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This new mod makes an 18-year-old racing game run great on my RTX 4070

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast just got a major update for PC, thanks to modders, and it's part of a wider project to support abandoned games.

I hold game preservation very near and dear to my heart. While I don’t personally have the skill to take old games and update them for use in 2024, supporting those who do is paramount. The latest example of this fine work can be seen in OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast, where a new mod makes the game look and play like it belongs in the ‘New & Noteworthy’ section of Steam.

OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast won’t be featured on many of the best racing games lists in 2024, of course. In fact, many people may not even remember the game existed until they see footage of it, but I have fond memories of playing this game.

OutRun 2006: Coast to Coast Running on modern gaming PC with mods

During family holidays abroad to Italy, an OutRun 2 machine was ever present in the local arcade. I spent countless hours, and euros, playing on it and trying to better my previous runs and keep impressing my digital girlfriend in the OutRun game mode. I couldn’t help but be devastated when the machine was eventually replaced with pool tables. What a downgrade.

Now, not only can I revisit the PC release of the game, titled OutRun 2006: Coast to Coast, but it’s never looked or played better than on my Nvidia RTX 4070 right now, thanks to the Tweaks 0.4.1 patch on GitHub. This mod adds a ton of improvements, including faster loading times, UI scaling, improved reflections, and even better controller support.

Previously, the game would only run at a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 with a 60fps cap in place. I should note that the original game wasn’t capped at this resolution, but running the game via Windows compatibility settings appeared to limit my options inexplicably. Now it’s possible to scale the UI and resolution in line with what your desktop is set to, and the frame cap is removable without destabilizing the game and having it run uncontrollably fast.

This means I’m playing at 2,560 x 1,440 and 144 fps with no issues at all. Better still, the game loading times have gone from being middling to rapid. Loading each individual menu screen, and launching into gameplay, now takes barely a few seconds when playing on an SSD. Previously loading times had remained unoptimized and, while far from dreadful, were still no way near reaching their potential.

It only took around ten minutes for me to get the mod installed, with some much-needed texture packs too, and with the fixes I’ve just mentioned, suddenly the game looks and plays incredibly on a modern gaming PC. There are still more texture packs I can download, but the goal here was just to try to get the game running and experience the nostalgia, all made possible thanks to game preservation.

Sadly, OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast isn’t available to purchase anymore, but it’s being preserved by the My Abandonware project, which targets games that have been pulled from all digital storefronts, are no longer physically sold for PC as new, and are currently at least 12 years old.

Preservation of these games is important, but so is the modding work done to keep them working on modern gaming PCs, where old DRM issues can cause issues with compatibility. This is where the modding and preservation communities collide, and the outcome is fantastic examples of work like OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast.

It wouldn’t surprise me if those in the RTX Remix community were also looking at this game, as a full-scale, ray-traced lighting upgrade would be the perfect finishing touch.

Many of the best PC games ever released are still supported and sold to this day, but not every game is so lucky, which is why preservation mods such as this one are so important.