The Silent Hill 2 Widescreen Fix is a D3D8 wrapper which adds various visual and bug improvements for the PC version of the game. Notable examples of what the fix improves on is the use of a widescreen camera in the game; higher display resolutions; removal of prominent audio bugs; better controller support; visual bug fixes; and more. The use of the Widescreen Fix, accompanied with packages/fixes by other brilliant minds which will also be addressed, makes for a definitive Silent Hill 2 HD experience. This page will guide you on how to install these fixes to experience the improvements for yourself. Be sure to follow the steps below in order.
Before using the guide, please watch the following video to understand and see examples of the many improvements in action.
Installation Guide Changelog
2018-04-07: Renamed the "Replace Game Executable" step to "Install Launch/Menu Enhancements." This is due to adding enhanced visuals for the game's main menu and knife cursor to this package download. The steps have also been revised to reflect the addition of these files.
2018-04-05: Slightly reworded the Install Silent Hill 2 step and Directory Tree of New Fixes for further clarifications. Added a new bullet point under Troubleshooting in regards to the game hanging upon launch.
2018-02-27: Windows 10 users have experienced severe lag/stuttering when using the latest version of WineD3D For Windows with Silent Hill 2. Using version 1.7.52 appears to alleviate this issue. The WineD3D For Windows installation step now mentions downloading this specific version of the fix.
2018-02-19: Introduced a new installation step: Installing IndirectSound. This fix emulates audio hardware acceleration on modern Windows operating systems to enable 3D positional audio for the game.
2018-01-31: Included a controller mapping diagram to the Xinput Plus installation step.
2017-12-21: Included new download options for the FMV Enhancement Pack: The Original FMV Enhancement Pack and the new 16:9 FMV Enhancement Pack. Be sure to read the notes under the "Install Widescreen Fix" step for more information on how to properly use each version of the FMV Enhancement Pack.
2017-12-13: Thanks to recent developments, the fix packages used in the Installation Guide now work with both the North American and European versions of the game. The Installation Guide has been re-worded to address this by changing mentionings of Silent Hill 2: Director's Cut to just Silent Hill 2. The demonstration trailer will be updated in the future to also address this change because, at the moment, it only refers to the Director's Cut version of the game.
2017-12-04: Included steps to enable anti-aliasing for Nvidia and AMD graphic cards.
2017-10-20: Included a directory tree listing all the fix files at the bottom of the guide.
2017-08-05: Included information on the Widescreen Fix's new "Fix2D" modifier under Troubleshooting. Completely reworked the Widescreen Fix installation step to address its new built-in D3D8to9 converter. Because of this new feature, the ENB Converter installation step has been removed from the guide due to redundancy. Remember: If in doubt do a fresh install of the game and all the fixes below.
2017-07-24: Reworded a portion of the Widescreen Fix step to emphasize the importance of running its Mod Updater.
2017-06-30: Moved the Fog Fix installation step towards the end of the process to help avoid confusion on which files to copy over.
2017-06-27: Launch of the Installation Guide.
1. Install Silent Hill 2
Read this step fully before installing the game. Both the North American and European versions of the game are compatible to use with the Silent Hill 2 Widescreen Fix and accompanied fix packages.
Follow the CD installation instructions to install Silent Hill 2 on your Windows computer.
During installation, when prompted, save the movie files to your hard disk.
Near the end of installation you will be prompted to install any necessary DirectX 8 files. Say no to this as modern computers will be running newer versions of DirectX already.
Once installed, the user's permissions for the game folder need to be set to Modify, otherwise you won't be able to save your progress in the game. Refer to the steps below to modify your folder permissions. Note that these steps might vary depending on your version of Windows.
Right-click the game's parent installation folder, which by default is \KONAMI\, and go to Properties.
Go to the Security tab.
In the Group or user names field, select your correct, currently-logged-in user name. If you do not see your correct user name in this list:
Click the Edit button.
The Permissions window will pop up. In it, click the Add button.
The Select Users or Groups window will pop up. In it, click the Advanced button.
A new window will pop up. In it, click the Find Now button.
The Search results field below will populate with user names. In it, find and select your correct, currently-logged-in username.
Click the OK button to go back to the Select Users or Groups window, then click the OK button again.
Now, back on the Security tab, select your correct, currently-logged-in user name from the Group or user names field.
Below that, in the Permissions for <selected user name> field, check the Allow box for Modify.
Apply all changes.
2. Install Launch/Menu Enhancements
Silent Hill 2 will not launch without the disc present. To get around this, a modified game executable must be used which circumvents the CD check. This package includes a modified executable along with visual enhancements to the game's main menu and knife cursor. Special thanks to brunibunny for creating the revised knife cursor.
Go to \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\.
Rename sh2.exe to sh2.exe.bak. This creates a backup of your original executable for safe-keeping.
Note that both download packages are large, at 2.8 GB and 4.4 GB, respectively.
Read the information block below for an explanation of their differences.
Copy the content of the data\movie\ folder from the archive to \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\data\movie\.
Depending on the resolution of your display you may want to download either the Original FMV Enhancement Pack or the 16:9 FMV Enhancement Pack.
The Original FMV Enhancement Pack scales the videos to accommodate widescreen displays without stretching the image but results in pillar boxes (vertical bars on the sides) when viewed on a standard 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. This package may be ideal to use on any aspect ratio other than 16:9.
For example: On ~16:10 aspect ratios (such as 1920 x 1200) the videos will be scaled to fill the display's resolution nearly perfect, with only minor image cropping occuring but without pillar boxes being shown and without the videos being stretched.
The 16:9 FMV Enhancement Pack scales the videos and slightly stretches the image to completely fill a standard 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio without cropping any of the video's composition. This package is ideal for players who prefer minor video stretching to remove the pillar boxes on 16:9 displays while avoiding any image cropping.
Original FMV Enhancement Pack Shown on a 16:9 aspect ratio
Original FMV Enhancement Pack Shown on a ~16:10 aspect ratio
16:9 FMV Enhancement Pack Shown on a 16:9 aspect ratio
4. Install IndirectSound
IndirectSound emulates audio hardware acceleration on modern Windows operating systems. This enables Silent Hill 2 to have 3D positional audio (i.e. surround sound played out of rear and side speakers) like it was intended when the game was originally released. IndirectSound was created by John-Paul Ownby. Please consider taking a moment to thank them by sending a message of support or donating.
Copy dsound.dll from the archive to \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\.
IndirectSound should automatically work without modification. To ensure correct performance, after placing the IndirectSound file in the game's directory, verify Software 3D sound is set to Hardware 3D Used in the game's Options > Advanced Options menu.
5. Install Widescreen Fix
The Widescreen Fix enhances Silent Hill 2 in numerous ways: It forces the game to run on a single core which eliminates the rampant audio bugs; runs the game in widescreen to fit any sized monitor appropriately; allows for the same button to be assigned for multiple actions on a controller; and fixes other inherit game bugs, to name a few. The Widescreen Fix was created by ThirteenAG and Aero_. Please consider taking a moment to thank them by sending a message of support or donating.
Copy the contents of the SilentHill2.WidescreenFix\ folder from the archive to \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\. This will also create a new scripts\ folder in the game's directory.
Rename dinput8.dll to d3d8.dll.
Run the game up to its title screen then exit out of the game.
This allows the Widescreen Fix to create a local.fix file in the game's directory to allow for forced anti-aliasing through your GPU's control panel. (Important information on achieving anti-aliasing for Silent Hill 2 will be addressed later on in this guide.)
This allows the Widescreen Fix to run its Mod Updater to check if it is using the latest release files.
Important: If you receive an Updates available dialog box upon game launch ensure that you run the update. Because the Widescreen Fix utilizes its Mod Updater to release the latest version of its files, the download package from their site will likely contain outdated files that will need to be updated. If you use an outdated version of the Widescreen Fix you may run into compatibility or launching issues. (Read the information block below for more information.)
Using a text editor such as Notepad, create a file named global.ini that contains the following content below and save the file to the scripts\ folder:
This activates the Widescreen Fix's built-in ReShade D3D8to9 Converter. The ReShade D3D8to9 Converter is a DirectX 8 to DirectX 9 wrapper. This is needed as D3D8 wrappers seem to not be able to fix the black lines on faces issue; only D3D9 and up wrappers can fix this. Additionally, the use of this converter allows for the use of WineD3D For Windows' D3D9 files which fixes other issues for the game.
You may periodically receive an Updates available dialog box upon game launch. If you see this box that means there is an important update for the Widescreen Fix. Choose how the updater will handle your INI files then click Download and install updates now. If you have modified any settings in the SilentHill2.WidescreenFix.ini file you may want to choose Don't replace INI files during the update to avoid having your customizations reset. But note that an update may add new modifiable settings within the INI file you would not receive if you choose to not replace the INI files.
If using either version of the FMV Enhancement Pack ensure both FMVWidescreenMode and FMVWidescreenEnhancementPackCompatibility are set to 1 in the SilentHill2.WidescreenFix.ini file.
The Widescreen Fix allows for the ability to change the game's framerate (FPS) via the SilentHill2.WidescreenFix.ini file. However, it is strongly recommended to keep the game running at 30 FPS. There have been numerous, noted issues when playing the game at any other framerate. This is because the game was only ever intended to run at 30 FPS.
Forced windowed mode can be achieved by creating a blank file named wndmode.ini in \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\. You can change the size/resolution of the windowed game by opening the SilentHill2.WidescreenFix.ini file and changing the ResX and ResY values accordingly. (Set these values to "0" to inherently size the game to your display's native resolution.)
This step is for users who want to play the game using an Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller. If you do not plan to use either of these controllers this step can be skipped. By default, the game supports the use of these controllers. However, it does not recognize the controllers' triggers or D-pad. Xinput Plus fixes these problems. Once you complete the steps below, run the game and go to its Options menu. Under Button Configuration you can now assign actions to all of your controller's inputs. Xinput Plus was created by 0dd14. Please consider taking a moment to thank them by sending a message of support or donating.
Run the software and set the Target Program to \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\sh2.exe.
Go to the DirectInput tab and check the Enable DirectInput Output box.
LT/RT to Button 11/12.
DPAD to Button 13-16.
GUIDE to Button 17.
Optional: You can set the controller's D-pad to act as an additional movement pad (to mimic the controls on the console versions more closely). This will also allow you to use the D-pad to navigate the game's menus. However, doing so will remove the ability to use actions on the D-pad.
Go to the KeyAssign tab.
Set Left Stick to Multiple Key.
A new window will pop up. In it, check Left Stick and DPAD.
Apply the changes.
Your controller must be plugged in to your PC prior to launching the game in order for Xinput Plus to work. You will hear a beep/chime (unless you disabled this feature via the Xinput Plus software) as the game launches confirming Xinput Plus has detected the controller.
For your convenience, the diagram below shows the default console controller layout for Silent Hill 2 displayed on an Xbox One controller. The diagram also includes two suggested button actions not available to the original console releases: Left joystick press for quick heal and right joystick press for quick reload. Note that the PC version of Silent Hill 2 binds the "look (in search view)" function, which is bound to the right joystick on console versions, to the movement pad, meaning you must fully stop moving to look around in search view. This is hard-coded into the PC version of the game and cannot be changed.
7. Install WineD3D For Windows
WineD3D For Windows is a DirectX-to-OpenGL wrapper based on WineD3D that can enhance backwards compatibility with older games. For Silent Hill 2 this fixes numerous Nvidia glitches such as areas being solid white instead of black; missing fog at the Observation Deck in the game's beginning; missing graphical overlays; chunks of the wall disappearing when the Widescreen Fix is in use; and universal glitches such as black lines appearing on faces. WineD3D For Windows was created by Frederico Dossena. Please consider taking a moment to thank them by sending a message of support or donating.
Copy sh2.dll and sh2fog.ini from the archive to \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\scripts\.
Rename sh2.dll to sh2.asi.
You can change settings for the Fog Fix by going to \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\scripts\ and opening the sh2fog.ini file with a text editor. It is recommended to use an editor such as Notepad++ to preserve the file's formatting.
Try setting fog_transparency_layer2 to 138 and fog_layer2_density_mult to 1.4 in the sh2fog.ini file for an even closer representation of the PlayStation 2's fog.
9. Enabling Anti-aliasing
Traditional methods for anti-aliasing such as multisampling (MSAA) or supersampling (SSAA) are not possible while using ReShade's DirectX8to9 Converter and WineD3D For Windows. However, anti-aliasing methods such as fast approximate anti-aliasing (FXAA) and subpixel morphological anti-aliasing (SMAA) are achievable while these fix packages are in use.
: Enable FXAA
FXAA is achieved by smoothing jagged edges ("jaggies") according to how they appear on screen as pixels, rather than analyzing the 3D model itself as in conventional anti-aliasing. Since it is not based on the actual geometry, it will smooth not only edges between triangles, but also edges inside alpha-blended textures or resulting from pixel shader effects, which are immune to the effects of multisample anti-aliasing (MSAA)
Open the Nvidia Control Panel.
Click the Manage 3D settings link from the left column.
Go to the Program Settings tab.
Under Select a program to customize click the Add button.
A new window will pop up. In it, click the Browse button, select \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\sh2.exe, then click the Add Selected Program button.
Under Specify the settings for this program set Antialiasing - FXAA to On.
Apply the changes.
In regards to anti-aliasing, you should only enable FXAA when customizing the 3D settings for Silent Hill 2 via the Nvidia Control Panel. Enabling other anti-aliasing features, such as Antialiasing - Mode, may cause the game to crash or hang upon launch while the fix packages are in use.
: Install injectSMAA
It is recommended only AMD GPU users use injectSMAA. AMD GPUs don't have the many inherit visual bugs that Nvidia cards have for Silent Hill 2. AMD GPUs only experience the universal black lines on faces issue. injectSMAA achieves anti-aliasing while fixing the black lines issue but it does not fix the other visual bugs that Nvidia users experience (this is what WineD3D For Windows fixes).
Using injectSMAA may considerably delay the fast transitions feature of the Widescreen Fix.
injectSMAA is an efficient GPU-based MLAA implementation to achieve subpixel morphological anti-aliasing for DirectX 9-11 (32 bit) applications. This package can be used alongside the ReShade D3D8to9 Converter to achieve anti-aliasing for Silent Hill 2 while still fixing the black lines issue. injectSMAA was created by Andrej Dudenhefner. Please consider taking a moment to thank them by sending a message of support or donating.
Ensure you have the ReShade D3D8to9 Converter activated through the Widescreen Fix.
Ensure you are not using the WineD3D For Windows files. If so, remove these files from \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\.
Copy the contents of the d3d9\ folder from the archive to \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\.
You can change settings for injectSMAA by going to \KONAMI\Silent Hill 2\ and opening the injector.ini file with a text editor. It is recommended to use an editor such as Notepad++ to preserve the file's formatting.
The game freezes/hangs upon launch
Ensure your antivirus/anti-malware software is not preventing the game from running.
Some users reported having to wait up to 60 seconds after launching the game before it would load. This is most likely due to the use of ReShade's D3D8to9 Converter and WineD3D For Windows. There is no known singular cause as to why some people can launch the game near-immediately while others must wait longer while using these fix packages.
Windows 7 users: Some Windows 7 users reported that having single core affinity enabled through the Widescreen Fix prevents the game from running. Running the game on a single core fixes the sound glitches/looping that is otherwise prevalent throughout the game. You can disable single core affinity in the SilentHill2.WidescreenFix.ini file. You will then need to manually enable single core affinity each time you launch the game via the Task Manager.
The Widescreen Fix sometimes doesn't take effect when the game launches
While there can by many reasons why the fix won't launch, including issues specific to your PC only, the most important thing to do is to ensure you are using the latest version of the Widescreen Fix through its Mod Updater. You can open a support ticket for the Widescreen Fix on their GitHub page if further assistance is required.
The markings on the map "float" above the borders on the sides of the screen
The game does not render its overlaid 2D images beyond their original full screen aspect ratio, so when you open the map you will see borders on the sides. Yet, the markings on the map "float" above these borders. This issue can be resolved by setting Fix2D to 0 in the SilentHill2.WidescreenFix.ini file. Using this fix will make the map fill the widescreen resolution of your display, but will stretch the image in the process. This will affect all overlaid 2D images including the menu/inventory screen, memo screens, save screen, subtitles, etc.
In some cutscenes characters are "frozen in place" for a while
The cutscenes were made with only full screen displays in mind so when you run the game in widescreen you'll see things you were never supposed to see. This includes "frozen" character models that have been loaded in, right outside the full screen boundaries, ready and waiting to enter the scene. This issue can be resolved by setting ReduceCutsceneFOV to 1 in the SilentHill2.WidescreenFix.ini file.
My game crashes or freezes when I force anti-aliasing through my GPU's control panel
There have been noted game freezes and crashes when forcing traditional anti-aliasing methods (such as MSAA and SSAA) through a GPU control panel while ReShade's D3D8to9 Converter and WineD3D For Windows are in use. However, anti-aliasing can be achieved by using methods such as FXAA or SMAA. Implementing FXAA or SMAA for the game is addressed in the Installation Guide above.
If you want to use a traditional method of anti-aliasing, such as MSAA or SSAA, you may need to only use the Widescreen Fix (without activing ReShade's D3D8to9 converter and launch the game at least once after installing the Widescreen Fix before attempting any type of anti-aliasing override) to use your GPU's forced anti-aliasing settings. Use of the FMV Enhancement Pack, Fog Fix, and Xinput Plus are still safe. However, you should consider forgoing forced traditional anti-aliasing in favor of the beneficial fixes the ReShade D3D8to9 Converter and WineD3D For Windows provides for the game.
Can I edit .ini file settings while the game is running and the changes take effect "live?"
No, editing settings within the .ini files while the game is running will not change the settings "live" as you're playing the game. You must fully exit the game and then re-launch the game to see your saved, adjusted settings take effect.
My video capture software records a blank screen for this game now
This is a result from using WineD3D For Windows for the game. A work-around is to run the game in forced windowed mode (achievable via the Widescreen Fix) and tell your video capture software to record your monitor's screen (as opposed to the game's specific window), then crop the video's composition to just the game window in your video editing software during post-processing.
The download links no longer work/are dead
Be sure to double-check that the URL is correct. Alternatively, you can search for these download pages online by their names. You can download mirrors of the packages from this page but this should only be done as a last resort as the mirrors may not be the most up-to-date versions of the packages. The package creators may have released newer, better, more optimized versions of their work. Click here for mirrored package downloads.
Mirrored Package Downloads
You can download mirrors of the packages below but this should only be done as a last resort as the mirrors may not be the most up-to-date versions of the packages. Outdated versions of the packages below may not work alongside newer versions of other packages.