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Sony’s Returnal is on its way to becoming the world’s most RAM-demanding game.
Sony’s Returnal stands out as the latest PlayStation exclusive to make its way to PC. However, it looks like it will have a serious RAM need. While you need a minimum of 16GB of RAM to play the game smoothly, Returnal’s Steam page recommends at least 32GB to get the most out of the game and graphics.
To get an idea of how unusual this is, even Microsoft Flight Simulator doesn’t recommend this amount of RAM, asking for a minimum of 8GB and 16GB for best performance. Other graphics-intensive PC games like Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, Dying Light 2, and A Plague Tale: Requiem don’t need more than 16GB of RAM.
Returnal is a third-person roguelike shooter with undeniably stunning visuals, but it’s still unclear why so much RAM is needed to unlock the game’s full potential. The rest of the system requirements seem pretty normal for a game ported from a next-gen console: You’ll need at least an Intel i7-8700 or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU, an Nvidia RTX 2070 Super, or AMD RX 6700 XT GPU, or better.
However, a leaked and later removed video of the game may give an idea about the high RAM recommendation. As noted by PC Gamer, this video suggests that Returnal may include support for both Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FSR upscaling technologies, ray tracing for both shadows and reflections, and unlocked frame rates.
Even though Returnal does support ray tracing and upscaling technologies, that doesn’t explain why Sony’s recommendation for 32GB of RAM basically makes it different. Both Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered support ray tracing and DLSS, but only the most advanced ultimate ray tracing options require 32GB of RAM. Otherwise, it is possible to play both games comfortably with only 16 GB of RAM.
In addition to Returnal, Sony also announced that the PS5-exclusive version of The Last of Us Part 1 will be coming to PC next year. Sony has yet to reveal the required specs for this game, so we’ll have to wait and see if the company raises the RAM recommendation for this game as well.