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.

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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.

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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.

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