 6600/ATI X1300 or better, excluding ATI X1550) DirectX 9.0c compliant card with 512 MB RAM (NVIDIA 7900GT or better) or DirectX 10 compliant card (NVIDIA 8600 or better)
Sound card 100% DirectX 9.0c compliant card Sound Blaster X-Fi (Optimized for EAX ADVANCED HD 4.0/5.0 compatible cards)
Internet connection Required for activation.
Hard disk space 8 GB of free space
Protection SecuRom; the purchaser is only allowed two installs per copy (this was later increased to 5 install per game)
On June 19, 2008, the activation limits were completely removed.[4]

Game ActivationEdit

BioShock on the PC initially had a limited number of "Activations", which would eventually stop the owner from installing the game altogether. This was criticized by the community, since a game that can only be installed and played a limited number of times is a rental, not a purchase. As of June the 20th, 2008, all activation limitations were removed, meaning the game can be installed on an unlimited number of computers.

Activation in BioShock (PC) originated from a new version of copy protection by Securom, which actively monitors the number of times the owner has installed and/or activated the purchased copy of BioShock and would eventually stop the owner from using the game altogether.

At the time of game's shipping, purchasers were only allowed to activate the game twice. An activation was also used up every time the game was played from a new user account. This meant that when the game was originally shipped, if the owner installed the game from an administrative account, then only one person could play the game. If the owner ever needed to reformat or reinstall the game, he or she would not be allowed to do so. Although this activation limit was later upped to five times on a single machine, this number of installations would still run out fairly quickly amongst people who regularly updated their machines.[5]

As of October 11th, 2007, an "Activation Revoke Tool" was posted to the Cult of Rapture website. This allowed activations on a computer to be revoked, effectively allowing the recovery of all five activations, assuming this is done prior to uninstallation, updates or change of hardware.[6] It is also possible to have the support team manually revoke the activations from the server in the case of multiple formats or hard drive crashes (and thus replacements), and in special cases extra activations may be given should a legitimate activation key be provided. If multiple revoke/access attempts have taken place from several different IP addresses, proof of purchase may also be required.[7]

As of June 19, 2008, 2K Games removed the activation limit, allowing users to install the game an unlimited number of times. However, online activation remains mandatory.[8]

BioShock: The Collection Edit

Announced on Steam.[9]

Minimum Recommended
Operating System Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and higher
CPU Intel E6750 Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHz 3 GHz Quad-core
System RAM 4 GB 8 GB
Video card DirectX 11 compliant card, AMD Radeon HD 7770 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 2GB AMD Radeon HD 7970, 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 or better
Sound card DirectX Compatible Sound Device
Other Requirements Software installations required including DirectX and Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 & 2012 Redistributable Package.
Hard disk space 25 GB of free space

References Edit

  1. E3 06: BioShock Interview Transcript
  2. The Cult of Rapture,
  3. Forums,
  5. "Updates on Securom, PC Activation, and a Technical FAQ" article on The Cult of Rapture
  6. "BioShock Activation Revoke Tool Available Now" article on The Cult of Rapture
  7. The Revoke Tool on the 2K Games BioShock support site
  8. "BioShock PC Install Limit Lifted, DRM Remains (Updated)" article by Aaron Linde at
  9. BioShock: The Collection PC Upgrades

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at BioShock. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with BioShock Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the CC-BY-SA license.