Why Anthem on PC is best played on an SSD

No matter what platform you're playing Anthem on, you want the best experience possible. In order to get that experience on PC, you'll want to play it on a solid-state drive (SSD) as opposed to a hard disk drive (HDD).

Related: Best Solid State Drives (SSDs) for your PC

What's the difference between an SSD and an HDD?

SSDs and HDDs are components of a PC that deal with storage. The biggest difference between them is that an SSD has no moving parts and data is stored on flash-memory chips. HDDs use moving mechanical parts to read/write information, thus making the process slower than that of an SSD.

SSDs also tend to be smaller and quieter than your average HDD, but they cost slightly more in comparison because of their better performance and the technology utilized in them.

Why does Anthem run better on an SSD?

Video games require fast-processing to ensure a smooth experience. Everything you see on screen? All of that is data that needs to be read and transferred at lightning-fast speeds in order to render seamlessly. When this doesn't happen, that's when you're stuck with long loading times. Because of the interactive nature of games, any hiccup that causes a latency issue is immediately noticeable. If this happens many times over, it's frustrating. This is doubly true for Anthem.

As an online multiplayer game, Anthem relies on fast loading and response times so that players can have a fun experience. Because SSDs are more reliable in terms of their speed, this generally makes them better for games such as Anthem.

How does this effect Anthem's gameplay?

An SSD won't affect such aspects as your frame-rate or resolution, but it does drastically affect load times and "hitching" in games. Hitching can be described as when a game starts to stutter, unable to load assets at a quick enough speed to match the player's movement. For example, if you're running really fast throughout a level, you may notice that the camera movement isn't smooth and appears to stutter, or that assets in the environment take a moment to pop in. Sections of the map may not even load correctly.

The faster the data is read in Anthem's case, the faster players can load into expeditions and missions, and prevent severe hitching and pop-in from happening during gameplay. During missions, especially Strongholds, Anthem will sometimes drop players into a loading screen before progressing to a new area to continue. When this happens several times, you end up falling behind your friends. The gameplay doesn't stop just because one person is stuck on a loading screen. And because missions keep groups tethered, if you don't stay close to your squad you'll end up at yet another loading screen.

Though there is a patch in the works to optimize HDD loading times on 5,400 RPM and 7,200 RPM drives, it's still best to stick with an SSD on PC as that will undoubtedly provide the best experience.

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life, and is very happy Xbox is growing a stronger first-party portfolio. You can find her obsessing over Star Wars and other geeky things on Twitter @JenLocke95.

9 Comments
  • If you haven't made the leap to SSD and your machine supports PCIe m.2, you should be considering NVME PCIe storage options as well. The performance metrics comparing spindles vs NAND are night and day (depending on patterns and sizes, we're talking 10x-20x).
  • Most people will not notice SATA vs NVMe
  • SSD=performance
    HDD=mass storage
    Games require maximum performance, and SSDs are the closest storage we have to ramdisks. Why would anyone (who doesn't have $ issues) in they right mind still be playing any game off a slow HDD? Even my PlayStation has an SSD in it.
  • once you load in its really not that different.
  • You are fine with 3 minute load times?
  • Because 2TB HDD costs the same as 500GB SSD
  • If you playing Anthem, you are actually rewarding EA for their despicable behavior it has engaged in for the past 8 years
  • right? I mean you can't even play this game off of a standard hard drive. Sad!
  • I honestly feel sorry for Bioware..... Apex is going to drown Anthem out anyway....