STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl, the much-awaited survival horror first person shooter, has been in development for over a decade now - but unfortunately there's another delay to the game's release date.


The game, from Ukrainian developers GSC Game World, is set to be the first new game in the STALKER series since 2009's Call of Pripyat and fans have been excited to dive back into the mutated and deadly Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

The War in Ukraine forced the Kyiv-based developers to relocate to Prague and as a result the game was understandably delayed - and while the delay is disappointing, it at least means that the developers are safe and have more time in the bag to deliver something special.

The new game looks set to be a bleak but thrilling experience in a nuclear wasteland and while the NFT situation may have done some damage – more on that shortly – it is still among our most anticipated, and our fingers are locked in the crossed position that another delay won't see it pushed into 2024.

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For all we know so far about STALKER 2, including that NFT noise, here is all you need to know.

When is the STALKER 2 release date?

The STALKER 2 release is now expected in December 2023.

The game was previously planned to launch in April and then in December 2022, but it has been delayed instead. When a precise date is confirmed, we'll update this page.

Can I pre-order STALKER 2?

Yes, you can order STALKER 2 now. Product pages are live on the game's official website as well as Steam, the Epic Games Store, the Xbox Store and third-party retailers like CD Keys. And so, you can take your pick and order your copy of STALKER 2 from whichever platform or shop you prefer.

What is the STALKER 2 Pre-Order Bonus?

Whichever version of STALKER 2 you buy - there are four to choose from, as we'll get to in a second - you will also receive these items as a pre-order bonus if you place your order before the launch day of 28th April 2022.

  • Extended campfire content
  • Exclusive weapon skin
  • Exclusive armour skin
  • 'Early bird' multiplayer badge

How much will STALKER 2 cost?

Which version of STALKER 2 will you go for?
Which version of STALKER 2 will you go for?

The STALKER 2 price has now been confirmed, and there are four different versions (each with a different price point) for you to consider splashing the cash on.

The Standard Edition of STALKER 2 has a recommended retail price of £49.99 GBP, although a deal that is currently running at CD Keys will let you buy it for £31.99 instead.

The Deluxe Edition of STALKER 2 has an RRP of £64.99, but CD Keys will give you a quid off that price. The Deluxe Edition version comes with the following bits of extra content:

  • Special Extra Quest
  • Digital Artbook
  • Official Soundtrack
  • One costume and three weapon skins for the single-player campaign
  • Two costumes and three weapon skins for the multiplayer experience

The Ultimate Edition of STALKER 2 has an RRP of £94.99 GBP, or it is one pound cheaper at CD Keys. It comes with all the bits listed above as well as these extra goodies:

  • Four further weapon skins for the multiplayer experience
  • Two story expansions
  • Season Pass

There is also a very fancy Retail Edition, pictured above, which doesn't have a confirmed price yet (but it does have a pre-order page waiting to go live on the game's official website). This luxury physical version of the game will include everything from the Ultimate Edition and these extras:

  • Steel Book
  • Letter From Developers
  • Souvenir Zone Permit
  • Sticker Pack
  • Zone Map
  • Poster
  • Faction Patches
  • Military Token
  • Keychain (Multi-tool) with Fire Starter
  • Art Book
  • Stalker Figurine
  • Artefact Container Lamp
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Backpack

STALKER 2 NFT explained

The NFT plan for STALKER 2 is now off the table following a less than positive response - and we are putting that very mildly - from the gaming community.

The game developers from GSC Game World had planned to team up with some NFT specialists from a company called DMarket to bring a range of NFT content into STALKER 2, an official announcement blog previously confirmed.

This partnership was intended to result in "the creation of STALKER 2 Metaverse, where players can truly own a piece of the game". This essentially meant that players would have been able to buy and own ultra-rare digital items in the game.

This announcement stated that the project "will use blockchain technology to let the community own a piece of [the game]", with GSC and DMarket planning to create a situation where the "rights to certain unique items will belong to players [for] the first time for the AAA video game."

As part of this project, there was set to be an auction held in January 2022, with players invited to bid for a chance to become "the first-ever metahuman". A digital likeness of the winning bidder would then have been "released and exposed to hundreds of millions of gamers worldwide" and would have appeared in the game as a non-playable character (NPC).

It was an interesting direction for them to head in, but the STALKER 2 NFT plan has now been binned. The developers stated bluntly on Twitter: "Based on the feedback we received, we’ve made a decision to cancel anything NFT-related in STALKER 2." And that was the end of that.

Is STALKER 2 a remake?

Gore aplenty awaits in STALKER 2.
Gore aplenty awaits in STALKER 2.

Seeing as STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl is actually the fourth game in this franchise - following in the footsteps of 2007's Shadow of Chernobyl, 2008's Clear Sky and 2009's Call of Pripyat - you might be wondering if STALKER 2 is a remake.

We can confirm that STALKER 2 is not a remake, with the game's official website instead describing it as "a next-gen sequel to the award-winning PC game franchise developed by GSC Game World". It's a sequel to all the previous games, then, which makes that number in the title a little bit confusing.

Do you need to play STALKER 1 to play STALKER 2?

Considering that there are three previous STALKER games (as explained in the previous section), you might be wondering if you need to play STALKER 1 or any other game before you play STALKER 2.

"Stalker 2 is a standalone project that can be enjoyed on its own," GSC has said in a statement on its website. The developers added: "At the same time, we recommend to complete the previous games for the maximum level of immersion."

Basically, then, it's up to you whether or not you want to play through the previous STALKER games before jumping into STALKER 2. If you've got the time, why not give those classic titles a go?

Which consoles and platforms can play STALKER 2?

STALKER 2 will launch on PC, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, the developers have confirmed, with the computer-based release being split across Steam and the Epic Games Store.

That might leave some gamers asking, will STALKER 2 come to PS5? The answer to that question appears to be no, at least for the time being, with there being no mention of PlayStation consoles on the game's official website.

The game has been pegged as a next-gen affair, so we wouldn't expect to see STALKER 2 on Xbox One, PS4 or Nintendo Switch unless a downgraded version gets released at a later date.

STALKER 2 gameplay

STALKER 2 gameplay will include a single-player campaign at launch, with a multiplayer experience said to be "coming soon after the release, as a free update".

Once again, gameplay in STALKER 2 will be experienced from a first-person perspective, with survival horror and gunplay being the main overriding themes of the experience. To take a look at the game in action, check out the five-minute STALKER 2 gameplay trailer here:

STALKER 2 PC requirements

The minimum and recommended PC specs to run STALKER 2 have been confirmed well ahead of time, with the developers suggesting that as the minimum:

  • OS Version: Windows 10 / Windows 11
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 1600X / Intel Core i5-7600K
  • Memory: 8 GB
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • Disc space: 150 GB SSD

The recommended PC build for STALKER 2 looks like this:

  • OS Version: Windows 10 / Windows 11
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X / Intel Core i7-9700K
  • Memory: 16 GB
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB / NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB
  • Disc space: 150 GB SSD

STALKER 2 trailer

There have been quite a few trailers for STALKER 2 at this point, as interest in the game has amassed millions of views on YouTube. You can take a look here while you wait for the STALKER 2 release date in December 2023.

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