What Logical Increments Tier is Required to Run 8 MORE of the Most Popular Steam Games?


(Information on Steam’s top games were gathered for this article from Steam Charts)

A couple of weeks ago I went through eight of the most popular Steam games at the time, and linked which Logical Increments PC build tier is needed to play that game at a specific performance level. Well, that proved to be a popular article, so I’m here to round out the list with more of Steam’s most successful titles (and maybe a couple trending ones)!

I strongly recommend also checking out the previous list, and even the much older list I made with similar goals way back in January 2020.

Something that surprised me as I went through the list last month was how closely linked 1440p resolution at 120 frames per second (1440p120) and 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (4K60) were. I guess it’s not too much of a surprise since 4K is more-or-less double the amount of pixels in 1440p, but I still found it intriguing that you could sometimes get away with a system that was one tier lower at 4K60 than the 1440p120 ones. In a way, it makes sense: lower frame rates tend to be more stable than higher frame rates, and your processor isn’t having to work as hard since only half the amount of frames are being generated.

And, as you’ll now see, that trend continues here!

 

Criteria:

 

As I mentioned in the previous article, Logical Increments keeps its primary tier list consistently updated, showing you the cost of building systems geared towards particular performance milestones. From the humble ‘Destitute’ system to the jaw-dropping ‘Monstrous’ setup, it shows what is attainable at each price point, offers a roadmap for some upgrading, and generally makes it convenient to knit together a balanced system with top-notch parts.

With that list in hand, we can match each of the most popular games on Steam right now with a Logical Increments tier. In this piece, I cross-referenced eight of the most played Steam games with our tier list to see what is required to hit 60 frames per second at 1080p (referenced as 1080p60), 120 frames per second at 1440p (referenced as 1440p120), and 60 frames per second at 4K (referenced as 4k60).

Back in the old 2020 version of this exercise, I stuck to certain non-negotiables for a system to land in a specific category. In this article and last month’s article, though, I made a few changes:

  • The lion’s share of the time, we’re talking 99% or more, it had to cruise within 10% of the minimum frames per second or higher at the chosen resolution. So, I care more about the ‘minimum’ than the ‘average’ frames per second.
  • It had to strut with at least very high graphical settings.

What should you do with this information? Find the games you play most often, or at least the games that interest you. Look at the resolution and frames per second you’re interested in, and (assuming you’re not bursting your budget), get the suggested tier for a satisfying, pleasant experience. You won’t have any regrets, as these systems have been vetted to ensure a proper balance of performance and price.

Now, let’s get on with what you came here for! On with the games!

 

Games:

Naraka: Bladepoint

Naraka Bladepoint

We covered PUBG, Apex, and Warzone last month, and this is yetanother free-to-play battle royale game. I guess those are pretty popular at the moment? Anyway, this game differs from many others in that it features a melee-based combat system inspired by martial arts. There have been a few comparisons to Apex Legends, but it still stands out with a style that, according to former Rock Paper Shotgun writer Matt Cox, is a game where “fighting game aficionados will feel right at home” with its mix of combos and rock-paper-scissors-style combat. Cox summarizes, “charged attacks beat normal attacks, parries beat charged attacks, and normal attacks beat parries”. But what do you need to run the game? Well, according to its Steam page, it “requires ‘Windows Memory integrity and VBS enablement’ to be disabled.” That’s unusual. But, hey, it’s still popular.

1080p60 1440p120 4K60
Fair Tier Excellent Tier Excellent Tier
I find that getting specific benchmarks on this game a little difficult, at least for current-generation hardware. An RX 6600XT is enough to play at 1080p60 quite comfortably, and it’ll provide a much smoother experience than the recommended specs on the Steam page. An RTX 4070 is an excellent choice for this tier. Achieving around 124 FPS with minimums of around 106 FPS means that you’re all set with an Excellent Tier system It’s actually pretty similar to the 1440p120 tier, which is why we can just stick with that.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

Explore the world of Los Santos and Blaine County! …Again! Team up with friends, do missions, go crazy! This game was released on Steam in April 2015, and it has maintained a high level of popularity throughout that time. It’s just a fun multiplayer game with friends. Nothing too stressful, nothing too competitive. So, what do you need to enjoy this level of mayhem? Considering how old the game is, I don’t think you need much. Heck, the minimum requirements include an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 with a 9800 GT or HD 4870! One thing to consider throughout all of this is that MSAA is crazily hardware-intensive, so if you want to play with that enabled, jump up two tiers from my recommendations.

1080p60 1440p120 4K60
Modest Tier Great Tier Very Good Tier
Ignoring the minimum requirements, I’m going to assume if you’re reading this you want to play online as well and that requires a bit more power than the single-player campaign. Really, any dedicated graphics card should do nicely. With a minimum of 110 FPS (but pushing averages close to 150 FPS), the Great Tier is my recommendation here. Only concern is how CPU-bound you are. With the CPU having to work less, you can probably get away with a lesser graphics card. But you don’t want to skimp on the CPU too much. The Very Good tier is the one just below the Great Tier.

Battlefield V

Battlefield V

Ah, another ‘V’. This first-person shooter interestingly reached its peak popularity for the year on the 27th of November. I wonder how much Modern Warfare 3 influenced that. Anyway, for a game that came out a few years ago, the graphics still hold up nicely and it’s just an all-round fun experience. For the most part anyway.

1080p60 1440p120 4K60
Modest Tier Great Tier Very Good Tier
This game does need a dedicated graphics card to run, but even the low-tier RX 6400 is enough to play at 1080p60. 66 FPS minimum and averaging much higher (close to 90 FPS), this tier is only $25 more than the one below it which is significantly weaker. With lows of around 115 FPS, but averaging a solid 180 FPS, the Great tier is where you can get solid, dependable, consistent performance. This is yet another situation where for 4K60 I feel comfortable recommending the next tier down from the last column.

War Thunder

War Thunder

Even though it came out around 10 years ago in August 2013, War Thunder has been steadily rising in popularity. In fact, its most popular day was around late March or early May of this year. How crazy is that? As a military MMO, this game pays high attention to detail and focuses on realism and authenticity—at least as much as a game can be, whilst still being accessible. Still, it’s got plenty of planes, tanks, and ships.

1080p60 1440p120 4K60
Minimum Tier Fair Tier Modest Tier
War Thunder doesn’t take a lot to run, so you can even get solid performance with integrated graphics. The Fair Tier just meets the criteria, with a low of 109 FPS. It does have an average of 158 FPS, though, so you’re going to have a great time. The Modest Tier can still pump out over 60 FPS at 4K. I had a look at the tier directly before this one, but you’re sacrificing too much performance.

Football Manager 2024

Football Manager 2024

Well, this is a peculiar one. It doesn’t really need graphics power unless you want to watch your team run around in 3D—but even then the graphics are nothing amazing. Really, this is like a glorified spreadsheet, though I will say it’s become a little simpler and more friendly towards beginners than it used to be.

1080p60 1440p120 4K60
Destitute Tier Poor Tier Poor Tier
I’m sort of scratching my head with this one. Technically, technically, you can get away with the Destitute Tier for this game, but it makes me uncomfortable to recommend such a system. It has a dual core CPU. Without Hyperthreading. At that point, for a gaming system you may want to consider the used market. You know what? I’m going to suggest the Poor Tier. With 8GB of RAM, to be precise. At just about $50 more than the Destitute Tier, it’s fully capable of meeting the needs of this game. Erm, Poor Tier again.

Warframe

Warframe

Set sometime in the fairly distant future, Warframe has you team up with other crazy metal ninjas and slice and dice your way through thousands (if not tens of thousands) of enemies that are powerless to stop your onslaught. You can also breed pets, that will help you slice and dicce you way through thousands (if not tens of thousands) of enemies. Grind, collect loot, build more powerful weapons, get more powerful classes (which are also known as frames), and relax as you’ve sliced and diced your way through a million or so enemies and they keep coming back for more.

1080p60 1440p120 4K60
Fair Tier Great Tier Great Tier
This is a fast-paced game. To maintain a certain level of smoothness and fluidity, you should go with the Fair Tier. According to the system requirements on Steam, you barely require something a little stronger than a toaster. But since then, the game has expanded to larger, open areas which take more graphical power. The Great Tier should cover you nicely. Similarly, I think the Great Tier is the best option for 4K60 gaming.

Tevi

I don’t know too much about this game, as it’s just been released within a day or so of me writing this (which probably accounts for it making its way into this list, by riding a wave of release traffic). But, according to its Steam page, it is self-described as a “bullet hell metroidvania.” Neat! Based on its art style and recommended specifications, I doubt it really requires anything significant considering it’s a 2D game.

1080p60 1440p120 4K60
Poor Tier Minimum Tier Minimum Tier
Lots of bright lights and neon… that don’t affect performance much, since it’s all in 2D. This game can run on integrated graphics. Might, might, be worth getting a slightly more powerful system for this game. But I don’t think so. It’s not absolutely needed. And for 4K as well, it’s the Minimum tier all the way!

 

Conclusion:

 

There we go, another list of Steam games completed! I find it a little interesting that the most popular games are mostly older games. I guess those of us suffering from the high prices of the newest and most powerful PC parts this year can be grateful that such popular titles are so easy to run (or maybe I’ve got the causation reversed there).

With rare exceptions such as Baldur’s Gate 3, the games I’ve covered in this article and the previous one are mostly several years old, if not older. Maybe there have only been a few really legendary multiplayer releases in the past few years. If true, that would go to show that a game with solid mechanics and a healthy multiplayer scene really can trump the latest and greatest tech.



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