If you're a fan of The Sims 4 and your ears pricked up during this month's reveal of Paradox Interactive's upcoming life sim Life By You, you might want to check your PC's specifications before it enters early access later this year. During a chat with Paradox Tectonic's general manager Rod Humble at this year's GDC, I spoke to him about whether there was any plan to accommodate lower-end PC specifications when Life By You enters early access this September, and he answered by urging players to take its minimum PC specifications "seriously".
"Our aim was to make a well running, open AAA high-end life simulator first and foremost, so our min specs reflect that," Humble tells me. "Once we get it running, we can look at whether there are ways we can optimise it to bring it down. But out of the gate, I would strongly urge people to look at the min specs and take them seriously. If you're going to play the game, you're going to need a good gaming PC."
In fairness, Humble himself says Life By You already runs "great" on his own high-end gaming laptop, but stresses that "our emphasis is not to make it work on all hardware". Rather, it's to make "the best game we possibly can". That will probably come as disappointing news to current Sims players still hanging onto their decade-old hardware, but Humble says it's all in the name of longevity in the long run.
"We want this game to last for as long as we can," he says. "Not just so we don't have to rebuild this thing so many times. But also because we want players to be able to lean on this game and know that what they make is going to last."
In fairness, the current minimum GPU requirements for Life By You are fairly tame, with its Steam page listing 2015's Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 and AMD's Radeon R9 380. Rather, it's the CPU requirement where players are most likely to run into trouble, as the minimum requirements here are much more modern, listing 2018's Intel Core i5-8600 and AMD Ryzen 5 2600. It's not as cutting edge as some blockbusters we've seen in recent weeks, admittedly, but it's a heck of a lot more recent than what you currently need to play The Sims 4, for example. That's not entirely surprising, given the scope of Life By You's simulation chops, but it's something to keep in mind all the same. Lucky for you, we've just updated our How To Build A PC guides, so why not let hardware editor James guide you through the upgrade process?
Life By You minimum PC requirements:CPU: Intel Core i5-8600 / AMD Ryzen 5 2600
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 (4GB) / AMD Radeon R9 380 (4GB)
OS: Windows 10
DirectX: Version 11
Life By You recommended PC requirements:CPU: Intel Core i5-10400F / AMD Ryzen 5 5600
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB) / AMD Radeon EX 5700 XT
OS: Windows 10 / 11
DirectX: Version 11
Humble went on to say that that Life By You is entirely offline, which should come as a relief after all the recent hoo-hah about mandatory internet connections for games such as Redfall and Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League.
"You can put it on your hard drive, and it's gonna stick there forever. You don't need to log in to play it - it's offline, you don't need the internet. And that means that if you've got a bunch of mods or your creations, we can't invalidate it. And that's very important to us. So making sure that our game looks great and is going to look great for x years in the future is important. Machines just get better, and my experience working in game development is just make sure the game is the best you can possibly make, and then worry about the hardware later."
To read more about how Life By You is taking aim at The Sims' grand life sim crown, read our extensive interview with Rod Humble right here. Life By You is coming to early access on September 12th on Steam and the Epic Games Store for £35/€40/$40.