Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has attracted a fair bit of attention from Star Wars fans hungry for a robust single-player game. It’s been a very long time since we’ve had one of those — nine years, by my count, dating back to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2. It’s never been clear to me why the gaming industry gave up on single-player Star Wars titles given how fondly gamers still remember the adventures of Kyle Katarn in the Jedi Outcast series, but that’s a debate for another day.
Millions of gamers cried out in fear and anguish on Tuesday after EA published the Required and Recommended specs for the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, after it became clear that EA had specified a mind-boggling amount of RAM as a recommendation. Originally, the game supposedly needed up to 32GB of memory in order to hit “Recommended” status. After the hue and cry, the company adjusted the number backward. The current crop of “Recommended” and “Required” specs looks like so:
The problem with attempting to read the tea leaves for game recommendations is that it assumes all companies perform these spec sheet evaluations equally. They don’t. Of the two, “Required” is arguably the more important, seeing as it is intended to govern whether the game is minimally playable at all, but “Recommended” also matters. People tend to treat these specs as establishing the range of hardware gamers should expect to need to have an acceptable versus a good experience in a game. Collectively, the Jedi Fallen Order spec sheet implies that the game takes fairly good advantage of CPU threading and that while you can play it on seven-year-old midrange GPU hardware, you’ll want something significantly beefier to take full advantage of what the title offers.
It looks like Jedi does put some hefty demands on system RAM, however, with 8GB targeted as a minimum for the game and 16GB still listed as “recommended.” We’re seeing more games increase their average RAM recommendations, but 16GB is still at the high end of the spectrum. We checked the Required and Recommended specs for a number of titles released in 2019, including Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Borderlands 3, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowlands, Wolfenstein Youngblood, Devil May Cry 5, The Division 2, and the upcoming Doom Eternal. Borderlands 3 recommends 6GB / 16GB, FFXIV and Sekiro are 4GB/8GB, and Youngblood is 8GB/16GB. Devil May Cry 5 and Doom Eternal are both 8GB/8GB games.
Requiring 16GB for Fallen Order puts it on the cutting edge, but not out in untested territory the way 32GB did. 16GB is more affordable (and RAM prices are currently still quite good), which makes this a better target for gamers, though we could see game RAM requirements edging upwards as next-generation consoles creep closer to market. Historically, storage requirements and RAM have both grown each generation, and next-generation consoles will undoubtedly push up above what the Xbox One and PS4 Pro offered. Right now, 16-24GB is the rumored PS5 and Xbox Next console target, which means PCs may need to bump up as well. On the other hand, game developers obviously have to respond to where the market practically is, and a lot of gamers probably still aren’t fielding more than 16GB of memory, given the lack of any need for it.