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World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands PC requirements calls for an SSD

World Of Warcraft‘s Shadowlands expansion is getting a formal release on October 27th, but Blizzard’s recently updated PC requirements for the game have been causing quite a stink among its player base. While the minimum CPU and GPU requirements haven’t changed all that much, the minimum storage requirement now seems to imply that you need an SSD to play WOW’s Shadowlands expansion rather than a traditional HDD.

Previously, World Of Warcraft’s PC requirements have only recommended players have an SSD rather than list it as one of the game’s minimum requirements. Indeed, the last set of PC requirements we could find for World Of Warcraft more generally stated that players needed “70GB available space on a 7200RPM HDD”, while the recommended specifications said “70GB available space on an SSD”.

This time, however, Blizzard have bumped up the minimum requirements to an SSD as well, which has caused quite a stir among players who are worried their old HDD won’t let them play the latest expansion. We’ve reached out to Blizzard to confirm whether the game is still playable on traditional hard disk drives, and I’ll update this article when I hear back. Until then, though, I’d imagine that the game is still playable on a HDD – it’s just that the loading times will be significantly longer compared to, say, playing the game on one of our best gaming SSD recommendations, for example.

World Of Warcraft Shadowlands minimum PC requirements

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 / AMD FX 8300
RAM: 4GB (8GB if using integrated graphics)
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 / AMD Radeon RX 560 / Intel UHD 630
Storage: SSD (100GB available space)
Internet: Broadband internet connection
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

World Of Warcraft Shadowlands recommended PC requirements

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K / AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
RAM: 8GB
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
Storage: SSD (100GB available space)
Internet: Broadband internet connection
OS: Windows 10 64-bit

Instead, it will probably be a similar situation to Final Fantasy XV, whose PC requirements also stated that players would, rather confusingly, need over 100GB “hard disc free space on SSD” for both its minimum and recommended PC specs back in 2018. The game was (and still is) playable on a HDD, but its loading times are achingly slow compared to playing the game on an SSD. Indeed, Square Enix even include a storage speed stat in the game’s built-in FPS counter, letting you see exactly how ‘fast’ the game’s loading while you’re playing.

The good news is that SSDs are generally much cheaper now than they were even just two years ago, and recent weeks have been awash with some pretty excellent SSD deals, too. Sure, they’re still comparatively more expensive than a HDD, but when some of the best 250GB drives start from as little as £37 / $45 these days, there’s really no excuse not to get one as your primary drive at the very least. After all, it’s not just games that will benefit from an SSD. Windows will also load much faster on an SSD, letting you get to your desktop that much quicker, and apps and programs will feel a lot snappier as well.

In short, if you haven’t got yourself an SSD yet, you should probably think about getting one, regardless of whether you’re intending to play WOW Shadowlands or not. While the expansion will almost certainly still work on a traditional HDD, I’d argue that getting an SSD should be your number one upgrade priority if you don’t currently have one, as the quality of life benefits it brings are just enormous. You’ll thank yourself later, I promise.

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests. She's also RPS' resident deals herald.

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