Shadow of War on Steam Deck Settings

Recommended Settings on Steam Deck

The goal for these settings is a smooth experience. 60 frames per second is possible, but it’s fleeting. Chances are, there’s simply too much going on to achieve a solid 60, but we can get very close. So much so, the experience feels super smooth.

During my testing, the game fluctuates due to how much is going on. Standing still at a waypoint and chilling will hit 60 frames no problem. But move into the world, or get into a battle, and frames will drop to between 50 and 60 with the settings below.

If you decide the fan is too loud at 15 watts, you can still get a smooth experience by locking the frames to 45 in the quick-access menu and switching to 10 watts. Eight watts is possible, but as a general rule, the fewer watts, the fewer frames.

Personally, I’d rather go with the lower TDP options and lock the framerate to 45. That feels like 60 and gives the game a bit more breathing room.

Interestingly, these settings also work great in docked mode, though you will need to ditch the framerate lock. That’s because when docked, the Steam Deck’s framerate lock doesn’t work well with certain TVs and monitors.

If you do go the docked route, be sure to set the in-game resolution to 720p and use FSR from the quick-access menu to upscale the image. Shadow of War is actually my go-to game when talking about how powerful FSR is, so be sure to check it out.

Shadow of War Settings (In-game)
Display Mode: Fullscreen Shaodw Quality: High
Scaled Resolution: 1280 x 800 Texture Filtering: Medium
Vertical Sync: 60 Texture Quality: Medium
Dynamic Resolution: Off Ambient Occlusion: Medium
Max FPS: No Limit Vegetation Range: Low
Lighting Quality: Medium Tessellation: On (optional)
Mesh Quality: Medium Preload High Mips: On (optional)
Motion Blur: Off Large Page Mode: Off (optional)
Anti-Aliasing: TAA  
Steam Deck Settings (Quick Access Menu)
TDP: 10 (45-55)/15 (50-60) Estimated Battery Life: 90 minutes
Docked Mode Resolution: 1280×720 FSR: On (Docked Mode)
GPU Usage: 89-93%  
Overall Rating: 4/5

Playing with all the settings switched to high isn’t recommended on the Steam Deck. If you aren’t fussed about framerate, it’s possible to mix in some high settings so long as you’re okay with the game running at 30 frames per second. But in terms of pushing everything as high as it can go, the Deck isn’t powerful enough to keep things moving at a solid pace.

in reality this isn’t really as bad as it sounds. High settings will make the game more crisp and detailed, of course, but Shadow of War on Steam Deck still looks and feels great on medium settings.

Low Settings Performance Overview

While changing every setting to low provides the highest and most stable framerate, it is not worth the trade-off.

At lower settings, costume textures look more blurred, the terrain becomes muddier, and pop-in happens enough to be an issue. Shadow of War also doesn’t have the best implementation of anti-aliasing either, so turning that off is going to throw up plenty of noticeable jagged edges.

In short, low settings aren’t worth your time.

Issues Overview

While playing with my recommended Shadow of War on Steam Deck settings, I encountered very few problems. Compared with the Witcher 3 next-gen update on Steam Deck, it’s night and day.

Textures are never as clean as they could be, which is a shame but it doesn’t make the game unplayable. They look good, just not great. The same goes for distant objects. You can see them, and they’re fine, but they could be much clearer.

I believe that the issues here aren’t necessarily down to the Steam Deck. Shadow of War released back in 2017, and while that may not seem that long ago, a lot has changed in that time. A patch could improve things on the Deck, but that’s wishful thinking at this point.

  • Textures look blurred even on high
  • Distant objects could be clearer
  • Runs hot
  • Battery life is 90 minutes

What’s important to note here, despite the game lacking crispness – especially when compared to how clean Shadow of Mordor is – it still looks lovely on the Deck’s smaller screen. I’ve tried playing Shadow of War in both docked mode and the PS4 version via my PS5. While the PS4 Pro version looks a bit sharper, the extra frames from the Steam Deck version (compared with the locked 30 frames on PS4) really make the experience much more enjoyable.

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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.