The excitement surrounding Bethesda’s upcoming open-world adventure, Starfield, has reached fever pitch as its release date approaches. However, for Steam Deck owners hoping to take the game on the go, there have been concerns about the handheld’s ability to handle this ambitious title.
Early reviews have painted a somewhat discouraging picture, with reports of long loading times, crashes, and unstable framerates. In this article, we’ll explore the challenges of playing Starfield on the Steam Deck and offer tips to optimize your gaming experience.
Starfield on Steam Deck
Starfield’s performance on the Steam Deck has been a subject of debate and disappointment among gamers and critics alike. Some of the initial issues reported include sluggish loading times, frequent crashes, and erratic framerates, particularly noticeable during intense gameplay and combat sequences.
TouchArcade’s advice to set everything to low and enable AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution 2 (FSR2) to achieve a somewhat playable experience underscores the device’s limitations. Bethesda’s reluctance to have the game reviewed on the Steam Deck speaks volumes about the current state of compatibility.
Before delving into optimization tips, it’s crucial to acknowledge the technical demands of Starfield. The game’s minimum requirements call for an AMD Ryzen 5 2600X or Intel Core i7-6800K CPU, and an AMD Radeon RX 5700 or NVIDIA GeForce 1070 Ti GPU. While these specifications may be reasonable for a dedicated gaming PC, they pose significant challenges for the Steam Deck.
The Steam Deck, a handheld PC, falls short in terms of raw power compared to traditional gaming rigs or consoles like the Xbox Series X. Starfield itself is designed to run at 30fps on the Series X, pushing even high-end desktop PCs to their limits. The game’s expansive open world, intricate physics systems, and interactive elements are bound to strain the hardware.
How to Play Starfield on Steam Deck
While playing Starfield on the Steam Deck may not offer the ideal experience, there are steps you can take to make it more enjoyable:
Players have encountered several technical issues while attempting to play Starfield on Linux and the Steam Deck. These problems include a persistent start screen freeze, in-game freezing and crashes when trying to continue a game or load a saved file, and a black screen that appears frozen but can be resolved by touching the screen.
To fix these issues on Steam, follow the below solutions
- Try switching to Proton Experimental or Proton Hotfix to see if it resolves freezing and crashing problems.
- Adjust your graphics settings to optimize performance.
- If faced with a black screen, simply touch the screen to potentially unfreeze the game.
While the early reports of Starfield’s performance on the Steam Deck may be discouraging, it’s important to remember that the Steam Deck is not a gaming powerhouse like a high-end PC or a dedicated gaming console. Bethesda’s decision to remain cautious about its compatibility with the Steam Deck is telling.