The minimum requirements are as follows:

  • OS: Mac OS X 10.8+
  • Processor: 2011 or newer Intel Core i5
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia or ATi GPU with 1GB Memory
  • Storage: 4 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Dedicated graphics card required. No Mac Mini model is officially supported at this time.

Here’s a simplified checklist version:

  • Do I have a dedicated graphics card?
  • Is my Mac a 2011 or newer model?

NOTE This rules out all Mac Mini models, MacBooks Air, MacBooks, 13” MacBook Pros, 21.5” iMacs.

  • Do I have at least 6GB of RAM? If the answer to all three is “Yes,” you should have an enjoyable time playing Firewatch! If the answer to one or more is “No,” you may face some performance issues ranging from annoying to unplayable.

How do I find my system specs?

To look at your hardware specs (from Apple’s support page): “open the System Information app from the Utilities folder of your Applications folder. Or just hold down the Option key while choosing System Information from the Apple menu. Expand “Hardware” in the left pane.

What does minimum spec mean?

The configuration listed above is the lowest machine hardware and operating system specifications we feel will provide an acceptable customer experience. This is not the lowest possible configuration to get the game to boot, but anything lower than this we consider unsupported.

In real terms, we set this benchmark at stable 30FPS on Low graphics settings.

Firewatch can be configured to have even lower than Low settings (shadows can be turned off, detail distance can be dropped) but, in the same way that the resolution can be dropped to something like 600x800, we do not feel like the technical minimum we allow for Firewatch is an acceptable experience.

Really? I need 6GB of RAM / memory?

With 4GB of memory you should be able to play the game most of the time but there are a few cases where you may be able to outrun our streaming system and experience crashing, frame-rate hitches or stability issues. With 4GB of RAM you probably will not be able to play above Low graphics settings.

We know the game runs fine with ~5GB but listing that as a requirement felt strange since that’s an extremely unlikely config (one that we couldn’t even test on!).

How the heck do I know if my GPU can run Firewatch?

If you have an Intel HD or Intel Iris series, see the section below.

For Nvidia and AMD GPUs, these cards use a different naming convention.

For Nvidia, the first (leftmost) number represents the generation of card. So the GeForce 6XX series are contemporaries. The next number represents type, going from 2 to 9. A GT 620 is a low-end card, a GTX 650 is a mid-range card, a GTX 690 is the top of the line (in 2012 at least). The rightmost number is an extension of the middle number – a GT 645 is between a 640 and a 650.

For AMD the convention is slightly different. RX represents market segment,R5 is entry level, R7 is the mid-market, R9 is enthusiast or high-end. The leftmost number represents generation, the middle number represents type, the rightmost number (and trailing letters) are modifications.

Nvidia and AMD switched naming conventions at different times, so the generations are not directly comparable.

This can be a bit complicated when comparing cards across different generations and manufacturers. The GeForce 450 is a mid-range card from 2010. It is (roughly!) comparable to the GeForce 740 or the Intel Iris 6200. The GeForce 450 is slightly more powerful than the Radeon R7 250, but is absolutely smoked by the R7 260.

What about integrated GPUs? (Intel HD, Intel Iris series, etc)

We are not officially supporting integrated GPUs (like the Intel HD series, or the Intel Iris series).

There is a large gap in performance between integrated and dedicated GPUs. The game as it exists may still work on some integrated GPUs however you may have bouts of hitching or sub-30FPS gameplay. We do not enforce (ie. the game will still boot without) a dedicated GPU, but we do recommend one for stable framerate.

Please note that the Mac Mini line, MacBook line, MacBook Air line, 13” MacBook Pro, and 21.5” iMac all use integrated GPUs.

If you are attempting to play Firewatch on an integrated GPU, try using Low graphics settings and a low resolution that maintains your display’s aspect ratio. You may also want to ensure you aren’t running off battery power.

This article was last updated on December 5, 2018