Valve’s Steam Deck is targeting 30 FPS for its games

July 26, 2021
Steam Deck Valve

Speaking to IGN, and then later clarifying in a tweet, Valve has announced that the Steam Deck has been able to handle any game they’ve thrown at it to at least a playable “30 FPS target.”

In the interview with IGN, Valve coder Pierre-Loup Griffais announced that during testing for the new handheld, they “haven’t really found something that we could throw at this device that it couldn’t handle.”

Griffais revealed that while Valve had some troubles running recent game releases on “previous types of prototypes and architectures,” the latest iteration of the Steam Deck has “the level of performance that is required to really run the latest generation of games without a problem.”

While the latest games being playable on a handheld console sounds like an amazing feat, especially without the hard work and wizardry that we usually see to get handheld ports running, sadly it won’t be at a crisp 60 FPS on the Steam Deck’s 800p native resolution. 

Instead, playable means a “30 FPS target,” Graffais later explained in a tweet. This target “refers to the floor of what we consider playable in our performance testing’ games we’ve tested and shown have consistently met and exceeded that bar so far,” Graffais continued, giving some hope that games won’t all be looking choppy. 

In the tweet, Graffais also revealed that the Steam Deck will have an “optional built-in FPS limited to fine-tune perf [performance] vs. battery life,” which will obviously help out if you’re trying to maximize the Steam Deck’s 8-hour battery life while gaming on the go.

Notably, unless Valve’s Linux compatibility Proton receives some updates, you still won’t be able to play some of Steam’s top-played games, even if the Steam Deck has the power to run them. For games such as Apex Legends, Destiny 2, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, sadly it’s anti-cheat software getting in the way, rather than raw gaming performance requirements. 

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The Steam Deck is due to start shipping this December, though new preorders will see you waiting until at least Q2 2022, due to supply constraints after immense demand for the new handheld. 


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