Lego Racers

Genre: Childrens, Racing
Release Year: 1999
Developer: High Voltage Software
Publisher: Lego Software
Age Rating: Everyone
Playability Status: Fully playable (minor issues only)
Tested On: Windows 8 x64
Availability: Copyright retained - Out of print/unavailable

Kids these days eh? Actually no, let’s not do that again. Back in June we covered Lego Racers 2 and found that it worked pretty well on modern PCs. This time we’re taking a look at the first game. Just like the sequel, this game will let kids of any age race Lego karts around various themed circuits, out driving and out gunning the opposition.


The game should install just fine on modern PCs. Simply put the disc into your PCs optical drive and follow the on-screen prompts. If the autorun program doesn’t start automatically, browse to the CD in Computer/This PC and run the “AR_KeyRun.exe” file manually. During installation, you will be asked if you want to install DX Media and DirectX 6. You should choose “No” to both of these choices, as the versions on the Lego Racers CD-ROM are certainly much older than the ones you already have on your PC.

Playing the game

Lego Racers will run on modern versions of Windows only if you disable the introduction movie. Follow these step by step instructions to disable the movie.

Windows 8 users:- If you are using a Start menu replacement, follow the Windows 7 instructions. Otherwise, open the Start screen and search for “Lego Racers”. Don’t click on the icon, instead, right click on it and choose “Open file location”.




A File Explorer window will then open, right click on the Lego Racers icon and choose “Properties”.




Now, follow the instructions under “Editing the shortcut”.

Windows 7 users:- Simply search for Lego Racers on your Start menu, then right click on the shortcut and choose “Properties”.

Editing the shortcut:- The games shortcut properties should now be displayed.




We now need to edit the games shortcut slightly. Click on the “Target:” box and press the “End” key on your keyboard to go to the very end of the line. Now, press the space bar once and type, or better still copy and paste, the following:-


As you can see in the screenshot above, the user has already done this. You can click on “OK” now, but you might want to check out the next section as there are a couple more tweaks you can perform. Once you complete this tweak, you should always launch Lego Racers from this shortcut. If you have a desktop shortcut too you will need to update it in the same way.

The games introduction video exists as an .avi file in the games installation directory. However, we couldn’t even play it using Windows Media Player. If you want to watch the intro, someone has kindly uploaded it to Youtube here.

Tweaking visual quality

There aren’t any in-game options for tweaking visual quality in Lego Racers, but there is a way to force the game to run in higher resolutions. Using the technique above that you used to disable the intro video, edit the target box again and add the following two commands.

-horzres 1280 -vertres 1024

Make sure there’s a space between “-novideo” and “-horzres”. This will run the game at 1280×1024 resolution. If you want to try a different resolution, simply substitute in the appropriate numbers. -horzres 1024 -vertres 768 for instance, would run the game in 1024×768 mode. Lego Racers is a 4:3 aspect ratio (non-widescreen) game and may appear stretched if you force it into a widescreen screen mode.

When running the game in a higher resolution, note that the menus and the Lego builder sections will not run full screen. Instead they will run in a box in the top left hand corner of the screen. The actual racing however will run in full screen and look significantly better thanks to the bump in resolution.

Configuring controllers

To configure controllers in Lego Racers, start the game and then choose Options. Now, choose either Player 1 controls or Player 2 controls depending on whose controller you want to configure. The game recognised our Xbox 360 controllers just fine, but wouldn’t allow us to assign accelerate and brake to the analogue triggers. Normally we can use Xpadder to remove this limitation, but Lego Racers doesn’t allow you to configure keyboard and gamepad controls that are active at the same time. Since Xpadder basically emulates keyboard presses, the only way to use it is to change the game into keyboard control mode. By doing this, you then lose the analogue steering. Better to just make do with using buttons for accelerate and brake.


Problems saving games – Like many older games, Lego Racers places its save game files and various configuration files in the same directory that it is installed to. This can cause problems on more modern versions of Windows as programs are not normally permitted to write to the program files directory. To avoid this problem, either install the game to an alternate location (e.g c:\Games\LegoRacers) or manually edit the permissions on the “LEGO Racers” folder. If you installed the game to the default location, the folder can be found under “C:\Program Files (x86)\LEGO Media\Games\LEGO Racers”. A tutorial on how to edit folder permissions can be found here. Save games data is stored in the “data” and “Save” directories in the Lego Racers folder. Remember to back these up periodically so that you don’t lose your save games.

“Unable to set message drain” or “can’t open AVI” errors:- Check that you updated the games shortcut to disable the introduction movie as described in the Playing the game section above.

Other bits and pieces of note

If you can’t be bothered unlocking all the extras, you can download a 100% save file here.

You can take a screenshot of your racing action at any time by pressing the “Print Screen” key. The screenshots are saved as bitmap (BMP) files in the games directory.

Although you shouldn’t need them, there are some other options you can add to the shortcut too. Add any of the following in the same manner as you added the -novideo option.

-window Runs the game in a window (didn’t work for us on Windows 8).
-primary Force use of primary display device (most computers only have one anyway).
-select3d Allows user to select the 3D device
-alphatrans Force use of alpha


Click on any screenshot to enlarge it.


Designing your Lego racer.

Designing your Lego racer.

Waiting on the grid.

Waiting on the grid.


  1. mzso says:

    Borked link:

  2. Tibo says:

    Ok I’m now one step ahead, thanks for that ! But I get this message :

    Unable to initialize display – out of video memory

    Any idea of to fix this ?

    Thank you !

  3. Danielnus says:

    How I download it? Help me pls

  4. Lachy says:

    Followed the instructions but get the same message as ‘Tibo’ has???
    any ideas on fixing that?

  5. Jones says:

    Same problem as Tibo and Lachy, followed every prior Instructions, please help.


  6. kudli says:

    Had the same message as Tibo, Lachy…when dont use the -horzres and -vertres, that error doesnt show anymore…but few seconds after the game starts, my computer restarts itself. Any clue, how to solve this?

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Try forcing VSYNC to ON in your graphics cards control panel.

      • kudli says:

        Tried and maybe it helped a bit…when i succeded in starting a race, everything was okay…till i got to the “garage” again…then it fell down again. When in race, it works great, when not, there is a problem. Thank you for your help, I will try to do my best to somehow make it working better

        • BuckoA51 says:

          It’s very unusual for a game to physically restart your PC. The last time it happened to me was due to overheating.

          • kudli says:

            Yeah, it seems rly weird to me, never happened anything like this before…but I’m totally sure it couldnt be caused by anything else…all other programs working properly (even other games) and even if i switch off everything unnecesarry, after starting this game computer is restarted.

  7. Brooklyn says:

    Hi. Thanks for the help but i have a problem. The game is lagging on windows 8.1. I tried -select3d command and i have 2 options: Microsoft D3D RGB Emulation and D3D Hardware acceleration but i can’t select the other D3D Device.

  8. Mat says:

    The game works perfectly for me but I have one problem, when the menu opens, the option selector keeps scrolling downwards without me pressing any keys. Every menu in the game has the selector scrolling downwards infinitely, is there any way to fix this?

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Are you sure you don’t have a controller attached or something like that?

      • Mat says:

        I thought my dongle for wireless xbox 360 controllers was causing the problem, but even with it unplugged the game kept infinitely scrolling. Other games with controller support don’t give me this issue.

  9. hello123 says:

    The game still does not start up after I do any of these things? I have windows 7.

  10. justthisguyyouknow says:

    Hi, I’m having similar problems to Tibo, I keep getting an error :

    fatal error unable to initialize display ran out of memory

    Has anyone figured this out ?


  11. Aaron says:

    Unable to initialize display – out of video memory

    Please help me fix this. Also on a different PC after agreeing to the thing and allowing it access it wont open the installer. Please help

  12. Matt says:

    I’m on Windows 8, and when I try to run the “AR_KeyRun.exe” file it does nothing. I’ve tried changing the compatibility settings and everything, and it still doesn’t do anything.

  13. KDP says:

    I’m having the same issue as Matt, but on Windows 10. I cant get any of the applications to run. I’ve gone through compatibility mode, run as admin, etc… But not even the AR_KeyRun on the disc will run.

    I already have the program installed on my computer and running it directly from the file location, it does nothing.
    If I don’t have the disc in, a message will pop up telling me that it needs the disc to continue. With the disc, my computer hums for a few seconds but nothing else happens.

  14. James says:

    Same as Matt on Windows 8

  15. カークディクソン says:


    • BuckoA51 says:

      I think you’re asking where to download the save game? I normally save the files to my computer, but in this instance I didn’t, sorry.

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