You there! Yes, you! Are you excited for Fallout 4? Of course you are, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this and anxiously reaching towards that “Read more” button to see what might lie beyond that border. Bethesda’s Fallout 4 is almost here, and the series has been reborn into one of the most popular gaming franchises of all time. Its almost as big as The Elder Scrolls, and draws in gamers from all walks of life who find something to like about exploring and surviving the wasteland. On 10 November 2015, you’ll be able to return to the wasteland once more, building up bases and defenses, creating all sorts of crazy weapons, and solving the mystery of where your family is. If you’re playing the game on PC, hit the jump to see what hardware you need to get started.
In addition to the system requirements, Bethesda Game Studios also announced when Fallout 4 would be available on digital platforms in different parts of the world. Internationally, the game will unlock on 10 November 2015 at 12:01AM local time (for each time zone), with North America’s time changing to 12:01AM EST. In Asia the game will be available on 11 November 2015 at 12AM and Japan will see the game unlock at 12AM on 17 December 2015, delayed presumably to finish any remaining localisation efforts.
OS: Windows 7/8/10 64-bit
CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
RAM: 8 GB RAM
HDD: 30 GB free HDD space
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent
The game’s requirements seem to be more or less in line with recent titles like Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Star Wars Battlefront, and Grand Theft Auto V. All of these games have specified a quad-core processor at a minimum, and all of these games run and function better with at least 8GB of system memory. None of this is really surprising, as roughly every seven years the baseline memory requirements for running AAA games seem to double. In 2008, one could run every single AAA game available at the time on just 4GB of RAM. Today? I wouldn’t chance it.
Bethesda’s recommendation for a NVIDIA Geforce GTX 550Ti also tell me that they’re aiming for the minimum requirements to be enough to play the game at 1080p with all settings on high, and pumping out at least 30 frames per second. This will be much more spectacular to look at than the same game running on the PS4 or Xbox One, and I’m happy to discover that I can probably run this game on my system as well. 30GB of free drive space seems anemic in relation to other games this year sucking up more than 50GB of storage space, so this is also welcome.
If you’re looking to play the game at lower settings or a lower resolution, this will probably be enough to play the game at 720p with high to ultra settings. This isn’t Bethesda’s list, but one that I’ve drawn up myself, looking at past requirements for games released recently, and what low-end rigs end up being used to play them. Its also composed of older hardware, so those of you on old systems, or buying second-hand stuff, might want to check back on this list when the game is out and has run through some performance benchmarks.
Low/Budget recommended specifications:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 or AMD Athlon II X4 640 or Intel Core i3-530
RAM: 6GB DDR2-800 or DDR3-1333
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 460 1GB or AMD Radeon HD5850 1GB
Medium settings at 1080p might be possible on a build similar to that one, but one might be forced to disable some of the advanced lighting effects, or drop down the foliage detail to save on VRAM. While Fallout 4 is based on the Creation engine, it has been heavily modified to take advantage of more modern hardware, so unless you like to have your games looking really ugly you might want to run it on systems that are at least somewhat recent. All that console owners need to worry about for now is that they have at least 35GB of free drive space for the game.