On November 10, 2015, nearly 5 years ago, Fallout 4 was released. It’s out now for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC, among other platforms. Taking inspiration from Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series, the game series is set in a post-apocalyptic RPG world and features hundreds of quests and missions. The player’s actions throughout the main story and optional missions have a profound impact on the game’s factions, characters, and ultimately its conclusion.
The graphics requirements for Fallout 4 are low in comparison to those of newer games, so you can play without worrying about your system’s ability to run it. You can play the game on Windows 7 if you want, with only a slight drop in frame rate. Additionally, when compared to other modern games, Fallout 4 is smaller in size, which may be easier on hard drives and SSDs.
What is Fallout 4?
Welcome to Fallout 4, the next generation of open-world games from Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning developers of Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Need a prefabricated setup right away? There are 322 laptops in our system capable of running Fallout 4. Over a hundred gaming laptops that cost less than $1,000 are accepted. If you are looking for the right laptop, we recommend using our comprehensive comparison chart.
Fallout 4 PC Requirements
Fallout 4 Requirements for PC: Minimum Specifications
- Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5-2300 or 3.0 GHz AMD Phenom II X4 945 or equivalent
- Ram: 8 GB
- Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit versions only)
- Minimum 2GB Video Memory; NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti or AMD Radeon HD 7870 Recommended.
- Shader Quality for Pixels, Version 5.0
- Shader 5.0 for Vertices
- Size in Bytes: 30 GB
- Two gigabytes of video RAM
In Fallout 4, the visual details are a little dated on the lowest settings, but the massive open world and gameplay more than make up for it. The old-school sense of adventure can be rekindled through the game’s random quests and collectibles. Don’t let the requirements for your computer or your wallet prevent you from enjoying this thrilling post-apocalyptic game.
Fallout 4 PC Requirements: Recommended Specifications
- Central Processing Unit: 3.6 GHz Intel Core i7 4790/4.7 GHz AMD FX-9590 or equivalent
- Ram: 8 GB
- System Requirements: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit only).
- NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB / AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB / or equivalent graphics card
- Level 5 Pixel Shader
- The 5.0 Vertex Shader
- Size in Bytes: 30 GB
- Three gigabytes of video RAM
The larger map and more populous cities are too much for the CPU to handle without the additional cores. In addition, the game can be played with high texture settings on a decent budget card or even a used graphics card like the GTX 750 Ti. Now, with a minimal investment, you can play games in 1440p at medium settings with playable frame rates.
You can probably still find the graphics’ and the interface’s limits even at the highest settings. Over the course of a year, Bethesda has released a plethora of updates and expansions designed to enrich the game experience. Despite having numerous world mechanics, the base version of Fallout 4 is only 30 GBs in size, all thanks to the game’s creation engine.
The most noticeable difference in Fallout 4 performance will come from your graphics card, as is the case with most games. The fact that it’s an open-world game necessitates a long draw distance (i.e. the game renders objects that are far away from the player) and thus significant graphical power, even if the game doesn’t look as visually spectacular as some of the prettiest games of its release year (2015).
Even though Fallout 4 requires just under 3 GB of video RAM to run at 1080p with Ultra settings, many 2 GB graphics cards are capable of running the game at around 50 FPS. Thankfully, even at 45 FPS or higher, which we consider “smooth,” Fallout 4 is still a lot of fun to play.
Fallout 4 CPU Requirements
The performance of Fallout 4 will be affected by your CPU, though not to the same extent as your GPU. According to tests conducted by Tom’s Hardware, Intel Core i3 processors are more than capable of running the game without experiencing any noticeable slowdowns.
Make sure to get a powerful graphics card if you want to play Fallout 4 on high settings on a budget, but feel free to skimp on the CPU. In many games, including Fallout 4, the CPU doesn’t make as much of a difference as the rest of your system, so long as it’s powerful enough.
Fallout 4 RAM Requirements
The recommended and minimum requirements for Bethesda’s game both call for 8 GB of RAM. You could probably play the game with 4 GB of RAM, but that’s about as low as you’d want to go.
Can I Run Fallout 4?
The recommended minimum graphics card for Fallout 4 is an AMD Radeon HD 7870. A NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780, however, is highly suggested. An Intel Core i7-4790 or better is recommended, but a CPU at least as powerful as an AMD Phenom II X4 945 is required. For the game to properly install, you’ll need at least 30 GB of free space on your hard drive. A minimum of 8 GB of RAM is required for Fallout 4 on the PC.
After Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, it was announced that Bethesda games would be included in the company’s Game Pass subscription service, so you can expect to see Fallout 4 included in the near future.
Fallout 4 Details
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Fallout 4 Release Date
|Dated: November 9th, 2015|
Fallout 4 PC price today:
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You can use the PC Gamer’s Bundle tracker to speculate on when Steam will offer an official discount on Fallout 4. On December 23, 2020, you can save 70% off the regular price.
A Note About Frame Rate (FPS)
How many pictures your computer can make in a given amount of time is expressed in terms of frames per second (FPS). When the number of frames displayed on your screen per second is higher, the animation will appear more fluidly. A lower frame rate makes the game look like it’s stuttering, which is annoying.
For the purposes of our PC build guides, we advise purchasing a computer capable of running your desired game at 60 frames per second. Sure, 30 frames per second might be good enough for some players, but that really depends on the game and the player.
Please visit our Frame Rate page where you can learn more about frame rate and view some helpful animations.
Fallout 4 Graphical Settings Guide
There are 20 different visual options in Fallout 4, and some of them have a bigger effect on frame rate than others. You can potentially improve your gameplay experience without sacrificing too much visual quality by lowering a few settings if you’re getting unsatisfactory framerates.
In particular, NVIDIA* claims that adjusting the God Rays, Shadow Distance, and Shadow Quality settings can have a dramatic effect on frame rate. Let’s break those down one by one.
*For some reason, NVIDIA removed their comprehensive Fallout 4 guide. The cached version is available now.
NVIDIA’s God Rays are a part of their volumetric lighting technology, and they do a great job of making Fallout 4’s environments look more grand and epic. Epicness, however, has a significant impact on performance. Turning them from Off to Low will incur a 6% performance hit. However, a 40% performance hit is possible when going from Off to Ultra on God Rays. If you’re looking for an easy way to get a performance boost, lowering your God Rays settings is a good place to start because the visual differences between Low and Ultra are negligible.
The amount of realism in the shadows is determined by this setting. Shadows become more pixelated and jagged at lower settings. The graphics are smoother and more lifelike when the quality is increased. There is a performance hit of around 20% between the minimum and maximum settings.
Two variations on shadow effects are compared below. Both Low and Medium are compared to each other, and then Ultra is compared to the former. The difference between Low and Medium shadow quality is striking, while those between High, Ultra, and Extra-High are less noticeable. Shadows of Medium quality are a good compromise if you need to boost performance.
Higher values for “Shadow Distance” yield a more realistic appearance by increasing the amount of shadow detail cast on distant objects. The performance gap between the minimum and maximum values for shadow distance is around 15%.
In a nutshell, for optimal efficiency:
- Dim the sun of God.
- Make the quality of the shadows medium.
- Select a medium or high value for Shadow Distance.
You can get the most bang for your buck in terms of performance gains and visual quality in the game by adjusting these three settings. If adjusting those doesn’t improve your framerate, try dialing down additional settings to High or Medium.
Another tip: turn down Grass Fade if the game’s framerate suffers in grassy areas.
Logical Increments Tiers and How They Fare
There are three factors to think about when evaluating your computer’s ability to run Fallout 4:
- The pixel count you’d like the game to use (typically the same as your screen’s native pixel count).
- The level of visual sophistication you prefer
- How fluid you want the game to be
Our target frame rate (FPS) with all visual settings maxed out is 60 FPS. You can get away with an even weaker PC if you’re willing to turn down the visual settings or accept framerates lower than 60 FPS. Check out our Graphics Card Comparison page to see how different GPUs stack up against one another.
The tiers of our hardware list that would allow you to play Fallout 4 at 60 FPS at progressively more difficult resolutions are detailed below.
Very smooth performance in Fallout 4 can be had at 1600×900 with the Entry tier, which consists of the RX 550 and the i3-12100F.
The Fair tier, with a GTX 1660 Super and an i3-12100F, will enjoy buttery-smooth framerates in 1080p.
The GTX 1660 Super and i5-12400F in the Very Good tier will provide buttery-smooth performance at 1440p.
To play at 4K with very smooth framerates, you’ll need a PC that’s at least as powerful as our Excellent tier, which includes the RX 6600 XT and the i5-12600K.
Remember that you can build a PC with these high-end GPUs and a weaker CPU, as we mentioned in the CPU section of this article. For each tier, however, we advise using a CPU that can keep up with the powerful GPU.
Again, a powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) is essential for Fallout 4. If you absolutely have to cut costs, the CPU is where you can do it. You don’t need a beefy CPU for gaming, but you do want a versatile PC, which is why we recommend a setup that evenly distributes processing power between the central processing unit and the graphics processing unit.
We hope this guide has helped you find the right balance between good visuals and good performance in Fallout 4, as well as the hardware you’ll need to play the game to your satisfaction. Check out our home page if you need to know anything else about PC components.