Steam Games

Steam Games on Steam Deck

Steam Deck’s biggest competitor will debut in May! Check out the latest information about the Asus ROG Ally

The global launch of the Steam Deck’s biggest competitor, the Asus ROG Ally, announced on April 1 (I like jokes like that!), will take place as early as May 11, 2023. Unfortunately, we still do not know the price of the device.

The latest information shows that the portable PC from Asus will offer full access to Windows 11 without any additional combinations. For convenience of use and in order to provide the most console-like experience possible, an overlay somewhat resembling the one known from SteamOS will be enabled by default.

Asus ROG Ally’s slogan is “Play all your games.”

The biggest drawback of Steam Deck, i.e. numerous compatibility problems and inconvenient access to games outside Steam, will be completely solved here. Of course, nothing prevents you from installing Windows on Valve hardware as well, but this requires some knowledge, time and patience, and in the end the handling is not perfect anyway.

In the case of the Asus ROG Ally, literally a few simple operations are enough to enjoy games available in any store. If the issues of controller detection and integration with the Percentage overlay work exemplarily, we will get here an almost perfectly console-like experience enhanced with the capabilities of modern computers. Convenient access to distribution platforms such as Xbox Game Pass, EA Play and Epic Games Store along with seamless multiplayer titles with anti-cheat protection is a real gamechanger.

Asus ROG Ally is also more powerful components, better screen and sound

It’s impossible to get past the technical performance of the Asus ROG Ally. Unfortunately, already many of the new titles on Steam Deck are struggling to maintain 30 frames per second, even after the biggest reduction in graphic details. I don’t want to bring up The Last of Us Part 1 here, because it’s a port that is absolutely kicked and unworthy of a PC release, but productions such as Hogwarts Legacy, Ghostwire Tokyo or Returnal have problems maintaining fluidity even at such a basic level. The current generation of consoles hasn’t even kicked in yet – it’s bound to get harder and harder to play a AAA title on a portable console from Valve in the future.

The ROG Ally will debut a new AMD RYZEN Z1 processor with integrated Radeon graphics based on RDNA 3 architecture, and the whole thing will be complemented by 16GB of fast RAM (LPDDR5). In the graphic above, the performance increase over Steam Deck appears to be almost double. However, it is worth noting that it shows the performance of games on low graphics settings, which are natively rendered at 1280×720 and only scaled up to 1920×1080.

At native resolution, it’s not so pretty – the red color is the performance of the chip used in the ROG Ally

Yes, ASUSA’s new proposal relies on FullHD resolution with a refresh rate of 120Hz. At first this idea seemed very strange to me, because such a panel requires making a lot of compromises – both in terms of the quality of graphic detail and battery life. On the other hand, Steam Deck showed that a well-implemented AMD FSR 2 image scaling technology can significantly increase the smoothness of games, while maintaining a level of detail not at all so different from the native image.

Great possibilities of using a 120Hz screen were perfectly presented to gamers by PlayStation 5, and the matter will be analogous in the case of Asus. For here we can without any problems take advantage of the fixed lock at 30, 40 and 60 frames per second with proportionally low latency, but in addition we get AMD FreeSync support (also known as VRR). This is a great technology that automatically adjusts the screen refresh rate to the smoothness of the animation ensuring the most stable gameplay.

With such solutions, we will ensure that we can enjoy better graphics settings with the right fluidity or longer battery life.

Asus ROG Ally will debut in only one version, but with an ultra-fast 512GB PCIe Gen 4 drive additionally supported by a state-of-the-art UHS-II standard MicroSD memory card slot (speeds of up to 312MB/s!).

But what do you mean without touchpads?

And that’s what hurts me the most. Touchpads work great for all desktop operations and for games that require precision and don’t have controller support. The ROG Ally has a touchscreen, but I can’t imagine using it for strategy games, and after my tests of Windows 11 on Steam Deck, I’m sure that the system operation will be a morass as well. I think anyone who has tried to emulate a mouse with the help of an analog will agree with me that it is not a pleasant solution.

Undiscovered ASUS ROG Ally cards

The price, performance culture and battery life still remain a mystery. Especially the first element will probably be the most important issue influencing the purchase decision – I myself do not know if I will be able to afford it. I’m almost convinced that the price will exceed 500 USD, and I would very much like it to close in on 800USD. Will the ASUS ROG Ally be worth it?

Everything depends on how refined the overlay will be and how convenient it will be to create profiles for specific games. At the beginning of the text, I mentioned that if everything goes well, the ROG Ally could become the most convenient, almost console-like experience on the market while maintaining the greatest advantages and openness of computers. With good performance, a great screen and almost unlimited Windows capabilities, it will be worth paying far more for it than for a Steam Deck – only those touchpads are a shame. I’m already looking forward to the release, and I’m incredibly curious to see what kind of a stir it will create in the market!

DREDGE on Steam Deck – Review

DREDGE is a unique fishing adventure that takes players on a dark and sinister journey. Although at first glance it appears to be a simple indie production, as you delve deeper into the sea’s depths you will quickly realize that a Lovecraftian spirit hangs over every innocent task here.

In DREDGE, we play a fisherman who arrives in the coastal settlement of Greater Marrow in search of work. His arrival is not easy, however, as his boat is destroyed by a violent storm, leaving him stranded on the shore. So before his story can unfold in earnest, he must repay his debt. This sequence perfectly captures the unsettling tone that permeates the entire game.

I really liked how gently the game explains the basics of the gameplay, and we discover more mechanics here at our own pace. Of course, most of the action is simple and logical, but this aura of mystery fits perfectly with the rather overwhelming mood created here. What sets DREDGE apart from other fishing games is its unique storyline and atmosphere. The game combines elements of horror and mystery, slowly drawing you into its dark world.

However, the gameplay itself is not complicated, as it mainly consists of swimming and fishing, which is nothing more than a simple mini-game. The whole process of fishing looks like pressing the required button on the controller at the right moment. It sounds trivial, but it gave me a lot of pleasure and I didn’t feel bored through the story, which lasted more than 12 hours. Of course, this is just one element of the gameplay, as the progression-building mechanic itself is very addictive.

We start the game with a very weak boat, with little cargo, destroying itself from a few hits on any stone. In addition, we are limited by time, because the day is very short here – during the day we are relatively safe, but at night we quickly fall into madness and without frequent rests it is very difficult to survive at sea.

In DREDGE a big role is played by the management of equipment, because space (especially at the beginning) is very scarce and every field is at a premium. The developers here built a system somewhat reminiscent of Tetris, but with me the first association was Leon’s memorable suitcase from Resident Evil 4. Many times you have to decide what to take with you to the docks abandoning less important fish and treasures.

The theme of developing our boat is very absorbing, quite elaborate and cannot be denied the “one more turn” syndrome. The progression is extremely noticeable. Better speed and greater payload allow us to tear away more scraps of sea and make us a little more confident to swim in the fog-bathed madness. And the anxiety is felt at every turn, because DREDGE is not about simply exploring the marked points on the map and collecting dots. Exploration here has been prepared in a somewhat old-school style, where a lot of surprises await the attentive player, and discovering more mechanics is a lot of fun.

Between swimming and visiting the docks we talk a lot with the characters we meet, learn their dark stories and perform simple tasks. Plot-wise, the game doesn’t impress, but rather this wasn’t its task – here the main violin is played by simultaneously calm and disturbing gameplay. Once I caught more or less what the game is about and how to develop properly, I couldn’t tear myself away from the screen until the end credits.

The world design is very artistic, has character and creates a great atmosphere. The atmosphere is built here through the use of fog, shadows and lighting combined with an unsettling soundtrack. The whole creates a solid sense of unease and honesty. This isn’t a title where you’ll encounter advanced graphic effects, but the minimalist audiovisual setting works well here.

In technical terms, DREDGE runs perfectly on Steam Deck. Performance is a fully stable 60 frames per second at native resolution with about 3 hours of gameplay on a single charge. The interface and subtitle size are fully adapted to the small screen.

If you’ve made it to this point then you already know that DREDGE appealed to me very much. While it’s not a game that will change the industry and win dozens of awards, it’s hard for me to see any major flaws. It’s a very good production – simple, atmospheric, incredibly engaging from start to finish. Of course, not everyone will like this type of gameplay, but it is worth giving it a chance.

BROK the InvestiGator on Steam Deck | Review

BROK the InvestiGator is a refreshing and unique game that combines elements from various genres and styles, creating an entertaining and engaging experience. The game plays like a traditional point-and-click adventure game, but also includes action side-scrolling beat ’em up and role-playing game elements, all while having the look and feel of a 80s Saturday-morning cartoon.

Set in a dystopian world, BROK the InvestiGator’s story is centered around a small number of privileged individuals living under a dome, while the rest of the population is forced to suffer in polluted slums. However, the impending disaster threatens them all, and it may be linked to their own history. We take on the role of Detective Brok, who must leave the safety of his shelter to solve the mystery behind the disaster. 

As I mentioned earlier, the game mixes extremely distant genres in a very interesting way, and it works out quite well. The most important and absorbing is, of course, the adventure game layer, as it is on finding items, dialogues or puzzles that we spend the most time. The difficulty level is not very high, especially at the beginning of the game, but BROK the InvestiGator manages to surprise with some interesting puzzles. A hint system is also an option.

Beat-em up elements is a very nice break that should not be a challenge even for casual players. Some of the battles are optional and avoidable if we take alternative adventure paths. It is not Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtless, but you can see that a lot of heart has been put into it.

The overall experience is complemented by small RPG elements, as we can sometimes decide on the course of events, level up our character and learn about different endings. I am positively surprised at how smoothly all the elements came together.

Visually, BROK the InvestiGator oozes charm and style. The game draws inspiration from 80s and 90s cartoons, which is reflected in its unique and nostalgic aesthetics. The only minor quibble is the slightly lackluster quality of the character animations, which may be attributed to budget constraints.

A huge advantage of BROK the InvestiGator is the fully voiced dialogues, which were not done in half a whistle. Voice actiong stands at a high level, characters show emotion and fit their role. A pleasant soundtrack plays in the background.

Overall, BROK the InvestiGator is an exceptional game that combines various gameplay elements seamlessly, resulting in a cohesive and memorable experience. The game provides more than 15 hours of interesting story, which I can recommend to fans of classic point-and-click adventure games (with a twist!).

Moreover, all elements of BROK the InvestiGator are great Steam Deck. There are no performance issues, all texts are completely readable and fit the screen, there is full gamepad support, and the running time on a single charge is over 3 hours. The only problem is the small black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, because the game has no support for 16:10 resolution.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake on Steam Deck | Optimized Graphics Settings | Review

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is a 2023 platform game developed by Purple Lamp Studios and published by THQ Nordic. The game was rated by Valve as playable on Steam Deck with some minor problems that I will address later in the article. First, I am going to talk about the gameplay itself.

Based on the popular Nickelodeon animated series, the game follows SpongeBob and his trusty companion Balloon-Patrick as they journey through several alternate realities called “Wish Worlds” to save their friends and the town of Bikini Bottom while collecting Cosmic Jelly for the mermaid fortune teller Madame Kassandra. The game is faithful to the source material and features all the beloved characters voiced by their original actors, including Tom Kenny as SpongeBob and Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick.

One of the highlights of the game is the wide range of platforming skills and costumes available to SpongeBob. Players can unlock classic and new platforming skills, such as the Fishhook Swing and Karate Kick, which are used to navigate the levels and defeat enemies. Additionally, there are over 30 spongetastic costumes to don, including SnailBob and SpongeGar, each with their own unique abilities and powers.

The game features seven distinct Wish Worlds, each with its own theme and set of challenges. The locations include Wild West Jellyfish Fields, Halloween Rock Bottom, and Prehistoric Kelp Forest, among others. Each Wish World is beautifully designed and captures the essence of the corresponding theme from the show. The soundtrack is also noteworthy, with a brand-new score from the composers of Battle for Bikini Bottom and dozens of songs from the series.

The 40 FPS limit lets you play for roughly 2.5 hours on a single charge

The game’s story is simple but effective, with plenty of humor and references to the show. The buddy movie banter between SpongeBob and Balloon-Patrick is delightful and adds to the overall charm of the game. The gameplay itself is fun and engaging, with a good balance of platforming and combat.The Cosmic Shake is also relatively accessible, with a reasonable difficulty level that should appeal to both younger and older players.

Optimization is great – the only heavy frame drops I noticed were near portals to new worlds

One potential drawback of the game is its lack of innovation. While the game is faithful to the source material, it doesn’t do much to push the boundaries of the platforming genre. I find the game to be too similar to its predecessor, Battle for Bikini Bottom—Rehydrated, which was also developed by Purple Lamp Studios.

In SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake, you can change only … the resolution.

Overall, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is a fun and entertaining 3D platformer that should appeal to fans of the series. The game’s charming characters, vibrant worlds, and enjoyable gameplay make it a worthy addition to any SpongeBob fan’s collection. While it may not be the most innovative platformer out there, it delivers an enjoyable experience that captures the essence of the beloved animated series. So how does the game work on Steam Deck?

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake on Steam Deck | Optimized Graphics Settings

Overall SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake works really great on Steam Deck. However, there is a very interesting phenomenon here, because the game does not allow you to change settings beyond the resolution. If you absolutely want it, there is an option to set a resolution of 1152×720 (60 FPS screen) – it offers slightly better performance than the native 1280×800 (55FPS screen). However, there are still minor frame drops, so is it worth it?

Left ImageRight Image

In my opinion, the game works best on the 50Hz setting. The framerate is almost perfect, the game looks great, and the battery life on a single charge is about 2 hours. If you want to improve it then reduce the framerate to 40 or 30 FPS.

When it comes to other essential features, I didn’t come across any issues with font legibility during my playthrough (although it’s worth noting that subtitle size can be adjusted in the options menu), and the game also includes seamless gamepad support. All in all, I believe that SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is an excellent option for those playing on the Steam Deck. It’s a pity that the graphics settings were missing here, as this would have improved battery life, but other than that it’s really hard to complain about anythin else.

I would like to thank THQ Nordic for giving me free access to the game for testing.

Deathloop on Steam Deck – optimized graphics settings

Deathloop is a first-person shooter video game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game was released in September 2021 for PC and PlayStation 5. It has received critical acclaim for its innovative gameplay mechanics and engaging storyline.

Deathloop is a verified game on Steam Deck, but it doesn’t work well on the default settings. You’ll find my recommended 40 FPS performance preset here, as well as settings with better visuals with a 30 FPS lock. The properly configured Deathloop has very stable performance and the visuals still look very solid.

I tested the game on SteamOS stable version with the latest (at the time of writing the post) update 3.4.6 – it provides a noticeable performance boost in many demanding titles. After thorough testing, I advised setting the 2 GB UMA Buffer Size and using CryoByte Utilities 2.0 on the recommended settings.

It is not mandatory, but it improves the smoothness of gameplay and FPS stability.

If you want to play on the default system settings then set the Texture Quality to Low.

Also, don't use SteamOS's built-in frame limiter for this game - it causes very long load times. 

I tested the game carefully and could not reach 60FPS even on the lowest possible settings. A fairly stable 50FPS is achievable, but the visuals on such settings are very poor.

Deathloop – Steam Deck 40 FPS Performance Preset

On the settings below, Deathloop runs very good on Steam Deck. Occasionally there are minimal frame drops due to map loadings, but the vast majority of the time performance is a stabile 40FPS even during dynamic shootouts. GPU usage is typically 80-99%. Battery life is close to 2 hours.

SteamOS Refresh Rate: 40Hz
SteamOS Frame Limiter: Off

I. Video Settings
Display Mode: Full Screen
Field of View: Personal
Low Latency: Off
V-Sync: On (60Hz)
Upscaling: AMD FSR 2.0
AMD FSR 2.0 Mode: Balanced
FSR Sharpening Amount: 5-10 (Personal)

II. Advanced Settings
Presets: Custom
Texture Details: High
Model Details: Medium
Shadow Details: Low
Water Details: Medium
Terrain Details: Medium
Decal Details: Medium
Fog Quality: High
Ambient Oclusion: FidelityFX CACAO Performance
Sun Shadows: Simple
Camera Motion Blur: Off/Low
Bloom: Yes/No
Depth of Field: Yes/No
Lens Flare: Yes/No
Light Shafts: Yes/No

Performance is stable with all postprocessing effects above, so decide if you want to use it.

Deathloop – Steam Deck 30 FPS Quality Preset

The biggest change compared to 40 FPS mode is AMD FSR 2.0 scaling disabled. Deathloop in native resolution is noticeably sharper in motion. Again, there are incidental frame drops that cannot be eliminated, but overall performance is very stable. Battery life is about 2 hours.

The screenshots show 60 FPS, but this is a misread value. Deathloop works with 1/2 VSync, so the result presented must be divided by 2 to get a real picture of performance.
SteamOS Refresh Rate: 60Hz
SteamOS Frame Limiter: Off

I. Video Settings
Display Mode: Full Screen
Field of View: Personal
Low Latency: Off
V-Sync: Half (30Hz)
Upscaling: Off

II. Advanced Settings
Presets: Custom
Texture Details: High
Model Details: Medium
Shadow Details: Medium
Water Details: Medium
Terrain Details: Medium
Decal Details: Medium
Fog Quality: High
Ambient Oclusion: FidelityFX CACAO Performance
Sun Shadows: Simple
Post Process Anti-Aliasing: Temporal
TXAA Sharpness: 5-10
Sharpness Postprocess: On
Camera Motion Blur: Off/Low
Bloom: Yes/No
Depth of Field: Yes/No
Lens Flare: Yes/No
Light Shafts: Yes/No

Performance is stable with all postprocessing effects above, so decide if you want to use it.

Deathloop – How to improve battery life on Steam Deck

The game has relatively high system requirements and only lowering the quality to a minimum will increase the battery life noticeably. If you really care about that, then choose my 40FPS preset, set AMD FSR 2.0 to performance mode and lock the gameplay to 30 FPS. This will extend the battery life to about 2.5 hours.

Resident Evil 4 (2023) Remake on Steam Deck – optimized graphics settings

With a meticulous examination of the Resident Evil 4 Remake demo’s performance on the Steam Deck, I have been able to create two graphic settings presets. The first is optimized to achieve a frame rate of 40 FPS or more with significant reductions in graphics, while the second guarantees a stable 30 FPS with stunning visuals.

Resident Evil 4 Remake – Optimized Settings

40 FPS Performance Preset

To achieve stable performance in graphics-intensive environments, significant reductions in graphics settings are necessary. Even at the lowest graphics settings, it is not possible to achieve a stable 40 FPS without AMD FSR 2.0 in performance mode. However, Resident Evil 4 Remake still looks impressive on these settings despite being a little bit blurry.

Screen Resolution: 1280x 800
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Frame Rate: 60
Display Mode: Fullscreen
Veretical Synchronization: Off
Cinematics Resolution: Full HD
Raytracing: Off
FidelityFX Super Resolution 2: Performance
Texture Quality: Medium (0.25GB)
Texture Fitering: High (Aniso x8)
Mesh Quality: Low
Shadow Quality: Low
Shadow Cache: On
Contact Shadows: On
Ambient Occulusion: SSAO
Volumetric Lighting: Off
Particle Lighting Quality: Low
Bloom: On
Screen Space Reflections: Off
Subsurface Scattering: Off
Hair Strands: Off
Graphics Dismemberment: Off
Persistant Corpses: Few
Corpse Physics: Low
Diverse Enemy Animations: On
Motion Blur: On/Off
Rain Quality: Low
Terrain: Low
Destructible Enviorments: Off
Lens Flare: Off
Lens Disortion: Off
Depth of Field: Off
Resource-Intense Lighting Quality: Low
Resource-Intense Effects Quality: Low

30 FPS Quality Preset

30 FPS – as in most current games – seems to be optimal on Steam Deck also in the case of Resident Evil 4 Remake. The visuals look great here, and input lag is relatively low. I don’t recommend using the game’s built-in frame limiter, as it causes big problems with the smoothness of gameplay. When set to 60Hz / 30FPS in SteamOS, the game plays great.

Screen Resolution: 1280x 800
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Frame Rate: 60
Display Mode: Fullscreen
Veretical Synchronization: Off
Cinematics Resolution: Full HD
Raytracing: Off
FidelityFX Super Resolution 2: Quality
Texture Quality: Medium (0.25GB)
Texture Fitering: High (Aniso x8)
Mesh Quality: Low
Shadow Quality: Low
Shadow Cache: On
Contact Shadows: On
Ambient Occulusion: SSAO
Volumetric Lighting: Min
Particle Lighting Quality: Low
Bloom: On
Screen Space Reflections: Off
Subsurface Scattering: Off
Hair Strands: Off
Graphics Dismemberment: On
Persistant Corpses: Few
Corpse Physics: Low
Diverse Enemy Animations: On
Motion Blur: On/Off
Rain Quality: Low
Terrain: Low
Destructible Enviorments: Off
Lens Flare: Off
Lens Disortion: Off
Depth of Field: Off
Resource-Intense Lighting Quality: Low
Resource-Intense Effects Quality: Low

The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition on Steam Deck – Optimized Settings

The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition has made its debut on Steam , and fans of the original game have been eagerly waiting to see what the new edition brings. Unfortunately, the initial impressions are not favorable, as the game seems to be suffering from performance issues that significantly impact the gameplay experience.

The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice (more like cash grab) Edition is a disappointing “upgrade” from the original version of the game, especially on the Steam Deck. Despite the promise of improved graphics, the performance of the game is extremely poor and plagued by interfering gameplay stuttering. The game runs much worse than the original version, making it not worth paying for the upgrade.

The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition on Steam Deck – Optimized Settings – Gameplay

Optimized Settings – 30 FPS

Windows Mode: Fullscreen
Resolution: 1280x800
Framerate Limit: Unlimited
VSync: Off
3D Resolution: 85%
Dynamic Resolution: Off
Screen Space Global Illumination: Low
Graphics Quality: Custom
Screen Effects: Low
View Distance: Low
Shadows: Low
Textures: Medium
Visual Effects: Low
Foliage: Medium

SteamOS Refresh Rate: 60
SteamOS FPS Limit: 30

GPU Usage - 80-99% most of the time
In-Game stuttering cannot be fixed. 

The Callisto Protocol on Steam Deck – optimized settings

Despite experiencing a rocky start, The Callisto Protocol has greatly improved – check out how it works on Steam Deck today.

The Callisto Protocol on Steam Deck – review and my best settings

The Callisto Protocol is an intense third-person survival horror action game that puts a strong emphasis on melee combat and resource management. It’s set on the Jovian moon of Callisto in the year 2320 and follows the story of Jacob Lee, a prisoner in the Black Iron Prison who is fighting for survival against infected inmates who have been mutated by an unknown virus.

Players can use three different weapons: pistols for long-range attacks, a stun baton for melee combat, and a telekinetic gauntlet called a GRP. One of the key features of the combat system in The Callisto Protocol is the use of melee attacks and dodging to defend against enemy attacks.

The left stick on a controller is used to move Jacob and also to dodge in either direction when an enemy attacks. This can be effective in one-on-one encounters, but becomes more challenging when faced with larger groups of enemies.

One issue with this system is that it can be difficult to keep track of multiple enemies at once, especially when they are surrounding Jacob. The camera may also shift unexpectedly, making it hard to anticipate and react to attacks. This can lead to frustrating moments where the player takes unnecessary damage or is repositioned into a disadvantageous position.

Despite these challenges, the combat system in The Callisto Protocol encourages a very aggressive playstyle, where players must get up close to their enemies and overwhelm them with quick, controlled attacks. Maintaining a careful eye on resources and health is also crucial, as running out of either can lead to death and a game over.

One of the standout features of The Callisto Protocol is its impressive visuals and sound design, which helps convey the desperation and discomfort of the situation Jacob finds himself in. The game’s environments are varied and well-realized. The graphics are detailed and realistic, and the dirt and grossness on the screen is almost touchable. The sound design is equally impressive, heightening the sense of unease and honesty.

Despite these strengths, the game was released unfinished and had poor optimization on PC. Numerous updates have significantly improved the situation, but The Callisto Protocol is still far from perfect.

It’s still a thrilling and atmospheric game that will appeal to fans of the survival horror genre. Its creepy corridors, scary monsters and quite an engaging storyline make it practically a tie-in item for fans of games like Dead Space. While the game doesn’t live up to its inspiration, it’s still a satisfying and macabre experience worth checking out.

So how does The Callisto Protocol work on Steam Deck today?

Upon careful examination of the graphics settings, I have found that it is not possible to achieve a stable frame rate of 40 FPS, even when reducing the resolution and all effects to their lowest settings.

There are moments when the fluidity of the game drops significantly.  As a result, I recommend playing with the frame rate limit set to 30 FPS.

It is worth noting that The Callisto Protocol has very demanding requirements for both graphics cards and processors. To reduce the risk of bottlenecking, I recommend setting the resolution scaling to 70% and selecting the lowest lighting details, leaving only screen space reflections enabled. In the effects settings, disable Depth of Field and select Temporal Antialiasing, as the image quality and performance are superior to AMD FSR 2.0 in this case. In the Advanced settings, make sure Temporal upscaling is selected and reduce mesh and texture settings to medium.

Despite significant cuts in graphical detail, The Callisto Protocol looks fantastic on the Steam Deck screen. I tried to keep the GPU load under 90%, so the game usually runs smoothly, but during intense moments, such as fighting multiple enemies or during violent death scenes, it may still drop some frames. Battery life is approximately 1.5 hours.

The Callisto Protocol – best settings for Steam Deck
I. Steam OS Settings
- Framerate Limit: 30 FPS
- Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
- Allow Tearing: YES (there is no tearing at all)

Graphics settings
II. General:
- Sync Every Frame (V-Sync): Off
- Framerate limit: Unlimited
- DirectX: 12
III. Display:
- Fullscreen mode: Fullscreen
- Resolution: 1280x800
- Reder Percentage: 70
IV: Lighting:
- Lighting Quality: Low
- Shadow Quality: Low
- Volumetric Quality: Low
- Particle Quality: Low
- Screen Space Reflections: Enabled
- Physical Refractions: Disabled
- Raytracing: Disabled (does not work even when turned on:) )
V. Effects:
- Depth of Field: Disabled (it's buggy with resolution scaling)
- Antialiasing: Temporal AA
- Other options: Personal choice
VI. Advanced:
- Upscaling: Temporal
- Mesh Quality: Medium
- Texture Quality: Medium
- Texture Filter Quality: Medium

To achieve maximum performance, I recommend increasing the VRAM in Steam Deck’s BIOS to 4GB and using optimization tools from Cryobyte33. These modifications will result in a more stable framerate, particularly during intense moments.

As you can see, The Callisto Protocol is still not perfect when played on Steam Deck. However, I’m impressed that such a graphically advanced and generally averagely optimized production is able to run stably on a handheld, despite the trade-offs.

Chained Echoes is perfect on Steam Deck

Chained Echoes, the highly anticipated story-driven JRPG has finally arrived and it’s everything fans have been hoping for and more. And it’s perfect on Steam Deck!

Set in the vast continent of Valandis, players take on the role of a group of heroes as they journey across a wide array of diverse landscapes, from wind-tanned plateaus and exotic archipelagos to sunken cities and forgotten dungeons.

In Chained Echoes, you can choose from a variety of different classes, each with their own unique abilities and playstyles. Whether you prefer to take up the sword and fight in close combat, channel powerful magic spells, or board your Mech.

One of the classic features of Chained Echoes is its fast-paced turn-based battles. Enemies can be seen running around on the map, allowing players to choose whether to engage them or avoid combat altogether. This adds a level of strategy to the game, as players must carefully consider their approach in order to emerge victorious.

In addition to its engaging combat system, Chained Echoes also offers a deep and complex skill and equipment system. In this game you can loot, steal, or craft a wide variety of items, allowing them to customize their characters to their heart’s content. And for those who love to explore, Chained Echoes also lets players customize their own airship, allowing them to travel and fight by foot or in their Mech.

But perhaps the most impressive aspect of Chained Echoes is its stunning 16-bit SNES-style graphics. The game’s vibrant color palette and character designs are a throwback to the classic RPGs of yesteryear, while the music, inspired by PSX RPGs, adds an extra layer of nostalgia. It’s a real love letter for fans of the genre.

Chained Echoes on Steam Deck

The game runs brilliantly – there are no graphics settings, but it holds 60FPS with more then 4 hours of battery life. Sometimes the game can freeze for a second, but this occurs very occasionally and does not disturb the gameplay much.

Chained Echoes has full gamepad support and a very readable UI and fonts.

All in all, Chained Echoes is a must-play for fans of the JRPG genre. With 30 hours of playtime, fast turn-based battles, no random encounters, and tons of items to collect, there’s plenty to keep players engaged for hours on end. So why not take up your sword and join the fight for peace in Valandis? The fate of the continent is in your hands.

Ghostwire: Tokyo should not have a “playable” status on Steam Deck

According to Valve’s claim, Ghostwire: Tokyo should run properly on the default settings on Steam Deck, but regardless of the graphics presets, it is impossible to achieve stable performance even at 30FPS. The game is plagued by strong stuttering and it drops to 22-25FPS at the absolute lowest details.

Low Settings, TSR balanced

I tried to run the game with the -dx11 command, but Ghostwire: Tokyo does not load on Steam Deck. On PC, the overall performance in DirectX 11 is definitely weaker, but the game has less stutters. I suspect that even if it did manage to run it, performance would be even weaker on Steam Deck.

Lowest settings, AMD FSR 2.0 ultra performance

In addition, I tested performance-boosting tweaks on Steam Deck from CryoByte33 and changed the VRAM value in the bios, but in this case, I did not notice any performance improvement.

Ghostwire: Tokyo would be reasonably playable despite the frame drops, but the input lag at a low framerate is incredibly high and makes aiming extremely difficult.

In my opinion, the game does not meet the lowest standards and I am unable to rate it positively on Steam Deck.

Lowest settings, TSR performance

The Knight Witch – Steam Deck Review

The Knight Witch is a new metroidvania action-adventure game that was released on Steam on November 29, 2022. The game features fast-paced shoot ’em up combat set in a beautifully hand-drawn world.

In The Knight Witch, players take on the role of a powerful witch who must use their magical abilities to save their home from a War Golem invasion. The game’s combat is classic shot ’em up enhanced with card-based skills, allowing players to cast devastating spells and unleash powerful attacks on their enemies. 

One of the key features of The Knight Witch is its focus on duality. Players can choose to upgrade their Knight abilities for a more fast-paced shoot ’em up experience, or they can strengthen their Witch magic and explore different deckbuilding strategies with over 30 unique spell cards to choose from. This allows players to tailor the game to their individual playstyle and preferences.

The journey takes place across Dungeonidas where we can meet a variety of personas, each with their own motivations and personalities. It will be up to the player to decide how to interact with these characters, and their decisions will have a significant impact on the story. The game encourages players to build trust and forge close bonds with the characters they meet, and the choices they make will affect the strength of their relationships.

The whole thing seems interesting, but for me, the story itself is the biggest flaw in this production. It lacks flair, and the artificial loftiness is strongly irritating in the dialogues. It’s a shame that it can’t be skipped completely, because in terms of gameplay mechanics I had a lot of fun.

The Knight Witch is a pretty hard title but has some level of customization. The game features an intuitive on/off auto-aim system, world-altering “cheats” that allow players to tailor the game to their level of play, and a focused main story navigation system to ensure that players never get lost. This makes it easy for players to jump in and start playing, regardless of their experience with metroidvania games. Unfortunately, the difficulty level itself is highly uneven – we often encounter very easy fights, only to immediately hit a wall.

Although The Knight Witch has an average storyline and is quite short, it is still worth playing. The game’s beautiful hand-drawn graphics, fast-paced combat, and focus on moral choices make it an enjoyable experience.

The Knight Witch on Steam Deck

The Knight Witch game runs very well on Steam Deck. The game almost always maintains a stable 60FPS, with only minimal frame-rate drops during intense moments. It also has full gamepad support. The fonts are all readable making it easy to play on a small screen

Additionally, The Knight Witch offers cloud saving, a great feature for players who want to pick up where they left off on multiple devices.
I am very pleased with how well the game runs on Steam Deck and would definitely recommend it to other players.

The best settings for Need for Speed: Unbound on Steam Deck – no more crashing and stuttering!

After several hours of playing, I made the best graphics settings for Need for Speed: Unbound on Steam Deck. Solid performance, nice visuals- no more stuttering and crashing!

I. Reduce stuttering in Need for Speed: Unbound on Steam Deck

Use latest version of ProtonGE – tested on 7-41. Force it in the game compatibility tab.

In General Settings/Launch Options write this command: DXVK_ASYNC=1 %command%

Done! Stuttering should be gone.

II. Fix Random Crashing

In Desktop Mode download and run CryoUtilities

Download InstallCryoUtilities.desktop from this repository with this link on your Steam Deck, then run it. (Right click and save file)

This will install a script and create a few desktop icons for the swap resizer tool.

Set Swap Size to 16 GB.

You will need usser password for this. Set it in desktop mode in SETTINGS/USER tab.

III. The best settings for Need for Speed: Unbound on Steam Deck


SCREEN RES: 1280×800























Surprise! Need for Speed Unbound is playable on Steam Deck with Proton Experimental!

Need for Speed: Unbound has an unsupported status on Steam Deck, but after setting Proton Experimental, the game works fine! I haven’t had a chance to play longer yet, but at first glance the whole production is very playable on Steam Deck.

NFS: Unbound has a lot of graphics options, including support for AMD FSR 2.1 scaling, but even on the lowest settings it has minor performance issues. Valve has not yet prepared a shader cache for this game, so for the first minutes of gameplay the stuttering is annoying, but after a while you can see an improvement in fluidity.

I think the 40FPS limit is achievable for Need for Speed: Unbound, but I have yet to test it closely. I will publish optimized settings for this game soon.

Cyberpunk 2077 has finally received official support for AMD FSR 2. How does it work on Steam Deck?

It took us a long time to wait for the official update to Cyberpunk 2077 adding support for AMD FSR 2, but it has finally been released. The mod created by players significantly improved the visuals when scaling the resolution, but the native tool provides even better image quality and doesn’t need any tinkering.

See for yourself how Cyberpunk 2077 now runs and looks on Steam Deck with AMD FSR 2 in balanced mode:

Unfortunately, 40FPS is still unattainable due primarily to CPU limitations in Steam Deck, but at 30FPS the game runs and looks very solid. With details set between medium and high, there are almost no frame drops below 30 and gameplay is very responsive.

During testing, I noticed that frametime is very uneven when using the game’s built-in FPS limiter. Cyberpunk 2077 definitely runs better on Steam Deck when set to 30FPS in SteamOS, the lag is negligible.

In addition, I do not recommend high quality textures because they generate a lot of stuttering when driving in the city – on medium settings, the game runs much better.

SIGNALIS on Steam Deck – love letter to Silent Hill fans

SIGNALIS is a new indie horror game that pays homage to one of the most essential horror series in gaming history, like Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Any fan of the series from Konami and Capcom will find numerous references, from how the atmosphere of oppression is built to similar gameplay mechanics.

SIGNALIS has a fairly slow pace, an amazing atmosphere and a lot of challenging puzzles. The whole thing is completed by fights with carefully designed monsters and bosses. I really like the PlayStation-styled graphics and the highly stressful sounds straight from Silent Hill.

Of course, in addition to its many inspirations, the game has plenty of character and defends itself as a completely new production. The demo version released on the Steam Festival a few months ago made an excellent impression on me, and I’m really pleased that the final release is even better than I expected.

But how does SIGNALIS work on Steam Deck?

You can expect numerous frame drops up to 40 on the default graphics settings, but just turn off Volumetric Effects and Reflections in the options. This will give you a very stable 60FPS and better battery life.

The game has full gamepad support as well as readable fonts/UI and cloud saves.

First look at Lost Eidolons on Steam Deck

Let’s take a look at Lost Eidolons on Steam Deck – a turn-based tactical RPG heavily inspired by the the Nintendo exclusive Fire Emblem series.

The game has been fully verified by Valve. The developers have significantly improved the UI and font size. Performance is better, but still not stunning. However, there is no denying that the game is fully playable right now.

The 30 FPS limit on medium graphics settings works very well both on the battlefield and during close-ups of the action. Running time on a single charge is about 2.5-3h.

The good news is that Lost Eidolons is mostly playable on the Steam Deck out of the box. The game starts fine and there is full controller support. You can even set the right trackpad as a mouse to move faster in the field and also use gamepad controls.

There is a problem with black screen in cutscenes, but you can fix it with the latest ProtonGE.

As you can see, fonts and the whole UI are pretty small. I can read everything on Deck’s screen, but It’s not comfortable. There is no way to improve it at this moment, but the developers are working on a fix.

Let’s talk about performance. The game is running on Unity Engine and sadly there are not many graphical options here. I couldn’t find a way to improve and stabilize the framerate to 40 FPS even with lower resolution forced in SteamOS.

At this moment I recommend playing at native resolution with medium-quality preset and v-sync turned on. On the SteamOS side, force refresh rate to 40Hz and set the framerate to unlimited to reduce input lag.

With those settings, Lost Eidolons works really nice on the battlefield view, but when the camera zooms in and there is a lot going on, FPS can drop below 30FPS. 

Don’t get me wrong, this is a type of game where framerate is not that important, but I would like to improve it a bit and get better battery results. 

The game looks really good and plays fine on Steam Deck. 

I hope the most critical issues are fixed soon and I would love to see more graphical options like temporal antialiasing and resolution scaling. I know some people hate it, but sometimes it’s the only way to get a better performance without destroying the whole graphic quality.

Trifox on Steam Deck – a beautiful and charming action-adventure game

Trifox, a colorful action-adventure featuring a friendly fox who had his TV remote stolen debuts on Steam tomorrow.

Although Trifox looks heavily inspired by a classic Crash Bandicoot-style platformer, it is primarily a surprisingly complex action game. While there is a lot of jumping and traps, the core mechanic is fighting.

I really liked customizing the main character’s abilities. As a warrior we bash with a heavy hammer, hack’n’slash style. When using magic, gameplay changes to a twin-stick shooter. When playing as an engineer, we create traps and turrets like in a tower defense game. The best part is that we do not select a predetermined class, but can mix and match 30 skills from all archetypes.

Enemy variety also passes the muster. We often fight hordes of different enemy types, with each type having their unique weaknesses and strengths. As a result, gameplay is dynamic and requires focus. Don’t forget to evade! Boss fights will also put our skills to the test – each one needs a different strategy.

Trifox is a satisfying linear game with colorful and well-designed levels in four different biomes. Gameplay is varied thanks to platforming segments and environmental puzzles.

The game took me 5 hours to finish and I was never bored while playing. It’s obvious that this small indie team poured their heart into this little gem. Although Trifox is heavily inspired by classic title of its genre, it provides a refreshing and dynamic experience. I wholeheartedly recommend trying this game, especially since it will be priced $19.99 and will be available with a 10% launch discount for a limited time.

Trifox on Steam Deck with optimized setting – gameplay
Trifox on Steam Deck – performance and optimized settings

Trifox runs well on Steam Deck, but it does not provide stable performance on default graphics settings. To get a better frame rate, I recommend the following settings:

Resolution: 960x600
Display Mode: Windowed
Shadow Quality: Medium
VSync: 1 Frame
SteamOS Framerate Limit: Off
SteamOS Refresh Rate: 60
Scaling Filter: FSR with sharpness on 2

On the above graphics settings, the game is already running much better, but there may still be a some stuttering. You can eliminate it easily with universal Unity Engine performance fix.

Go to Desktop Mode, launch Steam and find Trifox in the list of installed games. Right-click on the game icon (or Steam+L2) and select Properties. Go to Local Files and click on Browse…

Open Trifox_Data folder and edit boot.config file.

Change gc-max-time-slice from 3 to 1.

Save it and go back to the Gaming Mode. Enjoy the game.

Trifox has full gamepad support and requires no additional settings. The UI and subtitles are fully readable on the Steam Deck’s screen.

Marauders on Steam Deck – Early Access Preview. Not playable anymore.

Thanks to the kindness of Team17, I was given the opportunity to check out the Marauders on Steam Deck before its debut in Early Access. If you’re curious to see how such a complex and demanding game performs on the handheld from Valve then check out this preview. 

Due to the anti-cheat update, the game stopped working completely on Steam OS. 

Marauders is a hardcore game in which death means losing all the equipment acquired during the expedition. In groups of three, we try to survive, collect loot and get back on board the ship, with both real players and in-game enemies standing in our way. 

Cooperation and careful planning are very important here. You need to keep your eyes around your head because even your companion can stab you in the back. The gameplay is quite slow and tactical. You can die real quickly here and ammunition with other resources is very limited.

The atmosphere in the game is incredibly overwhelming, and the fighting increases the pressure. A successful expedition is extremely satisfying, so even despite failures and the risk of losing equipment, the gameplay is motivating.

Marauders on Steam Deck
Due to the anti-cheat update, the game stopped working completely on Steam OS. 

I’m glad to see that Marauders, as a typical multiplayer game, launches without problems on Steam Deck. The system automatically downloads all the necessary elements required for the game, including Easy Anticheat. 

Unfortunately, Marauders does not have controller support at this point, so you have to manually create a control profile for the game. What’s more, players using the mouse have an obvious advantage here, as there is no aim assist support here. Unless you have masterful aiming skills with an analog or a touchpad, it will be hard to survive without the support of the other players.

The game performance is quite uneven. Most of the time, the framerate is not a problem, but sometimes it drops below 30FPS even on the lowest graphics settings. Marauders looks very nice and is very atmospheric, however average performance can be another problem on the way to winning.

The build is not the final version of the game, and you will have to wait at least a year for the full release. Lots of things will be improved and optimized for sure.

Marauders will debut on Steam in early access on October 3, 2022. According to earlier reports, the title will be made available on Xbox Game Pass, so perhaps the cloud version will provide more balanced competition, especially since there will be no crossplay (at least for the launch).

Marauders – Problems on Steam Deck

After launching the game, a window with tutorials appears. Due to incorrect scaling, it cannot be closed.

Turn the game off and on again to make it disappear.

Marauders – Controller Layout

I made a layout of the gamepad for Marauders on Steam Deck. It will be available for download once the game is available in Early Access. You can grab it now!


Kena: Bridge of Spirits on Steam Deck with the new Anniversary update – review, best settings, performance guide [+ improved anti-aliasing guide]

Kena: Bridge of Spirits has finally arrived on the Steam Store with a major “Anniversary” update. The game unexpectedly turned out to be one of the best titles of last year, offering beautiful graphics and fun gameplay that drew inspiration from series such as The Legend of Zelda or Pikmin. What has changed, and is it worth getting interested in Kena: Bridge of Spirits on Steam Deck?

If you’ve finished the game and are thinking about coming back, this is the best time. One of the main highlights included in the “Anniversary” update is the New Game+ mode, which expands the gameplay quite significantly. 

Kena: Bridge of Spirits on Steam Deck with the new update – native Steam version performance

In Kena Bridge of Spirits, the creators did not go the easy way, and apart from transferring all the progress of character or weapons upgrades, they also changed enemy encounters and added new abilities to bosses.

One of major new features are Spirit Guide Trials. As the story progresses, you will get the opportunity to test your dexterity and fighting skills in challenging trials. The reward for passing the trial are new outfits for Kena, as well as Charmstones – collectible items, which not only improve the character’s stats, but can further increase the game’s difficulty. 

As you can see, Kena: Bridge of Spirits has been significantly expanded, and most importantly, the update is free for all owners of the game

If you haven’t had a chance to play, this is the best time to give the game a chance, especially since the Steam version is clearly better for Steam Deck owners. The game itself is a very enjoyable platformer with an extensive combat system and beautiful visuals. 

Kena: Bridge of Spirits on Steam Deck with the new Anniversary update – review, best settings, performance guide

The version available on the Epic Games Store runs quite well on Steam Deck offering gameplay at 30FPS on low-medium graphics settings. Unfortunately, the game is plagued by rather annoying stuttering, which cannot be eliminated. The Steam version not only offers significantly better fluidity of gameplay, but additionally you can play at slightly higher details. 

Thanks to Valve’s technology, which pre-compiles the shader cache, we have far less stuttering during gameplay here. 

Window Mode: Fullscreen
Resolution: 1280×800
Graphics API: DirectX 12
V-Sync: On
Motion Blur Intensity: personal choice
Quality: Custom

Advanced Graphics
Dynamic Resolution: Enabled
Dynamic Resolution Target: 40 FPS
Visible Rot: Low
FPS Limit: Unlimited
Motion Blur: Medium (or off)
Volumetric Fog: Medium
Ambient Occlusion: Medium
Post Processing Quality: Medium
Textures: High
Foliage: Medium
Shadows: Medium

The most important thing is to change the API in the graphics settings to DirectX 12 after launching the game. Remember to restart Kena: Bridge of Spirits for the changes to take effect. 

Due to the dynamic resolution, I recommend turning on motion blur, although this is your individual choice. It will reduce artifacts resulting from image scaling.

Improved Anti-Aliasing with 40 FPS – Advanced Graphics Settings

I managed to find a way to significantly improve antialiasing in Kena: Bridge of Spirits on Steam Deck (Steam version). With my help, you will enable the advanced TAAU image scaling technique in the game and significantly reduce sharpening.

In Desktop Mode, go to:


Download Engine.ini file and put it here. [LINK]

You can also create a text file yourself, name it Engine.ini and paste the following lines:



When you are ready then return to Gaming mode and launch the game. To maintain better performance I recommend changing the graphics settings to:

Window Mode: Fullscreen
Resolution: 1280×800
Graphics API: DirectX 12
V-Sync: On
Motion Blur Intensity: personal choice
Quality: Custom

Advanced Graphics
Dynamic Resolution: Disabled
Screen Percentage: 100
Visible Rot: Low
FPS Limit: Unlimited
Motion Blur: Medium (or off)
Volumetric Fog: Low
Ambient Occlusion: Low
Post Processing Quality: Medium
Textures: High
Foliage: Medium
Shadows: Low

How to get 30 FPS in Soulstice on Steam Deck – performance guide

Soulstice has just debuted on Steam – it’s an interesting production that, in terms of gameplay, reminds me of a mix of titles such as Bayonetta, Devil May Cry or classic parts of God of War.

Visual Guide how to get best performance in Soulstice on Steam Deck

Soulstice launches with no problems on Steam Deck, but the game’s performance is very poor. Even on the lowest graphics settings, the FPS drops to 20 very often with constant stuttering. I managed to achieve a fairly stable 30 FPS, so take a look at this guide.

SteamOS settings

Find Soulstice on your game list, click on it and go to “General” settings (gear wheel icon), under “Launch Options” type the command:

dxvk_async=1 %command%

Still in the game profile settings change the resolution to 1024×640.

Go to the “Compatibility” tab and set “Force the use of a specific Steam Play Compatibility tool” to the latest available version of GE-Proton. I tested the game on 7-35.

How to install ProtonGE?
Go to Desktop Mode and download the “ProtonUp-Qt” application in Discover. Run app and add latest version of ProtonGE to Steam. Go back to Gaming mode and in compatibility tab of Sunday Gold set “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool” to GE-Proton.

Thanks to these actions stuttering will be minimized, and at very performance-taxing moments framerate will be more stable.

In SteamOS, set 60Hz with 30FPS limt. Also, enable FSR with 2-3 sharpness (personal choice).

In-Game graphics settings

Go to Settings>Graphics and set:

SCREEN MODE: Windowed Fullscreen (thanks to this, the AMD FSR enabled in the SteamOS settings will work)
FPS LOCK: Unlimited
ANTI-ALIASING: High (we use a scaled resolution, so I do not recommend setting lower than high)

With the above treatments, Soulstice should perform much better on Steam Deck. During cutscenes, there are occasional drops below 30 FPS, but the gameplay itself is very stable.
Of course, the game still consumes a lot of resources, so battery life is about 1.5h (25W).

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