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Terra Nil on Steam Deck Performance
Although Terra Nil comes with an “unknown” grading from Valve, it can be played on the Steam Deck with a few tweaks.
Overall performance isn’t perfect. You can expect frame drops in the range of 30 to 60 with 40 being the average. But what’s interesting is that because Terra Nil is an isometric viewpoint, frame drops are rarely ever felt. I’d even go as far as saying you’ll likely never spot them unless you have the Steam Deck performance overlay enabled.
Visually, everything pops and looks lovely on the Steam Deck’s 800p screen or when the Deck is docked. I’ve been running the game at 720p on my TV with FSR on and set to five and it looks just as good as it does on PC as far as I’m concerned.
There is an issue with the default controls not working well, but that’s easily fixed by changing the controller configuration to a community layout (I’ve uploaded a RetroResolve controller layout, which is the one I’ve been using and it works great).
Terra Nil Steam Deck Settings
There isn’t much in the way of settings. You’ve got the screen resolution, whether it’s full screen or not, and the choice to turn vsync on and off.
Thankfully, you don’t really need to mess with anything. If you’re after even smoother performance you could switch the resolution to 1152 by 720 and then use FSR to upscale the image, but I don’t think that’s necessary.
One setting I would recommend changing is “enable edge panning.” With this on, when the mouse cursor reaches the edge of the screen, the whole screen moves with it. By turning this off, you won’t accidentally move the entire world while trying to access the edge of the screen.
With the controller configuration mentioned above, the left stick moves the entire screen anyway, so the edge panning feature becomes more of an annoyance than anything else.
|Terra Nil (In-game Settings)|
|Enable Edge Panning||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: 74%||Temperature: 68 degrees|
|Battery Drain||17.8 watts|
|Fills the Entire Steam Deck Screen||Yes|
|Performance Rating: 3/5|
Bugs and Issues
While there hasn’t been an onslaught of issues, I did find upon completing one of the first tasks, the survival book wouldn’t close, which meant I couldn’t progress. Closing the game down and reloading fixed this issue sharply, though.
I checked online and this does appear to be an issue multiple users have suffered, so I’d expect it to be patched at some point in the future.
Terra Nil is a chill game. Imagine Sim City but instead of building a megalopolis, the goal is to bring life back to a ruined world. Soil is dying, and it’s your job to reinvigorate the land with lush greeny, plantlife, and bring animals back to help balance a precarious ecosystem.
I’ve enjoyed my time testing out Terra Nil, and I wasn’t expecting it to run as well as it does. If you’re after something a little different that’s sure to keep you planning and optimizing, Terra Nil is well worth checking out.
All images captured on Steam Deck. Review code provided by Epic Games.