Do you remember having a terrible PC? I do, I had one just last year! Remember using sketchy online methods to lower games below their intended minimum settings and at resolutions so low you can barely make out the details on a character’s face? Well, it seems some designers at Rare are well aware of those problems, and are trying to make it as easy as possible for their upcoming game to be played on machines below the game’s minimum specs.
“Of course it’s gonna look great in 4K, 60fps but it also looks great at minimum spec because the art style is purposefully timeless”
In a PC Gamer interview with the game’s PC lead designer Ted Timmins, they confirmed that they were aiming to bring the Sea of Thieves experience to as many people as possible–even those with low-spec computers.
“We’re trying to go as low as possible. We have an idea of what the minimum specs are but aren’t quite ready to reveal them We’ve actually been inviting people below our current plan for minimum specs into the technical alpha so we can test a number things on the performance side. This game looks so great regardless of the device you’re playing on. Of course it’s gonna look great in 4K, 60fps but it also looks great at minimum spec because the art style is purposefully timeless.”
He continued, “”We’ve actually added a 540p mode, so you can go below HD. We’ve also added a 15 fps framerate lock because when we were talking to the community some people were like: I’m actually happy playing 15 frames per second. We were like: that’s actually really cool, we should support that. And to them go to them and say, oh, we’ve added that mode for you—it’s below our Rare certified min spec, but if you’re enjoying the game, why should we as developers knock you for that?”
While 15fps isn’t exactly the idea way to play the game, there are gamers out there who don’t give a monkey’s about performance, and as Timmins said, 540p will hold up surprisingly well for a game with a striking art style like Sea of Thieves. At the end of the day, it’s nice to see the games industry looking out for the little guy who can’t afford a big games console or a fancy-pants PC–and that’s surprisingly Rare these days. (Get it?)