When Alan Wake 2‘s PC requirements were unveiled last Friday, they sent shockwaves through the PC gaming community. Some gamers expressed frustration at what they perceived as a lack of optimization and seemingly unrealistic hardware demands, sparking fears of a troublesome release.
However, for users with Nvidia RTX 10-series GPUs or relatively recent AMD RX 5000-series cards, the situation appears even more concerning, as a now-deleted tweet from a Remedy developer suggests that the game may rely on mesh shader support for proper functioning.
Keen-eyed Redditors have been sharing screenshots of a deleted post by @newincpp, a developer at Remedy Games, revealing that the RTX 10-series and 5000-series GPUs are missing from the game’s specifications because they lack support for mesh shading.
A glimmer of hope emerges later in the discussion, with speculations that a vertex shader path might still exist within the game but was omitted due to performance issues. This raises the possibility that modders might reintroduce it in the future. Nevertheless, for now, it appears to be unfavorable news for gamers hoping to experience Alan Wake 2 with older generation graphics cards.
Mesh shaders made their debut as part of DirectX 12 Ultimate in 2020, with initial code samples released in January 2021. They were designed to replace traditional vertex and geometry shaders in the rendering pipeline, providing developers with tools to optimize the rendering process.
However, mesh shading requires explicit GPU support. For Nvidia GPUs, this means Turing architecture and beyond (i.e., the RTX 20-series), and for AMD GPUs, support begins with the RX 6000-series. If the recent information is accurate, Alan Wake 2 may have discarded all other shading techniques, leaving users of older GPUs out in the cold.
We’ve reached out to Remedy for comment on the matter, but in the interim, it seems that those contemplating playing Alan Wake 2 may need to consider hardware upgrades for multiple reasons.
The game appears to be highly demanding, even for relatively modern systems. Whether these stringent hardware requirements are justified by a truly next-gen graphical experience remains to be seen.