System Shock 2 was a popular First Person Shooter (FPS) with role playing elements in a sci-fi environment, released in 1999. In this year, Windows 95 and 98 were mainstream operating systems.

System Shock 2 on Windows 7 and 8.Installing System Shock 2 from original CD

When you try to install System Shock 2 from CD on Windows 7 or 8, you'll probably get an error saying that the game cannot be installed due to DirectX 6.1 limitations. When you do find a way to install the game, you'll probably run into the game's limited resolution. And perhaps System Shock 2 will freeze when you start a new game. So, what to do to install and run the game flawlessly on Windows 7?

  • Make sure you have DirectX 9.0C installed
  • Copy the SHOCK folder from the original System Shock 2 CD to a folder of choice, for example d:\games; you'll end up with d:\games\SHOCK
  • Go to and download SS2Tool (look for attachments)
  • Save the SS2Tool file to a folder of choice and double click it to open
  • At Choose Install Loction, make sure that the destination folder is the SHOCK folder you've copied to your hard disk, in this example d:\games\SHOCK
  • At Choose Components, you can unfold Game features and check Start menu items if you'd like SS2Tool to create links in your Start menu
  • Leave other components of SS2Tool checked and finish the installation

Please note that by default the SS2Tool does not create Start menu items and it does not create a desktop shortcut to System Shock 2. To start the game, open Windows Explorer, go to the installation folder of System Shock 2, in this example d:\games\SHOCK and double click on the Shock2.exe file to start the game. You also can create a shortcut on the desktop by right clicking on Shock2.exe and choose "Send to - Desktop (create shortcut)".

Other options: get a new copy on

System Shock 2 is available as a download through, a website that distributes old games for new Windows systems. Buy your DRM-free copy there, and have no problems installing and running it on your Windows 7 or 8 PC. It includes an older version of SS2Tool, so you could run the latest SS2Tool to update your installment of System Shock 2.

What about System Shock 1?

System Shock 1 is a DOS game released in 1994 and therefore perfectly playable with DOSBox. If there's a high res mod / patch, we'll find out about it.