Report: Cities: Skylines 2 PC Performance and System Requirements
Cities: Skylines 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the popular city-building game, has experienced some performance issues and high system requirements, according to a recent report by James Archer, the Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun. The developers, Colossal Order, have acknowledged the shortcomings and promised future updates to improve the game’s performance. This report examines the system requirements, benchmarks the game’s performance on different hardware configurations, and provides a best settings guide to strike a balance between performance and visuals.
The official system requirements for Cities: Skylines 2, provided by Colossal Order, demand a powerful CPU and GPU for optimal performance. The minimum requirements include an Intel Core i7-6700K or AMD Ryzen 5 2600X CPU, 8GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 480 GPU, and 60GB of available storage. The recommended requirements, on the other hand, call for an Intel Core i5-12600K or AMD Ryzen 7 5800X CPU, 16GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT GPU, and again, 60GB of available storage.
Archer’s testing with a mid-range GPU, the RTX 4060, showed that the game struggled to achieve satisfactory framerates even on lower presets. Higher-end GPUs, such as the Intel Arc A750 and RTX 3070, also fell short of delivering smooth gameplay experiences, especially at higher resolutions like 1440p and 4K.
Performance Issues and Tweaks
The performance issues in Cities: Skylines 2 primarily stem from the game’s graphics presets, which demand more hardware power than expected. Archer found that the “High” and “Medium” presets were particularly demanding and often resulted in low framerates. Even the “Very Low” preset, which offered better performance, relied heavily on a dynamic resolution setting that caused blurriness and reduced overall visual quality.
Archer experimented with various graphics settings to optimize the game’s performance while maintaining acceptable visuals. He discovered that tweaking specific settings, such as reducing the ray steps in global illumination quality and increasing the maximum light count in the level of detail section, could provide modest performance gains without significant compromises to visual quality.
Archer’s recommended settings for improved performance on mid-range and lower-end hardware include disabling volumetrics quality, using a lower depth of field setting, disabling motion blur, setting the level of detail to low, and raising the maximum light count to 8192. These adjustments, combined with keeping other settings at high or their equivalent global graphics quality, resulted in a significant framerate increase compared to the high preset.
Philosophical Discussion and Editorial
The performance issues and high system requirements encountered in Cities: Skylines 2 raise questions about game development and optimization. While it is not uncommon for newer games to demand more powerful hardware, it is important for developers to strike a balance between graphics quality and system performance to ensure accessibility for a wide range of players. Quality assurance and thorough testing are crucial in delivering a polished and optimized gaming experience from the onset.
Additionally, the nature of Cities: Skylines 2 as a city-building game should be taken into account when evaluating its performance requirements. The game does not rely on fast-paced action or twitchy inputs, allowing for more flexibility in prioritizing visual quality over high framerates. However, it is still essential for developers to address the performance issues to ensure a smooth gameplay experience for all players.
Players investing in mid-range or lower-end hardware should carefully consider the system requirements and performance benchmarks before purchasing Cities: Skylines 2. While the game can run on these configurations, it may require tweaking settings and compromising on visuals to maintain playable framerates. It is recommended to consult optimization guides, such as the one provided by Archer, to achieve the best performance possible within hardware limitations.
Advice for Players
For players experiencing performance issues in Cities: Skylines 2, there are several steps that can be taken to improve gameplay. First, ensure that your system meets the minimum system requirements specified by the developers. Upgrading components, such as the CPU and GPU, may be necessary to achieve smoother framerates.
Next, consider adjusting in-game settings to strike a balance between performance and visuals. Following the recommended settings provided by Archer, or using them as a starting point for personal experimentation, can help optimize the game’s performance without sacrificing too much visual fidelity. It is advisable to prioritize key settings that provide significant performance gains, such as reducing the ray steps in global illumination quality and adjusting the level of detail.
Lastly, keeping an eye on future updates from the developers is essential. Colossal Order has acknowledged the game’s performance issues and promised improvements in future updates. Staying up-to-date with these updates and retesting the game after major patches may lead to better performance and an enhanced gameplay experience.
In conclusion, Cities: Skylines 2 has encountered performance issues and high system requirements, but with careful optimization and tweaking of settings, players with mid-range or lower-end hardware can still enjoy the game. Developers should take note of these challenges and work towards providing a smoother experience for all players.
<< photo by Josh Sorenson >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.