RIP to hard drives: SSDs only for Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Two characters braindancing in virtual reality in Cyberpunk 2077.
The human brain, or as I refer to it, the very first Solid State Drive. (Image credit: CDPR)

It's time to call it: the era of hard disks is over. While you might've been able to get away with storing games on an HDD in 2020, graphically-demanding games have become even more reliant on the faster load speeds of SSDs over the past few years. Starfield and Baldur's Gate 3 both demanded SSDs in their minimum specs, and now Cyberpunk 2077's 2.0 patch and Phantom Liberty say that an SSD is the lowest bar to ride.

Even the very reasonable system requirements of Assassin's Creed Mirage mandate the use of an SSD. Now that consoles are completely on the solid state storage train, gaming's biggest developers are no longer going to support the slower storage format we've been keeping around for the better part of a century now. Cyberpunk developers CD Projekt announced that this would be the case back in June.

"The changes to the minimum requirements are a reflection of our new standard of requirements, which we believe better represent the minimum PC configuration required to run the game at 1080p, while maintaining an average of 30 FPS at low preset," CD Projekt said. "The reason for making these changes is that updating the requirements is an important part of the game improvement process, and of enhancing and adding new features." 

They sent out a little reminder of that just today (the tweet embedded above). If you're running low on SSD space, check out our lists of the best SSD for gaming, the best NVMe SSD for gaming. If you're somehow still getting by with an HDD, you have impressive patience, but for my money, upgrading to an SSD is probably the biggest performance leap you can make.

If you're curious about how Phantom Liberty shaped up, the news is good: It's "a tense spy thriller with some of the most grueling choices I've ever seen in an RPG," PC Gamer's Ted Litchfield said in his Phantom Liberty review.

In other news, you'll want to uninstall all your Cyberpunk 2077 mods before you start the new patch and expansion, and CD Projekt Red suggests that you start a fresh save for it as well.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.