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How to Determine Your Software or Game’s Minimum Requirements

Minimum Requirements

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Okay so you are an indie game developer and you’ve just developed your video game and you want to guide your potential players on the minimum requirements they need to run the game.

That’s when you realize you are no triple A game developer and you may not have special tools or resources to do this. Well, no need to panic. You can do it the old fashioned way and just test out your game and test it out again.

These tips are not necessary locked to game developers but even software developers can apply these tips to their full benefit.

Easy Software or Game’s Minimum Requirements

Though it has its downsides, a good place to start is to run your software or game in a VM. That way you can tinker with hardware and memory settings and see what works best. We said this has downsides such as the CPU clock speed remains the same so you might not get exactly what you want.

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The other option is to ask around among friends and relatives and see what older hardware they have lying around and test your game or application on it. In all these cases you need to run the task manager and check the VM size column and not just the memory usage.

In some cases it may be obvious. If you made the choice to go with something like DirectX 10+ you know that you can write Windows XP out and that goes with other tech you implement such as CUDA or OpenGL API versions. With Frameworks check which versions you use. For example with Qt 5.7+ you can again rule out Windows XP.

Again run your game or application on different screen resolutions, turn of GPU and see how well it functions. Did we say test? Yes, that’s how important it is. Test and test and test again and again on different hardware configurations.You can also Physically strip down your ram and see how that does.

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As for disk space you can simply read out the folder size and determine whether anymore memory will be needed for a growing database or logs.

Once you are satisfied with your tests be sure to get the minimum requirements and the recommended requirements based on the results of your test. I would recommend bumping up the minimum requirements ever so slightly so that in the very least your users or players get a slightly better experience than your logged worst experience.

In all this the single most important thing is to just do several tests and document the results.