WWE 2K23 on Steam Deck Settings and Performance

WWE 2K23 on Steam Deck Performance

Screenshot from WWE 2k23 showing Roman Reigns during his entrance.

Some backstory for you: I spoke with the developers previously and was told WWE 2K23 was not being optimized for the Steam Deck. I also said that despite this, Valve could work some Proton magic and that could be enough to run the game. 

As it turns out, WWE 2K23’s performance across the board is exceptional on Steam Deck. Framerates hit a constant 60 frames per second in most modes, the textures look crisp and clear, and updates to the game have made previously-slow areas like the Create a Superstar suite all the more snappy. 

By default, WWE 2K23 runs at 30 frames per second during cutscenes and entrances and 60 during gameplay. You can, however, switch to Proton experimental and have 60 frames per second in both gameplay and any cutscenes or entrances. 

The biggest hurdle right now is matches with multiple opponents, in particular any kind of War Games match. Gameplay in that match will slow to around 45 to 50 frames per second, with the start of the match feeling much slower. Add in weapons and there’s potential to slow it even further.

You can alleviate some of these issues by dialing down the settings, switching to FXAA, and disabling depth of field, but what you gain for the sake of a handful of match types isn’t worth the trade-off when singles and tag matches run near flawlessly and look stunning

WWE 2K23 Steam Deck Settings

Screenshot from WWE 2k23 showing John Cena about to attack Brock Lesnar.

The settings below are what I’ve been using to get 60 frames per second or as close to 60 as possible, and it’s been a smooth ride throughout. 

In fact, and this really surprised me, in docked mode you can actually run the game at 1080p with almost no performance issues. I can’t say the resolution bump is worth it as WWE 2K23 on Steam Deck bakes AMD FSR 1.0 in. But the fact it can run at 1080p with no major slowdown is a testament to how well WWE 2k23 runs on the Deck. 

Even with elements like shader quality, Vsync, and model quality set to the highest they can go, WWE 2K23 manages a smooth 60 without even maximizing its GPU usage. It’s truly astounding what’s been created here. 

WWE 2K23 (In-game Settings)
Texture Quality Standard
Windowed Mode Yes
Screen Resolution 1280×720 (16:9)
Vertical Sync Yes
Action Camera FPS 60
Model Quality High
Shadow Quality Ultra
Shader Quality Ultra
Anti-Alias TAA
Reflections High
Dynamic Upscalingb AMD FSR 1
Sharpness 5
Depth of Field On
Motion Blur 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: 94% Temperature: 69 degrees
Extra Info
Fills the Entire Steam Deck Screen No
Valve Grading Unknown
Performance Rating: 4/5

Bugs and Issues

Screenshot from WWE 2k23 on Steam Deck showing an eight-man tag match with all the wrestlers in the ring.

Despite the brilliant performance, WWE 2K23 isn’t without its faults on Steam Deck. War Games matches feel much slower than any other match type. They’re still very playable, but the match type is in dire need of optimization. 

I also couldn’t get online versus matches to work for me. It’s possible this is an issue with my Internet or something on the Steam Deck itself, but it’s an issue worth noting. Hopefully this will be fixed in a later Proton update. 

I also suffered a weird unfolding of textures in the BCW arena, although it’s hard to tell if that’s a game issue or a Steam Deck one. 

There are also the usual issues like body parts clipping through ropes when they shouldn’t, but to be honest, problems like that aren’t a deal-breaker by any means. 

So, expect bugs, and the occasional crash. But overall, there isn’t anything game-breaking or anything enough of a reason not to pick up WWE 2k23.


Screenshot from WWE 2k23 on Steam Deck showing the character creation utility where I downloaded a Bray Wyatt/The Fiend custom wrestler.

I’m still in shock at how well WWE 2K23 runs on the Steam Deck. Not only that, this iteration feels more of a Wrestlemania main event that any entry in the 2K series. 

The changes to gameplay make matches flow better, visually no other wrestling game can touch WWE 2k23, and it even works brilliantly in docked mode. 

If you skipped on WWE 2k22, or you just want a solid wrestling game to play on the go, WWE 2K23 is easily one of the marquee reasons to own a Steam Deck. 

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All images captured on Steam Deck hardware. Review code provided by 2K.

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.