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BioShock Tweak Guide

[Page 4] Patches & Mods

Official Patch

The first official patch has been released for BioShock, bringing it up to Version 1.1. This patch contains a range of fixes for various issues and bugs in the game, and also adds some new content - mainly new Plasmids and Tonics - and several new in-game options including 'Horizontal FOV Lock' and 'Disable Vita-Chamber' settings, as well as a Walk/Run toggle binding under Customize Keys. See the In-Game Settings section for more details of the new settings.

There may be additional patches released for BioShock, so check back here regularly for details.

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Copy Protection

BioShock has already been the subject of a great deal of controversy over the copy protection used for the game. BioShock's retail DVD comes with a missing BioShock.exe and several related files; these must be downloaded during the installation process for the game to work. The game then uses an Activation Process which checks and validates your serial number online, and is protected using the SecuROM copy protection system. Finally, there is an activation limit, in that you cannot activate more than 5 concurrent installs of the game - it was 2 installs, but the limit was later raised to 5.

These steps have been taken because BioShock is a singleplayer game, and unlike multiplayer games, singleplayer-only games are more easily pirated since they don't normally require regular online serial number checks to play. In principle I agree that some protection is needed, given the prevalence of piracy these days. However the implementation of this protection system has caused problems, especially with the activation servers often being offline or under too much stress to activate copies of the game in a timely manner, and poor fallback methods. Thankfully these are now being resolved, and it is important to note that despite recent panicky statements, the SecuROM protection used for the game is not a rootkit, nor is it malicious or intrusive, or as problematic as people would have you believe. Many, many games use SecuROM and I've personally never had any system problems due to SecuROM. If you are having problems with SecuROM when launching the game, check the SecuROM FAQ. For more details about the SecuROM registry keys/services and removing them see here.

Despite these issues, I do want to stress that nobody has any legitimate excuse to pirate BioShock. 2K games have already indicated that they will remove the online activation requirement at some point in the future, so concerns about failing activation in a year or two's time are unfounded. This game is completely worthy of purchase given the effort that's clearly gone into developing the game. Pirating it will simply result in even more intrusive anti-piracy measures in the future.

Update: An Activation Revoke Tool has been released to allow users to free up 'activation credits' when they uninstall BioShock from a PC.

Update 2: Activation limits for the game have now been removed, meaning you can activate the game as many times and across as many machines as you wish.


As yet there are no major mods available for BioShock, but if any prominent mods are released I will update this section with details. Note that 2K Games have Officially Stated that there will not be an Editor released for BioShock at any point, so this will obviously make the development of any genuine mods for BioShock extremely difficult if not impossible.

The next section of the guide covers In-Game Settings for Bioshock.