Need For Speed III Modern Patch v1.6.1 [2016/10/28] (HD + Widescreen + Portable)

“Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit” is the first 3D game in my life. When I've seen the game first time, I've been amazed, because I'd never seen 3D games before. It was in 2000. I can't count hours which I've spent in this game. The music... it's so awesome, so I'd recorded it on an audio cassette, and listened it hundreds of times.

And now, years later, I had tried to play this game. But the game refused to run on modern hardware. So, I had tried to investigate how to fix it. I had a little carried away by this. As the result I've created an impressive patch. 25000+ lines of assembly code, 150+ days of reverse-engineering and coding, 40 sheets of A4 paper were covered with writing during development, a huge list of changes...

Hometown in widescreen resolution

Key Features

  • Full widescreen and HD resolutions support. You can easily use resolutions like 1920×1200. Now the game supports all aspect ratios from the 5:4 to 16:9, inclusive 4:3 and 16:10. HUD will be adopted automatically for every aspect ratio.
  • Improved graphics. No more cars with non-rotating wheels, better textures and models for other's cars (original game reduces size of textures even on maximum graphics settings), better graphics in the rear view, etc.
  • New graphics settings: Rear View Detail (High/Medium/Low), Rear View Camera From (In Car Camera/Active Camera, it decreases the blind spot), Fog (On/Off, like in the NFS4), Wide View Angle setting (useful for the widescreen resolutions).
  • Fog effect and light beams support in DirectX 6/7 (they were exclusive effects for the 3dfx Voodoo).
  • Portability. All system settings are loaded from the ini file. No more registry!
  • Compatibility. Most problems with modern Windows were fixed. Full support of multi-core processors. Original game can work properly only on one core. This change dramatically improves performance of the nGlide and the dgVoodoo.
  • Alt+Tab support. You can safely minimize the game when nGlide or dgVoodoo driver is used.
  • Built-in screenshoter. Just press Print Screen key, and a screenshot will be saved into the screenshots subdirectory in the JPG/PNG/BMP format.
  • Improved keyboard support in the menu. Now it is much more consistent. You can also use the Tab and Shift+Tab to switch between elements.
  • Better modding abilities. The game doesn't crash when high-poly cars are used. Also it possible to use huge textures up to 2048×2048 (original limit was 256×256).
  • Optimizations. 10 times faster gameplay loading on modern systems. To skip loading animation just press any key.
  • Bugfixes. More than 200 changes at all!


Before and after: cars have better textures, side mirrors don't disappear

How to install

  1. Copy FEDATA and GAMEDATA directories from the NFS3 CD to a new empty directory.
  2. Extract contents of the nfs3_modern_patch.7z (1.6MB) into that directory with replacement of files.
  3. Done!

Download a full game bundle

This bundle includes all original cars, all original language files, and preinstalled Modern Patch v1.5.3. You can download it using this torrent file.

Find other NFS3 fans for the network games in our Skype group chat!

If you are a server, ports 1030 and 9803 have to be accessible from the network, so you have to add the appropriate permit rule in your firewall for the nfs3.exe and configure a port forwarding properly. If you're a client, port forwarding isn't required. If you wish to find someone who wants to play NFS3 with you, join this Skype group chat. If you want to disable notifications from this chat, simply type a command /alertsoff and send it.


  1. Ronoath

    Great, great, great!

    Works fine on LinuxMint 17.2 Xfce - and Wine 1.6.2!

    Thank you very much for your work!

  2. Drew

    Found this today and was pretty excited to try it out. It just works without issue on Windows 10 64-bit with my GeForce GTX 960M.
    This makes me pretty happy to play this game after years of not getting it to work properly on later OSes.


  3. beterhans

    HI jajaja
    yes I got many demo for you. I guess I've addcited to this game since I found this patch
    Check out my AI COP difficulty upgrade Patch Demo.

    Now the Pursuit is more exciting!

    Is that possible to make a key to switch camera view on to AI police car? current you can only switch to other racer and human player by click the name or the dot on map.

  4. Tropixx

    I'm enjoying the hell out of this patch with mods and stuff.

    I can hardly wait for VEG's great talent with the Modern Patch for NFS4!

  5. beterhans

    Hi VEG
    I Think you should modify you readme file for the Installation part a bit, I had a hard time for it!

    You wrote
    "1. Copy FEDATA and GAMEDATA directories from the NFS3 CD to a new empty directory."
    I have a hard time to understand it! and failed to install the game.
    Where is this empty directory? why copy to a empty directory but not the NFS3 directory?
    what's the point of the empty directory? will you patch smart enough to find this empty directory have NFS3 file without tell it??

    After 1 hour, I realized the Empty directory is the NFS3 directory but you need me to uninstall first.

    You should write like this to
    1. Uninstall your current version of NFS3!
    2. Delete all NFS3 files and directories
    3. Make a new NFS3 Folder
    4. Copy FEDATA and GAMEDATA directories from the NFS3 CD to the fold you made at step 3!
    5. copy Extract contents of this archive into that directory made in step3 with replacement of files.

  6. beterhans

    And May be this is a bug

    The Replay file will not play correctly a crosse different versions,.

    IF I play a rp3 replay from v1.5.3 it will not play correctly on v1.6.1

  7. VEG Post author

    beterhans, this instruction is about installation, not about reinstallation. So, there is no steps about removing any previous versions of the game because generally it is not required.

    IF I play a rp3 replay from v1.5.3 it will not play correctly on v1.6.1

    All versions have to be compatible. Are you sure that everything else are the same and only patch versions are differ? Maybe list of cars are also different? Different lists of cars may cause incompatibility of replay files. It's a known bug of the original version of the game, and it is still not fixed.

  8. BeterHans

    HI VEG Thanks for the reply

    Yes I know but you'd better point out create an empty folder FOR the New NFS3.
    Because when I 1st saw your instructions, I thought it's just a temporary folder for the installation process.
    and since you call it a patch, SO I install the game from CD 1st, them apply the patch. but It won't work this way.

    For the Replay
    The Car is same
    1.53 was download from the bundel torrent
    1.61 was installed via CD + patch

    replay will play for 1-2 laps without problem them out-of sync. player hit wall and still press gas.

    This means if different version of modern patch play together can also cause out-of sync problem.

  9. VEG Post author

    BeterHans, it has to be compatible. Maybe game files on your NFS3 cd are not original, I don't know. Please try to update the Modern Bundle v1.5.3 to v1.6.1 and check if the problem still occurs on your PC. Also please provide your replay file where the problem occurs.

  10. Predatorace

    Hi VEG!

    I don't know if you know this but there are a lot of differences between the PC and the PSX (Playstation 1) version of Need For Speed III Hot Pursuit. For example:

    - In the Playstation version you can choose between "beginner" and "expert" cops and the Diablo SV cop is present on almost every track. The cops are also a lot harder and they don't patrol but instead stand near the side of the road waiting for you and then pursue you.

    - In the Playstation version you can switch cars during the tournament mode, so you can drive different cars.

    - In the Playstation version the cops shout at you (in the PC version you have to use the "bullhorn" cheat).

    Do you think it's possible to make the PC version more like the PSX version? I especially like to know if it's possible to make the cops way more aggressive and difficult to shake, oh and have the Lamborghini Diablo SV cop on EVERY track. Also the Diablo SV cop in the PSX version looks different, it has a gold skin and blue and yellow lights...

    Let me know!

    p.s. One more thing, but this is about Need For Speed High Stakes. Whenever I do a police race in High Stakes there are only like 2 traffic cars on the road, you think it's possible to increase this? Because in Need For Speed III you have A LOT of traffic cars, this makes it way more exciting to race...

  11. Halligalli

    Thanks ALOT for this GREAT WORK.
    It works fine on netbook (AMD e-450 APU, Win XP SP3 x86-32 [latest] , 1366*768 max details, nglide renderer)

    BUT on this PC (AMD PII X4 955, HD 6950, Win7 x86-amd64) 1-2 fps... Even Main-Menu is unplayable...
    -What else... if it also runs in 98/ME Compatibility Mode...

    Don't forget after overwriting existing (old) files to disable this.

  12. kp klone

    new update: includes new components for Need for Speed 4 High Stakes to Need For Speed III and tested game by new ideia kp klone 2017

  13. kp klone

    ps: May test game machines and parts includes new maps and better graphics

  14. Omar V

    Amazing job,
    i really enjoy this game and this new graphics are awesome.
    Thanks a lot.

  15. iladelf

    Any way to get NFS Manager (also called NFS3 Manager) to work on these files? On XP (and original installs), this program allowed you to swap car and tracks in and out. I have several of each saved on my XP machine; would be awesome to transfer them to my 7 install and your version of the game. Thanks!

    For the record, NFS3 Manager can be found in the download location below.

  16. TheKnack

    After some fuss, I got it running on Fedora Linux 25 with Wine 2.0. I'm 18 now and have been playing this game for most of my life across two different machines running Windows XP, Windows 7, VirtualBox Windows XP hosted on Fedora 25, and finally now Wine on Fedora 25. This is truly a monumental undertaking that you accomplished! Now you are distributing it for free to fellow diehard NFS3 players. Our world needs more people like you! Thank you very much!

  17. MistaMac

    I wonder... There is HUGE advantage using vertex headlights instead of projected, because vertex usually covers more vision in-front of the car instead of projected. Also projected has problem with contrast when lighting the road (near impossible to track the road; escpecially visible in lost canyons in reverse at night). I wonder if it is fixable.

  18. VEG Post author

    Projected headlights are trying to be closer to our real world. I think that it is a feature that the night mode makes the game more complicated :)

  19. MistaMac

    Yeah... I was thinking more like slightly "nerfing" the vertex lighting if it's possible (probably not because lightning itself was always wonky) and fixing contrast in projected lighting because... well -

    Also - really good job for giving this game second life.

  20. David J.

    Does this patch have the cars that were available for download or included with the Walmart or Australian releases?

  21. VEG Post author

    David J., it is included in the Modern Bundle. Modern Patch itself doesn't include any cars or other additional content.

  22. VEG Post author

    Momo Shiina, beta version was updated recently. It still has some regressions, so I'm not releasing a final version.

  23. Matt_STS

    @Keiiko Do you have a similar patch for NFS4? (all oficial addon cars)

  24. Momo Shiina

    VEG, what's new in 1.6.2 beta and what regressions do you mean?
    NFS 4 will be continued?

  25. Momo Shiina

    Ah, I red the changelog. Many great improvements. I assume you meant NFS 4 won't get a final version? That's really sad.

  26. VEG Post author

    Momo Shiina, I'm planning to make some great changes for the NFS4 also. But it takes much time. So it will not be very soon. Currently I'm planning to finish some internal work (refactoring of some code according to rendering initialization) in the NFS3, and then I'm planning to port the best features of the NFS3 Modern Patch to the NFS4.

  27. Momo Shiina

    This sounds great! Please take all the time you need for both projects. We all can wait. It was just important for me to know that you continue working on the NFS4. This is such a great game and you are the only one who can bring this masterpiece back to life. I'm really looking forward to your work and wish you all the best! When you fixed widescreen and camera on the NFS4, I will sent you a donation :-)