BioShock 2

BioShock 2

143 ratings
Fix Quiet Guns and Unbalanced Audio - Restoring the Retail Audio Mix
By Affable
Audio sound unbalanced? Guns too quiet? Here is a guide to restoring the original audio mix in Bioshock 2. Fully compatible with DLC!
Patch 1.4 for Bioshock 2 made some weird changes to the audio mix. Many things were altered, but most noticeable was a big cut to the players gun volume.

The following fix restores the original retail sound mix while keeping compatibility with Minerva's Den and the Protector Trials DLC.

This video compares between the current patch and the original retail release.
This is a safe tweak, and should contain absolutely nothing to cause a crash. Seriously. If you are having crashes it's likely from another source. DirectX 10 is the largest culprit in Windows 7, 8, and 10 - try disabling it using step 1 of this guide. Or, if you really want to use DX10 and are on Windows 7, try this guide.

Having said all that, I hold no responsibility for anything going wrong because of this fix etc etc.

This tweak does not fix issues such as missing audio or sounds suddenly cutting out.
Download the fix from one of the following mirrors:
Installing the mod is easy. Simply extract the downloaded file into “Bioshock 2\SP\Content\System” *, and you're all done!

Your System folder structure should now look like the following:

To uninstall, simply delete SoundMixStates.ini.

* If you cannot find your Bioshock 2 installation directory, use the following steps. Right-click the game in your Steam Library and choose ‘Properties’. In the new window choose the ‘Local Files’ tab, then click the topmost button titled ‘Browse Local Files’. The location of Bioshock 2 will now open.
People found you could restore the original mix by replacing ConfigINI.IBF with the original retail version. This worked to an extent, but as the replacement file was pre-DLC it didn't work very well with Minerva's Den and the Protector Trials.

ConfigINI.IBF contains a bunch of packed .ini files, but the only relevant to this is SoundMixStates.ini. We do some tomfoolery to extract a retail version and a latest version (, compare the two to find DLC entries, then add them back into to the retail version.

There looks to be potential here to improve the mix, things like increasing the volume of certain guns. It would require much experimentation & investigation to discover unlisted object names, and would need plenty of time tweaking numbers just to get a start (the mix maxes out at 0.0db, so before you can make particular entries louder you'd have to change all the other numerous entries to be softer). But I welcome anyone to have a go!

It's interesting to note that SoundMixStates.ini went completely untouched until patch 1.4, and then the mix was suddenly modified. If anyone knows the internal reasoning, I'd be very intrigued to know why it was changed. As the 360 version went unchanged and hence doesn't have these bugs, I imagine someone porting the DLC to PC simply chose the wrong codebase on accident.
Further Mods
For anyone interested, here is a zip containing all the untouched .ini files extracted from ConfigINI.IBF. These can be used to change a lot of the variables for the game, including damage and loot tables. Difficulty mods have previously been made for Bioshock 1 using these methods.
Thanks go to:
  • Slightly Dead for finding the original fix (link)
  • thebiomage for narrowing down ConfigINI.IBF and providing a copy of the retail version (link)
  • psikoticsilver for extracting ConfigINI.IBF and showing the resulting file structure (link)[]
  • Relight for posting an archive of all the extracted ini’s prior to Steamworks (link)[]
  • frostdiamond for pointing out a simpler way of installing the fix. Cheers!
And thank YOU for using this tweak! Any feedback, testing, or expansion upon is appreciated and welcomed.
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Gomezu Feb 18 @ 9:05pm 
Ty sounds muuch better BUUUT when i get a hit the metal sound is SO LOUD, how do i fix?
SavanT Feb 7 @ 1:50pm 
thank you @p
p Oct 25, 2020 @ 12:47am 
I confirm that
"\steamapps\common\BioShock 2 Remastered\ContentBaked\pc\System"
is the right place to put the file and that Mt Everfresh's shotgun fix also works.
Mt Everfresh Aug 30, 2020 @ 8:31pm 
if the shotgun was too loud for you like it was for me open up your SoundMixStates.ini and add "CategorySettings=(EventCategory="SFX_A/SFX_B/Weapons/Shotgun", FadeInSeconds=0, FadeOutSeconds=0, VolumedB=-14, EffectChain=None)" no quotation under the [weap_fire] header at the bottom. I use -14 db but feel free to change. Seems to cut out the weapon sound sometimes but its better than hurting your ears
FPlus Apr 27, 2020 @ 8:28pm 
Is there anyway to remove the section that deals with the Plasmid reload sound? That thing is 10x louder then the original when using headphones if i use this.
dinosauriac Feb 28, 2020 @ 6:10pm 
I can't believe this persisted all the way to BioShock 2 Remastered even. It makes you wonder if they actually looked back at the original game for comparison when stuff like this happens in remasters. A prime example is the DMC HD collection, which was started from the previous PS3 era "HD" collection, and carried all of the weirdness and more from that into the latest iteration.
BookyFoxx_3:16 Feb 6, 2020 @ 3:46am 
For those with Bioshock 2 Remastered wondering how to install:

•Download and extract file (I used Mirror 2 and scanned with Malwarebytes, it's clean).
•Go to your Bioshock 2 Remastered game directory by either:

-1) using Windows Explorer and navigating to -- \Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\BioShock 2 Remastered
-2) or, right click Bioshock 2 Remastered in your Steam library, go to 'Manage' and click 'Browse local files.'
•Navigate to the location of your Bioshock2HD.exe by clicking on the 'Build' and then 'Final' folders.
•Place the 'SoundMixStates.ini' file inside this folder, 'Final,' the same location of the game's executable.

This worked for me and made an impressive improvement. Thank you so much Shaun, I now have a motivation to return to this game! (That and Reshade haha)
Toniczech Jan 27, 2020 @ 8:53am 
Works fine on Bioshock 2 Remastered.
Eery Jan Oct 4, 2019 @ 8:10am 
The weapon sounds are still a tad quiet for me, I put the file where it needs to be... should I just try redownloading it?
DoktorMostro Jul 21, 2018 @ 5:10pm 
How can I use this with Bioshock 2 remastered??
My issue is the shotgun sounds really loud, I fkn hate it.. Can i use your fix and just down the db for the shotgun?