What to look forward to: After almost a decade of development, Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones has reached a major milestone that points to an imminent release – the release of PC system requirements. When it releases this November, it could be the first game to include Nvidia DLSS, AMD FSR, and Intel XeSS.
Thursday Ubisoft general A summary of system requirements and PC features for the upcoming pirate sandbox game Skull & Bones. It’s one of the first major releases to drop support for the latest generation of consoles, so its PC requirements are understandably a step up from what many users are used to.
Many AAA games over the past few years, including Spider-Man Remastered, have listed the GTX 1060 – currently the most popular GPU on Steam as the recommended card for playing at 60fps at 1080p on high settings. For Skull & Bones, this and the AMD Radeon RX 570 are the bare minimum for 1080p gaming at 30fps on low settings. For 1080p 60fps at high settings, Ubisoft recommends the RTX 2070 or RX 5700 XT.
Interestingly, the maximum spec Ubisoft lists is 4K at 60fps with ultra settings, which takes DLSS and FSR into account. These image restoration algorithms significantly increase the frame rate with minimal loss in image quality, but most games that support them do not include their effects in the system requirements. For 4K, Ubisoft offers the 3080 using DLSS balanced mode (upscaling from 2227 x 1253) or the 6800 XT using FSR balanced mode (2259 x 1270) for 60fps gameplay. The PC version’s implementation of ray-traced global illumination is likely a major factor behind these heavy system requirements.
Ubisoft expects users to have 65GB of free SSD space for Skull & Bones, as well as 16GB of RAM for all but the lowest spec, which recommends just 8GB. The rest of the requirements are:
1080p 30fps Low settings
- GP: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB) / AMD Radeon RX 570 (4 GB)
- CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 / AMD Ryzen 5 1600
1080p 60 fps High settings
- GP: Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 (8 GB) / AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (8 GB)
- CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K / AMD Ryzen 5 3600
1440p 60fps High settings
- GP: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (8 GB) / AMD Radeon RX 6800 (16 GB)
- CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K / AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
4K 60fps Ultra settings (balanced DLSS/FSR preset)
- GP: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (10 GB) DLSS balanced / AMD Radeon 6800 XT (16 GB) FSR balanced
- CPU: Intel Core i5-11600K / AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
Skull & Bones will also support XeSS, Intel’s approach to image reconstruction that works similarly to DLSS. However, XeSS can be easily overlooked in the list of PC game features as only Ubisoft mentions it’s in the PC specification trailer description on YouTube.
Only a few other titles to advertise support for all three reconstruction methods, but none of them have implemented all three yet. Depending on when the XeSS update comes out for games like Death Stranding or Ghostwire: Tokyo, Skull & Bones could be the first to finally give users a three-way comparison.
Currently, only Intel Arc GPUs can use XeSS, but the company plans to port this feature to other hardware using the DP4a instruction. The entry-level Arc A380 is available now, while Intel hopes to release more expensive models like the A750 later this year.
Ubisoft’s sandbox game on the high seas had a tumultuous nine-year development cycle that included multiple delays and significant changes in its structure. It launches November 8 for the Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Connect, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series consoles, Stadia, and Amazon Luna.