Big Ambitions on Steam Deck Performance
It goes without saying, when reviewing an early access title like Big Ambitions, not everything is going to function as it should.
Overall, Big Ambitions shows a lot of potential. With the settings dialed down expect framerates in the region of 45 to 60 frames per second. That’s not bad, especially given Steam Deck support hasn’t been fully optimized yet.
The biggest issue here is stability. Bugs are manageable, but frequent crashes and a controller layout that isn’t yet as intuitive as it could be holds Big Ambitions back.
I spoke with Jonas Hovgaard of Hovgaard Games when requesting a review copy and he tells me although Steam Deck isn’t where it needs to be, support is coming – as outlined in the Big Ambitions roadmap.
“We’re still not happy with our Deck support,” says Hovgaard, “but it’s on our roadmap for the next update.”
The roadmap specifically mentions Steam Deck support and an improved controller layout. So while these things are an issue now, they’re on the developer’s radar and could very well be fixed down the line.
As I say, Big Ambitions has a lot of potential, and knowing the dev team will be focused on fixing up the Steam Deck side of things means it could one day be on par with the likes of Sims 4, House Flipper, and Hotel Renovator.
Big Ambitions Settings
The settings below are designed to get as close to 60 frames per second as possible. Indoors, 60 is very achievable but in the outside world, where cars often whizz past, expect the framerate to drop to the low 50s or occasionally 45 frames per second.
Visually, Big Ambitions is very playable despite its early access nature. I’m yet to find anything that completely breaks the visuals or framerate, which is definitely a good sign.
|Big Ambitions (In-game Settings)|
|FPS Limit||VSync (Max 60 FPS)|
|Steam Deck Settings (Quick Access Menu)|
|TDP: 11 (45)||Estimated Battery Life: 2 Hours|
|Docked Mode Resolution: 1280×700||FSR: ON (Docked Mode)|
|GPU Usage: 89%||Temperature: 63 degrees|
|Fills the Entire Steam Deck Screen||Yes|
|Performance Rating: 3/5|
Bugs and Issues
Aside from frequent crashes due to, presumably, the power limitations of the Steam Deck, it’s also fair to expect plenty of strange bugs. Again, it’s an early access title, so these things shouldn’t be held against the developer in the same way you would a new release title.
One bug I suffered, which in all honesty made me laugh more than anything, was when my character was rushed to the hospital because I couldn’t get back to my fridge in time to eat. When she was discharged, she decided to float horizontally across the floor instead of standing up and walking like a real person.
A quick reload fixed this bug.
Big Ambitions has some serious, well, ambitions. It’s a complex game with a host of interlinking systems set in a busy world. The fact it runs at all is a testament to how talented the team behind it is.
At the moment, I can’t recommend Big Ambitions without some serious caveats. And for most people, I’d suggest either holding off until the Steam Deck update drops, or purchasing now to try it out then waiting.
What’s important here is that Big Ambitions gets the gameplay right. Sure there are problems to be found, but just like a good Sims house, Big Ambitions has solid foundations. And once the rest of the building gets completed, Big Ambitions could be a serious player in the simulation space.
All images captured on Steam Deck hardware. Review copy provided by the developer.