The Steam Deck should have no problem running AAA titles.
Valve has confirmed that the highly anticipated Steam Deck will launch with software capable of improving the performance of any game. This is possible with the help of AMD’s FSR technology which uses spatial upscaling to improve the resolution of games while reducing the graphics processing workload, along with providing a boost in framerate.
The Steam Deck’s use of FSR strengthens its appeal as a handheld PC as the technology is already used on gaming PCs and laptops. FSR allows users to enjoy higher frame rates than the hardware is capable of by running games at lower resolutions and then boosting the image via algorithms.
While AMD FSR is capable of improving the performance of any game, the software is currently only available natively with a moderate list of games. See a partial list below:
- God of War
- Dirt 5
- Far Cry 6
- Resident Evil Village
- Terminator Resistance
- The Riftbreaker
- World War Z Aftermath
- Amid Evil
- Anno 1800
As the Steam Deck is run on an AMD APU, it makes sense that FSR is supported. Valve has said of its inclusion, “FSR is already available for some applications that support it. Games that already include FSR will work as-is, but also FSR support will be included as part of an OS future release. Once that happens, games could potentially make use of FSR even if the games themselves don’t natively support it.” This means that the Steam Deck will eventually be able to use the technology to improve the experience of any game using FSR at a system level.
Valve’s use of FSR in SteamOS is great news for gamers. Steam Deck users don’t need to be worried about playing the latest AAA titles on the portable PC at decent settings. Once the update is made available, the upscaling feature should be possible on nearly every title in the Steam library.
Although AMD FSR is certainly an impressive technology, there are a few hitches. The software works great at improving performance, but don’t expect it to exactly replicate image quality to the standards of a natively rendered game. Background objects may appear slightly less detailed than they normally would. However, suffice to say, it will get the job done and skillfully run demanding titles on the Steam Deck. Plus, on a portable PC with a smaller screen, the slight loss of quality shouldn’t be too noticeable.
Valve’s Steam Deck will launch this month on February 25.