Middle-Earth Shadow of War: PS4, Xbox One or PC?

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War finally arrives on Oct. 10, meaning it's time to behead -- and befriend -- a whole bunch of savage Orcs in a beautiful fantasy world.

But while Monolith Productions' expansive action adventure game promises the same satisfying swordplay and groundbreaking Nemesis System on PS4, Xbox One and PC, there are some key differences between platforms that you should know about. If you're wondering where to start your next journey through Mordor, here's how the three versions of the game stack up.

Xbox One/Windows Store

The Xbox One version of Shadow of War is arguably the best value of them all, and potentially the best-looking console version of the game. Shadow of War will be one of the first major showpieces of the new Xbox One X when the console arrives Nov. 3, promising a whole lot of high-fidelity Orc-slaying in beautiful 4K HDR.

It's also an Xbox Play Anywhere game, meaning you can buy a single digital copy and play it on both your Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, with saves and achievements carrying over between the two. Naturally, the Windows 10 version of the game is limited only by how powerful your gaming PC is.


The PS4 version of Shadow of War is pretty standard, with no exclusive features or content. The game will reportedly benefit from the PS4 Pro in some way, though design director Bob Roberts told GamingBolt that the team can't "guarantee" 4K gameplay on Sony's high-end console.


If you don't want to bother with the Windows Store, you can always pick up Shadow of War on the internet's premier PC gaming marketplace: Steam.

While both PC versions of the game seem identical in terms of content, folks that mainly game on Steam might simply prefer the convenience of having it alongside the rest of their primary game collection. Windows Store games also carry some restrictions (such as requiring Windows 10 and blocking certain third-party tools like Fraps), making the Steam version a bit more versatile.

As with the Windows Store version of Shadow of War, the Steam edition has the potential to be the best-looking, best-playing version of the game -- if you have a very powerful rig. Slashing your way through Mordor at 60 frames per second in 4K is totally possible, but you'll likely need a high-end card (such as the Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti) to do it. You can view Shadow of War's full system requirements here.

Bottom Line

The Xbox One version of Shadow of War is arguably the best bang for your buck, since you're essentially getting an Xbox and PC copy of the game for the price of one. It's a no brainer for folks picking up an Xbox One X, while  either PC version is the way to go for anyone with a souped up gaming rig.

But ultimately, you'll get to siege enemy bases, fight dragons and deal with microtransactions no matter where you play the game. Shadow of War also has a passive multiplayer mode, so your choice might simply come down to which platform you want to invade your friends' fortresses on.

Image Credit: WB Games

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.