The Need For Speed High Stakes Page.

Genre: Racing.

System Requirements:
Minimum: 166 MHz Pentium CPU, 16 MB of RAM, 100 MB of hard drive space, 4 × speed CD-ROM drive, PCI video card with 1 MB of RAM.
Recommended: 200 MHz Pentium CPU, 32 MB of RAM, 8 × speed CD-ROM drive, graphics accelerator.
My Recommendation: 500 MHz Pentium 3 CPU, 64 MB of RAM, 3Dfx Voodoo Banshee.
• This game will work fine with the XBOX 360 control pad in Windows XP and Windows 7.

See below for Windows 7 tips!

(Please note that some screenshots include unofficial vehicles.)
Need For Speed High Stakes will take you for an awesome ride in numerous hot exotic sportscars across 19 top notch tracks. The gameplay is excellent, and you’ll be right in there at the drivers seat hooning round like a mad-man!
You can choose from numerous driving views too, including in car, up and behind and right down near the road. You just need to adjust what views you want in the options. Each car has 2 levels of brightness for headlights which you’ll need at night, plus reversing lights, brake lights and even the dashboard lights up. Other cool special effects are the lens flare, snow splashing up on the screen, coloured fog and transparent flowing water.
Recent PCs will have this running really well, although I had to get a patch for it to work with my Radeon 9600 and newer video cards. I tried this when we had our old computer running at 150 MHz, and it was like 1 frame per second! Ugh. It works fine on Windows XP also. With my GeForce 7600 GT, I found that 4 × anti-aliasing caused the videos to not show up for the intro, but 2 × was okay.
There are hundreds of cars you can download for this game now also, which are mostly all home made ones, and you can have a total of 50 cars all up in the game. Because each car has a serial number, there is a handy serial number editor which you can download as well which sorts out conflicts with new cars. Some of the new high polygon count vehicles require different menu files for the game too, so that it doesn’t chuck a wobbly on the car select screen. If you really must have a certain car that needs it, then this is worth downloading, although it will remove the reflections of your cars in the menus.
Here are some screen shots:

The castle in Landstrasse
The Dodge Viper on Raceway 3
The Holden HSV 99 in Kindiak Park
The lighthouse in Dolphin Cove
The Ferrari F50 in Empire City
The Jaguar XKR in Landstrasse
The Ferrari 550 Maranello in Red Rock Ridge.
The Subaru Impreza in Snowy Ridge

The game features 6 tracks to begin with, but to unlock the rest, you’ll need to participate in the Career mode and Knockout races. In Career races you race your car to win money, win other cars and take the ultimate risk of damaging your own car and even losing it! Once you’ve completed all the Career races, you’ll unlock a list of cheats / Easter Eggs, which only work then anyway.
There are a few bits of bodginess in the game, but not too many. These include the cactuses in Red Rock Ridge, which are completely indestructable, the bridge on the same course which you can knock down, some upside-down textures here and there and some really off collision detection on trees.
You do however get some nice options to tweak in the track and car selection screens, plus in car views, slide shows and a track presentation.


The game overall is definitely fun to play, and is excellent in 2 player mode. Although if you want to play this on a LAN or something, you’ll need to have 2 copies of the game, ’cos it doesn’t allow you to do a remote installation like NFS 3. D’oh!
You can use the XBOX 360 controller okay with this too, but I adjusted the analogue d-pad sensitivity in a bit, because mine tends to hang a bit to the left by itself.
If you want new cars you’ve downloaded to retain the colour you chose for them, create a directory in the “\SaveData\Cars” directory with the same name as the one that contains the car file in “\Data\Cars.” When you next play the game and set the car colour, a file called “car.FEC” will appear in the newly made directory that will store what colour (and possibly other stuff) that you chose.
Looking for my replays? Get them here. There’s no extra stuff that I’ve downloaded in these either, and the tracks are unedited also, so you should be sweet.
New Hot Pursuit replays — now updated with 2 more 8 lap replays from the 14th of April, 2018. In one, it’s Ferrari F50 vs Ferrari F50. I lap the poor guy twice, who gets booked by the cops 8 times. But then again I was using the “moon” cheat. After that, it’s La Nina vs La Nina in Empire City. I lap the dude once, and do a psycho ram of one of the cops. The 2 combined probably go for close to ½ an hour, so only watch them if you have plenty of free time.

• Grab yourself some spooky ghosts here too, plus accompanying replays. There’s Kindiak Park in the La Nina, Atlantica, also in the La Nina and Rocky Pass in the McLaren F1. If you’re pro enough you can beat these. Now updated with some more from March 2018. (Empire City in the La Nina, Raceway 3 in the La Nina [with no replay], Summit in the Ferrari 550 Maranello, Celtic Ruins in the La Nina and Landstrasse in the Ferrari F50 vs a Lambo Diablo.)
I should also mention that loading other people’s ghosts, such as mine, may change some of your in-game settings, such as tranmission type, player name, assists and damage gauge. In this case, you should then load one of your own back up.

• Get yourself a new title / loading screen by me also! You can see a sample here before you download anything. Of course the full version is 4 × the size.

• While I have the room, here is a fix / replacement special effects file, which corrects the rather crusty looking lens flare, and adds a subtle touch of colour as well. Try it & see if you like it.

• You can get my texture redo “pack” here at the moment. I’ll try to get it onto some N.F.S. related site before the end of the century.

Windows 2000 Notes Here:
(Running on a 1.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2 GB of RAM.)
If you try to install the game, you will get a message saying that it only works in Windows ’95 or Windows ’98. The solution is to use the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 3. (You will need to download this if you don’t have it.) Make a new fix, and set the compatibility to Windows ’98 / Windows ME. The installer will then accept going ahead. On my HP computer, the 3D Setup program crashes at the end of the install, so force it to quit with the task manager. (The one that says 3DData.exe, I think.) It may then come up with an error message. Click on OK, and then it will say that setup is complete.
Next, get the “Spot Patch.” Follow its instructions! If you have an Intel GMA 945 like me, you will need this. I use the dx7z.dll file as the replacement for d3da.dll in the game’s main directory. You should be able to run it and it will come up with “D3D Device.” Also run the .reg file to make sure it’s set to D3D and not DX for the Thrash Driver. You should then be good to go!

Windows 7 Notes Here:
(Running on a 3.2 GHz Intel CORE i5 [quad core CPU] with 8 GB of RAM.)
This game was getting to be a real pain on my main PC to run, because it seems to expect that the CD is in the primary / 1st optical disc drive that you have. Unfortunately, mine is screwed at reading CDs, and I thought I’d go for a fresh install on my new PC with the 64 bit version of Windows 7. I also wanted to start the career mode over and remove some of the gimmick vehicles I had before.
Firstly, you need to install the game. The installer is a 32 bit program, so that’s no worries. Next, you will need the unofficial “spot patch,” which will give you a new 3D Setup collection of files that will work with newer video cards, such as my nVidia GeForce 640 GT. Stuff that beefy didn’t exist back in 1999! Then follow the instructions it comes with!!! I’m using the DirectX 7 file for the d3da.dll replacement, and that works fine for me. Run the “.reg” file it says, but also look under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE->SOFTWARE->Wow6432Node->Electronic Arts->Need For Speed High Stakes in your registry. It seems to store the settings here now, which is different to previous versions of Windows. Find where it says Thrash Driver and change it to “d3d” and not “dx” like it has by default. The game should then run okay from the original executable file that it came with.
• If you’ve made a backup copy of the game (and haven’t stolen it from the Internet,) you will need a SafeDisc patch, and then you’ll need to change your shortcut’s target to: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\Need For Speed High Stakes\nfshs.exe" -patchrestart. You may wish to rename the RNetLog.mnu and connect.mnu files under Data\Menus if you want the game to start to the main menu, and not jump to some other online beta dealie. Although this will skip the intro videos, it is one way to get a backup working in Windows 7. You can read about this tip here. So, I don’t take full credit for that one.

• On a side note, I found that using EA’s patches (such as 4.43) caused my replays to stuff up. So you should stick with the original executable file where possible. If you share your replays, it may be a good idea to mention what version of the game you’re running, and avoid any downloaded cars. EA’s last patch, which is 4.5, I think, doesn’t allow 3rd party vehicles at all, except for ones that are installed in your \SaveData\Cars directory.

• I suddenly got an error message in Windows 7 from the game, saying that there was less than 1 MB free on the hard drive. I don’t know what set it off; whether it was related to changes in the swap file or what, but the game would no longer start up without the message! Thankfully, you can use the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit. If you don’t have it, you need to download it. Version 5.6 works with Windows 7. Run the 32 bit version of the Compatibility Administrator (if you have a 64 bit OS), and make a new fix which has “GetDiskFreeSpace2GB” for the program. That should be all you need. Save the SDB file in case you want it again, and then install the patch from the file menu. Windows will store the settings in its AppPatch directory, and you can then run the program again as normal (, including any command line parameters you may have set up in a short cut, that it may need, and what not).

Graphics: Geometrically, it looks a bit more plain than some of the most recent games, and the textures aren’t overly brilliant, with a great many of them being pixelated at their source. As far as effects go, it’s quite good. From fire works to coloured fog, moving clouds, lightning, rain and other lighting effects. 87%
Good grunty engine noises, nice additional ambient sounds and clear speech. The music isn’t anything memorable, but then you can play ya favourite CD instead. 91%
The game will run reasonably smooth, especially on top of the range PCs running over 1 GHz with a decent video card. Still, you’d probably get this running okay even with a 350 MHz CPU and a Voodoo 1 video card, so long as you reduce some detail here and there. At time, there can be quite a bit of stuttering, but this seems to be a common thing in the Need For Speed games. NFS 2 and Porsche 2000 seem to show the same kind of behaviour, even on different hardware. 88%
This is greatly improved over Need For Speed 3: Hot Pursuit. (Need For Spuds 3: Hot Potato. ) The cars handle really well, and even though you can’t hoon along at top speeds as in Need For Speed 2, it still feels pretty fast. A bit nasty with the keyboard, so you should try to use a control pad / steering wheel for this. 97%
Hmm, I really don’t play this much now. Although the Career Mode will have you going for yonks. Once finished, you’ll unlock some nice goodies too… Great for multi-player games, and even though EA seems to have just about abandoned it’s Internet abilities, grab yours and some mates’ copies for some sensational LAN playing. Several 3rd party tracks and cars and editors available make tweaking this, add to the lastability. 80%
A fine racing game all up. Probably the best NFS game around. 90%

Recommended Vehicles:

= Has Career mode upgrades.
• Be sure to check out a range of Martin Leps’ cars. This guy does a really sweet looking rendition for the game, plus they have exquisite interiors, complete with the driver’s (3D) arms on the wheel. At least take a look! You will surely download something. I certainly did. I would’ve liked to have seen this guy’s take on a Pagani Zonda as well. I think he would have done the perfect rendition, since he usually always does damage, interior views and the Career mode upgrades.
• I would also recommend the replacement Ferrari F50, although I found it had issues with my replays. Probably to do with slightly different collision detection, because Martin suggests trying the original CARP.TXT files, but this was not enough. But if you’re starting fresh and have no old replays you want to view again anyhow, this is a much better looking alternative. Of course if you share replays with others, it may present problems.
• Speaking of problems, I also discovered that if you use a whole “full grid” set up of the high detailed cars, the game may crash when the track is loading. Most probably due to how much RAM the game sets aside for the vehicles. So, any cars you find that require the menu fix may put you at risk. I would suggest that before you go setting any new records or tackling your career mode, try out the cars in a big race where you and every one else is the same car, and see if it crashes.
• All the cars here should have damage. I don’t like my add-on cars to have no damage. Plus there are NO vehicles mentioned in the table which require a menu “fix” for having excessive polygons.

Volkswagen Microbus
by Econobrick.
This looks more like a traffic vehicle than anything, but if you’re racing with just other B class folks, it’s something a little different that’s worth trying. You can also upgrade it in the Career mode. It has damage, but no interior view.
Ferrari F40
by Thomas Egelkraut.
A very fast, and nice handling rendition of the car. Since it’s not official, it will work in Hot Pursuit races and it should work with EA’s last patch for the game, which usually prevents the use of 3rd party cars.
(No upgrades here.)
Toyota Supra
by Moded Designs.
This car was in the original The Need For Speed game, which I have on the Saturn, so I thought it would be good to get for NFS: HS also. This one also has the extra upgrade levels for Career mode.
Aston Martin DB 7
by Electronic Arts.
An official extra car that has some interesting decals in its upgraded look, when you’re in the Career mode.
BMW M Roadster
by Electronic Arts.
(No Career mode upgrades.)
Lister Storm
by Electronic Arts.
A pretty zippy AAA class car, although it feels a bit tricky at times to drive. This one has no upgrades.
Ferrari 360 Modena
by Electronic Arts.
This is a pretty spiffy Ferrari, and one I’m using personally in the Career mode for my 2nd play through!
Italdesign Scighera
Converted from Need For Speed 3 by Ryuji KAINOH.
(This one has no Career mode upgrades.)
Dodge Viper GTS ACR
by Trevor Lennox.
This is more of an older-PC-friendly version, which doesn’t require the menu “fix.” Has damage, & an interior view as well.
(Not upgrade-able.)
Mini Cooper ST
by Beniamino Calchera & Nappe1.
The distinctive original Mini! A pretty cool B class car that does feel pretty quick once it gets up around top speed.
(No upgrades for Career mode.)
Jaguar XJ220
by XJ220.
A pretty sweet looking version of this car. There’s no interior / dashboard view or upgrades, but there is damage, and the detail is great.
Mercedes Benz AMG CLK55 Cabrio
by Benjamin Trapp.
The game could probably have done with another M.B., and this is something that’s just right to sit in between the other CLK one and the SLK one, at AA class. You can have the roof opened or closed, there is an interior / dashboard view and damage. (No career mode upgrades.)
Mercedes-Benz AMG C43
by Benjamin Trapp.
An A class car with interior camera view and damage. (No upgrades.)
Lamborghini Murcielago
by Jeremy O’Hayon.
This is a brilliant Lambo, with upgrades, in-car view, damage and a great detailed look that stays under the menu-fix polygon limit. I tested it out in a full grid race of these, and there was no trouble. A must-have rendition for the game!
Porsche Boxster S
by Benjamin Trapp.
I was hoping to find a good version of this car, and this looks like a keeper! It has damage of course, a good interior view, isn’t too insane on the polygon level & it’s convertible. (No upgrades on this one.)
Jeep Grand Cherokee
by Ortwin
(Directory name: jgc)
Seems a bit beefy compared with other A class cars, but the damage is good & it fits within the polygon limit.
Lotus Elise 2001
by Franky.
Well detailed, and also upgrade-able too. Has damage of course, the interior view and a convertible option. Although it’s class A, the comparison chart looks more like a B class car. It seems equal to the Mercedes Benz SLK jobbie, but in actual races, it does compete well with the cars of its class. Some of the polygons look a bit bumpy, like the egdes are smoothed in the wrong places, but it’s not too bad.
Maserati 3200 GT
by BLo0m.
It wouldn’t be my 1st choice of cars to download, but this one is done pretty dang well.

Bonus Vehicles:
Once you finish the main part of the Career mode, you’ll unlock a bunch of cheats for the game. Here’s a list of the 15 traffic vehicles you can play as. These all take the engine noise of the car you had selected previously, and will be shown on the map in the same colour as well. Personally, I think most of them are too painful to drive, apart from the grey-ish purple car. (You type these numbers & letters in on the main “arcade” mode screen.)

TR00: Green family wagon. TR01: Large white, covered ute. TR02: Grey-ish purple car.
TR03: Another family wagon. TR04: Yellow sedan type car. TR05: Rosy coloured compact car.
TR06: Bus. TR07: Rusty, small blue truck. TR08: Wagon with a spare wheel.
TR09: Mazda MX-5. TR10: Tour coach. TR11: Tall truck with yellow front.
TR12: Big Floyd Blinsky truck. TR13: Snow plough. TR14: Water spraying truck.