Alan Wake 2 can run on GPUs without Mesh Shaders, but that doesn’t mean you should

You can play Alan Wake 2 with older GPUs, but you shouldn’t

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Alan Wake 2’s PC version only “officially supported” graphics card that feature support for Mesh Shaders. Today, we can confirmed that while Alan Wake 2 does run on older graphics cards, we cannot recommend playing the game on such hardware.

One of Remedy’s employees, @newincpp on X, revealed that Alan Wake 2 is one of the first PC games to requires support for Mesh Shaders. Mesh Shaders is part of Microsoft’s DirectX 12 Ultimate feature set.

For Nvidia users, Mesh Shaders are only available on RTX 20 series or newer graphics cards. On the AMD side, Mesh Shaders are only available on RX 6000 series (RDNA 2) or newer GPUs. GPUs from Nvidia’s GTX 10 series or AMD’s RX 5000 (RDNA 1) series and older lack supports for mesh shaders.

We can confirm today that while Alan Wake II can boot when using older graphics cards without mesh shaders. These GPUs run the game incredibly poorly. There’s a reason why Remedy gives this warning to players without Mesh Shaders.

What are Mesh Shaders?

Mesh Shaders allow developers to better control the geometry pipelines of graphics hardware. This feature will allow future games to offer more geometric precision at a low performance cost. Expect a lot of future games to require features like Mesh shaders.

Other DirectX 12 Ultimate features include Variable Rate Shading (VRS), Sampler Feedback, and DXR 1.1 ray tracing.

Should you play Alan Wake 2 on GPUs without Mesh Shaders?

In short, no. Mesh Shaders are required for Alan Wake 2 to run optimally on PC. GPUs that lack support for this feature will run at lower than expected framerates. There are also occasional graphical issues when playing the game on unsupported hardware. A GTX 1080 Ti can barely run this game at 1080p Low settings at 30 FPS. If you want to play Alan Wake 2, you should be using a GPU with mesh shader support.

You can join the discussion on Alan Wake 2 being playable without Mesh Shaders on the OC3D Forums.

Mark Campbell

Mark Campbell

A Northern Irish father, husband, and techie that works to turn tea and coffee into articles when he isn’t painting his extensive minis collection or using things to make other things.

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