The year 2016 was another great year for Blizzard Entertainment, releasing one of their most popular first-person shooters, Overwatch. This free-to-play game has received numerous GOTY awards and has made its way into becoming one of the most popular e-sports games, with its own League in tow.
While we could go on about Overwatch as a game, we’re here to help anyone wanting to build a new PC or purchase a new laptop and need to know what to look out for if they’re planning to play Overwatch, then you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s get right into the nitty-gritty of what you’ll need to look out for, so you can meet Overwatch’s system requirements.
Overwatch System Requirements
At the very least, your system will need to have an Intel Core i3 or an AMD Ryzen 3 processor to give you the power you need. Though we recommend that you get a laptop with at least an Intel Core i5 or an AMD Ryzen 5.
Alternatively, you can look at other AMD processors that Blizzard has also confirmed works well with Overwatch, such as the AMD Phenom X3 to reach minimum system requirements, or the AMD Phenom II X3 for slightly more power, while still being considerably more affordable than the options above.
You’ll need a device with at least 4GB of RAM, but we recommend you build your rig or get an overwatch laptop that has at least 6GB or more.
Because Overwatch doesn’t require an all too powerful graphics card, you’ll be needing slightly more RAM to give you the wiggle room you need to run Overwatch smoothly.
Most systems nowadays will also let you swap out your RAM chips for newer and larger ones, so you can always purchase one with a 4GB configuration and upgrade it much further down the line.
Your device should have at least 30GB of available storage space, whether on a hard-disk drive or a solid-state drive. Most laptops today come with at least 128GB of storage on an SSD, and those fitted with an HDD can save you even more.
Keep in mind that while HDDs come with much larger storage capacities, we’d still recommend purchasing a device with an SSD instead. They’re about 8x quicker and much more reliable than an HDD thanks to their electronic parts, at just a slightly higher cost.
You don’t necessarily need a dedicated graphics card to run Overwatch, but we still recommend getting even a low tier dedicated GPU for an additional boost in power, so you won’t have to struggle with any form of graphics lag.
You’ll be best off looking out for an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, ATI Radeon HD 4850, or Intel HD Graphics 4400 for your minimum requirements, though if you want to purchase a mid-tier dedicated card, you can go for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660, the AMD Radeon HD 7950, or better.
Overwatch requires your minimum display resolution to be at about 1024x768p, however, most laptops and monitors today come with a 1920x1080p resolution. You won’t have any difficulty meeting this system requirement for Overwatch.
The fact of the matter is, Overwatch won’t run on macOS, so you’re going to need a laptop that runs Windows as its operating system. You’re going to need a 64-bit system, as long as it’s Windows.
Overwatch runs well on Windows Vista (though we don’t recommend this), Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, so as long as your system uses any of these versions of Windows, you’ll be set to play Overwatch without a hitch.
Overwatch System Requirements Tips & Tricks
We’ve listed down a handful of little tips to make the best of your Overwatch gaming experience. Overwatch is a very competitive game, and even casual players are going to want to have a smooth gaming experience.
You don’t need to turn off graphics details like shadows and lighting quality
All you need to do is just set those features to low settings. This reduces your risk of any visual obstruction from the arena’s environments, or even being blinded by flashing lights.
Turning off shadows is also a bad idea, as it’s a great indication of where enemy players are. This is just an example of how your Overwatch skills are going to improve quite a bit from this.
You can safely turn off the more cosmetic effects like reflections and ambient occlusions
Having these turned on or off won’t make a difference to your gameplay, and often eat up more graphics power than needed, which could be allotted to improving your overall gaming experience.
You can sacrifice your graphics quality to improve a much better frame rate
Setting Overwatch to running on low graphics settings is going to make it look a little rough around the edges, but the subsequent effect would be your in-game movement looking much smoother to the eye.
If you’re the type who also likes to keep track of your FPS while playing, you can also turn on a setting to show you your current FPS while in-game, in the corner of your screen.
Overwatch System Requirements FAQ
Can a Mac run Overwatch?
It can’t, the only way you can get Overwatch to work on your macOS device would be to have a Windows emulator on your MacBook. Look at programs like Bootcamp to help you emulate Windows so you can run Overwatch on your Mac.
Can I run Overwatch without a graphics card?
If you mean without a dedicated graphics card, then absolutely! That’s one of the best things about it. You’ll still play Overwatch but on slightly lower settings. This shouldn’t be a problem, especially considering that we recommend playing on low settings for better frame rates.
How much RAM do you need for Overwatch?
We’ve said in our memory segment that you’ll need at least 4GB of RAM as the minimum requirements to run Overwatch. We’ve also recommended getting a system with 6GB of RAM for slightly better performance, but anything above that won’t make much of a difference.
Can Overwatch run on 32-bit?
Unfortunately, you can’t, you’ll need a 64-bit system. If you’re running a 32-bit Windows operating system, there are guides online that can teach you how to back up your drives, and completely reinstall Windows as a 64-bit OS.
How much FPS will I get on Overwatch?
Blizzard has set Overwatch to cap at a whopping 300 frames per second. While the game looks just fine on a 60Hz monitor, you’ll find that it shines on any 144Hz laptop screen or monitor, or more. Some laptops today have 240Hz screens, which is going to make a massive difference, compared to your standard 60Hz screen.