Left Image: FSR on Quality. | Right Image: FSR on Performance.
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Is Diablo 4 on Steam Deck?
Diablo 4 isn’t available on Steam, but you can play it if you install Battle.net on Steam Deck and install it through that.
Diablo 4 on Steam Deck Performance
Despite not being a proper Steam release, Diablo 4 works well on the Steam Deck.
The framerate is the biggest hurdle, and the problems seem tied to Diablo 4 being an online-only game. When you’re out in the overworld exploring or battering baddies in dungeons, the framerate sticks close to 60. A smooth 60 isn’t possible all the time, but a range of 55 to 59 is achievable.
In hub areas, or when playing with friends, that’s when the framerate isn’t as stable. Here, you can expect something in the range of 40 to 50 on average. That’s not as great as it could be, but given this is a new game without full Proton support, it’s perfectly playable like that and impressive in its own right. I’m enjoying it greatly!
Diablo 4 on Steam Deck Best Settings
My settings below are designed to get as close to 60 frames as is possible. Or more specifically, as much as Diablo 4 will allow.
The one area I went back and forth on is FSR. It’s worth turning on regardless, but if you find the game struggles in a certain area, switch FSR from quality to performance. You could always go ultra performance, but honestly, that leaves the game looking too pixelated so I don’t recommend that.
You can also up the TDP to 15, but that’s going to increase the battery drain. I ended up settling on 10 watts and that kept the fan quiet while leaving enough power for the game to run well. 15 will increase performance, but the fan will constantly whir loudly. The choice is yours. I don’t think 15 is needed, but it’s there just in case.
|Diablo 4 (In-game Settings)|
|Limit Cutscene FPS||On|
|FidelityFX Super Resolution 2||Quality|
|Max Foregorund FPS||60|
|Max Background FPS||8|
|Water Simulation Quality||Low|
|Terrain Geometry Detail||Low|
|Screen Space Reflections||Off|
|Low FX Quality||Off|
|Steam Deck Settings (Quick Access Menu)|
|TDP: 10||Estimated Battery Life: 2 Hours|
|Docked Mode Resolution: 1280×720||FSR: On (Docked Mode)|
|GPU Usage: 98%||Temperature: 75 degrees|
|Fills the Entire Steam Deck Screen||Yes|
|Valve Grading||Unavailable on Steam|
|Performance Rating: 4/5|
Bugs and Issues
As mentioned, the biggest hurdle is anything online-related. The framerate struggles with other players. There’s no way around this despite how many different variations of settings I tried. That said, a framerate in the 40s is still really good for a new-release game on a handheld that doesn’t support it.
There’s also a problem with random stuttering.
The problems seem tied to the power limitations of the Steam Deck. Even though Diablo 4 runs better on my ASUS ROG Ally, even that handheld has the same problems. I decided to switch in my 4090 XG Mobile, and in a surprise to no one, the problems vanished. Turns out you can brute force problems away.
ASUS ROG Ally Comparison
As with any Steam Deck vs ASUS ROG Ally comparison, it’s a given that the game in question will perform better on the more advanced Ally.
The same problems seen on the Steam Deck are present over on the ASUS ROG Ally. But, even with more power, the Ally struggles with online areas where you can see other players running around. That said, the Ally manages to keep things above 60 frames per second for the most part.
On 15 watts (rather than the Ally’s 25-watt mode), the Ally keeps things feeling more fluid, even with the settings set to medium. The overworld can even reach framerates of 70 frames per second, too, which is amazing for a handheld device.
Diablo 4 is fantastic, and given it’s playable at all on the Steam Deck is no small miracle. It runs and runs well. If you were on the fence because you weren’t sure about compatibility, you can go ahead and safely pick up Diablo 4 on Steam Deck. You won’t regret it.
All screenshots captured on Steam Deck. | Retail version of Diablo 4 purchased and used.