Path of Exile is without a doubt the best ARPG on the market. It’s got a ton of content, endless replayability, and the best build system in any genre title. You will want to play it. You could get it on PS4 or Xbox One, but there’s something missing. If you’re a hardcore PC gamer, the jump to console might be too much. Here’s how you can check to see if your gaming PC can handle this monster game, with the Path of Exile system requirements.
Path of Exile dropped support for both Windows XP and Windows Vista in version 3.6, moving towards new graphics rendering was the reason. As of 3.13, the game is now testing the beta version of a new Vulkan API renderer to improve performance in line with the visual and performance improvements offered by DirectX 12.
And with Path of Exile 2 on the way, we can expect these requirements to tighten up a bit to be more in-line with modern hardware. There are some ways that aging hardware can keep up though, more on that below. Anyway, here’s the bare minimum and recommended specs for the game:
Path of Exile recommended system requirements
- Memory: 8 GB
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or AMD RX 570
- Path of Exile CPU: Intel Core i7-960 or 3.0 GHz Quad-core or better
- File Size: 50 GB
- Screen Resolution: 1080p
- Network: Broadband 3.0 Mbps or higher
- OS: Windows 7 SP1/Windows 10
Path of Exile minimum requirements
- Memory: 4 GB
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti or AMD Radeon HD 7850
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 or 2.6 GHz Quad-core or better
- File Size: 50 GB
- Screen Resolution: 720p
- Network: Broadband 1.5 Mbps
- OS: Windows 7 SP1/Windows 8
What hardware should you use?
The answer here depends on what you care about. If you’re playing solo, the requirements are a lot more forgiving as there are fewer effects being rendered onscreen. If playing in a group, you need to have a beefier system, or be willing to turn effects off.
Any modern CPU from either Intel or AMD will be fine, as the game isn’t too CPU-bound. There are plenty of users running older FX-era or early Ivy Bridge CPUs, but that’s usually on very low graphical settings. Something like a Ryzen 5 3600X 6-Core or equivalent intel i5-9600 will be more than enough on that side of things.
RAM isn’t a big concern as even a single 8GB stick of DDR4 is more than enough to run the game. You will get better performance out of dual channel configs though.
GPUs are a pretty open category as well. Any GPU made in the last few years can run the game at low settings, even something as drummy as the AMD RX 560. If you want to go for more pretty visuals, and RX 580 or newer is good on AMD’s side. For Nvidia users, stick to the GTX 1050 or better recommendation and you will be fine.
How to optimize performance in Path of Exile
If you’re concerned about what’s going on and being able to see the enemies hitting you, there are a few things you should do. You should keep certain things off, and then tweak the settings mentioned below to keep FPS up without sacrificing visual quality. First, stay away from Dynamic Resolution, unless you really like everything looking like it has been smeared with grease. If you turn it on, it makes everything way too blurry while trying to hit 60 FPS, and you won’t be able to see what monsters are about to do.
So now, let’s talk about what you can tweak for better POE performance.
Put the game files on an SSD
Once you have the game installed, you can move the main POE folder (found under C:\Program Files (x86)\Grinding Gear Games\Path of Exile) to an SSD. Just move the entire Grinding Gear Games folder onto a formatted SSD and then create a shortcut to PathOfExile_x64. Using that shortcut will launch the game from the SSD, massively speeding up loading times. This can drastically cut down on the time stuck in loading screens between maps.
What settings can I lower?
Antialiasing is a good option to tweak, you can even leave it off entirely if you don’t mind the loss in visual quality. Lighting is another area where you can get plenty of better visual quality. If you’re on weaker hardware, stick with Default Shadows though. Turning down the number of Lights and the amount of Bloom can also help increase FPS.
Water Detail and Incursion Effects can both be set to their lowest values without too much worry. When dealing with bosses and mob packs, the thing you’re worried about it effects on NPCs telling you what attack is coming, not whether the background looks pretty.
Dynamic Culling is a good option if you’re into the endgame, as the amount of particle effects can get pretty high, and turning them down can also help performance in Path of Exile. Engine Multithreading can really help out as well if you have a multi-core modern CPU, turn it on as well.