FUEL was sold in the following flavors:
X360 (X-box 360) PS3 (Playstation 3) PC (CD / DVD) PC (Steam)
X360, PS3 & PC CD/DVD install should be straight-forward. (IE: Everything you need to install should already be on the disc). However, you may need to download/run some patch files to get the game up-to-date after install.
The game is playable in both single-player/solo and online/multi-player:
- PS3 version used GameSpy, which has been discontinued
- X360 & PC used Games For Windows Live (GFWL).
FUEL on PC (Steam) Install
Note: It's highly recommended to use the Steam Guide method further below to neuter GFWL from FUEL, b/c almost all issues with FUEL on PC are caused by GFWL. - HappyHamster
Problem: After installing FUEL from Steam, you can see the setup screen, but when you try to run the game either nothing happens or you get a pop-up saying:
The ordinal 43 could not be located in the dynamic link library C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\xlive.dll
Cause: When Codemasters listed and supported FUEL on Steam it would auto-install GFWL when you installed the game. But, when Microsoft announced GFWL was retiring Codemasters patched GFWL out of their popular games while simply delisting less popular ones like FUEL. This means titles like FUEL still need GFWL installed to play. Unfortunately, when you install FUEL from Steam now the GFWL won't auto-install.
Solution (Win 7/8/8.1)
- Start the FUEL Launcher
- Click "Games For Windows Live" button
- GFWL should install itself
Solution (Win 10)
The GFWL client that shipped with FUEL doesn't work in Win 10, but the last version you can download from Microsoft's old GFWL site does. So, you'll need to download and install it from http://www.xbox.com/en-IE/Live/PC/DownloadClient.
Problem: GFWL asks you to login when FUEL starts.
Solution: You don't need an online account to play. You can create a local profile.
- Start game
- On GFWL pop-up, select "Create Profile"
- Scroll down, and click "create local profile" link
You can also set up GFWL to auto-login a profile. You can also log your profile out, and create other local profiles to either experiment around or let other family and friends run their own race career w/o screwing yours up.
Problem: Game freezes on FUEL logo, and white "processing" circle icon doesn't spin like it's supposed to. Atl-tabbing shows an error pop-up saying something about resource issues, and see WinLiveNetPlayerManager_Z as part of error message.
Cause: MS' updates to Win 10 seem to completely bork GFWL for some FUEL players now (EG: Win 10 1903). Game hangs trying to run GFWL.
Solution: Neuter GFWL from FUEL via following guide:
Guide has a download for alternate xlive.dll & xlive.ini files you can put directly in your FUEL install folder, which bypasses GFWL in FUEL. (Essentially, you can start FUEL w/o GFWL starting.) Without GFWL running, you can't do online multi-player. But, since GFWL online MP was shut off long ago, who cares.
FUEL's startup loader lets you set Video Options. Some work. Some don't.
- Resolution ... (works and is self-explanatory). Setting a higher resolution has a greater impact on FPS performance, but also has the greatest impact on visual appearance of any other option available.
- Anti-aliasing ... (doesn't work) The "fx.phl" shader file has code for anti-aliasing, but it doesn't work. (you can literally delete those functions out of the file, and the shaders will still compile). However, you can use your graphics card's control panel set some. (See "Advanced Setup" section below).
- Texture Quality ... (doesn't work). Texture quality is controlled via the shader files. There are high-res textures stored in the DPC archives. FUEL runs them through the shaders that have a compression routine. This effectively reduces texture size by 1/2 (lower-res). This code is branched to allow compression or not allow it.
- Anisotropic (Filtering) ... (doesn't work). Playing with the options in the setup loader does nothing. You can set this via your graphics card's control panel, though.
- Advanced: Lets you select / deselect shader maps to use:
- Normal Maps ... Makes some textures better, eg: certain vehicles will have better tire textures (bump mapping), and show panel damage when banged around too much.
- Dirt Maps: When enabled, your vehicle gets progressively muddier when running off-road, and cleaner when running through water. Your screen borders also get progressively caked in dirt and cleaned off.
- (Ambient) Occlusion Maps: Provides some extra shading around objects to give them more depth/realism. Ambient Occlusion tends to have a pretty big FPS hit on older systems in some games.
- Shadow Maps: Dynamically generates shadows from objects based on the movement of the sun.