It's finally upon us, arriving on PC tomorrow is Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding. Originally a console exclusive to PlayStation 4, this title certainly looks very pretty, but how does it perform in comparison? Has Death Stranding been optimized for PC players? Or are we stricken with a watered-down console port? We ran some benchmarks to see how well Death Stranding performs on PC and how demanding it really is.

First of all, in this PC performance benchmark article for Death Stranding, we benchmark a range of graphics cards going from the higher-end RTX 2080, the lower-end R9 380, as well as the mid-range GTX 1060 which is also the recommended GPU for 60fps High graphics settings in Death Stranding. Then we go through the FPS test results of each graphics card ran at 1080p, 1440p and 4K screen resolutions. From there we can see the performance of the recommended system requirement graphics cards and consider how well optimized Death Stranding really is.

Unfortunately Death Stranding does not include an in-game benchmarking tool, so for these performance results we hopped on a bike, drove around for a bit, and crossed a river before trekking up a small hill. It's pretty much the bulk of what you'll be doing in Death Stranding, so this should give you an idea of the kind of performance you'll be encountering most of the time.

As a side note, Death Stranding's PC graphics settings come in the form of Low, Medium, Default, and Very High. Default is considered to be the original graphics settings for the PlayStation 4 version.

With that in mind, let's jump into the performance benchmarks for Death Stranding on PC...

Death Stranding PC graphics settings

Check your PC can run Death Stranding system requirements

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Death Stranding minimum system requirements

Death Stranding recommended system requirements (30fps)

Death Stranding recommended system requirements (60fps)

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Death Stranding RTX 2080 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 | Intel i9-9900K | 16GB

Average FPS and frame rate results for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 in Death Stranding @ 1080p

1080p Avg FPS Min FPS Max FPS 1% Low FPS 0.1% Low FPS
Low 132.4 122.2 141.9 106.9 100.3
Medium 126.4 121.5 132.4 100.6 93.2
Default 124.6 116.9 131.1 99.3 53.5
Very High 123.4 113.8 131 98.6 47.5

The FPS performance for the RTX 2080 in Death Stranding is unsurprisingly really good at 1080p screen resolution. This is a great setup for high refresh rate monitors who can go up to 120Hz. Overall, the RTX 2080 does a superb job at running Death Stranding with Very High graphics settings at 1080p.

Average FPS and frame rate results for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 in Death Stranding @ 1440p

1440p Avg FPS Min FPS Max FPS 1% Low FPS 0.1% Low FPS
Low 99.4 85.2 116.7 31 27
Medium 97.3 83.9 114.8 29.1 26.9
Default 87 74.7 110.1 28 24.9
Very High 78.5 67.5 95.7 26.6 23.9

The RTX 2080 also does a great job in terms of FPS performance at 1440p in Death Stranding, regularly achieving above 60fps. The RTX 2080 is perfectly suitable for playing Death Stranding at 1440p with maximum graphics settings.

Average FPS and frame rate results for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 in Death Stranding @ 4K

4K Avg FPS Min FPS Max FPS 1% Low FPS 0.1% Low FPS
Low 60.4 52.8 67.9 45.7 29.4
Medium 56.6 51.6 60.9 38 27.4
Default 52.2 48.2 57.8 33 26.4
Very High 51.5 48 54.8 30.2 25.2

At 4K the FPS performance for the RTX 2080 does get a bit rough at the higher graphics settings in Death Stranding. Whilst it performs pretty well at Low settings anything above that and you will experience sub-60fps. The good thing about Death Stranding is that it does not require 60fps in order to feel comfortable, and the RTX 2080 is still perfectly suitable for playing Death Stranding with Ultra graphics settings at 4K resolution.

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Death Stranding RTX 2060 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on Nvidia PNY GeForce RTX 2060 | Intel i7-3770K | 8GB

Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 in Death Stranding

Death Stranding Low Medium Default Very High
1080p 80.4 77.2 75.5 69.8
1440p 74.9 72.8 69.8 67.1
4K 39.4 37.8 36.9 32.5

The RTX 2060 FPS performance results are very good in Death Stranding. Not only does it perform very well at 1080p, but the performance at 1440p resolution is also really good. However, at 4K the fps drops below 60, and whilst this is perfectly playable, it's not exactly a comfortable frame rate. Overall, the RTX 2060 is perfectly suitable to play Death Stranding at maximum graphics settings at both 1080p and 1440p resolution, whilst 4K is certainly playable but not recommended.

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Death Stranding GTX 1060 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on Nvidia MSI GeForce GTX 1060 | Intel i7-3770K | 8GB

Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 in Death Stranding

Death Stranding Low Medium Default Very High
1080p 66.6 65.8 62.3 60.7
1440p 50 48.5 45.9 44.2
4K 26 24.7 23.1 22.1

The GTX 1060 is the recommended graphics card for Death Stranding on PC, and the fps performance results show that this is absolutely the case. At 1080p you can play at the maximum graphics settings with 60fps average. 1440p is also playable even below 60fps, but is more comfortable around the Low-Medium graphics settings. 4K is unplayable at this performance and drops below 30fps even at Low quality settings. In the end, the GTX 1060 is perfectly suitable for gaming at 1080p and Very High graphics settings in Death Stranding, 1440p is also playable but 4K is not recommended at all.

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Death Stranding GTX 970 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on Nvidia ASUS GeForce GTX 970 | Intel i7-3770K | 8GB

Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 in Death Stranding

Death Stranding Low Medium Default Very High
1080p 42.7 41.5 40 38.5
1440p 30.1 29.1 28.5 27.1
4K 15.5 15.1 14.7 14.2

The FPS performance results in Death Stranding for the GTX 970 is not great, but still playable. At 1080p this GPU struggles to reach past 60fps even at Low graphics settings, although at Ultra settings it is still playable. 1440p is okay but only at Low graphics settings whilst 4K is definitely unplayable. Overall, the GTX 970 can certainly play Death Stranding at a comfortable but not ideal frame rate at 1080p, whilst 1440p and 4K are much less suitable.

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Death Stranding R9 380 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on AMD MSI Radeon R9 380 | Intel i7-3770K | 8GB

Average FPS for AMD Radeon R9 380 in Death Stranding

Death Stranding Low Medium Default Very High
1080p 37.3 34.4 29.7 28.2
1440p 26 25.3 23.4 22.2

Finally, the R9 380 graphics card's FPS performance results for Death Stranding are surprisingly okay. Death Stranding is still playable with this card at 1080p resolution thankfully, but is recommended to stay on Low-Medium graphics quality. 1440p is not comfortable to play at this resolution with sub-30fps, and 4K is not an option here. Overall though, the R9 380 is perfectly fine to run Death Stranding at 1080p, but recommended at the Low-Medium graphics settings for the most comfortable experience.

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Conclusion

Overall we can see that Death Stranding is a pretty demanding game, even for the recommended graphics card the GTX 1060. Whilst higher-end cards certainly get the most out of performance, lower-end cards below the minimum and recommended system requirements really struggle to get a stable frame rate, resulting in crashes, uncomfortable frame rates, and even refusing to launch on cards like the R7 370.

Whilst it certainly has a decent range of graphics options to choose from and tweak for optimized performance in Death Stranding on PC, there isn't a whole lot of difference between Low and Ultra graphics options. You won't be saving lots of frames by turning down the graphics for instance, and the good thing at least is that Death Stranding certainly does not need to be above 60fps to feel comfortable, meaning you might as well keep the graphics high or even at their highest most of the time.

If you want to get the best out of Death Stranding, a high-end graphics card like the RTX 2080 is recommended for playing at 4K, but in terms of playing at 1080p or even 1440p then the recommended graphics card GTX 1060 is perfectly suitable. For lower-end cards you may need to get comfortable with 30fps and Low graphics settings, and you may not even be able to play the game at all if it's too low.

The good news is that all RTX cards have access to Nvidia's DLSS 2.0 technology, which allows for any RTX card to reach 4K 60fps in Death Stranding, according to Nvidia. Though in order to see if this is true, and how much exactly it increases performance, you can look forward to our full DLSS analysis and graphics comparison on Death Stranding PC when we publish it.

Our Favorite Comments
"It would seem that i7-3770k bottlenecks RTX 2060 on this particular game because it shows that changing resolution from 1080p to 1440p FPS decreases a bit. Interesting…"
"It's nice to see Kojima taking care of the PC port. Hopefully Death STranding will see success on PC too."