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Can you play Forspoken on Steam Deck? Answered!

Forspoken is part of a small but growing group of games designed specifically for the current generation of consoles – PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S – and advanced computers. As such, they’re hardware-intensive, can squeeze more on the screen at higher resolutions, and are generally more difficult to run on lower-end equipment. Steam Deck falls squarely in the “low-end hardware” camp, though it’s almost obnoxious for a handheld device. However, since Deck mainly competes with the previous generation of performance consoles, how does it fare with Forspoken? We are here to answer that question.

Related: Forspoken Breaks the Square Enix mold with magic, parkour, and emotion but misses a few essentials – Review

Forspoken performance on the Steam Deck

As much energy as Valve is pouring into the Steam Deck, you need to make a lot of compromises to get Forspoken to work in anything approaching launch settings. With the right setup, and the Deck’s 30fps cap, the game works, but it won’t look very good.

Models and textures couldn’t be much higher than the “Standard” setting, which is a Forspoken word for “average.” If you want a solid 30 frames, even with the hardware cap on, you’ll need to lower or turn off Shadows, Reflections, Fog, and Clouds and go no higher than performance with AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR).

The performance setting of FSR does degrade the picture, but it’s not an issue while gaming. However, Ultra Performance creates an overwhelming amount of ghosting: halos around character models and environmental details. The ghosting is bad enough that it’s noticeable even on Deck’s small screen at 1200 x 800 or Forspoken’s generic 1200 x 720 in-game resolution.

Even worse, all Forspoken scenes within the engine are vulnerable to the performance degradation necessary for the game to run acceptably on deck. Fry’s hair is a particular problem, being a mass of darker pixels than a head of hair. The facial animation isn’t great either, though that’s something of an artifact from the game itself, with the lower settings making its awkwardness more noticeable.

The last thing you should watch out for is the hard crashes. During an early part of our testing, while running with magic parkour, the game completely stalled. Forspoken’s massive battery consumption (thanks to the Steam Deck battery) suddenly dropped by at least half and kept dropping, as did the fan noise. Fortunately, the skin itself didn’t need to be restarted, but the game just went away.

conclusion: Yes it is possible To run Forspoken on the Steam Deck, however, the performance is sub-par and unstable, and you have to make a lot of sacrifices for it to be worth it. If you have a PS5 or PC that can run the game, we suggest using both.

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