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World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands minimum PC requirements now include HDDs again

After yesterday’s kerfuffle over World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands’ PC requirements listing an SSD as the minimum type of storage supported, Blizzard have now updated the game’s minimum requirements to include good old-fashioned HDDs as well. In their updated support article on the subject, the storage entry for WOW’s Shadowlands expansion now includes both SSDs and HDDs, with the extra clarification that “player experience may be impacted on HDD” depending on the drive’s performance.

Blizzard haven’t issued a formal statement to clarify what they mean by an “impacted player experience” at the moment, but I’d imagine that you’re probably looking at significantly longer load times rather than anything else. Still, the fact that Blizzard are now actively encouraging players to move their game over to an SSD rather than stick with their previous 7200 RPM HDD requirement suggests that HDD players could be looking at spending a large portion of their time twiddling their thumbs when Shadowlands launches on October 27th, so you should probably still think about getting one if you haven’t taken the plunge already.

Here are the newly updated PC requirements in full:

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
VRAM: 2GB
DirectX: 11
Storage: HDD or 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
VRAM: 8GB
DirectX: 12
Storage: SSD (100GB available space)
Internet: Broadband internet connection
OS: Windows 10 64-bit

As I said yesterday, SSDs are much more affordable now than they were even just a couple of years ago, and recent weeks have seen bucket loads of excellent SSD deals. It’s never been easier or more cheaper to upgrade to one of our best gaming SSD recommendations, and with some of the best 250GB drives starting 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.

Separate to the storage update for Shadowlands’ PC requirements, Blizzard also added some more clarification on their minimum and recommended graphics card requirements as well. While the specific cards themselves haven’t changed, Blizzard have added that players should have a DirectX 11 compatible GPU with at least 2GB of VRAM as part of their minimum GPU requirement. Their recommended spec, on the other hand, should be a DirectX 12 compatible GPU with at least 8GB of VRAM.

What we still don’t know is what you’ll need to play the expansion with ray tracing switched on. Blizzard officially showed off what the beta’s ray traced shadows look like in-game about a week and a half ago on August 21st, but so far they haven’t come up with an official set of requirements for it – only that you need a GPU that supports DXR 1.1 and have the May 2020 update (version 2004) for Windows 10 installed on your PC, according to a reply on a forum post from one of their community managers.

Naturally, you’re going to need at least some kind of Nvidia RTX card to take advantage of the expansion’s ray tracing support at the moment, whether that’s one of their existing RTX 20-series cards or one of their fancy new Nvidia Ampere GPUs. However, if the recently updated recommended requirements now state you need one with at least 8GB of VRAM, where does that leave the 6GB RTX 2060? Only time will tell. For a reminder of what other games are due to get ray tracing support, you’ll find a complete list of all the confirmed ray tracing and DLSS games right here.

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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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