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Stray PC system necessities and the most effective settings to make use of

I’ve been wanting ahead to Stray for years, primarily for the cat-tion journey premise but in addition so I may get pleasure from extra of its marvellous presentation. The ultimate product (as reviewed by Katharine) isn’t fairly as shiny because the 2016 check footage, but it surely’s nonetheless an impeccably detailed, gorgeously lit slice of cyberpunk – and even so, the PC model can run silkier than a Maine Coon’s coat.

Stray doesn’t have that many graphics settings, so this’ll be a comparatively fast information to tuning efficiency. Actually, when you’ve obtained one of many greatest graphics playing cards – or any pretty latest, mid-range or above rig – chances are you’ll not have to decrease any settings in any respect at 1080p and 1440p. Excessive framerates at 4K and ultrawide resolutions are doable too, and whereas builders BlueTwelve Studio inform me Stray makes use of a “subset” of ray tracing, you don’t want particular, RT-capable GPUs get the most effective lighting and reflections.

Stray's playable cat snoozes on a cushion next to a sitting robot guitarist.

Stray system necessities and PC efficiency

The minimal and beneficial specs are each fairly low; even the beneficial CPUs are a number of generations outdated and had been lower-mid-range when new. You’ll additionally solely want 3-4GB of VRAM, which all fashionable graphics playing cards may have with reminiscence to spare.

Stray minimal PC specs

  • OS: Home windows 10
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 / AMD FX-6350
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti / AMD Radeon R7 360
  • DirectX: Model 12
  • Storage: 10GB

Stray beneficial PC specs

  • OS: Home windows 10
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 / AMD Ryzen 5 2600
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 / AMD Radeon R9 290X
  • DirectX: Model 12
  • Storage: 10GB

I don’t even have such low-spec CPUs and GPUs mendacity round, so I examined Stray with my regular Intel Core i5-11600K and a mixture of GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1060 and RTX 3070 GPUs. The primary of these averaged 47fps on maxed-out settings at 1080p, so Full HD screens can sit fairly with price range {hardware}. 1440p proved an excessive amount of for the GTX 1050 Ti, the place it dropped to 28fps, however a modest step as much as the GTX 1060 secured 48fps at 1440p and 78fps at 1080p. Once more, that’s with all potential settings on Excessive.

When you’ve obtained one of many greatest gaming screens with a quicker refresh fee, premium GPUs just like the RTX 3070 aren’t essentially overpowered both. Nonetheless on max settings, this card pumped out 147fps at 1440p, and managed a clean 79fps at 4K as well.

Again on the reverse finish of the {hardware} spectrum, I additionally tried Stray on the Steam Deck: it’s playable with all Excessive settings, typically staying within the 30-35fps vary, although dropping Results high quality to Medium bumped that as much as a noticeably smoother 40-45fps. To not spoil the following part of this text, however the identical settings tweak is a significant efficiency booster on desktop PCs as nicely.

All in all, not dangerous going for a recreation that appears as shiny as Stray does. I’ll confess that till really enjoying it, I’d basically gaslit myself into pondering it did make use of correct RTX-grade ray tracing results. The fact is that the traditional display screen area reflections, handsomely atmospheric lighting and neon-drenched aesthetic all mix to make the Kowloon-inspired setting look as if extra subtle tech may simply be at work. I discovered a couple of situations of what is likely to be planar reflections, which may clarify the “subset” remark (as these use partially related methods to ray traced reflections, to replicate objects that are not in any other case seen onscreen).

A cat leaps between pipes in Stray, showing the black border that appears during certain cutscenes in ultrawide mode.
In cutscenes, ultrawide ain’t nice…

…but it surely’s wonderful for moment-to-moment play.

When it comes to faults, Stray can microstutter when getting into a brand new locale, although fortunately stays clean in the course of the extra concerned platforming/motion/puzzle/stealth/pushing issues off edges sequences. Ultrawide assist isn’t good both: whereas enjoying usually, it’s wonderful, although some cutscenes don’t fill out the total width of a 21:9 monitor. On prime of that, a whole lot of them add short-term horizontal black bars, leading to a chunky void border round the entire scene. Such as you’re watching it on a laptop computer from 1998 or one thing.

Stray's leading cat rides a raft, accompanied by a robot man, through a sewer.

Stray: the most effective PC settings to make use of

These are each fleeting points, thoughts, and on the very least aren’t affected by your chosen mixture of Stray’s PC graphics and visible settings. These are fundamental however purposeful: you’ve obtained 30fps, 60fps or uncapped framerate choices, a V-sync toggle, and your alternative of fullscreen or windowed mode. Movement blur and a sharpening filter get their very own sliders, and there are simply 4 particular person high quality settings, with out presets.

This is how they have an effect on Stray’s PC efficiency, utilizing benchmark exams from the GTX 1050 Ti as a information. Do not forget that this averaged 47fps with the whole lot on the utmost Excessive settings…

Results high quality: Dropping this from Excessive to Medium produced a noticeably smoother 66fps. In flip it causes a slight dip in lighting high quality – see how, within the screenshots above, matte surfaces just like the cobbles and metallic shutter change into inexplicably brighter on Medium. That mentioned, it’s simpler to miss in movement, and Medium actually appears higher than Low, which murders the ever-so-well-done floor reflections. Low additionally ‘solely’ averaged 70fps, so its efficiency enchancment isn’t as worthwhile because the soar from Excessive to Medium.

Shadow high quality: Once more, you’ve obtained a alternative of Excessive, Medium, and Low for this, although there was no efficiency distinction between the three by any means once I examined them. All produced the identical 47fps, so chances are you’ll as nicely go away this one on Excessive.

Texture high quality: Reducing this doesn’t assist efficiency both. Actually, each Medium and Low settings averaged 46fps, a single body under the unique Excessive outcome. Peculiar, particularly as there’s a very seen high quality drop on varied textures on the Low setting.

Mesh high quality: But once more, altering it will do subsequent for nothing for efficiency. Medium obtained me an unchanged 47fps and Low produced 48fps, so simply go away Mesh on Excessive as nicely.

A cat sits on a garden swing in Stray.
Top quality, 2560×1440

So! That was bizarre. Solely one of many 4 high quality choices has any impact in any respect on efficiency, so when you’re on an historic GPU and desire a smoother catventure, your greatest and solely guess is decreasing Results high quality to Medium. Or Low, when you’re in actually dire straits, although that may come at the price of Stray’s pretty lighting and reflections. I suppose you might decrease the decision as nicely, although as ever that is the nuclear choice.

Actually, although, Stray will purr on most PCs, and I’d personally advocate you go together with Top quality the whole lot when you can. Movement blur and sharpening do not have an effect on frames per second both, so set them to your tastes; I in the end went for no blur by any means, and sharpening at about 25%.



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