Lone Ruin on Steam Deck Performance Review and Best Settings

Lone Ruin runs brilliantly on the Steam Deck. If you're tempted to pick it up, here's what you need to know.
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Lone Ruin Performance Review

Here are the steps to get Lone Ruin working to its fullest: Download the game. Play the game. That’s it! Everything works right out the box with no need for tinkering whatsoever.

You will lose frames in certain, expected places – loading up a new run, moving between rooms – but it’s only noticeable with the stats overlay turned on. They’re not frame drops you’ll feel.

Overall, Lone Ruin runs at a solid 60 with all the settings enabled. It also only uses extra GPU power when it’s docked. Otherwise it’ll run at around a cool 50 percent.

When docked there isn’t any blurring either. It looks just as good as it does in handheld mode.

Game Overview

Lost Ruin running on the Steam Deck with the stats overlay enabled.

Imagine Hades. Now make it gothic. And get rid of weapons. Instead, your index finger now has the power to cast spells. Pointing isn’t just rude, it’s now capable of turning enemies to dust.

Of course, that’s just a small overview of the game. At its heart, Lone Ruin is a rhythmic dance of cat and mouse. Dash to avoid getting hit, cast a spell, then perform a split-second mental equation to work out where to reposition to. Riposte, counter, plan.

When the music burns brightest and enemies begin surrounding the player, that’s when Lone Ruin truly breathes to life. Excitement turns to panic turns to misery or nirvana. That is Lone Ruin: a game that is happy to punish or reward in equal measure without feeling harsh.

  • Game Type: Roguelike, twin-stick caster
  • Similar Games: Hades, Binding of Isaac
  • Presentation: Gotchi 3D pixel-art
  • Release Date: January 12, 2023

If you’re new to this style of game, here’s how it all works: Pick a spell at the start of a run, defeat some enemies in a room, then choose the next room to enter by what its final reward is. Progress far enough and you’ll fight some bosses. Defeat three bosses, you win. Succumb to death and it’s back to the title screen.

Lone Ruin won’t be for everyone. If you like rogue-style games, and you’re after something bite-size to chomp on, Lone Ruin is worth considering not just for the gameplay, but the pixel-art world is beautifully morose in all the right ways.

It’s a short game right now, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With its satisfying foundations in place, Lone Ruin has the potential to grow into something much larger down the line if it finds a fanbase, and what it could be is just as exciting as turning enemies to dust just by pointing at them.

Lone Ruin on Steam Deck Settings

In a pleasant surprise, Lone Ruin doesn’t really need much tinkering. There’s no need to change any of the main graphics unless you have an aversion to a specific setting.

What I do recommend is dropping down the TDP in the quick access menu down to eight or 10. The game still performs brilliantly at a stable 60 frames per second, but you lose the potential fan loudness and it’ll use less juice.

You can also toggle the intro to off after a few runs. It’s a nice intro, but it doesn’t really add anything to the game once you’ve settled into the groove.

Lone Ruin (In-game Settings)
Fullscreen: On Enable Rim Light: On
Enable SSAO: On Enable Color Grading: On
Enable Shadows: On Damage Numbers: On
Intro: Off
Steam Deck Settings (Quick Access Menu)
TDP: 8 (60 Frames) Estimated Battery Life: 2 Hours 50 Minutes
Docked Mode Resolution: 1280×720 FSR: On (Docked Mode)
GPU Usage: 47%-70% Temperature: 61 degrees
Performance Rating: 5/5

Issues Overview

Achievements weren’t working during the pre-release phase, but that’s since been fixed and achievements are now popping for me.

Other than that? There really isn’t much to grumble about. Text is legible, controls are responsive, and there’s zero screen tearing or other bothersome issues to worry about. It’s superb in docked mode as well. It’s the complete opposite of my experience setting up Cyberpunk 2077 in that regard.

I’d argue the game is in need of a resume function, though. Runs are short, sure, but having to start over if you need to quit is a bit of a pain.

Conclusion

A second image showing Lost Ruin running on the Steam Deck with the stats overlay enabled.

Lone Ruin is perfect for fans of fast-paced, thoughtful combat. Both the single runs and survival modes are ideal for when you’ve got a spare 15 minutes and want to fill it with something small but rewarding.

And the performance! It works brilliantly. Even when it’s at its most chaotic, the game just works.

Of course Lone Ruin won’t be for everyone, that’s the nature of the rogue genre. But if you’re after something short that frequently compels, Lone Ruin’s spell-based combat has firmly cast its spell on me.

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All images captured on Steam Deck hardware/review code provided by PR.

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Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming and tech journalist with over 10 years of experience writing online. Originally starting in video games before specializing in tech and toys, you can find his bylines at IGN, VG24/7, Kotaku, Tech Radar, Games Radar, PC Gamer, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.