Sims 4 on Steam Deck Settings and Performance

Sims 4 on Steam Deck Performance

Screenshot from Sims 4 showing the character creator.

I’m warning you now, this isn’t going to be as straightforward as normal. Performance of The Sims 4 on Steam Deck is superb, with the framerate sticking to a smooth 60 regardless of what you’re doing. But this does come with a warning. Before you make any decisions, please be sure to check out the bugs and issues sections down below. 

Overall, though, you can expect a smooth visual experience with all the settings cranked to the max. Custom content works on Steam Deck, and so far my testing hasn’t thrown up any negative performance problems. It’s all smooth sailing. So far…

Sims 4 on Steam Deck Settings

Screenshot from Sims 4 showing a player house from an isometric viewpoint.

The settings below are what the game recommends, and to be honest, I don’t think any of them are worth changing with the exception of toggling Vsync on.

Sims 4 on Steam Deck runs at 60 frames per second and that’s with everything set as high as it can go. You can even drop the TDP setting all the way down to 10 without a hit to performance, which keeps the fan quiet and improves battery drain. 

What I would suggest is abandoning the official Sims 4 controller layout. It works fine, but I found myself constantly clicking buttons in the hope of it performing the task I wanted it to. It took me way too long to work out how to do something simple like zooming out. 

I did, however, get a lot of usage out of Chrono’s Sims 4 bindings profile, available in the community layout section. This mapped the mouse function to the left stick while leaving the right stick to rotate and zoom in and out. It’s a much more controller-friendly way of playing and I can’t recommend it enough. 

The Sims 4 (In-game Settings)
Display Type Fullscreen
Resolution 1280×800 (16:10)
Refresh Rate 60
Vertical Sync On
Graphics Quality Custom
Sims Very High
Objects High
Lighting Very High
Reflections High
Visual Effect High
Edge Smoothing High
3D Scene Resolution High
View Distance High
Uncompressed Sim Textures On
Post Porocessing Effects On
Laptop Mode Off
Steam Deck Settings (Quick Access Menu)
TDP: 10 Estimated Battery Life: 2 Hours
Docked Mode Resolution: 1280×700 FSR: ON (Docked Mode)
GPU Usage: 81% Temperature: 62 degrees
Extra Info
Fills the Entire Steam Deck Screen Yes
Valve Grading Playable
Performance Rating: 4/5

Bugs and Issues (Important)

Screenshot from Sims 4 on Steam Deck showing a player-built home.

Despite The Sims 4 on Steam Deck running at a smooth 60 frames per second, there is one bug that has the potential to delete your save data. 

No one knows the cause yet, but it could be linked to the EA App. During the review period, I closed the game down as normal and thought nothing of it. The next time I tried to load it, the screen went black and the game, or even the EA App, wouldn’t load. 

I looked for a solution and found the only option was to delete the game and reinstall it. That’s annoying, but it’s something that Steam Deck users are used to with certain games. 

I uninstalled the game and reinstalled it and yes, this fixed it, but it also deleted all my mods and save games. I’m assuming it’s possible to back them up before you uninstall, but you can imagine the frustration here. The EA App doesn’t implement cloud saves on the Deck, and because of that superfluous launcher, Steam won’t automatically back the saves up either. 

This, once again, is another case of a game’s launcher being a hindrance. It offers zero benefit to players on Steam Deck and now, potentially, causes games not to work. 

It’s possible Valve or EA could fix this in the future, but as of right now, it’s impossible to recommend The Sims 4 on Steam Deck until it’s fixed. 


Screenshot from Sims 4 showing the world map.

Smooth gameplay is hindered by game-breaking and save-losing bugs. The Sims 4 has the potential to be the best way to play Sims on the go, but until its issues are fixed, fans of the series should avoid the Steam Deck version for the time being. 

All images captured on Steam Deck hardware.

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.