Starfield on Steam Deck: Performance & best settings

Joel Loynds
starfield with a steam deck in the backgroundBethesda/Valve

A brand new large-scale open-world RPG is asking a lot of a handheld console leading many fans to wonder if Starfield can run on Steam Deck. We’re here to answer that question and break down its performance and what the best settings are to use.

The Steam Deck has been known to manage some of the most demanding games surprisingly well. Valve’s handheld PC can run the likes of Elden Ring, Red Dead Redemption 2, and even Cyberpunk 2077 at a playable frame rate.

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However, there are limits with some non-verified games suffering performance drops and and even crashes. This has left Starfield fans concerned the Deck wouldn’t be able to manage it, but is that true?

Here’s everything you need to know about if Starfield runs on Steam Deck and what kind of performance you can expect.

Is Starfield on Steam Deck?

Although Starfield is not officially supported on Steam Deck, it is playable. On low settings, players have managed to maintain above 30 FPS in most areas with peaks as high as 45-50 in some situations.

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Players are reporting that the game runs better using Proton Experimental, and doing so can even fix some in-game crashes too.

Best Steam Deck settings for Starfield

Right now, the current best course of action to get the most out of Starfield on the Steam Deck is to turn everything down to Low. You then want to apply supersampling with FSR 2 and turn off motion blur and film grain. This will ensure the best performance.

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Todd Howard StarfieldBethesda

Why does Starfield run poorly on Steam Deck?

Starfield is partially CPU-bound. This has resulted in the current lineup of Xbox consoles, whose CPUs would have been confirmed sometime in 2018 or 2019, forcing the lock to 30FPS.

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The Steam Deck is no different. With a custom AMD chip inside, dubbed Van Gogh, it too is often the cause of poor performance on the platform. Bethesda would have needed to put in some additional work to ensure performance is on point within the unique architecture available.

We wouldn’t have been surprised if the game was not playable at launch. This issue found its way into games like Returnal and The Last of Us, with instability due to the hardware. But now, at the very least, it seems that fans will be able to play Starfield on Steam Deck, and it’ll likely load, run, and play but potentially with an iffy framerate.

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In the meantime, Starfield does give you quite a good excuse to ditch the consoles and begin moving to PC. If you want that 60FPS experience, it might be the only place to find it for the foreseeable future.

For even more news and content regarding Starfield, here’s some tasty guides to get you caught up and ready for the action:

Starfield Achievement list | All Starfield skills | Will Starfield have mod support? | Is Starfield’s universe procedurally generated? | How big is Starfield? | Is Starfield on PS5? | Starfield PC requirements: Recommended & minimum specs | Will Starfield have a Photo Mode at launch? | Is Starfield coming to Nintendo Switch? | Is Starfield single-player? | Does Starfield have New Game Plus mode?

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About The Author

Senior writer. You can get in touch with him over email: He's written extensively about video games and tech for over a decade for various sites. Previously seen on Scan, WePC, PCGuide, Eurogamer, Digital Foundry and A deep love for old tech, bad games and even jankier MTG decks.