Does the deck have enough steam?

Valve Claims Steam Deck Runs Most Games At 30 FPS Or Above

Last week, we learned that Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck would be “targeting 30 FPS” gameplay. However, in response to various concerns about the handheld’s performance, Valve has clarified exactly what this means in terms of the actual experience at hand.

Steam Deck Touch UI
Credit: Valve

To both shine a light on the situation and soothe the performance rage of PC gamers, Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais decided to explain the technical premise behind the Steam Deck on Twitter. While the Valve dev doesn’t outright deny the device’s 30 FPS preference, he does add that various games can run at higher frame rates [via Eurogamer]:

“The “30 FPS target” refers to the floor of what we consider playable in our performance testing; games we’ve tested and shown have consistently met and exceeded that bar so far. There will also be an optional built-in FPS limiter to fine-tune perf vs. battery life.”

Now, it’s worth mentioning that the Steam Deck is still in development. Therefore, any references to 30 FPS performance are not necessarily related to the finished product. However, when you take a moment to consider the Steam Deck’s size, specs and battery life, the fact it’s targeting 30 FPS gameplay makes sense.


There’s also something to be said about Griffais’ claims of an “optional build-in FPS limiter“, as such a feature could be the key to satisfying both hardcore PC gamers and casual players alike.

Valve Steam Deck Stick Drift
Credit: Valve

There’s no doubt that we’ll learn more about the Steam Deck and its FPS limitations soon. However, if the device fails to convince its PC gaming fanbase that it’s capable of 60 FPS gameplay, it could ultimately find its reputation tarnished.

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Featured Image Credit: Valve