Is Remnant 2 on Steam Deck?
Yes, but to play it with okay performance you’re going to need to drop the graphics settings way down.
Remnant 2 struggles in almost every way on the Steam Deck, and even when you think you’ve got a locked 30 frames per second the game surprises with random frame drops and crashes.
Before I move on, Gearbox – the game’s publisher – has informed me that a day-one patch is in the works. As I’ve been using the pre-release review build, it’s possible some of the issues may be fixed. I’m doubtful, though.
- Runs at 30 frames per second with tweaks.
- Visuals will take a hit.
- Crashes happen often.
After toying for hours, I realized the only way to play Remnant 2 is to completely decimate the game’s visuals. The resolution needs to be dropped to a reworked 720p if you’re going to stand a chance of running it. And you’ll need to consider how much consistency you want. If you want the smoothest experience possible, switching FSR to ultraperformance is recommended, despite how ugly the game will look.
I averaged between 25 and 30 frames per second at 12 watts and I can tell you now, that’s the worst way to play Remnant 2. You ideally need the full 15 watts if you want any hope of fluidity. The full 15 watts should get you as close to 30 frames per second as the game is currently capable of.
It’s also worth noting crashes happen frequently enough to be a problem. It’s not as bad as it is on the ASUS ROG Ally, but the problems are there.
I don’t like having to take a full-price AAA game and crank the graphics down so it’ll run. There is the argument to be made that Remnant 2 is a Windows game being side-loaded onto a Linux device, and that’s fair, but it doesn’t explain why the PC version also struggles in similar areas.
My settings below are designed to get a fairly stable 30 frames per second. It’s impossible to keep things locked to 30 at the moment, so the below is the closest you’ll get.
Dropping the resolution to 1152 x 720 will make the game look worse, but the trade-off is it’ll run smoother. You can also switch FSR to ultra performance to gain around three extra frames, but that’s too much of a visual downgrade for me. The performance setting is enough.
I’d also recommend playing with the TDP. You can get by on 12 for a large portion of the opening area (depending on which world you spawn into), but the later more difficult sections require the full 15 watts to operate fully.
|Remnant 2 (In-game Settings)|
|Graphics Quality Preset||Low|
|View distance Quality||Low|
|Steam Deck Settings (Quick Access Menu)|
|TDP: 15||Estimated Battery Life: 1 Hour 30 minutes|
|Docked Mode Resolution: 1152×720||FSR: On (Docked Mode)|
|GPU Usage: 97%||Temperature: 74 degrees|
|Battery Drain: 23.5w||FPS: 30|
|Fills the Entire Steam Deck Screen||Yes|
|Performance Rating: 1/5|
Bugs and issues
Apart from having to downgrade the visuals to get it to run and frequent crashes, the main gameplay loop works for the most part.
There is a big issue with hit detection, and I’ve seen this problem on both the Steam Deck and the ROG Ally. Stand near a fire – rather than in it – and you’ll be lit up. It’s the same for area of effect damage like toxic puddles. Get too close and you’ll start becoming poisoned despite standing outside of its markings. And yes , it’s as frustrating as it sounds.
Beam attacks, especially from some bosses, also have a habit of hitting despite moving out of the way. Now, I’ll admit my first thought was I had the timing off, but after testing this out several times, my character was definitely getting out of the way in time.
Valve’s verified status simply isn’t up to scratch. Verified dictates that a game can be played and enjoyed to its fullest. Are crashes not taken into account? How about a sub-30 framerate? Why does the character creator rum smoother with bald characters? Is any of this normal behavior?
Remnant 2 is the latest AAA game to perform poorly at launch and it won’t be the last. It’s such a shame as well because believe it or not, the game is exceptional. Everything I disliked from the first game has been removed or reworked, resulting in one of the best souls-like-shooter games out there.
The smorgasbord of different genres really sets Remnant 2 apart from all the cheap Dark Souls clones. One minute you’ll be in a lush fairy world, the next it’s like you’re stepping foot off the Prometheus.
Boss fights are now enjoyable, co-op makes the game even more satisfying, and the new classes are fun to figure out.
But it’s just not ready for release. I accept handhelds are a different breed when it comes to compatibility but if it can’t run well on a high-end PC (on low it uses 60 percent of my 4090 eGPU), how will it work on anything else?
I’m happy to revisit Remnant 2 when it’s in a better place, but as of right now, it’s impossible to recommend on the Steam Deck.
All screenshots captured by Wesley Copeland. | Review code provided by Gearbox.