Why Titanfall's Install Requires 48 GB: Uncompressed Audio

Want to know why the just-released Titanfall shooter is such a hefty install on the PC? Blame it on the lower-end machines. The Xbox One version of Titanfall is a mere 17 GB, but the PC version eats up around 48 GB of hard drive space, 35 GB of which is all uncompressed audio so that lower-end machines aren't bogged down with decompressing audio.

"We have audio we either download or install from the disc, then we uncompress it," said Respawn lead engineer Richard Baker. "We probably could have had audio decompress off disc but we were a little worried about min spec and the fact that a two-core machine would dedicate a huge chunk of one core to just decompressing audio."

"So... it's almost all audio... On a higher PC it wouldn't be an issue," he added. "On a medium or moderate PC, it wouldn't be an issue, it's that on a two-core [machine] with where our min spec is, we couldn't dedicate those resources to audio."

As a refresher, here are the minimum specs:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
  • Processor: AMD Athlon X2 2.8 GHz or Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • HDD: at least 50 GB
  • Graphics card: Radeon HD 4770 with 512 VRAM or GeForce 8800GT with 512 VRAM
  • DirectX: DirectX 11

In addition to the hefty install, the Titanfall Facebook page reports that both the PC and Xbox One versions of the game received a patch for server stability. Obviously, EA and Microsoft don't want another SimCity and Battlefield 4 launch on their hands.

"We're aware that some users may have experienced early issues on PC and Xbox One. We've just pushed a patch that's now recovering servers quickly," the post reads. "Players will load into Private Lobbies much faster and we're continuing to monitor. Thanks for sticking with us on launch night, we appreciate your support!"

Recently, EA South Africa announced that it would not release Titanfall in that region due to poor Internet performance rates. However, an article by Engadget suggests that because Microsoft doesn't have Azure data centers in South Africa, Respawn could not guarantee the quality of the experience. Titanfall depends on Microsoft's cloud infrastructure.

"One of the really nice things about it is that it isn't my problem, right?" said Respawn engineer Jon Shiring. "We just say [to Microsoft], here are our estimates, aim for more than that, plan for problems and make sure there are more than enough servers available -- they'll know the whole time that they need to bring more servers online."

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  • Why not uncompress on level loading? Why not let the user decide if they want to uncompress at all? Or even let the user choose to decompress at reduced quality? Why not leave it compressed, but make an option to uncompress all audio in the options (or external config program, if there is one)? If the game downloads the assets from a patcher (like most online games do), why not let the user choose if he wants high-quality audio, or lower quality to reduce download and install size? So many options when, I think, at the current tech, many people don't have HD at least of 1TB or have an SSD of at most 256GB.
    24
  • They should have at least added the option to install compressed files to save disk space. 35GB just for audio is ridiculous.
    19
  • That's nothing, Skyrim Online beta won't even install if you C: drive doesn't have at least 60GB free space. The files are over 50GB.
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  • Other Comments
  • That's nothing, Skyrim Online beta won't even install if you C: drive doesn't have at least 60GB free space. The files are over 50GB.
    10
  • I find it a problem that these guys are okay with their game being larger than the amount of free space on a 64GB SSD [probably the most common size in use] with nothing but Windows installed. Even on my 256GB SSD I can't say I'm fine with a single game taking up a 5th of that just for audio.
    9
  • That's weird. I have had dual-core machines in the past, and compressed audio hardly ever taxed the CPU. Then again, some people might appreciate the uncompressed audio
    10