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. #151

    Actually his NFS4 patch is only for experimental usage and not polished yet. I still recommend to use the Stock Pack 4.0 v1.76 instead. His priority is NFS3, but hopefully when NFS3 patch is finished, he will convert everything to NFS4.

  2. #152

    there should be a a setting in menu for traffic, how much traffic on map do the player want, like i would like sometimes to play with very much traffic, more than "rushhour"

  3. #153

    Are Ferrari's and Mercedes available in pursuit mode? I'm currently on my mobile phone so I can't take a look. This limitation should also be fixed.

  4. #154

    Tuurngait, did you try TDU?

  5. #155

    Still when I exit both nfs3 or nfs4 I need taskmanager to end the games, any thoughts?

    And is there a carmanager for nfs3? I found out you can't give the folder in the Gamedata/carmodel a complete name.


    -foldername: Shelby Mustang GT500
    -idenfity in fedata: gt50

    Race won't start

    -foldername: Shelby GT500
    -identity in fedata: gt50

    Race will start

  6. #156

    Noise, what OS are you using and what are your PC specs? I tested latest NFS3 patch for few days and I don't have a single bug. I am using vanilla version of the game and VEG's patch. If you are using fan made cars and tracks maybe there lies your problem. Also VEG's patch doesn't have car manager included.

  7. #157

    @Tuurngait: you can enable Mercedes/Ferrari cars for NFS4 by using NFS-Wizard. In fedata, choose the drop-down menu "Pursuit" and set from "No (Mercedes)" to "No".
    In a modded carlist, you can also use this option to exclude specific cars, such as trucks or fun cars, from a pursuit race. So i would not like to see an Mercedes/Ferrari Always-Enabled-Feature via the executable.

    @Noise: There is a very good program for NFS3, which can help you to manage your cars and even your addon tracks. "NFS3 Manager" by Jan Novak -->
    Also works with Modern Patch.
    Btw naming car folders with more than 4 characters will cause the Showcases to not work anymore (they rely on folder name).

  8. #158

    I still have to find my way in nfs3.I'm learning, so thnx guys..Funny to see that tools from 1999 can still be usefull.

    I noticed the carlimit of nfs3 is also 50. I had 53 cars installed, and ''in game'' the carselector showed ''disconnected''

    And nfs3 has no look left/right ''in race'' or replay has it?

    In nfs4 the opponentmenu shows the carnames of the class you selected.In nfs3 you only see a vidwall of the cars.I wonder if that can be changed.

  9. #159
    WiLL from Nfsaddons Team

    Hi there,thanks Noise for letting me know an,me gettting caught up here. An great Work all of you, on doing this! Were can I download files for nfs4 or do I use his nfs4 files for HS? Long day thanks )

  10. #160

    I ment his nfs 3 files

  11. #161

    Milan, no I haven't tried TDU yet. I watched some gameplay and the tracks are a bot boring for me. Most of them are just like highways. I really prefer the World Racing franchise, but probably I will try TDU some day.

  12. #163

    Tuurngait, I've played World Racing 2 long time ago but I can't remeber did I like it or not. Maybe I will give it a try in the future. I think that guys who develop WR2 also did BreakNeck but I am not sure.

  13. #164

    I got the Beta Files, but didn't install them yet. Cause I'm waiting for the Ver.1 more?)
    Anyone get Team RSR Stella Porche yet by Freak-Ds. Really nice ride. I made mine into. :)

  14. #165

    Milan, I just know that the guys from WR2 also created "Alarm for Cobra 11" but I hate it. They're going mainstream with this arcade racer. World Racing was great.

  15. #166

    Tuurngait, Alarm For Cobra is low budget TV show from Germany. I remeber seeing it few years ago on TV. I can't believe that they made a game based on that tv show.

  16. #168

    @VEG: On nfsaddons there's still the old Need For Speed III Modern Patch (v1.3.0) availible, does it get an update?

  17. #169
    VEG Author

    noise, I have never uploaded this patch to other websites. So, if you can download it from some other website, it wasn't uploaded by me.

    I do not recommend to download this patch from other sources. This page always has the latest version of the patch.

    If you wish to link to the archive with the latest version of the patch, just use this URL: This link will not be changed.

  18. #171
    VEG Author

    noise, I know that other guys uploaded this patch to some other websites. But it's not me.

  19. #172

    i cant extract it :/

  20. #173

    The z7 file is empty o.O you should check it man

  21. #174

    Whenever I try to start the game, it gives me this error:

    EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION: read attempted @0x00000004
    CS=00000023 DS=0000002B ES=0000002B FS=00000053 GS=0000002B
    EDI=0018FCAC ESI=03287678 EAX=03287678 EBX=00000000 ECX=03287678 EDX=0018FBF8
    Eip=004D0338 Ebp=0018FC00 Esp=0018FBF8 SS=0000002B

    It worked perfectly fine in my previous computer, where I followed the exact same instructions. Now it won't work on my new PC. It uses Windows 7, by the way. Previous used Windows 10.

  22. #175
    VEG Author

    jebus, the archive is ok. Just use the 7-zip archiver to extract it:
    Tadpole, try to disable antialiasing in the GPU drivers. I have a report that this error may happen on some drivers with antialiasing enabled. If it will not help, try to disable movies using NoMovies setting in the ini file. If it will not help, try to reinstall the game (see “How To Install” section). Please write here your results (I have to know if something helped you).

  23. #176

    :PPPPP it worked thanks a lot dude i love you <33333

  24. #177

    Thank you for this patch. God bless.

  25. #178

    VEG, earlier before the comments clean up, I suggested you about adding support to control all UI with joysticks. And I also reported a bug about when the user run the game without the joystick, all your previous customized joystick controls are reseted to default.
    What's your feedback about it, is it possible to do it? Are you planning to add these improvements and fixes?

    Thanks for your NFS3 Modern fixes.
    Keep up the good work.

  26. #179
    VEG Author

    k-man, all comments are here. Just press the “Older Comments” link.

    I suggested you about adding support to control all UI with joysticks

    I have this idea in my long-term to-do list. But it is hard to do, so I don't know if I will start to do it at all.

    when the user run the game without the joystick, all your previous customized joystick controls are reseted to default

    Also know about it, also would like to do it, and also it requires too much time for fixing.

  27. #180

    Thank you so much for this. You deserve a lifetime supply of good beer and food. I'm living my childhood again, except with better driving, and full HD resolution. I was sad earlier yesterday because I tried to get NFS 3 running again after seeing the Glide graphics in action on YouTube.

    I noticed one thing - the Mazda MX-5 Miata is stuck at its lowest LOD. I'm driving a box! Haven't noticed that with any other car, though.

    20,000 lines of assembly code!? You're a wizard! Keep up the great work.

  28. #181
    VEG Author

    Amarin, thank you for your feedback.

    Mazda MX-5 Miata is stuck at its lowest LOD.

    It seems, that it is a non-standard car. Probably, something is wrong with files of the car?

  29. #182

    Oh, never mind. Looks like the "Bonus" cars are just the traffic cars made playable. It looks like the models are even from NFS II.

    I didn't find that out until I showed a friend the car in action. Sorry about that!

  30. #183

    I'm really looking forward to your next version with slightly stretched proportions. This is actually the only thing I wish to get improved, because everytime I see the 4:3 car models I think they looks not realistic.

    Hopefully the NFS 4 patch will happen.

  31. #184

    Hey, Veg!

    I'd like to thank you for the kick-ass, impressive job that you've done!

    I got a question for everyone "present": I have no fkin' weather in the game! I tried switching the 3D modes-all to no avail. There are no options to set it in the menu. I even tried different game modes, but always the skies are annoyingly clear lol.

    At first I used the patch found on RejZor's website, then I applied your(Veg's) latest patch from this page and THEN I just torrented the NFS modern bundle and made a separate, standalone installation. Still, no go.

    Am I doing something wrong? I would greatly appreciate any help!

  32. #185
    VEG Author

    Max, open "Location", and set "Weather" to "On". That's all.

  33. #186

    Ma bad for the second comment-there's no editing option available here.

    I'm running Win 7 x64, a GTX 660 Ti and a Core 2 Extreme QX6850(yes, because I'm hardcore like that xD))

  34. #187

    Thanks, Veg! I must be getting really retarded due to age lol

    Again, I REALLY appreciate what you're doing!

  35. #188
    Hipnotic Rogue

    Hi VEG. I just wanted to say thank you so much for all the work you've put into this. You've managed to do something that EA should've done themselves a long time ago - and you've done it for free!

    I forgot just how much fun this game is. I downloaded your package yesterday and I've been playing ever since!

    Thank you. :)

  36. #189

    I managed to make the game work. I don't remember what I did that made the trick, but among those was placing the folder in Program Files, and I haven't tried any of the tips you suggested. Oh well.

  37. #190
    VEG Author

    If you are using “Program Files” directory for installation of the game on modern Windows (Vista and newer), you have to set proper rights for the game directory to allow the game to write into own directory. If you don't know how to do it, just use different directory, for example, C:\Games\NFS3\.

  38. #191

    Thank you! Thank you! you've done an amazing job! i feel like im back in time, and even though the game has aged, its still just as fun as i remember! keep up the great work!

  39. #192

    Thanks you so so so so so much!!!!! Windows 10 also works, great!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. #193

    Hi Veg, I just wanted to say thanks for the great work you have done with this patch, I downloaded it yesterday and it worked perectly on windows 10. I recently got back into old NFS games cause the modern games sucks! My favorite is NFS 4 and I always wanted to make my own cars for the game but I never could find the tools or a tutorial to make them, specially in spanish cause Im from Uruguay and my english is not very good haha.
    I'm looking forward to your NFS 4 Modern Patch, and I'll pay you if I could haha. Keep working hard man!

  41. #194

    Amazing patch!

    Installation is very easy and the result is stunning. Thanks a lot for doing it.

    Unfortunately the modding tools for these games are really old and don't run well on modern OS, but that's what VMs are for.

    I hope you're also successful with NFS4 as it would be amazing to see it also improved.

  42. #195

    This patch is soooo awesome! At first, I didn't get how to install it but now, I do and it looks fantastic with NFS 3! Also, one question. Do you know if modded cars will work with the patch and if it does, will they still look the same or will have better graphics too? (Btw, I didn't run NFS 3 through the way I usually do [By clicking the Shortcut Icon]. Instead, I ran NFS 3 through the nfs3.exe provided with the patch.) Thanks in advance!

  43. #196

    Found out that Modded Cars work on NFS 3. Don't know about Tracks yet doe. Oh well.

  44. #197

    Thank you very much for this patch update! Is there any way to activate bonus cars as there was on 1.3? I think it was Modern Patch 1.3 that gave me the option to activate traffic cars and the like (Eclipse Cop Car).

  45. #198

    this patch doesn't work

  46. #199
    VEG Author

    jonamaster, latest version of the patch includes all features from the v1.3. I think you had used some custom build of the game with my patch.

    john, this patch works. It tested hundreds times. I think that you're doing something wrong, or this game isn't compatible with your hardware.

  47. #200

    How do you activate traffic cars?

Comments are temporarily closed.