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 of my life. When I've seen the game first time, I was extremely amazed because I'd never seen 3D games before. It was in 2000. I can't count hours which I've spent in the Split Screen mode with my cousin. And 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!

Join our Telegram group chat!

Join this Telegram group chat. You also can find other NFS3 fans for network multiplayer games.

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.


Donated: $270.
Status: suspended.

Planned features:

  • [Done] Sharp fonts and other elements in menus on D3D renderers, just like when Glide renderers are used.
  • [Done] The problem with visible black polygons (e.g. near the Old Church) on the DX7 renderer will be solved.
  • [Done] Movies support for the DX8 renderer.
  • [Done] 32bpp rendering for movies. Menu will also work in 32bpp video mode and it will look better. Now it works in 16bpp.
  • Simple windowed mode for the DX6/DX7/DX8 renderers. It will be possible to enable it using ini file.
  • Investigation about how to add an ability to restore minimized game when it works in fullscreen mode.
  • Separate “Frame Size” and “Frame Cropping” graphics settings instead of the current combined one.
  • Rewriting of the code which uses the mouse cursor in the exclusive mode. The game will use the default system behavior of the mouse cursor. It will solve many small problems with the mouse cursor in this game. For example, your cursor will be able to leave the window of the game (when it works in a window) without pressing any keys. Also it will solve problems with mouse lagging on some computers.
  • Solving of the problems with loading of ghost and replay files from other players (when the other player has a little bit different set of cars in his game).
  • An optional ability to change structure of the game directories using the ini file. It may be useful for modding. It will be more flexible than the from the original versions. For example, you will be able to move all save files to some separate directory (e.g. "savedata").
  • An optional ability to load a thrash driver from the root directory, as it was in the original version of the game.

These features are planned for the v1.6.1, v1.6.2 and v1.6.3. A beta version is here.

  1. #601
    VEG Author

    Daniel, there is a huge selection of camera views in camera settings.

  2. #602

    Hi all,
    I am building a retro PC games library with Dosbox Pure in Retroarch :) I got all DOS, Windows 95 and Windows 98 games to work so far except for NFS 3, unfortunately. The original CD version doesn't start somehow and immediately returns to the desktop after starting the game. I also tried using your modern patch with all types of renderers (dx5-7, dgvoodoo, softtri) but it won't start giving me multiple different errors (I could paste them here). I guess this could be an driver issue related to the emulated S3 Trio64 and Voodoo graphics card in Dosbox pure? It shouldn't be hardware related as I even saw someone running NFS Porsche in Dosbox Pure on YouTube. I couldn't find anything about this issue online so maybe I am the only one trying to achieve this. Any help or tip would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  3. #603
    VEG Author

    Unfortunately, never tried to run NFS3 in DosBox, so can't help you here. But the patch is compatible with Windows 98 for sure.

  4. #604

    Hm, too bad :( Thanks for your response though.

  5. #605

    Salute to you Sir, I can't wait to play NFSIII on my steamdeck.

  6. #606

    I'm a little unsure. When checking for Virustotal I get several warnings. Indication of a Trojan.

  7. #607
    VEG Author

    It's a false-positive. These days antivirus software randomly triggers on almost everything that doesn't have a digital signature of a huge company.

  8. #608

    I keep getting "Cannot init trash driver". Win11 laptop with Ryzen 5500U. I've installed latest nGlide too.

  9. #609
    VEG Author

    You don't need to install nGlide for this patch, it's included. If you tried to enable any additional compatibility settings or added other patches, it's better to revert them.

    Try to choose another Thrash Driver in the nfs3.ini. The list of available ones in the readme file.

  10. #610

    I get an error "the required files are not found or they were corrupted". Any help is appreciated!

  11. #611

    #610: update: since I have the European version, it can be solved, if I set language to German in nfs3.ini (Language=german)

  12. #612

    Hi @veg

    I want to congratulate you to awesome work. You have my deepest admiration and gratitude for making this awesome patch. I will attempt to do at least some donation, as that is indeed more then well deserved. the donations have status of "suspended" but it seems the paygate is stillopned. Will it reach you?

    Have you ever thinking about publishing the sources and buiold scripts fo the patch?

    And jsut for record, it wiorked out of the box without issues.

  13. #613
    VEG Author

    The suspended state is related to development of the patch. It's in this state for many years already and I don't know when I'll come back to this project. The donations page is working. The status is just to tell people that there are no NFS3 Modern Patch updates coming anytime soon.

  14. #614

    Sure. Here you go, ty and happy hacking!

  15. #615

    I second judovana's request of publishing the sources/build scripts/documentation. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, building upon the work of those who came before us. You made your patch while standing on EA's shoulders. EA stood on the shoulders of the people who created compilers, image editing software, 3D APIs, etc. Please consider being a giant, make it easier for others to build upon your work.

    I also made a small donation. (please credit as Alexis) Thanks for all the hard work. I salute you, sir.

  16. #616
    VEG Author

    Thanks for your support.

  17. #617

    I have issue of headlight when using vertex mode, they just flash and flicker on the road. How to solve it? I use dgvoodoo.

  18. #618

    Sorry, correction, it is "Projected" headlight mode.

  19. #619
    VEG Author

    Try different renderers that are listed in the readme. Maybe some of them will be better.

  20. #620

    Hi VEG, do you plan to add support for Japanese version as recently I just discovered this version but not applicable with your NFS3 patch.

  21. #621
    VEG Author

    There are no such plans unfortunately. Japanese version uses an incompatible version of game executable. It requires to port all the changes to that version manually that would require too much time.

  22. #622

    Hi Veg,
    can you help me ?
    I have a error when i dubble click the NFS3.exe i get the following "The thrash driver is not found" if i type another driver like "glide3x" in the nfs3.ini it stil gives me the error message.

  23. #623
    VEG Author

    Probably you didn't extract all the files of the patch from the archive? All of them are required.

  24. #624

    ok i dubble checked that but stil i get the error message.

  25. #625
    VEG Author

    You should have drivers directory next to the nfs3.exe, and subdirectories with available drivers inside. Each subdirectory should have a thrash.ini and related dll file. Probably they are removed for some reason?

  26. #626

    not all Drivers have the same dll file, for example. the nglide directory has a glide3x.dll a thrash.ini and a voodoo2a.dll

  27. #627
    VEG Author

    This is because nglide includes both a Thrash Driver and a wrapper for it. If you choose glide3x, it is expected that you have system-wide glide3x.dll (for example, if you run the game on Windows 98 with original 3dfx Voodoo 2).

  28. #628

    ok, then everything seems to be in order. downloaded everthying again. i'm trying to playe the game without CD on my windwos 10 pc.
    but still getting the error message

  29. #629
    VEG Author

    Does the default nglide work? glide3x is not for Windows 10, it's for retro machines with original 3dfx Voodoo 2 GPU.

  30. #630

    the default nglide from the original NFS3 i had worked but couldn't start a race, then i found this (your) site and followed the instructions but then the thrash error message came up

  31. #631
    VEG Author

    Try other values, like dx8 or dgvoodoo.

  32. #632

    btw, thx for responding this quick !!! you're amazing!

    i tried those but no sigar.

  33. #633
    VEG Author

    Well, I don't know then. Normally, at least one of the renderers work. You can experiment with different versions of the patch also, and try the latest beta.

  34. #634


    thx, the beta works with the dx8 driver set in the nfs3.ini

  35. #635

    Could you add a mode where the game is windowed in the menu and fullscreen in the game? Would be very cool.

  36. #636
    VEG Author

    Bobo, it was in the plans and partially developed in the latest beta, but it's not ready to be released.

  37. #637

    Hey! I have some problems to get this to work properly. I've done all the steps and put DX7 as trashdriver in the ini file.
    I can start the game and do stuff in the menu. But as soon as I press race it crashes to desktop with the error:

    CS=00000187 DS=0000018F ES=0000018F FS=0000115F GS=000012BE
    EDI=000000F6 ESI=007001DC EAX=42C40020 EBX=00000000 ECX=00000001 EDX=00000000
    Eip=0047AFDF Ebp=00C8D8E8 Esp=00C8D5E4 SS=0000018F

    This is the system spec:
    Windows 98SE
    Pentium 3 500MHz
    384MB RAM
    Directx 9.0C
    NVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400 32MB with 30.82 Driver

  38. #638
    VEG Author

    Could you please also try the DX5 and DX6?

  39. #639

    I've tried them also. Dx7 and Dx6 I can get into the menu. Dx5 and Dx8 crashes as soon as I try to start the game.

    Maybe I have done someting wrong.
    Here is how it looks inside the ini file:


  40. #640

    I deleted everything and redid the installation.
    Now it crashes from menu to desktop with abort message: "getshapecomment - INVALID SHAPE TYPE ($e5)

  41. #641
    VEG Author

    You can also try the latest beta that is available on this page.

  42. #642

    I will try it out and get back if it works or not.

  43. #643

    Tried the beta version now and it started normally to menu but unfortunately it crashed to desktop with this:

    CS=00000187 DS=0000018F ES=0000018F FS=000037C7 GS=000037BE
    EDI=00792030 ESI=00000000 EAX=00000001 EBX=00791E78 ECX=00000000 EDX=00000000
    Eip=00488C59 Ebp=00C8DA2C Esp=00C8D8E8 SS=0000018F

  44. #644

    Did anyone get this to work on steamdeck?

  45. #645
    VEG Author

    Some people play it on Linux for sure.

  46. #646

    I play it with wine on fedora, as it is packed. since some f36, over 37,38 now on f39.
    The NFS3, as you can download it over internet, or install from yuur CD, do not run on any modern 64b linux with any wine. (I doubt they run on 64b windows)
    After applying this patch - the released, not tried the beta - it all works as charm.

    Somwehre in f39 lifecycle, there was broken mesa driver, and it was not working for few weeks, but I do not recall the versi0ons:(

  47. #647

    Also I had made it not-working, by playing to much with the config once. Removing ini file, thus leave it generate defaults, fixed it that time.

  48. #648

    Hey, first of all I just wanna say that this patch is awesome, thanks for preserving this awesome game. One question though, when using nglide as the driver, it seems to force my monitor's refresh rate to 60hz. I've tried using the nglide configurator, without success unfortunately, I also tried changing nglide refresh rate in thrash.ini which also didn't work.. DX8 doesn't have that problem but the game becomes unresponsive when I alt + tab. Any idea on how I could change the refresh rate with nglide?

  49. #649
    VEG Author

    I didn't look into higher refresh rates TBH. Most probably it's just a limitation of the Glide API.

  50. #650

    Hey Evgeny,

    Thanks for all the effort you put into this patch. I loved NFS3 as a kid, and I recently found out my wife used to play it when she was a kid too. So we are making new memories with the game in splitscreen! Many thanks.

    Is it possible to add 21:9 aspect ratio support?

    Thanks again :)

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