Destiny 2 Performance Review

The first Destiny, released in 2014, was a console-only title, much to the chagrin of PC gamers. With Destiny 2, Activision and Bungie correct this faux-pas by offering a multi-platform experience for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs.

PC gamers enjoy the benefit of native 4K support and uncapped frame rates (almost, that is; in reality, there's a 200 FPS ceiling), while consoles are limited to only 30 FPS.

Bungie uses, as it did for the first Destiny, a home-grown graphics engine derived from the technology found in Halo: Reach. Consequently, it's only DirectX 11-compatible. But enough rambling. Let's see how Destiny 2 runs on our test hardware...

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements

Bungie's website gives us an idea of what the minimum and recommended configurations are for a good gaming experience in Destiny 2. On paper, the game is not very resource-intensive. Its host processing, graphics, and memory demands appear fairly light. The minimum configuration shows that even several-year-old systems should be able to achieve playable frame rates. The recommended configuration also seems quite reasonable.

Intel Core i3-3250
or Pentium G4560
or AMD FX-4350
Intel Core i5-2400
or Core i5-7400
or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
Graphics Card
GeForce GTX 660 2GB
or GTX 1050 2GB
or Radeon HD 7850 2GB
GeForce GTX 970 4GB
or GTX 1060 6 GB
or Radeon R9 390 8GB
Operating System
Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit only)
Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit only)
Disk Space

Graphics Options

There are a number of graphics options available for Destiny 2 (anti-aliasing, texture and shadow quality, ambient occlusion, detail distance for the environment, characters, and foliage). Without going into excessive detail, the game can be configured as you see fit. It is also possible to choose one of four presets: Low, Medium, High, and Highest.

Field of view is adjustable, as are v-sync and lighting quality. There is also an HDR option, for those with monitors that support this feature.


Rendering differences between the lowest and highest quality preset stand out: leaves are more detailed (especially at a distance), shadows look better, and the anti-aliasing is readily apparent. Surprisingly, the vegetation and textures still sport acceptable quality at close distances when we select the Low setting.

As far as we can tell, the output from GeForce and Radeon cards is identical. That's something we always like to see.

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