How to determine Minimum and Recommended Hardware before Shipping?

After our successful Greenlight campaign we are now working hard on finishing the game and make it ready for distribution via Steam. One of the things we need for Steam is a listing of the minimum and recommended hardware configurations for our game. However, as a small team we don’t have loads of different configurations to test our game on, so that at the moment we have a bit of hard time determining what we should recommend.

How do other small teams solve this?

I’m guessing that your systems that you are using for development are more high-end so that means you just need to find a low-end system to test on. You don’t need to test on every configuration, ideally you would build a low-end system for testing that would be your minimum requirements, if not then you could try to find people to test for you.

Yes, we definitely want to let others test as well (did that already of course).
I was just wondering, is there some kind of best-practice for small teams like us?

Really it’s just testing on systems to see how well it does. I would start with the general UE4 minimum specs and see if you can run it on things lower than that. Your game might not be that intensive so it might run fine on less.

Ok will do, thanks!

Use a VM. Since you have a high end pc you can probably run 2-3 instances at a time. So that’s 3 pc configs per test. For example 2-4-6 gigs of ram. If it runs fine on 4 but sux at 2 (game is at Low) then theres your minimum. If it runs ok on 4 but good on 6 (game at High) then there’s your recommended. Rinse and repeat for gpu/cpu with the average ram. There’s obviously other ways but i think this one is easiest.

For the RAM part this might work, but do you think that it is really meaningful to test CPU and GPU in a VM?

Well, obviously testing on different rigs is best, but if that is not an option I can’t see a better method. VM managers have settings for cpu for sure, I’m not sure about how GPU virtualisation is setup so some digging would be needed. I’d imagine it’s similar to the android emulation where you can test your game on many phone specs.

In general though, VM in theory should be worse than the real thing, so if your game barely run (on low) in a VM with an (lets say) i5 3570k, 4 gbs of ram and a GeForce 660 @ 2 gig, it will most certainly run smooth on a physical machine with similar specs.