STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl is the long awaited next entry in the STALKER saga. Almost 13 years on from its original announcement, 12 years on from its cancellation, and five years on from its re-announcement, STALKER 2 is finally almost here. And it looks stunning. Like the original game, STALKER 2 looks set to push graphical boundaries with its incredible realism, incorporating some of the latest visual effects of today, including the ever-demanding ray tracing.
That means that like any stalkers looking to survive within the Zone, you’re going to need to bring some heavy firepower to the table. You can skip the Geiger counter this time, but you’re going to need a powerful processor and graphics card to play it at anything above the lowest settings.
There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, as STALKER 2 will look great at even 1080p low. But if you’re intrigued by the idea of real time lighting effects, or even 4K resolution, you’re going to need to have a very special kind of gaming PC indeed. Here’s what you’ll need to run STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl.
Minimum system requirements
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600X, Intel Core i5-7600K or better
- RAM: 8GB
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 580, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB or better
- Storage: 150GB SSD
- Operating system: Windows 10 64bit
As modest as the above system requirements are, and as achievable as it should be for most gamers, this is still relatively steep for minimum requirements to get a game running; even a modern one like STALKER 2. Most games support processors that were a decade old and hardly powerful when released, but with Heart of Chornobyl, the weakest CPUs it will support are around six years old, and they were mid-range when they debuted.
Still, most Steam gamers have processors that are as good, if not better than these, so that shouldn’t be too steep a hurdle. Graphics are a little more demanding, but the GTX 1060 is still one of the most popular GPUs on Steam and the majority of Steam gamers have a GPU that is comparable, or better than what’s recommended here.
Anyone with a mid-range gaming PC from the past five years shouldn’t have any trouble getting this game up and running. You’ll be restricted to around 30 FPS at 1080p with all settings on low. It’s perfectly playable on this sort of hardware, but you will be missing out on some of the aesthetic beauty in this Unreal Engine 5 game.
Matching the minimum system requirements with a modern PC
If you’ve been waiting more than a decade for a new STALKER game, then you deserve to play it at greater than low settings and at a smoother frame rate. While the developer, GSC Game World might be comfortable recommending a 30 FPS experience, we prefer something a little smoother, even if most of the settings remain on low.
To that end, the best PC for playing STALKER 2 at lower settings is the Chillblast Ignition AMD Ryzen 5 gaming PC. It is more than enough to get this game playing smoothly at 30-60 FPS with some settings even set to medium or higher, making for a much more enjoyable STALKER 2 experience that truly appreciates the atmosphere of the game.
It achieves this with the excellent six core AMD Ryzen 5600 processor at its core. It’s much faster than the options recommended by the developer, and ensures that the GPU has all the data it needs to play the game at much higher frame rates. The RX 6600 is a great mid-range graphics card from its generation and offers amazing gaming value for money today. It easily outstrips the two cards recommended for the minimum system requirements, giving you plenty of options for higher detail settings, or higher frame rates, depending on your preferences.
Better yet, this CPU and GPU combination will remove all the micro stutters you’d likely see on older, underpowered hardware, keeping you better immersed in the action. This PC also comes fully equipped with a fast, and modern SSD, so you’ll not run into long load times, or excessive pop-in, which can really break immersion in a captivating game like STALKER 2.
Recommended system requirements
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, Intel Core i7-9700K or better
- RAM: 16GB
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5700XT, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti, or RTX 2070 Super or better
- Storage: 150GB SSD
- Operating system: Windows 10 64bit
Here we can see just how much more demanding STALKER 2 can be, as even raising the bar from low to high settings at 1080p and a 60 FPS average frame rate, it’s an enormous jump in hardware demands. The processors are both eight-core models, and from much-more recent generations, and the graphics cards were some of the best in the world just a few years ago. Modern hardware can still easily outstrip them at the high-end, but we’re still only talking about 1080p.
Fortunately memory requirements remain modest, with only 16GB recommended here. Storage requirements remain the same, though the SSD recommendation is much harder at this tier. Chillblast only ever recommends installing your games on solid state drives if you want fast load times, but you can typically use a hard drive in a pinch. That’s not recommendable with this game.
These kind of hardware demands are more than the majority of Steam gamers have to hand, so don’t fret if you find that your PC just can’t quite measure up to these specifications. Fortunately, there are a wide range of modern upgrade options which can bring your PC up to speed, or give you an entirely new system that’s ready to take on STALKER 2’s more demanding settings.
Matching the recommended system requirements with a modern PC
As much as the recommended system requirements are something you might be able to meet by dropping in a GPU upgrade to your otherwise capable system, it’s not always recommendable. The second-hand market is rife with old mining hardware that could die at a moment’s notice, and unless you pick your hardware carefully, you could miss out on features that just aren’t available on older gaming PCs.
If you’re considering buying a new PC to play STALKER 2 at high settings, we’d recommend the Chillblast Evolution Intel Core i5 gaming PC. It goes beyond the recommended specifications in a few key ways to give you greater options for detail settings, higher frame rates, and even the option of dabbling in higher resolutions if you wish.
Its Intel Core i5-13400F is one of the best mid-range gaming processors in the world, with 10 cores (six performance for faster gaming, and four efficient for improved multi-tasking) and a high clock speed. Paired up with 32GB of ultra-high-speed DDR5 memory, this CPU really flies, despite its affordable price.
To really push STALKER 2 to its limit, though, we’ve included the Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti, an awesomely powerful graphics card from Nvidia’s latest generation. It has mountains of CUDA cores and very high core clocks for incredible next-generation performance – easily outstripping the cards recommended here, and guaranteeing higher frame rates for a much smoother gameplay experience.
Better yet, though, the 4060 Ti comes equipped with Nvidia’s latest generation of RT and tensor cores. That means that whatever ray tracing implementation the developers settle on, the 4060 Ti will be able to run it. It won’t even have too-big an impact on your frame rate, thanks to this card’s support for DLSS 3 frame generation. Not only can it upscale, it can generate entirely new frames, boosting your FPS to incredible heights, even with all the settings at their maximum.
What do you need to play STALKER 2 at 1440p?
If you thought STALKER 2 was hard to get running at 1080p ultra settings, imagine what you’ll need for 1440p. That’s all we can do for now, as without official guidance from the developer and the game to test ourselves, we can’t tell you for sure what you’ll need. Based on other Unreal 5 engine games, though, and our own knowledge of PC hardware, we can make a firm recommendation.
Our quintessential 1440p system is the Apex AMD Ryzen 7 gaming PC. Its processor is AMD’s excellent mid-range Ryzen 7 7700X, with eight cores and 16 thread support, giving this game all the CPU power it needs to hit high frame rates. To make sure it can render at a high FPS, though, we need a powerful graphics card, and with this system we’ve chosen the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti.
This is a supremely powerful next-generation GPU with the kind of performance that would rival the best graphics cards from the generation before, but with new and enhanced features. Along with incredible general performance, this card packs more of the latest generation of RT cores, giving it some real power in ray tracing games – giving you the option of enabling it in STALKER 2 if you wish.
Like the 4060 Ti in the recommended build, this one also supports DLSS 3 frame generation, so you’ll be able to make Heart of Chornobyl run fantastically well, even at an enhanced resolution with all the settings still set to their maximum.
What do you need to play STALKER 2 at 4K?
For the ultimate STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl experience, you’ll want to play it at 4K. But for a game like this, you’ll need one of the most powerful computers in the world to run it at that kind of resolution without having to drop the other settings down to compensate.
With that in mind, for anyone looking to play STALKER 2 at 4K, we’d recommend the Apex AMD Ryzen 7 gaming PC. It’s packed with the absolute best gaming components we can find, with AIO watercooling to keep it all cool and quiet while you play.
The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D is hands-down the best bang for buck gaming processor ever made. It doesn’t have all the cores of the very top models, but that helps it focus its performance where it’s needed most: making your games run as smooth as butter. To help make that a reality, this PC has the most powerful graphics card ever produced: The Nvidia RTX 4090. This card blows past absolutely everything else out there. If ever a GPU was designed for 4K gaming, this is the one.
It’s all fitted inside the attractive, and versatile Fractal Meshify 2 compact case, with powerful cooling fans, a cool and efficient power supply, and 2TB of some of the fastest storage drives money can buy. That’s enough space to install STALKER 2 and plenty of other games besides, and ensure they’ll boot up in seconds, getting you into the action faster than ever before.
More of an AMD fan? You can save a bit of money by opting for the Apex AMD Ryzen 7 gaming PC. Its graphics card isn’t quite as powerful, and it doesn’t support DLSS 3 frame generation, but it’s still incredibly fast and is more than enough to play STALKER 2 at 4K. You just might need to play with the settings if you’re enabling ray tracing, as it’s not quite as capable on that front.
STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl has been a long time coming, and fans of the series are hotly anticipating its impending release. If you’re one of them, and have been watching a long time for this, do consider upgrading to play it. You deserve the best STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl experience possible. With a Chillblast gaming PC, you’ll get it, guaranteed.