PCGamingWiki:Editing guide/System requirements

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

The final major section of an article is System Requirements. It holds all the official specifications given by the developer on what is required at the minimum to both run the game at a basic level and run it with all graphical settings maxed out at a playable frame rate.

The table

Template documentation

Syntax

{{System requirements
|OSfamily = 

|minOS    = 
|minCPU   = 
|minCPU2  = 
|minRAM   = 
|minHD    = 
|minGPU   = 
|minGPU2  = 
|minGPU3  = 
|minVRAM  = 
|minOGL   = 
|minDX    = 
|minSM    = 
|minaudio = 
|mincont  = 
|minother = 

|recOS    = 
|recCPU   = 
|recCPU2  = 
|recRAM   = 
|recHD    = 
|recGPU   = 
|recGPU2  = 
|recGPU3  = 
|recVRAM  = 
|recOGL   = 
|recDX    = 
|recSM    = 
|recaudio = 
|reccont  = 
|recother = 
}}

Example

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP Vista, 7, 8, 8.1
Processor (CPU) AMD Phenom II X4 940 3.0 GHz
Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66 GHz
AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz
Intel Core i7 3770 3.5 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 150 MB 20 GB
Video card (GPU) AMD Radeon HD 5770
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460
Intel HD 4000
256 MB of VRAM
OpenGL 3.0 compatible
DirectX 7.0 compatible
Shader model 1.1 support
AMD Radeon HD 7850
Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Intel HD 5000
2 GB of VRAM
OpenGL 5.0 compatible
DirectX 10 compatible
Shader model 3.0 support
Sound (audio device) DirectX compatible
Controller Xbox 360 Controller Xbox One Controller
Other Anything that does not fit elsewhere

The section covers 5 main operating system (OS) families:

  • DOS
  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • OS X/macOS
  • Linux

Within each table, the fields are separated into two distinct sections: minimum requirements (min) and recommended requirements (rec)

Field breakdown

  • OS: Operating Systems supported
  • CPU: Central Processing Unit required. Can list up to 2 CPUs (|CPU = and |CPU2 =)
  • RAM: Random Access Memory required
  • HD: Hard Drive space required
  • GPU: Graphics Processing Unit required. Can list up to 3 GPUs (|GPU =, |GPU2 =, and |GPU3 =)
  • VRAM: Video RAM required
  • OGL: OpenGL version required
  • DX: DirectX version required
  • SM: Shader Model support required
  • audio: Audio device required
  • cont: Controllers supported
  • other: For any other details that do not fit in the other fields

Where to find the information

There are multiple places where the system requirements can be found, either partially or completely:

  • Retail game box
  • Game manual
  • Official README file
  • Digital store game page
  • Official game website
  • Developer/publisher support pages
  • MobyGames

General guidelines

The following guidelines apply for all OSes:

  • Each OS family gets 1 table only.
  • The |*audio =, |*cont =, and |*other = fields are rarely used, if ever. They can be omitted from regular use.
  • When stating OSes, do not include the OS family name. This is already handled by the table title.
    • Ex. If a game supports Windows 98, Windows XP, and Windows 7, write down 98, XP, and 7 in the fields.
  • If a game supports multiple versions of an OS family, separate each version with a "," .
  • The |minOS = field should normally have only one entry. All other supported versions of the OS family should be placed in the |recOS = field
  • Correct styling of important companies and product lines:
    • Companies
      • 3dfx
      • AMD
      • ATI
      • Intel
      • Motorola
      • Nvidia
    • Product lines
      • 68000 (can also be shortened to 68k)
      • Athlon
      • Core 2 Duo
      • Core i3, i5, i7
      • Duron
      • GeForce
      • Iris
      • K6
      • Pentium (use Roman Numerals for 2, 3, and 4)
      • Phenom (use Roman Numerals for 2)
      • PowerPC
      • Radeon
      • Radeon X****
      • Voodoo
  • Know when to use AMD and ATI for video cards! ATI is for all cards up to and including the Radeon HD 5000 Series (released on September 10, 2009). AMD is used for all cards part of or newer than the Radeon HD 6000 Series (released on October 22, 2010).
  • All CPUs and GPUs will be named out in full.
    • Ex. Intel Pentium II, ATI Radeon 9800
  • Keep the order of CPUs and GPUs consistent
    • Ex. If Intel is listed first for |minCPU =, it should also be listed first for |recCPU =
  • For older AMD CPUs, they will sometimes state their frequency in terms of " ****+ " (with * being a number). This is an acceptable alternative to specific frequency values.
    • Ex. AMD Athlon 64 3800+
  • If a specific frequency cannot be found, listing just the CPU name is fine.
  • Format to use when writing CPUs:
    • General CPUs (i.e. no specified brand): <frequency> <CPU type>
    • Specific CPU (i.e. specific Intel or AMD processor): <CPU name> <frequency>
  • The |*GPU* = fields are meant to hold specific GPU names only. Do not use statements like "DirectX compatible".
  • In some cases, the developer may give multi-tiered system requirements (ex. Minimum, Recommended, Best). For the table, use the information given under the "Minimum" and "Recommended" requirements only.
    • Any requirements beyond "Recommended" are considered overkill at the time of launch. That being said, these requirements can be added to the section as an information ({{ii}}) footnote below the tables.

OS specific guidelines

While the template is the same throughout, each OS needs to be handled differently.

DOS

  • For compatibility and accuracy, DOS in the context of the wiki refers to MS-DOS.
  • The final (standalone) release of DOS is 6.22. If a specific recommended OS version cannot be found, use this for the |recOS = field.
  • DOS has no support for graphics APIs like DirectX or OpenGL, making their respective fields irrelevant. They can be omitted from the table.
  • DOS-era games were made when hardware acceleration with dedicated graphics cards had yet to be created. As such, they would not state any video cards to use (sound cards do not count). As an alternative to specific GPU names, list the various video resolutions the game supports (ex. CGA, EGA, VGA, SVGA, etc.)
    • Do not list the video resolutions with multiple |*GPU* = fields. Keep it contained to the same field, while separating each entry with a ","
    • The video resolutions should be sorted from lowest to highest. The Wikipedia page on display resolutions provides official specifications on all the major ones.
    • The |recGPU = field should only have one entry (the highest resolution supported).

Windows

  • Although the early Windows versions (3.1 and earlier) are their own OS, a game can only be listed as part of the Windows family if it cannot run on DOS.
  • In some cases, a re-release of an older title for a newer OS will provide a new set of system requirements. If possible, use the original system requirements.

Mac OS

  • Mac OS is NOT the same as OS X/macOS! Mac OS refers to the OS line formally used by Apple starting with System 1 (1984) and ending with Mac OS 9 (1999).
    • This OS line must be written as "Mac OS" to avoid confusion with "macOS", the current name of the modern Apple OS line.
  • The final release of Mac OS is 9.2.2. If a specific recommended OS version cannot be found, use this for the |recOS = field.
  • Mac OS does not have support for DirectX, making its respective fields irrelevant. They can be omitted from the table.
  • There are two "eras" for the Mac OS architecture: 68000 (System 1 to Mac OS 7) and PowerPC (Mac OS 7 and newer).
    • All PowerPC compatible versions of the OS family include a 68k emulator, making compatibility issues non-existent. If a recommended CPU cannot be found for a 68k-based game, use "PowerPC" for the field.
  • Overall performance for Mac OS games were mainly determined by the CPU. For the |*GPU = fields, state the monitor type (black & white or colour) or the colour depth (ex. 256 colour) needed.

OS X/macOS

  • OS X/macOS is NOT the same as Mac OS! OS X and macOS refer to the current OS line used by Apple starting with Mac OS X v10.0 (2000).
    • "macOS" (as written) is a renaming of the OS line starting with macOS Sierra v10.12 (2016). The final version of the OS under the "OS X" name is OS X El Capitan v10.11 (2015).
    • To avoid confusion with "Mac OS", the legacy Apple OS line, references to the current OS line starting with v10.12 must be written as "macOS". Prior to v10.12, the OS line needs to be referred to as "OS X".
  • OS X does not have support for DirectX, making its respective fields irrelevant. They can be omitted from the table.
  • There are two "eras" for the OS X architecture: PowerPC (Mac OS X v10.0 to Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard) and Intel (Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard and newer). Many early OS X titles require a PowerPC-based machine or the Rosetta software to work (Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard is the last version of the OS to use the software). If the game has no Intel port, note the PowerPC reliance in Key points.
    • Also, if the game has both a PowerPC and a separate Intel version available, use the system requirements from the Intel release. It is assumed that all OS X users will run the game on a Intel-based machine.
    • Finally, if the game is PowerPC-based only and a recommended OS version cannot be found, use "10.6".

Linux

  • The Linux family comprises of numerous distributions which all use some form of the Linux kernel. Because of this, it is impossible to state every supported distribution available. There are 3 main ways of stating the supported OS versions:
    1. Use "Any distribution" in |minOS = as a catch-all if a specific distribution is not stated.
    2. If a specific distribution is stated, use that.
    3. If known, the Linux kernel versions can also be used.
  • Linux does not have support for DirectX, making its respective fields irrelevant. They can be omitted from the table.
  • In most cases, the system requirements for the Windows version (if available) can be mirrored with Linux.