Steam Deck in 10 games: this is how Valve’s laptop performs

Steam Deck reveals the great unknown: how do games perform? At FreeGameTips we have already spent the first few hours with the Valve laptop. We review ten titles that, due to various circumstances, cover a wide range of technical criteria. From The Witcher 3 to Yakuza 0, going through Divinity: Original Sin 2 or the always fireproof Grand Theft Auto 5. This is how they perform live and direct.

monster hunter rise

Capcom launched last January the PC port of Monster Hunter Rise, exclusive until now for Nintendo Switch. Despite the fact that it has not yet been verified by Valve, the game performs perfectly thanks to the adaptability of the RE Engine. We can run it on Steam Deck at Solid 60 frames per second at native resolution (1280x800p) with settings between high and medium. The only bad thing is that it doesn’t support 16:10 aspect ratio. You will see small black bands at the top and bottom of the screen.

The Witcher 3

The adventure of Geralt de Rivia is another of the essential benchmarks for Steam Deck. We were already able to play it in portable format with the port dedicated to Nintendo Switch, but Valve allows us to do it at a higher framerate and graphic quality. In our test we wanted to aim for 60 fps as a target. Between medium and low settings we can achieve it without problem, although it is true that it dances a bit around 50-40fps when we are in key places like Novigrad. Locking it to 30 via console options is recommended if you’re looking for stability. You can also take the opportunity to increase some visual adjustments.

black table

The remake of the first Half-Life by the community is one of the best performing titles on the console. Default Settings amount to almost the highest quality available. We are missing an option to be able to lock the framerate beyond 30fps, as in-game performance is between 85 and 120 frames per second. It is a joy to be able to play it in the palm of your hand.

Prey (2017)

We had some concerns about how the Cry Engine would perform on the Steam Deck. What we could not imagine is that Prey would be another of the games already prepared to play at 60 images per second. Looking at the settings we can see that the studio is targeting 1280x800p (and yes, 16:10) with most options high. Even the field of view is set at 90. It looks great live, and it supports gyroscope mode when aiming.

grand theft auto 5

Rockstar is another of the studios that are joining the Steam Deck phenomenon. During our tests with Grand Theft Auto 5 we have preferred to play it safe with a medium preset at native resolution. During the scan not a single iota of the 60 images per second moves. However, when we are in moments of stress (such as a four-star police chase) the framerate drops to 40fps. Yes, when you start it we have had some problems with the Rockstar Launcher. We had to activate Proton’s experimental mode to get it to work.

grand theft auto 4

GTA 4 is another one of the games that requires the experimental mode of Proton. Although it sounds somewhat elaborate, it is not at all. You simply have to select the game in your library, enter properties and click on the option to run in special versions. Once you do it it will work without any barrier. In high and native resolution it maintains 60 fps without any problem. During some video scenes we can perceive small problems in the motion blur of the characters.

Yakuza 0

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio also has a slot on the Steam Deck. Yakuza 0, considered the best installment in the saga, runs like a charm on the laptop. On high settings at 1280x800p it manages to maintain 60fps without a single drop. In the playable parts the image renders at 16:10. The video scenes, however, are shot at 16:9, but the studio decided to introduce their own bands to maintain the aspect ratio. Both this installment and Yakuza Kiwami work perfectly.


We were curious how Unreal Engine 4 would perform on the Steam Deck. When it comes to Chorus, the latest work from Deep Silver Fishlabs, it’s impeccable. From the first start the title raises the settings in high to native resolution. We appreciate the ability to override the framerate from within the menu. During our tests it has been one of the games that showed the best appearance. It runs smooth at all times and doesn’t even require autoscaling. Chorus is a good way to brand new your laptop.

dying light

If you want to play Dying Light on laptop, Steam Deck is your best option. The Techland title runs at 1280x800p (16:10) on medium settings at excellent quality for a 7-inch screen. We can find few drawbacks. Its performance is maintained almost at all times at 60 images per second. Only explosions with multiple enemies stacked up scratch a bit.

Alpha Protocol

In our review we wanted to look back a bit, specifically to 2010. Obsidian allied with SEGA for the launch of Alpha Protocol, an RPG highly valued among those who gave it a chance during the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. The surprise comes because of how well it runs on Linux. 60 images per second at its highest quality. Only artifacts appear on the screen when menus are overlapped, but nothing that hinders the experience.

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