Need for Speed 2 – Special Edition

Need for Speed 2 cover
Genre: Racing
Release Year: 1997
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Age Rating: Everyone
Playability Status: Fully playable (minor issues only)
Tested On: Windows 7 x64, Windows 8 x64
Availability: Copyright retained - Out of print/unavailable

Popular racing game franchise Need for Speed has been delivering high octane racing thrills since 1994. Starting as a realistic simulation title on the ill-fated 3DO games console, it didn’t take long for realism to give way to more imaginative racing action. This second game in the franchise takes the action across outlandish tracks and locations. You will get to race such exotic cars as the Ferriari F50, the Mclaren F1 and even the one-of-a-kind Ford Indigo concept car around beaches, city streets, jungles and volcanoes. Being the first game in the series to take advantage of the then cutting-edge 3DFX 3D accelerator cards, back in 1997 the games visuals must have seemed highly impressive. It can be quite a shock how primitive the game now looks by today’s standards. Nevertheless, if you’re feeling nostalgic or simply delving into the series history there’s still a playable little racer to be enjoyed here.


To install Need for Speed 2 SE, don’t bother with the installer on the disc. Instead, create a new folder anywhere on your PC. Now, open the Need for Speed 2 SE CD-ROM in Windows Explorer or File Explorer. Copy the FEDATA and GAMEDATA folders from the CD-ROM to your newly created folder. Now, copy all the files in the root of the CD-ROM (but not the other folders) over to the folder you created on your hard drive. When you’re done, you should have a folder on your hard drive with two folders inside it (“FEDATA” and “GAMEDATA”) and 16 files. Before the game can run, however, we need to install some patches.


Rather than trying to set compatibility modes for the game yourself, the best way to get the game to work is to use the pre-made compatibility patch available here. The patch is kindly hosted by Zeus software, who also provide the nGlide wrapper software we will need in the next step. The patch is downloaded as a zip file. Open the zip file and copy all the contents into the directory you created on your hard drive during the installation process. Run the PatchInstall.bat file that should now be present in the folder. User Account Control may prompt for your administrator password and/or ask you for permission to continue several times, be sure to grant permission for the patch to install.

We’re now almost ready to hit the tarmac, there’s one more important step we need to complete before the game can run.

Restoring 3D acceleration with nGlide

Need for Speed 2 SE utilised the old 3DFX graphics cards, which used the old Glide graphics acceleration software. This is incompatible with the DirectX or OpenGL software that modern graphics cards support. Fortunately, software exists that can translate the old Glide games into something modern graphics cards can support. The software we recommend for use with this game is called nGlide. You can download nGlide here. Installing nGlide is extremely simple, just open the nGlide executable file and that’s it. There are no settings that need to be configured, though we will look at some that you might want to tinker with later in the article. Note that if you have already installed nGlide you don’t need to do it again and you can simply skip this step.

Starting the game

Start the game by clicking the “NFS2SEA.EXE” file within the directory. The game should now start without any further issues. If you see the 3DFX logo appear, the game is running with full 3D acceleration. You might want to make a short-cut to NFS2SEA to appear on your Desktop or Start Menu/Screen. If you still have problems running the game, check the troubleshooting section at the end of the article.

Tweaking visual quality

Need for Speed 2 SE is never going to be a visually stunning game now it’s over a decade and a half old. However, there’s no harm in tweaking a few settings to get the best visual quality out of this fun little racing relic. In game there are a few options you should be sure to set. From the games main menu, choose “Options” and then select “Graphics”. Here, ensure that Car Detail is set to “On”, View Distance is set to “Far” and “Horizon” is set to “On”. You should also check under Audio options and make sure that sound samples are set to 16 bit quality.

If you want to take things a little further, there’s the nGlide Configurator program. This program is installed on your PC when you install the nGlide software. Start it by searching for “Configurator” on your Start menu or Start Screen. The picture below shows the program running on a Windows 8 PC.

nGlide configuration options

Most of the settings can be left as default, but you may want to change a couple of things. For Need For Speed 2 SE, you can change the Screen resolution to match your monitor, this will give you the clearest picture. Windows should have set your desktop up to match your monitors native resolution, so if you’re not sure what to choose, right click on the desktop and choose “Screen Resolution” then simply make a note of what your current display is set to.

If you decide to change the games screen resolution, you may want to use the “Aspect ratio” box to set the image to 4:3 mode. This will prevent the games graphics being stretched out of proportion. The other settings can all be left as default.

Remember that the nGlide settings you configure using this program will affect any other software on your PC that uses nGlide. If you have other games that need different settings, you will need to reconfigure the Configurator when you play them.

Troubleshooting and known issues

Problems with sound playback – If you experience problems with crackly or broken sound playback, you need to configure the game (NFS2SEA.EXE) to run with only one CPU core. For a tutorial on how to do that, visit this page.

Stuttering in game – If you configure all the above settings correctly, NFS2SE should run at around 60 frames per second. While testing the game on our Windows 7 and 8 machines however, there did seem to be the occasional stutter during play. We’re not sure if this happens when playing the game on the original hardware it was designed for or not. It’s not enough to spoil the experience, but enough for us to hold off on giving the game a perfect playability rating.


  1. Jack says:

    There’s an added step for some users (I’m using Windows 7 64 bit). In the root directory for your Need for Speed II SE game, change the name of the file INSTALL.NFS to INSTALL.WIN. I noticed some people saying that had problems with the .exe file not doing anything when they clicked it. for some odd reason this solves it!

    Amazingly well-organized tutorial by the way


  2. Mohan says:

    In that patching step , that “PatchInstall.bat” that file is not able to run…
    Please help me ..

  3. Tormentor667 says:

    Instead of “nGlide” (which didn’t work for me) I used dgVoodoo (from here ) and unzipped it directly into the NFS2 directory – that made it work.

  4. pepek says:

    pls help when i start RACE i all see colorfully why?

  5. Parkash says:

    Plz Tell Me Some Easy Step To Download And Run On Windows 7 64bit
    Plz Plz And Give Me NFS2se Download Link Also!

  6. Jord says:

    I have the original CD, I copied the files as instructed. I downloaded the installer and extracted it. When I run the installer patch a dos window pops up momentarily then disappears, that is all that happens. How do I instal the game?

  7. ziko says:

    i have problem when i try play nfs2se lan in my net cafe i got this message no game available and i do ipx confegration pls some one help me

  8. mitsubishi says:

    Hi, i’ve done all in this tutorial, but i have a low FPS. Using Windows 7 X64

  9. Rikaz says:

    to play need for speed SE you must have the game CD in the CD- Rom drive

    How to solve

  10. pras says:

    Hi, i am using windows 8 32 bit and i did all the steps u mentioned above.Nothing happened when i clicked on nfs2se.exe, but then as jack suggested in the first comment i changed INSATLL.NFS to INSTALL.WIN. now i can see 3dfx logo and then it just goes black.
    plz help

    • TheLaLee says:

      Hi pras!

      I experienced the same issue after the same procedure you did – though with a 32 bit Win 7.

      What I did was that I opened the nGlide configurator (I found it in my Start menu) and messed around with the settings a bit. Results may vary but I got it working by this setting:

      Screen Resolution – 640×480
      Aspect Ratio – 4:3
      Refresh Rate – 60 Hz
      Vertical synch – Off
      Gamma Correction left on default.

      After I start NFSEA.exe the 3dfx logo pops up, then after a few seconds the intro movie starts up and then all is fine and dandy. Exepct that the fps is extremely low, but I’m not giving up. :)

    • TheLaLee says:

      I found the solution. A german site hosts a pre-patched, fixed installer which you can find here:

      You need to have the original CD in your drive, or at least a mounted CD-image in your virtual drive. It runs perfectly for me (in software mode), except for the crackling sound, but the solution mentioned in the article (running the game with only on processor core) did the trick. Now it runs flawlessly.

  11. Nicole Puage says:


    how run game without patch (I mean: what if I use the systems resolutions like as run with administrator and with windows vista SP2/ Windows XP SP2)

    To best Regards =)! Thanks for Your Solution!

  12. Todd says:

    I have win7 Home Premium 64bit.
    To make mine work – I copied the files as you said, ran the nGlide, made a shortcut to “NFS2SEA.EXE” and set it for one CPU, renamed “INSTALL.NFS” to “INSTALL.WIN”. It’s now running fine at 1920×1080 with good sound. But – it needs the CD in the drive. Thanks for the step by step help.

  13. nameer says:

    i am playing the game on win 7
    i have done everything u said but when i start the race , the graphics gets blurred …
    what should i do ? :(

  14. sanjay says:

    Can I install n play nfs2 se in windows 8 64bit??

  15. chidu says:

    from where will i get the link to download this torrent

  16. icepick says:

    I tried to copy the files but it stopped on NCNTROCK file, I don’t want it to do that! is there any way around this? I had to start my computer up again multiple times after this. Help please

  17. Tyler says:

    It didn’t work for me unless I changed the .WIN as said, and I used the “videos only” patch instead of the game.

  18. kaarthik says:

    sir pls help hw to download nfs2

  19. Dave says:

    To fix the low FPS issue, go to the process in task manager while the game is running and set the priority for the process to low. It seems counter intuitive but it worked for me.

  20. Mike says:

    This game works for me but has a strange graphical bug where the cars can be seen through the scenery and through the road. Also, the road markings as well can be seen through the road. It means I can basically still see the cars in front of me when they have turned a corner or if they are over the top of a hill in front of me. It’s like the cars have preference when it comes to being drawn on the screen.

    The game is perfectly playable but it is a strange bug.

  21. Richard Hill says:

    ran the installer and it seems to work, however it is not in English and I do not know how to setup the joystick. Any helpwould be greatly appeciated.

  22. Chaitanya Visave says:

    Thank You Very Much !!!
    LOVE YOU !!!
    I am finally able to run my game!!!
    Your Patch works !!! :D

  23. Mitsubishi says:

    Just run the game on Windows 7 X64, used the patch, nglide(configurator is located in start menu\nglide folder) and the affinity option(to run the game on single core). Works flawlessly. I played this game on my firs computer with 32 ram. Brings nostalgia. 10x so much!!!
    ps: The game runs with disk inserted.

  24. VirtuaIceMan says:

    Okay some tips and how I got it to work perfectly on mine. Low FPS = check the NFS2SEA.EXE doesn’t have a compatibility mode set on it, as well as the fixes you’re adding above.

    On my PC I can get the game running smooth, but the sound then stutters, here’s exactly what I did to fix it (as I have Creative ALchemy software):

    NFS2SE can be a pain to get working, even with all the help out there. Here’s how I got it working on my PC (3Dfx version ONLY, DirectDraw version is crashing for me before any videos even play, currently). This requires Creative’s ALchemy software, as I use a Creative Soundblaster Zx card. If you’re not on Creative technology, I don’t know if step 5 will be possible for you.

    1. Install game by copying the FEDATA and GAMEDATA and all files in the root of the CD-ROM into a folder on your PC (for example C:\games\nfs2). Rename the file INSTALL.NFS to INSTALL.WIN in the folder you copied it into.

    2. If you don’t have nGlide already, get it and install it from, configure it as you desire.

    3. From the nGlide site download the NFS2SE patch …

    4. Unzip the patches, go into the folder called “NFS2SE Patch (use only for watching videos)” and run PatchInstall.bat to install the fixes necessary.

    5. Open Creative ALchemy, click Add, enter game name and Use Game Path, then browse for the install folder (e.g. C:\games\nfs2), click OK, then the >> button to install the update.

    6. Run the game using the NFS2SEA.EXE executable (make a shortcut to this if you wish). Hopefully you’ll get stutter-free gameplay and perfect sound. If you’re unable to do step 5 you’ll get good gameplay but stuttering sound. Incidentally, if you apply process Priority of High or Realtime to the executable (which means changing the shortcut’s Target to: C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C START “NFS2SEA” /high C:\Games\nfs2\NFS2SEA.EXE) then the sound will be good, but you’ll have microstutters in-game.

    For reference, my PC spec is: Win8.1, i7-4970K (not overclocked) MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, Creative Soundblaster ZX, 16GB RAM, Asus Z98-A motherboard, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

  25. VirtuaIceMan says:

    The path to the nGlide patches in my post above is broken, but it’s the same ones listed in the explanation above under PATCHING

  26. Hylke says:

    Hello, I did this whole tutorial, including the single core affinity thingy and the game works fine except that when i start a race, the colors are not really normal, all yellow red green bluey. Does anybody here know what the problem is?
    thanks in advance


  27. Henrique says:

    I’m having the same problem as Hylke, i’ve already tried anything. The game starts normally, in the menus the options are running faster, but no problem with that. The problem is when the race starts the collors are not normal, you barely can see the cars and the road. But the speed and the gameplay is good. How can i fix that?

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Have you got the latest nGlide installed? Have you tried asking on their forums?

      • Hylke says:

        I actually solved the problem already. I read somewhere, after Some searching, That to run the game normally, you should make a batch file in the installation directory.
        Only thing wrong with it is That the sound is still messed up. I dont know how to get both the sound (with processor affinity like in the post) and the colors to run smoothly together, so i chose color over sound.

        To get the colors fixed, make a new textfile intyp directory you installed NFS in.
        Open the file and type:

        taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe
        start explorer.exe

        Then save the file as a .bat file and whenever you want to play just start this .bat file.

        What this does is it shuts explorer.exe down, which is the Windows program That runs like your desktop and toolbar. Then it starts NFS and when you shut NFS down, it starts explorer again.
        Hope this helped :)

        • BuckoA51 says:

          To start the game with one CPU core in your batch file is easy, just do this:-

          taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe
          start /affinity 1 NFS2SEN.exe
          start explorer.exe

  28. Hylke says:

    I’ve now tried the affinity thing but the sound is still like someone is farting in my ear :/

  29. CharlesH says:

    Hi there,

    I got the game to reach the main menu, and all of the menu items work.

    However, when I try to play a game, the track load screen stops at halfway, without fail.
    Have you seen any fixes for this?

    Also, the patch that you linked to is a batch file calling a program that doesn’t seem to exist. Am I missing something?

    Thanks for the guide.

  30. HarishST says:

    Hi there,

    I have followed your Procedure to run NFS 2. It starts without any problems, but when I Click on “Race” the loading bar appears and stops working! Can You Please reply me, what will be the problem is? Thanks! :)

  31. Florin says:

    I followed all these steps, but while the race is started going too slowly

  32. Florin says:

    We solved. Right-click the icon to open the game, then Properties -> Compatibilitty I put Windows 2000 & Run in 640×480 screen resolution

  33. king says:

    ok ppl. imma show yall how to get it to work on a windows 8.1 64 bit system:

    1) download and install game (obviously!) – do not run the game yet
    2) download nglide from — for more visual clarity open the nglide configurator (find it with windows search) and on the screen res option remove the default setting and set it to ur monitor’s screen res and then set aspect ratio to 4:3, apply -> exit
    3) download the patch from — extract it and run the second patch bat file (the one with the option to watch videos; the first patch usually results in a blank screen)
    4) download and install creative alchemy universal from — this will resolve the crackling sound issue in nfs. to set up: open alchemy software, click add button, then write in ur game title then at location pick ‘use game path’ and copy and paste the nfs install directory into it. do not include the nfs2ea.exe part. just up to the folder is fine. don’t forget the final ‘\’ in game path directory. click the >> button to add it to the alchemy enabled games column. now exit the software.
    5) download and install process tamer from –this will allow you to force nfs to run on low priority. running nfs on low priority usually resolves the slow gameplay issue –> to set up: right click at the bottom in the explicit rules area and select add rule, browse nfs2ea.exe and select ‘force low’ under explicit rule

    everything has been set up. you should be able to run the game just fine. however i must point out that you should run the game WITHOUT any compatibility mode settings whatsoever (no ’95, vista, etc). the ‘run this program in compatibility mode for’ setting should be left unticked . the patch from step 3 takes care of any compatibility issues.

    now run nfs2ea.exe file. the 3dfx logo should splash, then a brief blank screen follows, then the nfs game should fire up.

    with the small (approx 70 – 80 MB) nfs setup file, there will be no intro video, no menu music, none of the car videos we all enjoy and most importantly THERE WILL BE NO SOUNDTRACKS!!! the rest of the audio plays fine tho

    *snip – links to illegal downloads are not allowed under any circumstances*

    have fun!

    any questions email me at *snip* not a good idea to leave your e-mail address like that unless you love spam.

  34. Steven says:

    Its asking for the cd

  35. Dan says:

    How do you get the interior car view to come back? I’m using the glide program and the game works fine, however the interior car view is missing from the camera view selections. Any ideas on how to fix this?

  36. Mike says:

    So, I followed the instructions and got the game running. It’s nice and fast on my roughly 3,.0 ghz intel processor. But I was getting the static noises. Not the end of the world, the game was still playable but it was kind of annoying. I searched around and found out that it was a case of having too many cores running and that you could set the affinity. So I tried the following

    C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C START “NFS2SEA” /high /affinity 3 “C:\Games\NFS2SE\NFS2SEA.EXE”

    which came from the following site

    and which worked great to get rid of the static but I got a huge performance hit. My computer is pretty much brand new, I figured it could take a 20 year-old game on one or even 2 cores.

    If you have any advice where I could get the game running at a decent performance without the static I would be very grateful. Maybe i am just missing a setting somewhere….


  37. Ercan in turkey says:

    hello very thanks my pc windows 7 perfect play game . thank you.

  38. TEJASH says:


  39. praveen says:

    It becomes colourful when racing…

  40. TEJASH says:


    1.Open notepad and type without brackets
    (taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe
    start explorer.exe)

    2.then save as batch file that should NFS2SEN.bat in game directory

    To run game smoothly
    1.check compatibly mode in vista (service pack 2)or try windows 95 of NFS2SEN.exe not NFS2SEN.bat
    run batch file that is NFS2SEN.bat

  41. Jean says:

    Can someone please explain how can this be setup for online play with hamachi?

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