Silent Hill 2 – Directors Cut

Genre: Survival Horror
Release Year: 2002
Developer: Creature Labs
Publisher: Konami
Age Rating: 15+
Playability Status: Fully playable (minor issues only)
Tested On: Windows 7 x64, Windows 8 x64, Windows XP
Availability: Copyright retained - Out of print/unavailable

This is an edited version of the article originally published on here. All updates to this article will be published here.

The internet certainly wasn’t staying silent about the Silent Hill HD Collection. An eagerly awaited remastering of the two seminal survival horror titles, Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3, the HD collection should have introduced a whole new generation of gamers to these psychological thrillers. Few games have the atmosphere and eerie creepiness of these excellent titles, so it’s a shame that the remake has been met with such widespread disappointment. The Silent Hill HD remake isn’t the first HD version of these games, that honour falls to the PC versions. In the case of Silent Hill 2, the PC received an improved and updated port in the shape of Silent Hill 2 Directors Cut. This version of the game still runs on modern Windows PCs, 32 or 64 bit. It makes a firm point about PC gaming when you consider that the PC version, released in 2002, actually supports a higher resolution than the re-released HD collection did on the games consoles.


Silent Hill 2 should install without any difficulties. Simply Put CD 1 into your optical drive and install. The installer will offer to install or update DirectX for you, but this step should be skipped.


There was only one patch for Silent Hill 2 Directors Cut, you can obtain it here. Install the patch by double clicking the file once it is downloaded and following all on-screen prompts.

Before attempting to play the game, make sure that it runs with a single CPU core. Silent Hill 2 came out before dual and quad core CPUs were common and because of this it was never tested with multi-core systems. There are several ways to make a program run using only one CPU core, the most convenient way is to change the programs shortcut. To do this, see this handy tutorial.

With this step complete, you can now play the game. However, if you want to play the game in full HD and widescreen resolutions, continue reading.

Playing in Widescreen

In order to patch the game for widescreen, we’ll need a fixed .exe file. This is because applying the widescreen fix tinkers with the games executable, making the copy protection panic. You can obtain the fixed .exe file here. Download the file, then open the install directory for Silent Hill 2. Create a backup file of the original Silent Hill 2 executable by renaming it first (e.g to sh2pc-old.exe) and then copy in the new executable.

Now, download and run Squ1zZy’s Silent Hill 2 resolution patcher. If you want to play Silent Hill 2 in widescreen (e.g at 1080p or 720p), you’ll need this little patching utility. You can download it here. Copy the downloaded file into your Silent Hill 2 directory and run it. Choose the resolution you want and hit “Patch”. You’re now all done configuring the game for widescreen.

There are some minor issues when playing in widescreen. At the start of the game, for instance, the developers used a picture as background as you look over the lake. This gives the opening scene an eerie quality as the picture is entirely static and unnaturally still. As you walk around the car park you can see where the picture ends and doesn’t correctly join up due to the games screen being wider than the developers originally designed it for. This kind of glitch seems pretty rare however and should not put you off playing the game in widescreen mode.

You’re now ready to try running the game. Click the shortcut and start the game, it should load without any problems. If it does, move directly onto the next step, if it does not, skip ahead to the troubleshooting section.

Tweaking controllers

Back in 2002 there wasn’t anything near a standard PC gamepad. This means that you are going to want to spend some time tweaking the games controls to suit whichever controller you happen to be using. If you have a 360, PS2 or PS3 pad, you can for the most part copy the button mappings from those respective console versions. However, the controls don’t quite match up, but more on that later. Firstly, from the game menu choose Options->Control Options. Go ahead and map the buttons on your controller to the functions in the game as best you can. For reference, the console version buttons were:-

Xbox controls:-

Y: Map
A: Attack/Confirm/Search
WHITE: Flashlight Control
BLACK: Toggle running and walking/guard attacks
D PAD/LEFT STICK: Move character (Run for the stick)
RT: Arm weapon
BACK: Item Screen
START: Pause

PS2 controls:-

D-Pad or Left Analog Stick: move character
D-Pad or Left Analog Stick + Square Button: run
Select or Start Button: item screen
L1 Button: strafe left
R1 Button: strafe right
L1 + R1 Button: fast 180 degree turn
L2: search view
L2 + Right Analog Stick: look around
R2: draw weapon
Triangle Button: map window
X + R2: attack
X: search, confirm
Square: cancel selection, guard attacks
Circle: flashlight

If you are using a 360 pad, the first problem you will encounter is that the analogue triggers are not mappable from within the game. The 360 pad also doesn’t have the white and black buttons, you can map them to LB and RB if you want to, but the PC version has a handy “target switch” feature which is ideal for mapping LB and RB to. For the best results its time to turn to that indispensable PC gaming utility, Xpadder. This will let you map both the D-pad and the analogue triggers, making the game much more playable on joypad. Here’s a screenshot of our recommended Xpadder profile:-

The right trigger now puts James into combat mode, while the left trigger activates “search” mode. Left and right on the D-pad quickly cycle through available weapons, up on the D-pad quickly toggles the flashlight and down reloads, if of course you’re lucky enough to have any ammo. The rest of the buttons are left blank because they can be configured in-game.

At this point you will probably want to start a game just to check that the controls are to your liking and tweak to taste.

Other visual improvements

Getting anti-aliasing (the smoothing of rough edges on the image) working for Silent Hill 2 is unfortunately a bit of a pain. To fix the anti-aliasing, first exit the game then open up either the Catalyst Control Centre or the Nvidia Control Panel. Add Silent Hill 2 to the 3D settings and then disable anti-aliasing for it (don’t worry, we’re going to enable it again later). You may need to consult your graphics card documentation for instructions on exactly how you complete this step. For most Nvidia cards, you open the Nvidia Control Panel, select “Manage 3D Settings”. Click on the “Program Settings” tab and then click “Add”. Browse to the Silent Hill 2 executable (sh2pc.exe) and add it. Now turn off all the anti-aliasing settings. The process is similar for ATI cards too.

Unfortunately you will need to repeat these last two steps each time you play the game. With anti-aliasing disabled in your graphics card software, start the game again. From the in-game menu options, go to “Advanced Options”. From here you should be able to set “Advanced Filters” and “Lens Flare” both to On. If you cannot, it is because anti-aliasing is enabled in the Nvidia/ATI control panel. Exit the game, disable these options and then start the game and try to set the options again. Enable these features and then exit the games setup menu. Note – If you have applied a custom screen resolution using Squ1zZy’s Silent Hill 2 resolution patcher, the screen resolution will show up in this menu as 640×480. Do NOT change this! If you do, you will undo the custom resolution patch.

If these options aren’t available, exit the game and turn off anti-aliasing in the Nvidia/ATI control panel.

Alt+Tab out of the game (do not quit the game) back to the desktop and go back into the Nvidia or ATI control panels. Now you can enable anti-aliasing for Silent Hill 2. Before you go back to the game, make sure to have Triple Buffering set to OFF, to avoid strange graphical artefacts/lines appearing in the game. That’s it! You can now play the definitive version of Silent Hill 2. Enjoy and don’t have nightmares.

The screenshots below were taken with 8xMSAA, feel free to experiment with other settings. Click each image to see a bigger version.

Silent Hill 2 PC version 1

Silent Hill 2 PC screenshot 2

Silent Hill 2 PC Screenshot 3

Audio and surround sound

For a long time we thought that this version of Silent Hill 2 came either with a stereo or simple Pro Logic 2 soundtrack. When you enter the games advanced options menu you can see there are options for 5.1 and 7.1 speaker configurations and also the option to set various modes for software 3D sound. Microsoft dropped support for hardware accelerated sound in Windows Vista, but software 3D sound should still work perfectly. There are full options for software 3D sound in the game, so this should mean that surround sound is available in Windows Vista and later. Once you start the game however the rear speakers are completely silent.

If you use a tool such as Creative ALchemy, that is designed to restore surround sound capability in legacy games while running them in Windows Vista or later, you will notice that if you go back to the games advanced options, next to “Software 3D Sound” it now reads “Hardware 3D used”. However, start a game now and there’s still no audio from the rear speakers whatsoever.

Microsoft may have dropped support for Windows XP, but it certainly pays to keep a copy around if you like retro gaming. If you still have a bootable Windows XP installation on one of your PCs and you have a suitable sound card, such as a Creative Audio card with an X-fi chipset, you can play the game with full surround sound. Obviously for a psychological thriller like Silent Hill 2, having the full surround sound soundtrack really adds to the atmosphere of the game.

Notes on running the game under Windows XP

For the most part running the game under Windows XP is exactly the same as running it under a modern version of Windows. You can turn on all the enhancements we talked about in the guide thus far. There are a few little things you will need to do differently however.

You cannot alt-tab from the game – Under Windows XP, you cannot alt-tab back to the desktop.

You do not need to disable and re-enable antialiasing in your graphics cards control panel – Considering the above, this is rather fortunate. The bug that prevents some of the advanced graphical options being turned on in-game if antialiasing is enabled in your graphics cards control panel does NOT affect Windows XP. Simply enable the desired antialiasing mode in Nvidia control panel or Catalyst Control Centre, start Silent Hill 2 then set the advanced graphics options.

Setting processor affinity – You still need to set the game to run on only one CPU core under Windows XP. However, you will find that the tutorial on how to do this doesn’t work under Windows XP. You can still use Task Manager to set the game to run on a single core, but being as you can’t alt-tab from the game in Windows XP this is somewhat difficult. Instead, you can use the Sysinternals tool PSExec. Drop this tool into the Silent Hill 2 folder then launch the game using the following command “psexec -a 1 sh2pc.exe”.

Other notes

The popular gaming utility Xfire supports Silent Hill 2 – Directors Cut, allowing you to take screenshots and videos as well as chat to your friends and browse the web all without having to leave the game. This is especially useful in Windows XP since you cannot alt-tab back to the desktop.


If the game wont start, the first thing to do is update both your video card drivers and the version of DirectX you are running. Remember, Windows does not automatically update DirectX runtimes. Download the latest version here.

If you hear glitches in the music or sound, make sure that you have applied the patch and make sure you set the game to run using only one CPU core.

Problems saving games – Like many older games, Silent Hill 2 places its save game files and various configuration files in the same directory that it is installed to. Profiles and save games are stored in a the data\save sub-folder. 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\SH2) or manually edit the permissions on the “Silent Hill 2” folder. A tutorial on how to edit folder permissions can be found here.


  1. naawwsty says:

    I’ve downlaoded sh2 and have done everything I can to make sure everythings in place but sh2 still won’t start. A disc icon will appear when I try to start the game and then nothing happens, any suggestions?

  2. Jonatan says:

    Thanks so much! Now the game works well! You must add the Gforce FX patch to this post and will be complete! See you!

  3. Whiteburbia says:

    Followed the steps, everything works perfectly. Thank you!

  4. Giuliano says:

    Couldn’t make the patch to run… when i double click on it, it says “Silent Hill 2 could not be found at the specified location. Please use the Browse button to select the correct path.” and then it closes.

    Also, the HD resolution fixer didn’t work for me :( What am i doing wrong?

  5. Le Gluon du Net says:

    There is a new patch that correct sound loop, launch the game only on one core processor, it is higher resolution and widescreen compatible: sh2proxy. You can find it here:
    With sh2proxy I can play the game on Linux too with wine:
    Then download this pack wich contains NeoGAF’s angular graphics Silent Hill 2 FMV Widescreen Enhancement Pack (not easy to find on the internet today) to replace old SH2 video:
    Have a good game.

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Looks very promising. I’ve a ton of other games/things to check through at the moment but I’ll test this when I can. Thanks for the heads up!

      • Giuliano says:

        I don’t quite understand what I should do with this new patch… I’m no advanced user (not a newbie though). Can someone explain how to apply this patch in a way everyone can understand?


        • BuckoA51 says:

          It looks like the patch is for Silent Hill 2 and not Directors Cut.

          • degu says:

            It is actually for the SH2:DC version, not original SH2.
            And yes, it works wonders. It’s literally a do-it-all fix, doing the affinity tweak, widescreen hack, AND even a fix to the previously annoying slooow transitions between the game and menus while playing at HD resolutions.

          • KirovReporting says:

            Hey there! I used the sh2proxy and it runs great. Only one question: how to disable the 30 fps lock? It’s strange that nobody asked this, am i the only one, who’s not okay with the lock?

  6. Voodooman says:

    Few corrections to article:
    1) AA is possible!
    You can forced whatever AA you want in driver, for this to work you have to create file named
    local.fix and put this line:
    Alternate way is to download Reshade (new and most advanced shader injector) from (i suggest sweet fx or framework version for extra effects like motion blur and DOF), and enable SMAA or FXAA or both, and compensate blur by enabling sharpening.
    With help of nvidia driver (not sure about ATI, Catalyst is pain in ass) you can enable DSR or created custom resolution higher than display res and use it in game with Squ1zZy’s Silent Hill 2 resolution patcher, to set higher resolution than display actually is, so this will do downsampled AA in game.
    There is also a gedosato, but it does not work with D3D8, and my combination of ENB d8 wrapper or Reshade d8 wrapper did not work with gedosato.
    There is also a way to wrap d3d8 to OpenGL via WineD3D for Windows which makes wonders and fix graphics and other issues in many pre d3d9 era games, also allowing to do much less problematic AA forced by driver in game. Reshade also works as OpenGL wrapper, so with wineD3D and Reshade it possible to improve AA in game and fix D3D8 specific issues, but it requires OGL 4.4 which is supported like by 4 or 5 latest generations of cards.

    2) Gamepad support is possible with Xinput plus dinput wrapper + hex editing of config file, which im working on right now. Already managed to bind everything, LT, RT and other things, except for moving camera\head control from left to right stick, still trying to figure our where game stores axes for this feature and which hex values i need to use for axes other than XY. Will post links for package which includes hex tuned config and ini tuned wrapper once ill finish this.

    3) Affinity can be forced by hex editing exe or using more user friendly tools. You can use to open sh2pc.exe , then you should click on File Header > Characteristics > Click here. And there you should check box that says “file should only be run in UP machine” (UP – UniProcessor), then click ok and SAVE modified exe, which will run forever using only single core\cpu since this flag tells windows kernel to force single processor mode to this program. Any other PE editor like exactly PE Editor can do this as well. But CFF one does not otuch CRC and few more bytes that can brake CD protection in case you not using no-cd crack.

    4) Official patch only available for US version, which is called simply Silent Hill 2, while EUropean version called Silent Hill 2 Director’s Cut and was released later, already patched so it does not need this patch (anyway it does not fix sudden sound looping as it supposed to do). Us versions of Sh2 are 5mb and EU SH2DC is 6 mb, difference is only cosmetic (i liked menu looks of US version much more) but EU DC version has wider support for fixes and other stuff.

    5) PC version cutscenes has wrong aspect ratio (little bit hor stretched) and very compressed.
    Someone remastered PS2 videos which was much better:'s_Cut#Remastered_corrected_widescreen_FMVs

    • BuckoA51 says:

      That’s a heck of a comment thank you for all your observations :) Yeah AA does work, it’s just kind of fiddly to get working especially the way we’re doing it in the article. Actually we’ve learned the SH2 Proxy that the previous commenter mentioned about works with the Directors Cut version, so I will have to revisit this game at some point. Thanks also for the link to the cutscene pack.

    • Johhny says:

      Any chance you ever completed the xinput dll ” Xinput plus dinput wrapper” and the hex edit to the config file? You said you would post links, but dont think you ever did.

      I mean I would love to learn how to do that stuff since it doesnt seem too complicated, but just hard to get started with.

  7. Amy says:

    Anyone know what the controls are (besides up, down, right and left arrows) for Silent Hill PC? For some reason, as far as I can tell, the game doesn’t actually say what they are. I don’t have any controller except my keyboard.

    Never played this game and I’ve pressed every key on the keyboard but can’t seem to pick up the bloody map in the first 2 minutes of the game, haha.

  8. Pilani says:

    I’ve a problem with my game.
    The installation works well, but when i run the EXE it tells me to insert disc one.
    I tested CD 1, 2 and 3 … same result.

    I’ve the original 3 CD Silent Hill 2: DC and i it always runned on my elder PCs. (Vista and Win7)

    I’ve no idea how to fix that. Maybe copy CD 1, there are some scratches in the original.

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Windows 10? Windows 10 isn’t compatible with the copy protection the game uses, as far as I am aware.

      • Pilani says:

        No. I still have Win7.

      • Pilani says:

        Or maybe I have some wrong settings. But tested the EXE with compatibility Win98 SP2, Win98 SP3, Vista, Win7. Also as Admin. Re reinstalled the Game 5 times.

        Everytime: Please insert disc 1 …

      • Pilani says:

        I installed the game again yesterday and after patching and using the widescreen fix, it worked?! Don’t ask me why.

        Becaus of the patch, the game language is english. I will look for an option to get the german version.


  9. DrearierSpider says:

    For those wishing to use SweetFX with this game, note that GeForce Experience was causing a crash at launch for me as it conflicts with the software. The only workaround I know of is uninstalling it (GFE, that is).

  10. Mickson says:

    help please when i run the patcher it says that it cannot find the silent hill 2 at the specified location please use the browser button to select the correct path when i press ok its just crashes im really desperate to play this game somebody please help T_T my computer spec intel r core 2 duo 3.00 ghz 2 gb ram no video card when i run the game without patching its just all black and does not respond at all help please

    • DrearierSpider says:

      I assume you just need to do what it says and direct the patcher to your installation folder (the folder where sh2pc.exe is located). Try looking for that first, and if you can’t locate it uninstall the game from the control panel and reinstall it, keeping track of the install location this time.

  11. Mickson says:

    Still no progress i did everything wonder why it wont work specially the patch it still say the same thing over and over -,-

  12. Dickson says:

    Was there ever a way to get control of the camera? I seem to only be able to play for about 30 mins at a time, the camera being all over the place is giving me motion sickness.

  13. lucas says:

    ThirteenAG and Aero_’s Widescreen Fixes:

  14. SairentoHiru2 says:

    I uploaded a new patch that fixes several issues including:

    – Missing fog at the beginning.
    – Slow transitions.
    – Strange white textures.
    – Loop sound.
    – Random crashes.

    This won’t disable depth of field, motion blur or the lighting effects. The only new issue is that some strange black lines may appear on the character’s face from time to time.

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Could you share a little more information on these patches, who you are, who made them etc?

    • SairentoHiru2 says:

      I used WineD3D and a patched executable to run with one core affinity automatically.

      Thanks to Voodooman for his help!!!

      • BuckoA51 says:

        Doesn’t SH2Proxy take care of all that anyway?

        • SairentoHiru2 says:

          Well, sh2proxy is a bit different. WineD3D fixes some issues like the missing fog at the beginning, slow transitions and the white textures without disabling the lighting effects. The sh2proxy patch simply deactivates the transitions. And the background music still disappearing randomly. The widescreen solution lets you see things you are not suppose to see on screen, so it’s not a perfect solution yet. What WineD3D does is porting DirectX to OpenGL, so it can enhance backwards compatiblity with older games. However, WineD3D is not perfect either. As I said before, now you can see strange black lines on the character’s face.

  15. Joseph says:

    Hey, I have the following problem while running the game and it’s kinda minor but very annoying.

    In some cutscenes (not FMV) a few character models look out of place, is like since the game is now at widescreen 1080p I’m watching something I’m not suppose to.
    Let me explain a little better, when I encounter Laura after Pyramid Head boss battle in the apartments, she’s sitting in the wall.. After this James walks to her, when this happen I can see James “frozen” for like 3 seconds and then he walks to Laura, is like he’s suppose to be outside of the screen when this is happening. This weird model misplace or “freeze” happens in a few cutscenes but the one I’m describing is the worst offender.
    I’m pretty baffled since I haven’t found a single person mentioning this in any site, so I did a rollback in drivers (was using beta) problem persist, I tried with the non director’s cut version of the game and the problem persist, I’ve tried a nearly every single widescreen patch I could find and the problem persist… I know it’s something with the widescreen since if I put the game in a 4:3 resolution and enable pillarboxing in my drivers and everything looks like it should.
    Anyway, my question is, does this happen to you? I already got used to play the game like this but is hard to believe it’s only happening to me…

  16. Joseph says:

    I took the time to reach the second cutscene with Laura and this is what happens

    James just stands there literally frozen for like 3 secs, then he moves and FMV plays normally. This like I said before is the worst offender of the widescreen glitches, the others are a lot less annoying… I’ve try EVERYTHING with not avail.

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