Elden Ring publisher Bandai Namco has finally revealed the system requirements for the highly anticipated game earlier today, and while some of the specs the game is recommending might seem a little strange – especially the memory requirement – there’s really nothing to look at here.
As per the minimum system requirements disclosed by the developer, you will need 12GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB or Radeon RX 580 and a Core i5-8400 or Ryzen 3 3300X CPU. If you’re used to seeing most computer games requiring only 8GB of RAM, I have bad news for you: those days are probably over, especially in the world of AAA games like Elden Ring.
And if you want to know Why those days are over, you really only need to look at the system specs of the new consoles. Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X have 16GB of system memory – although this is shared between the CPU and the video card. And while the game is coming out on older platforms, you really just need to look at the absurdity that happened with Cyberpunk 2077‘s to see why it’s probably best not to base your expectations on the next-gen version of the game.
You really should have a 16GB gaming PC anyway
In the world of PC components, we are constantly going through ups and downs when it comes to RAM pricing. A few years ago, RAM was experiencing a shortage similar to best nvidia and AMD graphics cards right now. Back then, a 16GB DDR4 memory kit was extremely expensive, but those days are over.
Just look at Newegg, where you can get a pretty solid kit from DDR4 memory with two 8GB DIMMs for about $60 in the US When it comes to an upgrade, this is what you’d spend on a new game anyway, and it’ll make your system that much more capable of running new games as they come out.
There was a long time when we fully recommended that people just buy an 8GB system, but that was in the early days of Windows 10. Since then, Microsoft’s OS has gotten heavier. Even if the Elden Ring only “required” 8GB of RAM, you’d still have issues where Windows decides to download and install a system update for nothing, and then your framerate goes straight to the trash.
It’s not surprising, then, that the most reputable pre-built gaming PCs and laptops these days come with 16GB of RAM as standard. When it comes to playing the best PC games, 8GB of RAM is really the new 4GB. I do not recommend.
Graphics card requirements are literally a cake
It’s sometimes a hard pill to swallow, but graphics cards start to show their age after a few years, especially after a major console generation comes out and starts lifting the most common settings that developers make games to. And in the grand scheme of things, Elden Ring is much lighter when it comes to video card inflation than other recent games. If you need proof, just look at Dying Light 2 and its recommended RTX 3080.
Elden Ring is recommending an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 for its minimum spec, and it’s the 3GB version, not the more common 6GB version. A bit of graphics card history for those not as dumb as I am: Nvidia picked up a bit of controversy at the time (the day was 2015) for releasing two versions of the GTX 1060.
The problem wasn’t that there were two SKUs with different amounts of VRAM, the problem was that they were completely different GPUs. The 3GB GTX 1060 had fewer CUDA cores, meaning calling it the GTX 1060 was a bit misleading.
And this weaker version of the GTX 1060 is the minimum requirement. To put that in perspective, this was an entry-level graphics card. seven years ago. There are certainly people who will be left out with this game, but those people will likely not be able to play any AAA PC games that come out anyway. And chances are, if they’re using a GPU weaker than that, they probably don’t mind staying out of an RPG that’s already pretty niche to begin with.
Of the 20 best GPUs in the last Steam Hardware Search only two of them are weaker than the GTX 1060 3GB – the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. And the GTX 1050 Ti isn’t that far in performance from the GTX 1060, and should be able to survive on Elden Ring even if you need to. lower game resolution to 900p instead of full 1080p.
As the technology that powers our favorite games gets more advanced, it’s only natural that the hardware we need to play these games will also be more advanced. There are definitely developers who take this too far and lazily optimize their games and just recommend ridiculous graphics cards to force performance.
And besides, just look at Dark Souls 3
Discounting the disaster that was the original Dark Souls on PC, From Software actually has a pretty decent track record when it comes to affordable PC ports. Dark Souls 2, Dark Souls 3, and Sekiro run like a dream on PC, although I have a very specific issue with all of them (ultrawide support, anyone?).
But if you look at Dark Souls 3, it’s recommending users to have at least an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970. That’s basically the same performance level plus or minus maybe 2-3%. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice basically has the same system requirements as well, which makes sense since it’s on the same engine.
But if there’s one thing I know about Sekiro and Dark Souls 3, it’s that both games run like an absolute dream on whatever hardware I test them on – I’ve even played Dark Souls 3 with no issues on an Ultrabook. When you take Elden Ring’s relatively light system requirements and combine that with the developer’s good track record when it comes to PC ports over the past decade, the fear that this is a difficult mess to run really starts to fade.
I will absolutely be running this game across my range of graphics cards when it launches on February 25th, and I can’t wait to see how it runs on GPUs with this minimal spec. So, like, watch out for that.