App Horizon

A list of games for your low-spec potato computer

Introduction

A friend of mine, who had recently been liberated from the shackles that were kept on him by an awful, control freak now-ex-girlfriend, asked me the other day if I could recommend to him some PC games so that he could get back into gaming for a bit. I asked him for details about what computer he had and - holy Odin - it is an absolute potato. :potato:

This was no longer just a mere question from a friend. This was now a full-blown real-life RPG quest. So I stocked up on health potions (cups of tea) and set about on my epic, perilous journey across the fiery plains of the troll-infested land of In’Ter-net.

Surprisingly, it turns out that even a potato can run some very decent games quite smoothly. So, I thought it would be interesting and helpful to other potato owners to share my findings here so that it might help others with a similar technical situation.

Of course, the easy answer is to tell people to throw away their potato and buy a new computer. But that’s not actually the ideal solution for everybody these days (ie students).

Without further ado, here is a list of some decent games that might work on your potato. Nothing is guaranteed, however. I will be listing games based on their RAM requirements - beware that there are other specs that you’ll need to double-check.



Less than 2GB RAM

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  • Fallout 2. Just 16MB of RAM is needed to play the classic RPG that gave birth to the gigantic open-world games we know today.

  • Max Payne. Has a minimum requirement of just 96MB of RAM with a recommended minimum of 128MB. Never mind a potato, this game would probably even run on a couple of fries.

  • Max Payne 2. Requires a minimum of 256MB of RAM. That’s probably three and a half fries worth of your potato.

  • Ceasar 3. Only 256MB of RAM required as a minimum, with 512MB being the recommended total.

  • Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom. Only 512MB of RAM needed for this excellent city-building strategy game. I remember absolutely adoring the audio in this game.

  • Empire Earth. A large strategy game that is relatively similar to Age of Empires in some ways. Just needs 512MB RAM.

  • Empire Earth 2. The second instalment of the Empire Earth series. Featuring a new border expansion system.

  • Empire Earth 3. The last game in the Empire Earth series and, admittedly, not the most popular, but still fun. Features yet another new border expansion system. Just 1GB RAM needed.

  • Rise of Nations. This is an excellent strategy game that’ll keep you occupied for weeks or months. It’s everything Empire Earth 3 should have been but wasn’t. Rise of Nations filled in a hole that was left behind by Empire Earth 3. 1GB RAM is the minimum, with 4GB recommended.

  • LIMBO. This surreal puzzler just wants 512MB of your RAM.

  • Stronghold Crusader HD. This simulation and strategy game requires just 512MB of RAM. And yes, I LOL’d at first too when I saw “HD” coupled with “512MB”, but they weren’t lying.

  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. 256MB of RAM is the minimum this game requires. Sure the graphics are dated nowadays, but with such low requirements your low-spec sweetroll might be able to afford to run some modifications to enhance the graphics of the game.

  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Yep, this huge, open-world classic is potato friendly at just 512MB of required RAM. An entire world shoved and crammed into just a simple 512MB… woah. Well played, Bethesda. :clap:

  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The force is with you, for just 256MB of RAM.

  • Age of Empres II (+ The Conquerers expansion). Asks for 1GB of RAM as a minimum. This game has epic replay value after the very fun campaigns, thanks to the excellent random skirmish game world generation engine it has. The AI is even pretty smart for its time - in harder difficulties the AI uses built-in cheats to try and beat you! (ie, gives itself cheated resources to build a large army). (So you’re totally justified for using a WeMod Trainer, lol).

  • Age of Mythology. Made by the same team that brought you Age of Empires. Just your classic AOE game but with mythical creatures and Atlanteans. 1GB RAM is the minimum, 4GB RAM is recommended.

  • SteamWorld Dig. A beautifully designed Steampunk mining game that asks for just 512MB RAM.

  • Mount & Blade: Warband. This game is probably what you might have got at Christmas from an aunt who couldn’t tell the difference between this game and Elder Scrolls when you asked for the latter. Can still be fun at 512MB RAM despite not really having a storyline to follow.

  • Faster Than Light. Commandeer your own spaceship in this strategic exploration game. The potato version of No Man’s Sky (sort of). (Alright, it’s isn’t even remotely similar, but potatoes can dream, right?)

  • Owlboy. A platform adventure game asking for just 1GB RAM.

  • Bioshock. A well-known epic. If you haven’t heard of this, get out from under that rock! Needs just 1GB minimum with 2GB recommended. (The Remastered version has higher spec requirements).


Up to 2GB RAM

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  • Max Payne 3. The third instalment of the Max Payne series calls for just 2GB of RAM as a minimum.

  • Age of Empires III. Age of Empires brought to the colonial ages. New civs and new strategies. The campaigns are wonderful. Random Skirmish maps are nowhere as good as AOE2, however. Asks for 2GB RAM as a minimum.

  • Bioshock 2. An epic, beautiful game for just 2GB minimum and 3GB recommended RAM.

  • Bioshock Infinite. The third and final game of the epic Bioshock series. 2GB minimum RAM, 4GB recommended.

  • Fallout 3. Regarded as one of the best open-world games of all time. Well, until Skyrim came out. All yours for 2GB RAM.

  • Fallout: New Vegas. Basically Fallout 3 but set in a different part of the world. Also yours for just 2GB RAM.

  • Fallout Shelter. Become the overseer of a vault in the Fallout universe for just 2GB RAM. It’s also free to play.

  • Aground. With humble beginnings as a free Flash game, Aground soon developed into a larger survival and town building RPG-adventure game. Needs just 2GB RAM minimum.

  • Total War: Rome II: Ever wanted to command a huge Roman army to bash out the brains of puny Celts? Well now you can, with just 2GB RAM.

  • Sid Meier’s Civilization V. Hailed as one of the best Civ games ever made, it asks for 2GB RAM minimum, recommending 4GB.

  • Beat Cop. A black comedy game where you play as a cop who was framed for murder.

  • Stardew Valley. Basically, if Pokemon had a baby with Farmville, you’d get this for just 2GB of RAM.

  • Portal 2. This quite well-known game asks for 2GB RAM minimum.

  • West of Loathing. Your potato definitely can’t run Red Dead Redemption 2, trust me. West of Loathing is a comedic western that’ll cheer you up a bit when you realise that RDR2 would fry your potato to death.

  • Papers Please. Somewhat a cult classic, renowned by potato owners as potato-friendly.

  • The Sims 4. Basically a simulator that allows you to become the world’s worst parent, worst husband/wife, worst employee and worst home-owner. Just 2GB RAM needed to have social services called over to your house by concerned neighbours.

  • Life Is Strange. A powerful action and adventure story-driven game where the decisions you make will affect how the game progresses, how people behave towards you and so on. A masterpiece needing just 2GB RAM.

  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall. An adventure strategy game asking for a minimum of 2GB RAM.

  • This War of Mine. A heart-wrenching and beautifully made adventure and simulation game which shows war from the perspective of the innocent people, rather than the soldiers. Asks for 2GB RAM minimum, recommending 4GB.

  • Starbound. Basically Terraria in space. 2GB RAM is the minimum, with 4GB recommended.

  • Batman Arkham Asylum. Part one of the Arkham trilogy, perfect for Batman fans at 2GB RAM.

  • Batman Arkham City. To conquer RAM, you must become RAM. 2GB of it, in fact, for the second game of the Arkham trilogy.


Up to 4GB RAM

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  • Dishonored. This excellent, beautifully designed game with a very in-depth choice-making system that affects how cities change, how people react and how the game ends requires just 3GB RAM as a minimum, with 4GB being the recommended amount.

  • Terraria. Asks for a minimum of 2.5GB RAM, recommending 4GB RAM. A side-scrolling game favoured by those who enjoy exploration and base building games.

  • Dragon Age: Origins. The poor man’s Skyrim, asking for a reasonable 3GB RAM.

  • Thimbleweed Park. Calls for exactly 4GB RAM as a minimum.

  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. At a minimum, the game asks for 3GB RAM, but recommends 8GB RAM. May need some graphic setting tweaks, may not.

  • Wolfenstein: The New Order. Get revenge on Nazi scum by killing them all day with just 4GB RAM.

  • Dead Island. Probably one of the best zombie slashers currently available out there. This game led to the rise in zombie games where the player needs to craft things to survive. Wants just 4GB RAM minimum, with a recommendation of 8GB. Some potatoes may need to lower the graphic settings a tad.

  • Factorio. A top-down city (factory) building game. Notch (Mojang/Minecraft) admitted he is addicted to this game. 4GB is all it wants as a minimum.

  • RimWorld. This colony-building game calls for 4GB of RAM and is reportedly very potato friendly.

  • Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire. Works a charm on 4GB of RAM. Some potatoes on the slightly lower-end may need to tweak some graphics settings to their lowest.

  • Sunless Skies. A beautiful Steampunk RPG and adventure game that asks for 4GB RAM.


May work on 4GB RAM with low graphic settings
These games list their specs as requiring more than the average potato. However, they may still work on potatoes with 4GB RAM as long as all the graphical settings are turned down to their lowest. A bit of lag every now and again is probably to be expected still.

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There you have it, some great games that’ll (probably) work on your low-spec machine.
Remember, though the focus of this list has been RAM, there are other factors that determine how well a game will run on your machine, such as processor and graphics card. Always double-check the game’s requirements before deciding to make a purchase. The games on this list are roughly educated suggestions, none are guaranteed to work smoothly for you.

Many of these games have trainers available here on WeMod. Some have built-in cheats or developer consoles that can be used for cheating.

Do you know of any games that’ll run on a low-spec machine? Let us know!

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Something to always keep in mind: you can run the original DooM on literally anything these days. Here’s a short montage:

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