System Shock

Bloodshot pizza box
Caffeine overdrive sorrow
Embrace the chaos


What is/was System Shock?

System Shock was a first-person action adventure game developed by Looking Glass Studios (now sadly defunct), and released on the PC in 1994. If you're wondering what's so great about it, read Doug Peterson's review of the game on MobyGames.

Where can I get it?

System Shock is unfortunately no longer on sale anywhere, but it's available for download from various abandonware sites, e.g. The Underdogs. If you know how to use BitTorrent, then use their BitTorrent link instead of the normal download, and stay on to seed after you've downloaded! If you want a boxed copy, there are occasionally some available on eBay - I have no intention of selling mine, though! I recommend playing the CD version, as it offers higher resolution textures and far more sampled speech, which adds to the atmosphere considerably. It's worth the larger download.

The Underdogs also hosts a torrent for System Shock 2.

Running System Shock on Windows 2000 or Windows XP

It's now possible to run System Shock in Windows, thanks to a guy called Mok. He's released a hacked executable, available here (ZIP, 606KB). (I've mirrored it here on my site as I don't know how long the original forum post will stay up - hope you don't mind, Mok!) Please note that this file only works with the enhanced CD version of the game.

System Shock 2 patch

I'm mirroring the System Shock 2 official patch here, since it'll inevitably disappear from the large gaming sites in time. Here's the description from the Irrational Games site:

This patch implements cooperative multiplayer for System Shock 2. Up to four players are supported over internet or LAN. In addition, several bug-fixes and additional features are implemented including the ability for the user to modify weapon degradation and monster re-spawning rates. This patch is only intended for the original release of System Shock 2. If you have purchased a re- released "budget" edition, you should not need this patch.

Download the patch: (ZIP, 4.02MB)

Related links - the definitive resource/community site for System Shock and its sequel.

The System Shock Walkthrough - by Mitch Aigner. Very detailed and fairly complete, but of course, full of spoilers!

System Shock 1 Music Collection - contains recordings and remixes of System Shock's excellent soundtrack. Download Chicajo's stuff - it rules.

The System Shock Hack Project - a team of programmers writing a remake of the original System Shock for modern hardware. Currently allows you to fly around all the original SS levels in glorious hardware-accelerated 3D. The site has recently moved to Sourceforge. Some thumbnail shots from TSSHP:

tsshp_medical_t.png tsshp_medical2_t.png tsshp_medical3_t.png tsshp_deltagrove2_t.png tsshp_security_t.png tsshp_security2_t.png tsshp_shodancyberspace_t.png

Posted by pwr (site) at January 26, 2004, 2:31pm. Category: content. semipermalink Tags: games, retro


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Displaying comments 0-48 of 48 (most recent first)


Posted by Max at May 27, 2016, 4:30am. Category: content.

Thanks for the hack!!!

Been dying to play it!!!

Posted by anonymous at November 20, 2009, 2:49am. Category: content.

I Love System Shock!

Thanks for all!


Posted by Luca at October 22, 2009, 7:20pm. Category: content.

the underdogs website dosent have ss2 anymore. someone plz tell me where i can find it. i loved bioshock and really want to play it.

Posted by chris at April 13, 2009, 2:34am. Category: content.

System Shock 1 Portable, is a free, 50MB download that runs on WinXP, and can be played from a thumb drive.,211.0.html

Posted by anonymous at September 21, 2008, 6:16pm. Category: content.

yo guys here is the XP fix for SS2 , also thers the Rebirth and SHUTP MOD packs
they do an amazing game of upgrading the graphics!!



Posted by SDE_Bellisarius at July 31, 2007, 4:14pm. Category: content.

I know your Windows XP problem is a pain in the but but heres the only advice that I can give.

Here are some options
Dual Core Processors can be a bother. To avoid this load up SS ignoring the compatibility problem. Press Alt + Tab and minimize the game open up task manager (Cntrl+Alt+Del)then go to processes find SYSTEMSHOCK.EXE and another called SYSTEMSHOCK.ICD (Varies on systems) Right click these go to set Affinity and simply un-check one of the CPU's! Only un-check one of them preferably the second one! DO THIS EVERY TIME YOU LOAD THE GAME!!!

Compatibility is a problem there is no cure, all old games such as System Shock, dudgeon keeper and such were not designed for our computers today, so basicly you either look for a patch or find a torrent to fix it.

The Compatibility option to run it on Windows 95,98,2000 Don't work it will come up with the error message (Windows has closed this programme due to an error sorry or any inconvenience.

SO It's really all up to your PC whether it wants to run it or not sorry mate lol

Posted by Iain at June 29, 2007, 8:46pm. Category: content.

System Shock 1, dosen't seem to run well on my system. I've tried patches and stuff but no luck.

I found out that System shock 2 was named something like top 6-7 of the scariest games of all time!!

Thank you for your help here we'll apreciate you in the future!

Posted by Iain at June 29, 2007, 8:38pm. Category: content.


Thank you for a great site and providing the missing dll's I needed to get the DirectX10 demo working.

all the best

Posted by Arthur at June 1, 2007, 8:26am. Category: content.

My system shock 2 doesn't works with windows XP! :-(

In the installation everything was Ok. The problem was when I started the game, the windows said that the system shock wasn't compatible with windows :-(

What can I do?!!??!!
Please help me, I love so much this game!!!

Thanks :-)

Posted by Carlos (site) at March 24, 2007, 7:29pm. Category: content.

Updated link for Underdogs site

Posted by SDE_Bellisarius at March 5, 2007, 11:56pm. Category: content.

mhm, hey guys here's the link for the System Schock 2 XP fix

works fine.
have fun


Posted by SDE_Bellisarius (site) at March 5, 2007, 11:54pm. Category: content.

Looking Glass Classics appears to be dead now. Anyone have another source?

Posted by pwr (site) at February 16, 2007, 4:02pm. Category: content.

You can now download all versions of System Shock at <a href="">Looking Glass Classics</a>. This includes the little-known Mac version.

Posted by pwr (site) at August 23, 2006, 2:45pm. Category: content.

For anyone that's havng the same trouble i just had, which is where u start the game, everything seems perfect, then u actually start the game itself and automatically shutsdown, download divx. that's it. That solved the problem immediately

Posted by Joel at August 12, 2006, 12:34am. Category: content.

Underdogs has moved to

hope this is helpful

Posted by Marty at July 17, 2006, 8:39am. Category: content. dosent exist post a new link

Posted by garrit at July 16, 2006, 9:47pm. Category: content.

Is there a nocd crack for win98se

Posted by Fingerssss at October 8, 2005, 5:01pm. Category: content.

Is there a nocd crack for win98se

Posted by Fingerssss at October 8, 2005, 5:01pm. Category: content.

Hi all,
Huge fan of SS1 here. My all-time favorite game. Imagine my delight when I discovered the hack that allows you to play the game on Windows XP.
I have the original game in the original box and it is one of my prized possesions.
Perhaps it has already been explained here that in order to use the XP hack, you must run the game from the 'command prompt' . (Start-All Programs-Accessories-Command Prompt) For those of you who missed the ghastly experience of getting MS-DOS to be polite, here's a few commands to use when you start the dos window.

1.First press alt-enter to maximize the window

2. CD.. = moves you up one folder(directory)

You'll need to do this 2X to get to the C:\ or root directory

3. CD SSHOCk = changes to the Sysshock directory

4. install = allows you to setup your sound card. Most sound cards will work if you use one or the other Soundblaster choices.

5. CDSHOCK = starts the game. Actually this is a batch file that directs the op system to the D: drive (on my PC) or CDROM drive where the executable is if you you installed from the CD.

Does any one here know how to slow the music down to 1994 speeds? It plays very fast on today's PC's and I actually preferred it slower.


Posted by Jim at July 31, 2005, 4:21pm. Category: content.


I resently bought a copy of SS2 from for $9.95 plus postage, just thought I would spread the word.

Posted by Inferno at July 20, 2005, 5:00am. Category: content.

system shock 2 i mean

Posted by dk (site) at July 19, 2005, 3:13pm. Category: content.

can anyone play multiplayer with the underdog version of the game?

Posted by dk (site) at July 19, 2005, 3:08pm. Category: content.

The Underdogs has a BitTorrent link <a href="">available here</a>.

Posted by pwr (site) at May 30, 2005, 6:22pm. Category: content.

Your link to the download at the top of the page is dead. The site may not exist anymore. Help me find this game!!! :D

Posted by anonymous at May 30, 2005, 2:56pm. Category: content.

Lazy - if you're using Daemon Tools to mount the ISO, try enabling some of the copy protection emulation options? I think SS2 might have used SafeDisc.

Posted by pwr (site) at May 29, 2005, 3:21pm. Category: content.

I have an old copy of the SS2 disc but I want to protect it from further wear so I ripped an ISO to use instead of the disc. I sucessfully installed the game from the virtual drive but when I tried to play the game It wouldn't launch because I get a message "please insert the correct CD-ROM, select OK and restart the application" I never used the actual physical drive to run the game. Is there a way I can remedy the situation w/o cracking the game. (not that I wont its just a pain in the ass) I an running XP Home.

Posted by lazy at May 29, 2005, 2:17pm. Category: content.

Can't seem to download from Underdogs - constently getting the 'oops' page.

Anyone know where else I can download the enhanced version?

Posted by goodshape at March 29, 2005, 6:43pm. Category: content.

Really good work. I found a lot of profound information which can help me to go on. Thanks for all this input.

Posted by Bonnie Taylor (site) at March 9, 2005, 8:12am. Category: content.

For the Abandonware files check The Underdogs, they have both 1 & 2

Posted by Cass at December 28, 2004, 4:33am. Category: content.

There's torrent on underdogs for all that want to download it..
I am now going to try to run this in dosbox. Boy those were the times!

Posted by sono at November 24, 2004, 2:36am. Category: content.

I want buy or download cd version, somebody, help me to get this game, System shock

Posted by GHz at November 14, 2004, 2:00pm. Category: content.

By which of course I mean shock 2 :) Also good...

Posted by Bobby at September 24, 2004, 6:30pm. Category: content.

If you're running the Underdogs version of this, the 2000/XP .exe fix won't work (it's not a combined nocd patch). Compatibility modes usually work set to win98. If it's still not working, your cpu may have hyperthreading. Start the game as normal without applying compatability modes, but with themes turned off. At the main menu, hit ctrl-alt-del and go to your task manager. Right-click on the sshock2 process and set the affinity so that it's only using one cpu (I know, you probably only have one anyway). Go back to game. Have fun. Repeat :)

Posted by Bobby at September 24, 2004, 6:29pm. Category: content.

Here in Czech republic I was able to find many retail copies of SS I in stores. They are pretty cheap and come with czech manual. But the CD is original, english. I guess it's some kind of central-europe re-release.

Posted by Telemaster at September 20, 2004, 2:42pm. Category: content.

Can anybody tell me where can i download polish cd version of ss1 and where can I find code that is needed at the very beginning in solution that I read is said that the code is included in 06may72 log but I couldnt find it there? Please write on my e-mail

Posted by wilczek at August 16, 2004, 3:39pm. Category: content.

The frenchkiss link has the download right at the bottem of the page - however it is not for the enhanced version :( Try underdogs - for the superior shockcd version :) Hope this helps :)

Posted by someoneorother at July 2, 2004, 9:19am. Category: content.

How is it possible to dowload from this site? There is no link for downloading.

Posted by Jim at July 1, 2004, 5:57pm. Category: content.

How is it possible to dowload from this site? There is no link for downloading.

Posted by Jim at July 1, 2004, 5:57pm. Category: content.

You can download the CD version here:
The site is mainly in french, but the actual ISO is the english version.
If I shouldn't have posted this, or if I have broken your site rules, I'm sorry, just delete this post.

Posted by Kushan (site) at June 21, 2004, 2:24pm. Category: content.

Can someone tell me where can I find System Shock on CD?
In Russia it is impossible!

Posted by Dan at June 19, 2004, 5:04am. Category: content.

KaTad download from emule

Posted by eMule (site) at June 15, 2004, 1:49pm. Category: content.

Could enyone please tell me were can i find System Shock CD Ver (128MB) to download it?

Posted by KaTad at May 29, 2004, 10:26pm. Category: content.

If you can't figure out how to get system shock 1 running under windows xp, you really don't deserve to play it. Half the fun is figuring out how to trick windows xp into running it correctly.

Posted by Rend (site) at May 19, 2004, 4:18am. Category: content.

I followed the detailed directions on the vogons boards for setting up SS1 to run in WinXP, with the exception of the mouse program (the mouse seems to operate normally without). So, that's dosg4w, nolfb, and VDMSound all running. It runs like a dream for a while, and then I'll get screen corruption. Bottom two-thirds freezes, while the top third winds up with sliced-and-diced active pieces of the bottom third of the game. With a little manipulation, I can bring up the options menu and quit out normally. Any ideas on what's causing the corruption? It's a P4 3.0 system with 1GB of RAM, an ATi RADEON 9500 PRO 128 MB AGP card and a CL Audigy2.

Posted by Deckard at May 18, 2004, 1:57pm. Category: content.

Hello there,

I can't find system shock cd nowhere. Neither to buy (execpt eBay for more than 45 EUR !) nor to download. can you help? (Post it at your common file section as nero image?)
Thanks for help

Posted by Rainer at May 17, 2004, 4:36pm. Category: content.

Read this forum about VESA :

Other resources :

Posted by Desmoulins at April 28, 2004, 5:35am. Category: content.

I try to play systemshock in win xp but it didn`t work!! I try your crack and thats not doing anything to that problem! if i try to start the game i hear the voice but monitor is going to sleep mode, i cannot force monitor to stay on!! can you help me??

Posted by DaMonn (site) at February 22, 2004, 9:41pm. Category: content.

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