Cyberpunk 2077 won’t run on Windows 8 – you’ll need to upgrade to Windows 10

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 will be DX12-only on PC, it has emerged, meaning that you’ll need to run Windows 10 to play it – and although those still (unwisely) running Windows 7 will also be catered for, folks on Windows 8 will be left out in the cold.

This info emerged in an interview conducted by German site PC Games Hardware, in which Marcin Gollent, Lead Graphics Programmer from developer CD Projekt Red, clarified the situation with DX12.

Gollent noted: “We opted to go with DX12 for two main reasons. Firstly, it is the standard API for the Xbox platforms, and with the game also coming to Xbox One, we naturally wanted to have it implemented as soon as possible.

“Secondly, it is the birthplace of DXR [DirectX Raytracing], and given we had plans to invest in DXR very early on, that made the choice to go with DX12 a pretty straightforward one.”

Gollent further notes that thanks to DX12 support being brought to Windows 7 SP1 last year, Cyberpunk 2077 will be playable by gamers remaining on that platform – although considering the OS is well out of support by Microsoft at this point, with no security updates being provided, you really should be looking at upgrading to Windows 10 anyway.

Gollent stated: “We do, and will continue to, test Cyberpunk 2077 on Windows 7 in an attempt to iron out any edge-cases that might arise. Unfortunately, Windows 8 didn’t receive its variant of DX12 libraries.”

Windows 8 still has a couple of years of support road to run, but because it hasn’t been given the same attention in terms of DX12 that Windows 7 benefited from, you simply won’t be able to run Cyberpunk 2077 on this platform.

Broader concerns

There have been some broader concerns aired online, too, in terms of the accusation of DX12 games proving buggy upon launch in some cases, and Cyberpunk 2077 having no fallback option of running DX11 rather than DX12 – or indeed no low-level API alternative in terms of support for Vulkan.

That said, despite some well-documented DX12 hiccups with certain games in the past, there’s no reason why DX12 can’t be implemented slickly – that’s really down to the developer, and if CD Projekt has been working from the ground up with DX12 in Cyberpunk 2077, and fully focused on that API, then theoretically there should be nothing at all to worry about.

Still, Windows 8 users who have stuck with the operating system for whatever reason, and like to do a bit of gaming and were hoping to play Cyberpunk 2077, will doubtless feel aggrieved.

Indeed, Linux gamers aren’t too chuffed about the lack of Vulkan support either, as this means that they’ll have to rely on Vkd3d (Wine’s Direct3D 12 to Vulkan solution, and that will have to be implemented before the game’s launch, which seems rather doubtful at this point). Perhaps compounding the aggravation here is the fact that CD Projekt Red has had to implement Vulkan support for Cyberpunk 2077 on Google Stadia.

As a final note, remember that those with older hardware may run into issues with DX12 compatibility too, or indeed sluggish performance, although you’ll have to own a pretty old graphics card to suffer on that front.

Via Tom’s Hardware

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).