Street Fighter 6’s PC port is competent but lacking in ambition

Street Fighter 6's PC port is competent but lacking in ambition

Street Fighter 6 on PC is OK. It’s good in some areas, mediocre in others, and downright mediocre in some respects, but it’s at least competent – which is far from a certainty in the current state of PC ports. With minimal effort, it’s easy to get a smooth, stutter-free, high-performance experience. However, it’s also remarkably unambitious, with very few attempts to scale the experience beyond the limits established by the console versions.

The game doesn’t start up particularly promising, however, due to the time it takes to get to the options screen to change settings. There are the EULAs for browsing and the requirement to sign up for a Capcom account, while everything initially works in windowed mode for some reason.

It took me about 15 minutes from first boot to gain control of the game, which is a surprisingly high level of friction, leaving a bad first impression. And it may actually take longer than that, because less powerful CPUs require a shader pre-compilation step, which you don’t need to do on more powerful CPUs.

Here’s the disembodied voice of Alex Battaglia in addition to various gameplay footage and direct comparisons, telling you what’s up with the PC version of Street Fighter 6.

It’s an interesting idea. Presumably Capcom thinks more powerful CPUs like my Core i9 12900K have enough power to compile on the fly while gaming without encountering stuttering issues, which means no pre-compilation steps. Meanwhile, pre-compiling starts anyway on my much less capable Ryzen 5 3600, taking about 11 minutes in total. There’s only one problem here: I’m still stuttering on the 12900K, so my initial recommendation would be to warm up your shaders no matter what processor you have.

Once you get to the menus, there’s good news and bad news. On the plus side, there’s a range of customization options – but the bad news is that there’s no decent preview image, real-time preview or even description of what the settings and how they affect the load on your PC’s components. This is surprising, as other RE Engine games (including all Resident Evil titles) on PC do just that.

The generally decent but not impressive outlook continues for scalability, as Capcom’s ambitions for the PC platform are very limited. The developer has every chance here of fully addressing the notoriously poor screen space reflections of the RE engine, for example, but they have the exact same deocclusion issues as the console versions, just at a higher resolution. Other RE Engine titles have at least one RT reflection option which isn’t great, but is a definite improvement. My recommendation? Disable screen space reflections completely – not quite the customization experience I wanted from the PC version, but no SSR is better than any form of RE Engine SSR.

Texture quality is generally better on PC at max settings and VRAM requirements are minimal – but there is something wrong with texture handling in general on console and PC. The appearance of such bad low resolution assets just doesn’t make sense.

Another issue with the PC version is that it doesn’t scale high enough with its textures. At max 4K, the game uses around 7GB of VRAM on an RTX 4090: this is good news for people with 8GB GPUs, but the textures are incredibly poor and wildly inconsistent at times. Most of the textures at max settings show an improvement over the PS5 version – surprisingly – but something seems off with texture loading in general, as all versions can feature poor quality assets.

Beyond the textures, the other visuals aren’t much different from the PS5 version. The quality of the shadows is essentially the same. The reduced animation rate of ranged NPCs is just as bad on PC as it is on consoles. This would be an easy fix and a real improvement for the PC version, but the option to modify this does not exist. There are only a few settings that really scale beyond the console versions – resolution, texture quality, anisotropic filtering, and geometry quality.

Overall, this means the game is relatively easy to run in one-on-one battles, but due to the social aspects of the battle hub and world tour mode, I’ve optimized the settings to help to get those areas of the game the most stable performance possible.

There isn’t a whole lot of scalability in Street Fighter 6 on the GPU side, but there are big gains in World Tour and Battle Hub modes when it comes to scaling NPCs and characters. other players.

On the GPU side, I have a few recommendations. For one, turn off screen space reflections because they don’t look good in this game and you’ll see a nearly 10% performance boost for that, based on running the game at 1440p on a RTX 2060 Super. Another easy win is shadow quality, with each setting affecting quality slightly due to the filtering used, but with noticeable performance gains, especially at the normal setting which I believe offers the best visual quality for the price on the mid-range hardware.

Other than that, I noticed little difference adjusting the other presets. Lighting quality doesn’t seem to have any impact on performance – or much effect on actual lighting quality, so it’s not worth changing it from the maximum setting. The sampling quality is effectively an anisotropic filtering quality, which is fine at maximum, and although there is a difference when adjusting the mesh quality, there is no appreciable performance gain for reduce the quality. So for all other settings, leave them at maximum.

CPU related settings are another story as they can have a big effect in World Tour or Battle Center areas. In the battle hub running just at max settings, the CPUs are beaten by the amount of potential animated players loaded into the area – the load balance between the cores is fine, but sometimes it’s easy to see how a thread becomes much more used than the others. With this behavior, a Ryzen 5 3600 ends up well below 60fps with poor frame times at the max setting of 60 players.

This time it’s the disembodied voice of Tom Morgan, delivering the verdict on all console editions of Street Fighter 6 – even PS4 and PS4 Pro.

Reducing this maximum number of players to 40 players is the sweet spot, as there is a 40% performance gain by doing so. I would also recommend the standard NPC setting, as the higher presets can also cause issues with older, less capable CPUs like my Ryzen 5 3600; In one-on-one fights, I don’t see any CPU issues, which means there’s no reason to change the battlefield background object density slider.

In terms of other options to look out for, I recommend enabling input lag reduction while disabling v-sync if you have a VRR-capable display. The game’s combat is capped at 60 frames per second, but as with the console versions, this allows for a crisper response. However, apart from that, there is nothing more to recommend – it works very well.

Ultimately, it’s an acceptable but totally unambitious PC port, with a lackluster options screen and confusing issues with texture handling that really need to be fixed on all versions of the game, though. that I see it. In the current climate though, at least it’s functional and at least it plays well, although the lack of scaling beyond the console experience is a downside when we know exactly what the RE Engine is. is capable.

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