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Forspoken’s PC system requirements are still weird, so let’s fix them

Thanks to the joys of late code delivery, a few of us are just now getting to grips with the talkative Squeenix ARPG Forspoken. While Alice Bee hammers her review together, I’ve been on my usual hardware bullshit, mainly investigating the particular system requirements that were released last week.

These aren’t just an odd collection of specs because of the sheer weight and breadth of their demands; they also overtly target resolutions and framerates that hardly anyone is going to be engaging with. Who on desktop plays at 1280×720? Fewer than 0.3% of Steam users, apparently. And personally, if I’ve spent the cash on a 1440p gaming monitor, I probably wouldn’t be satisfied to watch it display my games at just 30fps. I’ve therefore been finding out what PC hardware Forspoken actually needs to run both smoothly and at more realistic resolutions. Maybe then we can update those system requirements to create some very-much-unofficial, but hopefully more useful, spec guidelines.

For testing, I’ve mainly focused on graphics cards, as Forspoken appears far more GPU-reliant than CPU-reliant. The usual RPS rig, with its Intel Core i5-11600K and 16GB of DDR4, is responsible for all results except for a few 4K tests. I’m also using a custom benchmark run using a portion of the open world, as although there is a built-in benchmarking tool, it’s just an easygoing series of camera pans that doesn’t strain your system nearly as much as combat or just I have a lot of outdoor areas. My own benchmark run takes place in one of the most performance-stretching places I’ve visited, so if it runs well there, it should run well in just about anywhere.

Now then, a reminder of the official lists:

Forspoken minimum system requirements (720p / 30fps)

  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 550 XT / Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 1600 / Intel Core i7-3770
  • RAM: 16GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit / Windows 11 64-bit
  • Storage: 150GB HDD

Forspoken recommended system requirements (1440p / 30fps)

  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT / Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 / Intel Core i7-8700K
  • RAM: 24GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit / Windows 11 64-bit
  • Storage: 150GB SSD

Forspoken ultra system requirements (4K / 60fps)

  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT / Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5800X / Intel Core i7-12700
  • RAM: 32GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit / Windows 11 64-bit
  • Storage: 150GB NVMe SSD

I’d love to say that these do the usual publisher PC specs thing of making largely conservative suggestions, but nah, Forspoken really is a tough one. I’ll be doing a more in-depth performance analysis and settings guide later in the week, but in short, you’ll need a monstrous PC to reliably run its best-looking options. And upscaling – to its credit, Forspoken supports both Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR 2 – is a must at 1440p and above.

In some instances, I found these official system requirements to understate just how much of a PC sadist Forspoken can be. Something I discovered quickly when trying to find a minimum graphics card for simple 1920×1080 play…

Forspoken revised system requirements: 1080p

The 6GB version of the GTX 1060 has shown up at the minimum spec level in a few recent games, but even so, I was faintly dumbstruck to see it scrape to an average of 31fps at 1280×720. On the Low preset, which by default includes FSR 2 running in Performance mode. Dire stuff, though at least you can say the official 720p / 30fps estimate was accurate. Or, y’know, a threat.

Clearly, more firepower would be needed to get 1080p running smoothly. Crossing the 8GB VRAM threshold with a GTX 1070 seemed to do the trick: at this higher rez but with the same Low preset, it produced 54fps, a massive improvement on the GTX 1060. Turn off FSR entirely and you still get 46fps, and while neither of these are a solid 60fps, both results look smooth enough for a minimum spec.

Also, I know the point of this one is to go as low-end as feasibly possible, though I’m not sure I can agree a mechanical HDD is fine after hearing from Alice that her map screen was taking up to 10 seconds to load . It was still taking my NVMe SSD about three seconds, which is long for a menu, but also showed the benefits of making room on a good solid state drive. Otherwise, that’s it – I’m sticking with Square Enix’s CPU suggestions, on the grounds that I also tried the GTX 1070 with an Intel Core i5-13600K – a far more powerful chip than the Core i5-11600K – and it only produced a couple of extra frames per second. It’s all about the GPU here.

Forspoken minimum system requirements, RPS version (1080p / 45fps)

  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (or AMD equivalent, at least a Vega 56)
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 1600 / Intel Core i7-3770
  • RAM: 16GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit / Windows 11 64-bit
  • Storage: 150GB HDD (SSD if at all possible)

Flanked by spearmen, Frey stands trial in Forspoken.

Forspoken revised system requirements: 1440p

Forspoken’s own requirements are supposed to be good for 30fps at 1440p, though they don’t make it clear which graphics quality level that involves, nor which imaginary 1440p owner would want to play a pacey parkour-fighter at such a low framerate. And then, just to be extra-strange, the RTX 3070 it lists turns out to be much more capable at this resolution anyway. Buh and, indeed, whuh.

To be clear, a card like the RTX 3070 is still an unusually high-end GPU to see semi-slumming it in the middle tier of a game’s recommendations. Nevertheless, when I tried it on the High preset, it did average a respectable 50fps. With the addition of DLSS on its Balanced setting, that rose to 68fps, which is plenty high enough with only a minimal quality downgrade from the upscaling.

You know what, then, Forspoken? You can have this one: the official GPU suggestions are staying put. That 24GB RAM listing, however, has to go. Besides the matter of that just being an odd amount to have when most desktop memory is sold in 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB kits, I played along on 16GB of DDR4 without any obvious RAM-related issues.

Forspoken recommended system requirements, RPS version (1440p / 60fps)

  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT / Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 / Intel Core i7-8700K
  • RAM: 16GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit / Windows 11 64-bit
  • Storage: 150GB SSD

Frey looks out at Cipal.  a major hub city in Forspoken.

Forspoken revised system requirements: 4K

Again, I must attest to the accuracy of the ‘Ultra’ requirement list’s RTX 4080 recommendation. That’s not the same as saying it’s nice and sensible to demand a £1200 graphics card in any context, but if you want to completely max out Forspoken’s visuals, this GPU will indeed do the job.

A premium CPU also makes sense, not strictly because Forspoken needs a lot of central processing power in itself, but rather so that the luxury GPU you I give need doesn’t get bottlenecked. When I paired my RTX 4080 with the Core i5-11600K, subjecting it to the Ultra high preset (with DLSS on Quality mode) only produced 47fps. After upgrading to a Core i5-13600K, that shot up to 70fps, and you can expect similar performance from the also-quite-recent Core i7-12700 and Ryzen 5 5800X.

You can ignore the 32GB RAM requirement, though. I tested the RTX 4080 with both 16GB and 32GB, and while the latter did manage a slightly higher 74fps average, that’s not the kind of difference you can see with primitive human eyeballs. There wasn’t any additional stuttering at 16GB either.

Forspoken ultra system requirements, RPS version (4K / 60fps)

  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT / Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5800X / Intel Core i7-12700
  • RAM: 16GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit / Windows 11 64-bit
  • Storage: 150GB NVMe SSD

Clad in her new cloak, Frey speaks to a young pickpocket in Forspoken.

I’m aware that I’ve been basing these changes on benchmark tests that use preset graphical options, which is rarely the best way to go about them; I’m hoping to find more ways to ease Forspoken’s hardware pressure once I test each of the visual settings individually. For now, these amended specs lists should give you a better idea of ​​what to expect, at the resolutions you’re most likely to actually play at.

It’s still a mighty arduous game for most hardware, to be sure, though all hope is not lost at the budget end. I’ve also had a quick squizz round of Forspoken on the Steam Deck, which starts at just £349, and it handled my benchmark section better than I expected: at least 30fps the whole way. Using the Low preset and Performance-level FSR 2, but still.

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