Updated at: 02-02-2023 - By: Leo Hall

Is it possible to run this on your computer? Here’s a quick way to find out if your computer is up to the task of playing a certain game. Several simple procedures are outlined for your convenience.

Wondering if your computer can run that new game you want to get your hands on? All but the most intrepid among us have been there. In contrast to console gaming, PC gaming often raises questions of compatibility, so it’s important to be able to check both your own system specs and the recommendations of the game’s developers.When you consider that a PC may contain parts from a variety of different years, it becomes clear that optimizing games for PC is no easy task. There are many moving parts to consider due to the wide variety of computer processors, graphics processing units, and random access memory (RAM).In this piece, however, we will avoid the nitty-gritty in favor of a brief explanation of how to determine whether or not your computer is capable of running a given game.

What Is Needed For What?

There are a lot of precautionary requirements listed, like the presence of a sound card and a DVD drive (if you plan to buy a physical copy). However, back when PC gaming was still relatively new, these features were not as widely available and had to be included in the system requirements.

As the pace of technological development increases, so will these demands.

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Operating System And Storage

While it may seem silly to insist on a specific operating system, it’s worth noting that roughly half of all PC users in the world are currently running Windows 10. Some people use Windows 7 or 8, while others prefer macOS or Linux. In addition, some of these users aren’t running a 64-bit OS, which is essential for most newer video games.

Even though the size of your hard drive is likely irrelevant since most modern computers have multiple terabytes of storage, it’s still a good idea to see if you need to make some space before installing a new game.
Video games are getting bigger and bigger, meaning that an SSD is essential for optimal performance.
True, many up-to-date installation wizards do a quick disk space check before getting started. You shouldn’t take the chance of the installation failing midway through or files being rolled back due to a lack of storage space.

Memory (RAM) requirements are significant, but can vary widely from one game to the next. More memory is required for more resource-intensive games. Indeed, this is true of the majority of your computer’s features.


Particularly helpful for simulation games is random access memory (RAM). The CPU will be assigned more work in these games, and it will make use of RAM to facilitate faster data transfers.

Important RAM information: while you might be tempted to buy the fastest RAM money can buy, keep in mind that there isn’t a particularly strong relation between RAM speed and overall performance improvement.

Sticking with a lower clock RAM if you’re on a tight budget should be fine as long as the capacity is sufficient.

This is where things could go south, as the next two prerequisites are among the trickiest.


The CPU model, core count, and frequency are typically specified by the game’s developer. To clear things up, we’ve included not only the number of cores and clock speed, but also the specific model. Even if this doesn’t end up being very useful, at least they tried.

Even though not all games make good use of multiple cores, having a larger number of them is helpful. At least four processing cores are necessary for most newer games. This, too, is likely to grow in frequency as time passes.

There has been a steady increase in the number of cores utilized by modern games in recent years.

The clock speed is essential because the game won’t load if your computer can’t process data at the required rate. This happens because the rate at which the game (and other processing) can take advantage of new information is often proportional to the rate at which that information becomes available.

It’s possible that your computer’s central processing unit is the cause of your game’s stuttering. While the graphics processing unit (GPU) will be able to produce playable frames, the game’s frame rate request will be too slow. A stalemate will ensue while it waits for the CPU to finish processing all of the required data.

If a specific CPU model is recommended, it’s because the game’s developers have verified that it works with that CPU model in particular. Verify the numbers listed for your CPU model in your system’s specifications against those of your CPU.

The GPU, thankfully, is simpler to grasp. The same strategy holds true here; check your graphics card’s specs against the minimum requirements set by the developer. The model doesn’t matter, but they’ll likely have cards from both NVIDIA and AMD listed, so it’s best to compare your own card to those from the same manufacturer.

Make sure your GPU has enough video memory (VRAM). Differences exist between GDDR4 and GDDR6 memory that makes 1 GB of either type incompatible.

DirectX compatibility is also very important. While most modern graphics cards will have no trouble with DX12, some older ones may struggle. Thankfully, DX11 is the standard requirement and is widely supported.

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Inevitably, after a PC game is announced, the specifications for running the game are detailed. It is common practice for developers to list both a minimum and a recommended system spec for running the game, as shown in the image above.

The CPU and graphics processing unit (GPU), memory (RAM) and storage space (storage space), and supported operating system (OS) and DirectX version (version) are just some of the hardware and software specifications that are typically listed in these official requirements.

In most cases, the hardware and software listed in the minimum requirements are the bare minimum for running a game, which means that the game in question would be running at low settings with a less-than-ideal framerate.

The recommended requirements, meanwhile, detail the hardware that should be able to deliver the optimal gaming experience that the developers intended, with all or nearly all settings maxed out and a frame rate of 60 FPS or higher maintained consistently.

The minimum and recommended requirements are just guidelines; they aren’t meant to be taken as gospel and won’t always give you an accurate picture of the kind of performance you can expect. After all, there is always room for improvement in the configuration menu, and everyone has different performance expectations, not to mention that resolution and refresh rate are major factors in today’s games.

Not always do developers make it clear what screen resolution and graphics preset a given system is expected to support.

Where To Find System Requirements

It’s easy to find a game’s system requirements if you’re curious about what kind of hardware you’ll need to play it.

The system requirements are listed directly on the store page, making them easy to find even without visiting the game’s official website. The system requirements are detailed at the page’s bottom on Steam and other legitimate online retailers (even gray markets like Kinguin).

Any game’s system requirements can be found with a simple online search. Many games’ system requirements and recommended PC configurations for optimal performance can be found on GamingScan.

How To Find Out Your Own PC’s Specifications

Finding a game’s hardware requirements is about as simple as finding your own system specs, if you don’t know them already.

There are a few ways to accomplish this. The old-fashioned way would be to check your bill and warranty information, but checking your system details is quick and painless. If you run a Windows search for “System Information,” the operating system should return an application that displays the desired hardware details, along with a plethora of other data you probably don’t care about.

When you launch the program, head to System Summary to view information such as the amount of RAM installed on your computer and the operating system version. Information about the graphics processing unit (GPU) and the storage medium can be accessed through the Components > Display and Components > Storage menus, respectively.

With that info at hand, you can quickly and easily examine how well your system meets the game’s minimum and recommended specifications.

Since there is a wide variety of CPUs and GPUs, you might be confused about how your hardware stacks up against the specifications listed by the game’s creators.

As such, you may want to check out UserBenchmark.com. UserBenchmark collects information from thousands of computers to provide a comprehensive overview of the performance of various hardware components.

Keep in mind that UserBenchmark is not a foolproof method of measuring the effectiveness of any component. But it can still give you a general idea of how two components compare in terms of performance. When you aren’t sure how your computer’s processing power stacks up against the developers’ minimum or recommended requirement, this is a great tool to have.

To clarify, just because PUBG lists an Intel Core i5-4430 as a minimum requirement doesn’t actually mean that you need an i5 processor. UserBenchmark is a useful tool for quickly comparing different CPU/GPU models from across the years, as the more recent i3-8100 and i3-9100 are both more powerful than the aforementioned 4th generation i5.

You can find benchmarks online or on YouTube that show how well the game runs on your GPU if you want to check actual in-game performance. It is not necessary to specify the brand of your graphics card; if you have an Asus ROG Strix RX 580, for instance, you should simply search for RX 580 benchmarks.

The differences in performance between different models of graphics cards are typically minor and generally boil down to a handful of frames, so searching for a specific model only serves to needlessly narrow-down the search results.

Can You Run It

Can You Run It is a popular tool that does exactly what it says on the tin when you want to find out if your computer is powerful enough to run a particular game.

In case you were wondering, “Can You Run?” It is a repository of information containing the specs needed to run a large number of games, making it possible to locate them rapidly and easily. As an added bonus, the site provides a free piece of software that can scan your PC for its hardware specifications and upload them to the site, facilitating easy comparisons with the system requirements of various games.

Demos and Trials

A demo version of the game can also be launched, though such options are increasingly rare in today’s PC gaming market. (If you’re curious but hesitant, you can try any game on Steam for free.)

Nonetheless, if a demo is available for the game you’re considering purchasing, do yourself a favor and give it a go before you commit to the full version. Although refund policies exist, it may take several days to receive a refund for a non-playable game.

Why Won’t My Computer Run a PC Game?

There could be a number of factors that prevent a PC game from being played on your machine. There could be a problem with the game itself, with your PC’s hardware, with your drivers, with malware on your PC, or with the game itself.

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To see if these suggestions will help you fix the game, keep reading.

  1. If you want to make sure your computer is up to snuff, use the methods I just outlined. If not, you may want to invest in a better model.

  2. Make sure you’re using the most recent drivers for your graphics card.

  3. Try installing the game again. Take some precautions by making a copy of your important data and configurations.

  4. To find out if there are any game issues that will be addressed in a future patch, you can look at the developer’s blog or social media pages. If so, you may have to be patient.

  5. To check if your computer is free of malware, scan it. Malware has the potential to impede gaming performance by consuming CPU resources. Plus, even if you aren’t a gamer, you should still get rid of the malware.


If you want to know if a particular game will run on your computer, that’s all the information you’ll need.

While it’s possible that the game won’t launch on your PC because some of its parts aren’t officially supported, it’s worth noting that the hardware requirements aren’t set in stone.

If you’re using an older PC and are thinking about making an upgrade, you might want to check out some of our builds. We have everything from $300 PCs to high-end gaming rigs with all the bells and whistles.