Before you launch a game for the first time, it’s worth considering whether or not your gaming PC is equipped to play the game in the way you want to experience it. There isn’t a simple way to determine a universal set of the best minimum gaming system requirements. Instead, it’s recommended that you consider whether or not your system is equipped to handle each individual game at the quality you prefer.
Games are always evolving; destruction physics, audio effects, and cutting-edge visual flourishes become more sophisticated every year. Without the right hardware, it’s possible to miss out on these enhancements.
We’ve collected the recommended specifications for a number of the year’s biggest games below. These recommendations should provide insight into the hardware required to have an ideal gameplay experience.
Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red’s highly anticipated RPG, brings the dystopian universe of the tabletop game Cyberpunk to life. Cyberpunk 2077 promises extensive character customization with cybernetic augments, a choice-driven narrative where decisions have gameplay consequences, and a neon-soaked open world to explore.
Marvel’s Avengers puts you in control of the game’s titular iconic superheroes as you fight your way through a compelling single-player story. With large numbers of on-screen enemies, screen-filling special effects, and destructible elements throughout the environments, controlling Earth’s mightiest heroes has never looked so good.
Horizon Zero Dawn is finally available on PC. This third-person adventure follows Aloy as she explores the verdant landscapes of future Earth and battles mechanical life forms across a massive open world. Horizon Zero Dawn has never looked better, with PC-exclusive features like higher frame rates, more complex foliage interaction, and wider aspect ratios allowing you to fully immerse yourself in this beautiful post-apocalypse.
Riot’s team-based FPS VALORANT is a compelling blend of tactical and power-based gameplay, resulting in a tightly focused competitive experience. It’s designed to run on a wide variety of hardware configurations, meaning most modern PCs should be able to achieve the higher FPS desirable for a competitive shooter.
Call of Duty: Warzone, the free-to-play battle royale addition to 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is well-equipped to foster once-in-a-lifetime feats of FPS acumen. With up to 150 players on a map at once, the game's high-quality textures, and cutting-edge lighting effects, the possibilities for visually stunning combat encounters are endless.
The designers behind Ori and the Will of the Wisps built on the signature, hand-painted look of its predecessor, Ori and the Blind Forest, by adding dizzying amounts of depth to every scene. Levels expand with layers of visual detail, while a new dynamic lighting system fills tranquil groves and desert caverns with color.
Microsoft’s Flight Simulator has been around since 1982, but it has never looked like this. By extrapolating topography data from satellites positioned around the globe, the latest edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator allows you to fly realistic airplanes across the entire planet for an unprecedented flight simulation experience.
Running on the same Decima engine that powers Horizon Zero Dawn, Hideo Kojima’s surreal post-apocalyptic delivery simulator has arrived on PC. The high-fidelity character models and expansive open world benefit from increased frame rates, a plethora of graphics settings, and of course, higher resolutions and a diversity of aspect ratios. Building bridges has never looked better.
The long-anticipated third entry in this quintessential PC franchise shows how far RPGs have come. Though Baldur’s Gate 3 continues its predecessor's emphasis on character-driven, narrative-heavy stories, it updates the series with modern conveniences like online multiplayer, highly detailed character models and environments, and a complex story designed to live up to the lofty expectations of PC gamers everywhere.
The latest entry in this long-running strategy series embraces the chaos and legendary myth of the Trojan War. A Total War Saga: TROY allows you to take control of armies and mythical heroes in turn-based empire simulation and real-time battles that feature a huge number of units on screen simultaneously. This game was designed to take advantage of multiple CPU cores, allowing for enhanced environmental effects such as more complex water and grass, bringing the player even deeper into this epic reimagining of ancient Greece.
Remember: the specs included above are recommendations. Every person has a different set of preferences when it comes to components and the fidelity of their gaming experiences.
Reviewing the developer’s game system requirements in advance, however, helps you better prepare your system to run a game at your desired quality so you can get the most of the games you want to play.
If you’re finding the games you want to play aren’t running the way you want, it might be worth troubleshooting your system or upgrading to a laptop or desktop that can give you the performance you’re looking for.