The minimum and recommended requirements for PC games go higher each year, but most games have been content with 16 GB RAM for a while now. That’s now starting to change.
Sony revealed earlier this month that Returnal, a third-person shooter set on a far-away planet, will arrive on PC next year following its launch on the PlayStation 5 in 2021. That was a pleasant surprise, but there was another surprise on the Steam store listing that just went live — the game demands 16 GB RAM at a minimum, and recommends 32 GB.
The rest of the system requirements aren’t too surprising, with a recommendation for an Intel Core i7-8700 or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU, Windows 10, 60 GB of storage space, and a NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER (8 GB) or AMD RX 6700 XT (12 GB). However, there aren’t many PC games that ask for that much memory. Even other recent PS5 ports, such as Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, has an 8 GB minimum and recommends 16 GB — more memory is only needed for the advanced ray tracing mode.
Returnal could be another sign that the age of 32 GB RAM is coming, but even if you play games on your PC, there’s not much of a rush to upgrade right now. Valve’s last Steam Hardware & Software Survey indicated only 13% of PCs had 32 GB RAM, compared to 52.62% with 16 GB and 21.24% with 8 GB. Some big-budget games might start pushing the envelope, like Returnal, but many others will continue to work on less memory to have the widest potential market.