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Darren Allan

Cyberpunk 2077 DLC system requirements demand an SSD, and some gamers aren’t happy

Cyberpunk 2077 with Overdrive ray tracing

Cyberpunk 2077 is getting a major DLC drop in a few months, but we’ve just found out there’s something of a sting in the tail, with the game’s expansion upping the PC requirements to insist that players have an SSD.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty comes out on September 26, and adds a slab of additional content and a whole lot of changes throughout the game (plus a new ending for the base game – the content takes place before the end of the main story). But as Windows Central spotted, it comes with a compulsory requirement for an SSD rather than a hard drive.

We’re told that the new system requirements on PC will apply with the next update for the base game, which won’t be for 90 days (at least), and will come into place just before the release of the Phantom Liberty DLC in late September.

CD Projekt Red explains: “The changes to the minimum requirements are a reflection of our new standard of requirements, which we believe better represent the minimum PC configuration required to run the game at 1080p, while maintaining an average of 30 FPS at low preset.”

You may recall that an SSD used to be recommended, but it’s now part of the minimum system requirements – previously, a minimum spec PC would be okay with a plain hard drive.

Elsewhere, the minimum system RAM required has been increased to 12GB (from 8GB). Plus there are new baseline graphics cards required, as follows: An Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, or AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB, or Intel Arc A380.

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Analysis: An unpopular move…

So, what’s going on here exactly? When the preparatory update for Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty comes through in mid-September, will you no longer be able to play the game at all if it’s installed on a hard drive?

No, this isn’t the case. However, the experience on a hard disk installation of the game is likely to become suboptimal, and indeed CD Projekt Red will no longer test Cyberpunk 2077 on PCs with hard drives. So, down the line, things may go very wonky for gamers still trying to limp along on a hard disk.

As you might imagine, there has been some less than pleased reaction to a game getting an update that bumps the spec in such a meaningful way, insisting on a different storage medium, and upping GPU requirements a fair bit, too. When the general expectation for an expansion is to optimize things, if anything – not go in the other direction.

As noted, you might just be fine on a hard disk anyway, particularly if your other components are above the minimum (and you have plenty of system RAM, and VRAM on your graphics card). If not, then you’re maybe looking at an upgrade to an SSD, which is unlikely to be a move that many folks make just to play an expansion. That said, a broader move towards SSDs being required, as seen with Starfield recently, is underway.

So, you’re likely to have to upgrade from a hard disk perhaps sooner rather than later, anyway.

If shifting the game across to another drive, you will, of course, need to reinstall it from scratch, then move your existing saves across (in Steam, they can be synced to the cloud, but otherwise, as the dev advises, you can find your saved games in: %userprofile%\Saved Games\CD Projekt Red\Cyberpunk 2077).

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