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Something to look forward to: Returnal already shocked users when its basic system specs recommended they have 32GB of RAM in December. Sony has further expanded and slightly revised its system requirements while confirming a few PC-exclusive features in its recent release date announcement. You can get by with just 16GB of RAM unless you want to play Returnal in 4K.
Sony's latest PC port of a formerly PlayStation 5-exclusive game – the award-winning Returnal – lands on February 15. Like some other games arriving in the first quarter of 2023, it will require a reasonably beefy setup to play at 60 frames per second, especially in 4K or with ray tracing.
The roguelike third-person shooter's minimum system requirements haven't changed since December: an Intel Core i5-6400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580, and 16GB of RAM to play the game at 720p and 60fps at low graphics settings.
However, the recommended specs previously listed 32GB of RAM along with a Core i7-8700 or Ryzen 7 2700X and an RTX 2070 Super or RX 6700 XT. The new specs list the same hardware and a 16GB RAM requirement to play Returnal at 1080p and 60fps at high settings.
Other games arriving soon, like the Dead Space remake, Forspoken, and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, list similar GPU recommendations: a 2070, 3070, 6700, or 6800 with 16GB of system memory. Popular cards like the GTX 1060 and RX 580 have fallen to the minimum spec.
Sony added a "medium" spec in-between minimum and recommended for Returnal. It suggests 16GB of RAM, a Core i5-8400 or Ryzen 5 2600, and a GTX 1070 or RX 5600 XT to play at 1080p and 60fps at medium settings.
The infamous 32GB recommendation only emerges in Returnal's "Epic" and "Ray Tracing" requirements. While Sony suggests an RTX 3080 or RX 6800 XT to play the game in 4K at maximum settings without ray tracing, adding RT only seems to slightly increase the recommended GPU spec to a 3080 Ti or 6950 XT. Square Enix's Forspoken, launching on January 24, also recommends 32GB of RAM for 4K gameplay.
Sony also revealed this week that, in addition to the PlayStation 5 version's ray-traced shadows, Returnal supports ray-traced reflections on PC. Enabling DLSS and FSR upscaling should help users mitigate the performance cost of ray tracing. The title will also feature in-game Nvidia Image Scaling settings as an alternative to FSR for those without RTX graphics cards.
The PC version supports 21:9 and 32:9 ultra widescreen. Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers through the DualSense controller make the jump to desktop but require a wired connection.
Returnal arrives on Steam and the Epic Games Store next month for $59.99.