Alien Isolation on Steam Deck Settings and Performance

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Alien Isolation Steam Deck Performance

Alien Isolation runs at 60 frames per second on Steam Deck for around 90 percent of the time. Why 90 percent? That’s because no matter what you do, there will be times when the framerate plummets. 

The lowest I got was 37 frames, with the average in busy areas being 45. Totally playable, of course, but something to be aware of. 

No amount of tinkering I did was able to keep things at a smooth 60 all the time. I tried dropping everything down as low as it’ll go, but the gain was only around five frames on average, so I don’t really think it’s worth going to that extreme. 

Still, mostly 60 and occasionally 45 is more than playable, and Alien Isolation looks stunning on the Steam Deck’s screen. The atmosphere is gripping and the dulled color palette truly brings the misery-filled world to life. 

The only major problem is the poor anti-aliasing tech. There isn’t a magic in-game setting to fix this either. You can, however, install the Alias Isolation mod which completely removes most jagged edges. 

I made a full guide here, complete with pictures to guide you, but to install it on Steam Deck head into the Alien Isolation folder and move all of its contents to a newly created folder. Then move the Alias Isolation files into the original Alien Isolation folder and rename the launch file to that of the main Alien Isolation file. 

Then when you load Alien Isolation as normal through Steam on the Steam Deck, it’ll launch Alias Isolation first and let you specify where you moved the original launch file to. Hit launch and Alien Isolation will now load with Alias Isolation implemented. 

Installing Alias Isolation isn’t required to enjoy the game, but I cannot recommend it enough. It takes what is already a stellar game and makes it even better. 

Alien Isolation Steam Deck Settings

Screenshot from Alien Isolation showing a space station (left) with a planet in the background. The sun beams brightly through the center of the shot.

You can get by with everything set to Ultra but I wouldn’t recommend doing so. The reason being, when the framerate drops, it’s felt even more when everything is set to Ultra. By dropping down to High, you still get stunning graphics and crisp gameplay, but the drops are much easier to manage. 

I’d also wager most couldn’t tell the difference between High and Ultra anyway. We’re running the game at 800p on the Steam Deck, so that extra clarity isn’t exactly noticeable unless you’re hooked up to a really good monitor. 

Elsewhere, Alien Isolation runs at an average temperature and doesn’t completely fill the GPU. The battery drain is pretty solid as well. Especially given how complex this game is. 

Alien Isolation (In-game Settings)
Deep Color On
Fullscreen Resolution 1280×800
Vertical Sync ON
Level of Detail High
Shadow Map Resolution 2048
Shadow Mapping High
Particles High
Motion Blur On
Depth of Field On
Chromatic Aberration On
Planar Reflections On
SSAO Standard
Texture Filtering Anisotropic 16x
Volumetric Lighting On
Anti-Aliasing SMAA T1x
Steam Deck Settings (Quick Access Menu)
TDP: 10 Estimated Battery Life: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Docked Mode Resolution: 1280×720 FSR: On (Docked Mode)
GPU Usage: 80% Temperature: 60 degrees
Battery Drain 13.2w
Extra Info
Fills the Entire Steam Deck Screen No
Valve Grading Verified
Performance Rating: 3/5

Bugs and Issues

Screenshot from Alien Isolation showing a dark grey and black corridor. A beam of light cuts through the middle to reveal the Xenomorph prowling.

During my playthrough, I didn’t suffer a single crash, which honestly surprised me. Normally with AAA games there’s at least one area where the game struggles and a crash ensues. But that didn’t happen here. Everything worked as it should with minimal issues. 

The biggest problem, as mentioned, is the lack of an advanced anti-aliasing method. But, as also mentioned, the Alias Isolation mod fixes that problem for those who are happy to do some prior tinkering. 


Screenshot from Alien Isolation from the perspective of someone hiding a white desk that appears grey due to the low lighting. In the arched doorway, an Alien can see walking away.

Alien Isolation remains one of the best Alien games out there. And with mods available to make it look as sharp as possible or remove the Alien to let players enjoy the atmosphere without the frights, I can’t think of a reason people shouldn’t play Alien Isolation on Steam Deck.

It’s creepy, engrossing, horrifying, and satisfying all in equal measures. Plus with killer performance and visuals on Steam Deck, this is the best way to play Alien Isolation on the go. 

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All screenshots captured on Steam Deck.

Wesley Copeland
Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming, tech, and toys 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, Heavy, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.