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SF6 on PC, Steam Deck, and PS: Performance, Netcode, and Accessibility
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SF6 on PC, Steam Deck, and PS: Performance, Netcode, and Accessibility

author
Elizbar Ramazashvili
11 min

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We decided to test Street Fighter 6 on various platforms available to us to gauge the performance, netcode, and all the accessibility options.

Street Fighter 6 launched worldwide on June 2, 2023, and it has already been a success – more than a million copies sold. It’s available for PC, Xbox Series X and S, PlayStation 4 and 5, and will eventually make its way to Japanese Arcades.

One of the most important goals for any game, let alone a fighting game, is to reach as many players as possible, and relatively low system requirements are a surefire way to make it happen.

Street Fighter 6 was made with Capcom’s in-house RE Engine, which, funnily enough, doesn’t stand for Resident Evil engine but rather for Reach for the Moon engine. Ever since its first appearance with Resident Evil 7, it’s been used as a base for many games and is noted for having lots of useful options. Many of the games built on it look good but also retain the ability to run on very weak hardware. And Street Fighter 6 is no exception.

We tested the game on two different PCs (although we only have footage from one of them), PlayStation 4 and 5, and a Steam Deck.

PC

Street Fighter 6 was released with these system requirements for PC. At a minimum, it requires an Intel Core i5-7500 or an AMD Ryzen 3 1200 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 1060 or a 4 gigabyte Radeon RX 580 GPU. Recommended settings include an Intel Core i7-8700 or an AMD Ryzen 5 3600, 16 gigs of memory, and an Nvidia RTX 2070 or a Radeon RX 5700XT graphics card. 60 GB of available space is required in any configuration.

Both our test PCs are somewhat close to both minimum and recommended requirements.

The first config has an Intel Core i5-11400F CPU, 16 gigs of RAM, and an RTX 3070 GPU. This PC was evidently able to handle Street Fighter 6 maxed out without any problem with fps reaching 100s, but this is quite pointless. The main meat of the game – 1v1 battles – is locked at 60fps, and the only meaningful mode that can benefit from the high framerate is the World Tour, but coincidentally, it’s the worst-performing mode in this game. There even is an option to lock the battles within it to 30 frames. However, if you have a machine with somewhat similar specs, you don’t need to resort to that. While our PC could handle the World Tour at a high framerate, dips were quite noticeable, so we recommend locking the entire game at 60 fps.

Our second machine is much less powerful than the main testing rig and has an Intel Core i5-8400 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and an 8 gig Radeon RX 580 GPU. It’s quite an old system, but Street Fighter 6 ran surprisingly well. Fighting Ground gave this system no challenges: average framerate was close to 60 fps, with 1% lows at 56 and .1% lows at 52 frames per second. World Tour fared less admirably, with 1% lows reaching 48 and .1% lows reaching 42 fps.

The only game mode where any machine struggles is the Battle Hub. And no wonder – every server has hundreds of players popping in and out constantly. Their weird and quirky and delightful characters need to be loaded and connected, which is not as easy – many MMORPG fans will attest to that. Still, battles themselves are silky-smooth, so this is a very small concession to make.

One piece of advice we would like to give to any player is to enable the low input delay reduction mode, as it doesn’t tax your CPU in a way that could make playing the game uncomfortable.

Street Fighter 6 on PC, Steam Deck, and Consoles: Performance, Netcode, and Accessibility Options

PlayStation

The PlayStation 5 version of Street Fighter 6 might be the best one out there. The game runs without a single problem in 4K at 60 fps. Thanks to its advanced SSD, loading times are lightning-fast, up there with the best-performing PC SSDs. Throughout all our PS5 sessions, we didn’t manage to find any issues with the game that would be PS5’s fault. Once again, the only place with any kind of slowdowns was the Battle Hub, but it’s shared between the console and PC editions.

PlayStation 4 version, however, has some issues. Yes, the Ol’ Reliable will be 10 years old later this year, and the cracks are showing at this point. Our reference PS4 is the very first edition, not the upgraded Pro-version, and it struggled to keep up. The fights in the Fighting Ground are more than tolerable, the issues happen before that. PS4 struggles to load the characters during the character select, and the loading time before the match begins is very high.

The most painful mode for PlayStation 4 isn’t even the Battle Hub, it’s the World Tour. You see, even to access it, you need to wait 50+ seconds. And when you load into it, you’re met with subpar visual presentation, with graphical glitches, NPCs popping in and out of your field of view, and generally blurry image. Still, the game is more than playable in this state, it’s only that this is not the best way to experience it. If you don’t have any other way to play Street Fighter 6 – the PlayStation 4 version is more than enough.

Steam Deck

There’s still one more device that’s able to run Street Fighter 6 – it’s Valve’s Steam Deck. The little handheld that could is not something that can be dismissed – it’s able to handle most of the current games, and SF6 is no exception. There are, however, some caveats.

Steam Deck isn’t very powerful, but it has tricks up its sleeves. Its screen is only 1280 by 800, so we don’t have the need for high graphical performance. It’s also able to utilize the FSR technology to upscale the games or boost the framerate. However, we weren’t able to make Steam Deck activate FSR in Street Fighter 6, even though the option was enabled and the game wasn’t in fullscreen. Another issue that SF6 has is that there’s no 1280x800 screen resolution option, you can only choose 1280x720, which leaves black bars above and below the screen. Nothing critical, but still unpleasant.

By default, the game sets low-medium graphical options, and while tolerable, you can get away with substantially increasing them. Still, we do not recommend going bonkers and setting the highest possible settings – the Deck won’t thank you. It substantially heats up as it is, and to keep up with the highest fidelity, it will essentially run itself at the edge of what is possible.

Then there is the World Tour. And if you thought that PS4 has problems with it, feast your eyes on this. The Deck struggles with this mode at any graphical setting, but the framerate does go up the lower you set it. However, there’s a big visual tradeoff – the lowest settings make the Metro City look like it’s smeared in vaseline, and all the surfaces farther than a couple of meters are a blurry mess. Do consider, however, that we had an active recording going on the device itself, which didn’t help the fps. All this considered, we recommend locking this mode at 30 FPS for Steam Deck.

The issues do not end here – while Steam Deck is an amazing tool to play on the go, it’s not necessarily the most comfortable. The biggest issue is its D-pad, which is barely usable for any fighting game, let alone a Street Fighter with its quarter-circle inputs. Analog sticks on the Deck are good, but they also have a quirk that makes them unsuitable for the fighters – they have longer travel than most conventional gamepads. And while you can tweak the response curve and dead zones in the SteamOS settings, it’s just an additional layer of complexity. Thankfully, SF6 comes with a new Modern type control scheme, which could alleviate some of the pains.

Ultimately, though, it’s hard to recommend Steam Deck to anyone who wants to be a hardcore SF6 player. However, as a side device that can help you progress through the storyline or pass some time while commuting in the training mode? Yes, a thousand times.

And no, we didn’t test the Battle Hub; we don’t play fighting games on Wi-Fi.

Netcode

Let’s take a brief look at Street Fighter 6’s netcode. It’s hard to call it anything short of spectacular. It’s easily one of the best we have ever seen in any fighting game, period. During the testing, our editor was able to fight against our writer in Nigeria, against our friends in Japan and Canada, and duke it out against random people from France, Chile, Australia, and the Czech Republic. And while the battles are better when the opponent is closer, there wasn’t a single game-breaking error or a game-deciding lag spike.

There’s a convenient connection quality indicator that also shows you if someone’s on Wi-Fi, and by default, the game shows you not only the round trip time but also current delay and rollback frames. It’s not as highly customizable as in some other games, but it really doesn’t need to. All in all, the game handles less than ideal connection without issues and feels responsive at all times. Bravo, Capcom!

Accessibility options

There are several accessibility options within Street Fighter 6, and they’re all geared toward helping visually-impaired people. Every action during the fight is accompanied by a distinct sound effect. They’re all turned off by default but are easily accessible in the settings menu. We recommend tweaking them to your liking, as not every option seems to be equally useful. Another piece of advice would be to make all the other sounds quieter so you can easily discern the audio cues. Ultimately though, it’s not our place to judge how useful this feature is.

And that’s it for us today. Street Fighter 6 is a mighty entry into this storied franchise, both on the content and technical level. And while there are some minor hiccups, we need to keep in mind that we’re almost 3 years into the current console generation, and the game runs more than adequately on all the relevant hardware while also allowing us to play it on previous gen and even handheld devices.

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