How games work on Steam Deck

Valve’s first portable console, the Steam Deck , will hit the market in December of this year, but for now we only have its technical data on the table. Valve says that with Steam Deck we can play any Steam title, but with what level of performance? Now the first real test of the console has finally appeared, thanks to which we can get an idea of ​​the performance in games that we can obtain with it.

The hardware that mounts the Steam Deck is, on paper at least, quite interesting. We must remember that it incorporates an AMD APU with Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures on a single chip, with four cores and eight processing threads at a speed of 2.4 – 3.5 GHz in the CPU part, with eight CUs RDNA 2 at 1 – 1.6 GHz in the part of the GPU, and all this accompanied by 16 GB LPDDR5 at 5,500 MHz as system RAM.

Steam Deck performance will be better when it hits the market

First of all, it must be taken into account that the data that we are going to show you below is based on a Steam Deck development console , which means that although the hardware should be the same that we will receive from December of this year, when the first units of the console are shipped to those users who pre-ordered it, the software and drivers in all likelihood will not be polished or optimized yet, so the performance we can expect in the final product should be superior.

On the other hand, and returning to the issue of the hardware that Valve has mounted on this portable console, we must also highlight the fact that its 7-inch screen has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels with 60 Hz refresh rate, so that obviously the performance levels offered in portable console mode are much higher (having such a low resolution) than what we will obtain in ” dock ” mode , since we remember that Steam Deck supports video output up to 8K resolution and 60 Hz (or 4K and 120 Hz) when using the dock.

This is how games work on Steam Deck

Now we are going to see the performance obtained in the games with which the console has been tested, and then we analyze the results.

  Graphics settings Average FPS
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Very high / high / custom 30 FPS / 36 FPS / 60 FPS
Doom Medium / custom 60 FPS / 46 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 High 20 – 30 FPS
DOTA 2 Very high / low 47 FPS / 80 FPS

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider , Steam Deck delivers an average of 30 FPS with the graphics settings set to maximum. The analyst comments that he did not perceive any type of stuttering during the test, and that by lowering the graphics settings to “High”, the FPS went up to around 36; logically, if the graphics settings are further relaxed, an average of 60 FPS can be achieved, which is the ideal, although the analyst has not revealed which graphics settings he touched to obtain that result.

We continue with Doom , where the frame rate per second fluctuates around 60 FPS with the graphics settings on “Medium”. With a more demanding graphical setting, the Steam Deck drops to around 46 FPS on average and the analyst says the gaming experience is still good, although again he did not indicate which settings he changed exactly to obtain that result.

If we go to  Cyberpunk 2077 , a game well known because not even the most cutting-edge and modern graphics can run it to the fullest, no one will doubt that the Steam Deck had a hard time moving it. With the graphic settings on high, between 20 and 30 FPS were obtained and with obvious stops or “lagas”. To obtain an acceptable gaming experience, the analyst had to lower the settings to medium or even low, although he did not disclose the performance result on these.

Finally, the console has also been tested with  DOTA 2 , a title that despite its good graphic quality is already a few years old and with which the Steam Deck obtained 47 FPS with the maximum graphic settings and reached 80 FPS by lowering them to the minimum. .

In addition, it is worth mentioning that temperature tests were also carried out  , something very interesting because no one would like their portable console to burn their hands while playing. In this regard, up to 42.6 ° C were recorded at the rear of the console and about 29 ° C at the fasteners, quite acceptable temperatures. Finally, it also indicates a very interesting data on the  battery life , which after three hours of play dropped from 100% to 46%, an exceptionally good result and that we are talking about a Steam Deck development kit, so still there is a lot of room for improvement.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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