Can I run it? Find out what games your PC can run now!
It can be hard to tell sometimes so we take you through everything you need to know
Whether you’re a PC gaming veteran or a complete newbie, one of the most important questions you’ll find yourself asking is: “Can my computer run this game?” Let us show you the easiest ways to find out what kind of games your PC can run right now. If you’ve already got a good gaming PC, it’s likely you’re able to run the majority of new games – but many of us are working with much cheaper rigs.
There are a ton of ways to answer this question, but also countless variables that can muddy up your real-world results, thanks to the endless intricacies of PC build variations and game optimization. If you want to know how to tell if your computer can run a game you want to play, keep reading. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know in this article, and by the end, you’ll always be able to figure out whether or not a game will work on your system.
You can also check out our system requirements section which covers minimum and recommended system requirements as well as our own recommended PC specs for popular PC games such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Overwatch, and Destiny 2.
Before you start
Know your exact specs
First up, you need to figure out what your specs are; you can’t know what games your PC can run otherwise. While some tools auto-detect these things for you, the most thorough and accurate methods require you to know your detailed system specs.
Tools like Speccy or CPU-Z can do this for you, but may not be as accurate for prebuilt PCs and certain GPUs. But in most cases, it will likely give you a good outline of what you have.
In our case, it easily picks up our entire setup with no issues. Although Speccy may recognize multicore processors separately checking out the individual tabs will give you the actual names. As long as you’re using an AMD or Nvidia graphics chip, for instance, your driver software (GeForce Experience or Radeon Software) will be able to identify what graphics chip is inside your system. If you’re using a prebuilt desktop or laptop PC, you’ll want to find the exact model number so you can pull up detailed specs if any of the above solutions fail.
Once you’ve identified your exact system specs, either write them down or keep them in a Notepad file; after all, if you need to reference them in the future you won’t want to repeat all of this over again. The most important ones to keep track of are the: CPU (processor), GPU (graphics), RAM (memory), OS (operating system), and storage.
Have part comparisons on the ready
Even with your specs at the ready, unless they’re specifically named, you have to know how your parts compare with them. In that case, you can find hierarchies or comparisons to see where you stand compared to the recommendations. Although UserBenchmark may be tempting it has lost its credibility these days. With a clear bias against AMD, the community is not a fan of the site.
In that case, we have alternatives. There are both Benchmarks UL and Passmark. Both utilize benchmark software and then collate the data into a long comparative list. There you can find yours and the recommendations to see if it’s enough. They’re both focused on GPU and CPU as those are the most different options. As the rest is pretty standard and easier to compare.
Can I run it: our guide
Manual method: check the product page
This method is touched upon above, but essentially you’ll want to find a game’s recommended specifications. If the game is on Steam, all you’ll need to do is search it and then bring up the product page. From there, you should be able to scroll down and find your results pretty easily under the “System Requirements” section.
If the game isn’t on Steam, you’ll need to do a little bit more work. Instead, try Googling something like “game title’s system requirements”. And find them on the appropriate launcher. As these days there are plenty of them. So you can look on the Epic launcher, UPlay, Xbox app, and so on. From there you can compare the minimum and recommended requirements to yours. As you see below the requirements are shown. From there compare to your written down system and if you need to go through the hierarchy to see how yours compare.
If you want to save yourself a little bit of work, you can also try.
Tool Method: SystemRequirementsLab
SystemRequirementsLab is a tool that you can use to automatically determine if your PC can run a game or not. It’s a little bit more in-depth than using product pages, especially those that aren’t as specific as they should be. However, it won’t be as accurate as finding benchmarks or accounting for special scenarios where you can run a game despite not meeting its requirements; it’s kind of a stickler like that.
After you run the tool once, it saves your system information as a cookie in your browser. As long as you don’t clear your browser data, you can keep coming back to SystemRequirementsLab and checking your compatibility with different games.
Best Method: Find Benchmarks That Match Your Setup!
The best method isn’t using any tool or product page, though. The best method is finding benchmarks or videos of people running the game with your specs. It’s best to look up your CPU or PGU with the game you’re most interested in.
You see, product pages aren’t always accurate. Sometimes they over-estimate system requirements, or sometimes (usually in the case of older titles that are still getting continuous updates, like Team Fortress 2) they underestimate them. There is GPUcheck to also see what to expect from your system. However, these aren’t based on anything specific and are just predictions. So should be taken with a grain of salt.
The only way you’re going to know for sure how well your system runs a game is if you run the game yourself. This is relatively easy with Free-to-Play titles, but if a game’s not F2P, then the next best way is to find an up-to-date video of someone with similar specs running that game in action, such as us!
Below Minimum Requirements?
Let’s say you’re below minimum requirements on the product page, or SystemRequirementsLab says so. The first thing you’ll want to do is some strategic Googling to see if that’s really the case. However, what if you can’t find a matching benchmark or you still aren’t happy with the performance you’re seeing?
Well, you may still have other options. This is PC gaming, and the best part about playing on this platform is that the options are pretty much endless. In the case of Valve games, like Team Fortress 2 and CS:GO, there are countless performance config files out there that you can use to push higher framerates.
There are also other tools to get the most out of what you have. Nvidia offers DLSS in some titles to run at lower resolution but makes it look like it should, giving you more frames. However, that is limited to RTX cards and some titles. So AMD offers FSR without a card limit but is also limited to some games. But if you have an AMD GPU you can now enable RSR to use it in any game.
Finally, if it’s only a single component and it’s not a massive performance difference, it usually won’t be a problem. Generally, the biggest concern will be the GPU, then the CPU, and possibly the amount of RAM you’re using.
Utilizing comparisons, you can get a good idea of how large the gap between what you’re running and the recommended components are. However, if you’re still new to the scene, you should consider asking for advice before buying a game you might not be capable of running.
At the end of the day, though, there are going to be scenarios where you simply can’t run a game with a satisfying level of performance. More recently, some modern titles may outright refuse to run if you have less than 6GB of RAM in your system, though these are typically few and far between.
If you can’t run a game and you spent real money on it, we recommend getting a refund. Steam, UPlay, GOG, and Origin all offer full refunds in this scenario! Most brick-and-mortar retailers will offer this, too, but you’ll need to keep your receipt if you’re returning the game.
Demos and trials
You can also run a demo of the game, but these have unfortunately become quite rare in modern PC gaming. (Steam also offers free trials of games, so if you’re interested but unsure, then just test.) If a game you’re interested in does offer a demo, though, be smart and try it out before you buy it! Even with refunds in play, it can often take days to get your money back on a game that doesn’t work with your system.
And that’s just about everything! We hope that this article helped you learn how to tell if your computer can run a game. If you have any other questions or concerns, comment below and let us know! We’ll do our best to help you.
If you’re interested in our PC builds, we also provide expected levels of performance in the most popular PC games in each of our build guides, with numbers for games like League of Legends, PUBG, Fortnite, Destiny 2, Overwatch, and more!
What is can you run it?
Can you run it is a website to more easily tell you if you can run a game. It requires running an exe to let the website know your specs and it compares it to the minimum game requirements. Making it quicker and simpler for you to know if can even start the game.
How do you check if your PC can run a game?
The simplest way is to compare your hardware specs to the requirements of the game. If you don’t know what your PC has you can use Speccy or CPU-Z to find them. Then you can compare these to the game’s minimum requirements found on its store page.
WePC is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more