WWE 2K23 on Steam Deck Performance
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
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)|
|Screen Resolution||1280×720 (16:9)|
|Action Camera FPS||60|
|Dynamic Upscalingb||AMD FSR 1|
|Depth of Field||On|
|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|
|Fills the Entire Steam Deck Screen||No|
|Performance Rating: 4/5|
Bugs and Issues
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.
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.
All images captured on Steam Deck hardware. Review code provided by 2K.