Starfield looks like it will be a game with great ambition, and is the weight of the game suitable for the Steam Deck?
Fall 2023 will be filled with major AAA releases covering nearly every major genre, from landscape platformers to third-person adventure titles. Among them is a special game kicking off the holiday season, and that’s Bethesda’s much-anticipated Starfield, which will be released in the first week of September. Todd Howard and company’s epic space title has been a frequent topic of discussion since the time it was announced because Starfield’s ambitions are as big as its galaxy. When the long-awaited release date finally arrives, a lot of gamers will no doubt do whatever it takes to get their hands on the game.
Starfield marks an important first step in a new direction for Bethesda Game Studios, as it is the first action RPG from the developer to be released after the company was acquired by Microsoft. While this gets many Xbox fans excited, it leaves PC-owning gamers with many questions, one of which is will Starfield run on the Steam Deck? Valve’s powerful handheld console has proven to be an impressive piece of hardware since it was released as it can play some of the most technically demanding games available on Steam. However, given the level of ambition of Starfield, it is still unclear whether it will be compatible with this mobile PC.
Games that work on Steam Deck also have heavy configuration
The Steam Deck is one of the most unique consoles because while it shares many similarities with the Nintendo Switch, its utility goes far beyond Nintendo’s popular hybrid console. It certainly allows gamers to play the same vast library of diverse games as the Switch, but it’s the quality of those games that makes the Steam Deck stand out. Soulsborne epic AAA titles like Elden Ring and fiery fighting games like Street Fighter 6 can run as smoothly on the Steam Deck as they do on the most high-tech gaming consoles or PCs.
When it comes to games that don’t work on the Steam Deck, there aren’t many. The vast majority of AAA releases on Steam are “Deck Verified,” meaning they run on systems with virtually no performance or overall playability issues. Some games that have not been Deck Verified are also Deck Playable, which means that Valve hasn’t gone through the full compatibility verification process of the game on the Steam Deck, or has one or two minor bugs that prevent the game from launching. The official designation is verified. As for Starfield, Valve’s Steam Deck verification history suggests that the game will be playable on the console.
Starfield should work on the Steam Deck
The future of Starfield on the Steam Deck is uncertain for now, but looking at all the other games that have been verified for handheld, it will likely run as well as any other extended AAA game. It has been confirmed that Starfield will be locked at 30 fps on consoles, and the Steam Deck is more than capable of running the game continuously at 30 fps. In terms of scale, games with auto-generated worlds like No Man’s Sky have also been verified for the Steam Deck, which should be a good sign for Starfield. As long as the PC version of Starfield is well optimized, it should deliver a pleasant experience on Valve’s handheld.
Starfield is just one of many new games releasing in the fall of 2023, but it benefits from being one of the first to release around that time. While it won’t release on multiple systems due to Xbox and PC exclusivity, the Steam Deck could prove to be an unexpected boon for the Bethesda title. Many gamers are still exploring the possibilities of the Steam Deck more than a year after its release, and the potential to play big games like Starfield is part of what makes the system so exciting. Hopefully when Starfield is released, gamers won’t have to wait long to explore the stars wherever they want.