Steam Deck targets 30fps performance, but most games actually exceed that

Written by Chad Norton on Mon, Jul 26, 2021 4:20 PM

Valve surprised everyone when they announced the handheld gaming console known as the Steam Deck, which is essentially a portable PC to play your games on. However, since its reveal there has been some details released regarding the device’s performance and quality.

Back when the Steam Deck was first revealed, Valve said they were targeting 30fps performance in games running at the native resolution of 800p. Obviously this caused some concern among PC gamers, who have largely declared 60fps to be the standard of the platform.

However, as it turns out that 30fps target is simply just the minimum, with most games tested on it exceeding that target, at least that is according to a coder at Valve who recently clarified the situation: “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,” said Pierre-Loup Griffais.

But that’s not all though, as it seems the Steam Deck will also provide several options to players in order to customize performance and battery life including an FPS limiter. Not much more info has been revealed about the FPS limiter, though presumably it will be set per game rather than blanketed across the whole device.

What do you think? Are you excited for the Steam Deck? Have you pre-ordered one already? What is your preferred FPS target? What is the minimum FPS for a comfortable experience? And are you okay with 30fps as a minimum on the Steam Deck? Let us know!

Are you excited for the Steam Deck?

What is your preferred FPS target in games?

What is the minimum fps for a comfortable experience whilst gaming?

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10:39 Jul-27-2021

most games yeah, anything before 2013?

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19:49 Jul-27-2021

And even most recently released indie games since most of those tend to be able to run even on ancient hardware. (Keyword: most)

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23:37 Jul-26-2021

im pretty sure im going to get steam deck when its available and benchmarks/reviews comes out. I really loved my PSP 3003 back in the day and i used to be big fan of portable gaming. These days i play exclusively on pc but mostly because current portable devices are too expensive, made by very small companies with shaky performance. Steam deck has all bells and whistles and supposedly good performance with awesome specs. 256gb version seems like good middleground, im definitely okay with longer load times on SD card.

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23:42 Jul-26-2021

if i remember correctly most psp games used to run at 30fps and i never had problem with that, in fact i dont have big issues playing 30fps even on pc as long as frametimes are consistent and im playing with controller since with that you dont feel input latency and smoothness as much as with mouse, where you can do quick camera swipes. So yeah really looking forward for this, i would mostly use steam deck for game emulation (psp games as well :]) and older games for windows.

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22:22 Jul-26-2021

I havent played handheld games in a long time.. but shouldnt 30fps be fine in a 7in screen? Imo one of the reasons 30fps is considered by many to be insufficient for pc gaming is sitting close to a monitor, its easy to see how crude 30fps is. Sit further away (or get a smaller monitor) and motion just naturally looks smoother.

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21:49 Jul-26-2021

As piece of tech, Deck is exciting. And for what it is, I think performance will be good, but also for what it is, there will always be compromises to a degree. As much as I would ideally want 60FPS minimum, it is still APU and it will get PC games that won't get console level of optimization, plus battery life is a thing as well. Still, as far as portable experience goes,it should still be great.

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21:51 Jul-26-2021

Unless you are one of those who will be fine hauling that huge heavy laptop with desktop parts and battery life of 30min around. I love good performance just as much as anyone else, but there are points where I would just take Deck and any potential compromise just for sake of convenience.

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19:54 Jul-26-2021

60 min ever since Quake2!

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19:46 Jul-26-2021

Preferably solid 60 fps, but minimum 30 fps 1080p low settings with high/ultra textures

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18:25 Jul-26-2021

60 is a bottom-of-the-barrel minimum when you have a high refresh rate display. But on a 7" screen - turning down some settings to get a locked 60 should be no problem, I reckon.

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19:09 Jul-26-2021

Especially at 720p!

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19:49 Jul-26-2021

I doubt this thing can run cp 2077/the medium, flight sim very well at 60 fps, even when resolution is dropped to 720p 50% res.

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00:18 Jul-27-2021

you are correct, most likely of its cpu perf for flight sim and probably both for cp2077

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00:27 Jul-27-2021

but i hardly imagine playing these ultra high end games on handheld. 2014 or older games, locked to 60fps should be sweet spot for steam deck, not because it cannot run newer games(yes it can) but because it puts maximum strain on battery.

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18:03 Jul-26-2021

I'm fine with 30fps on console.


But on PC? 60FPS or it didn't happen.

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19:50 Jul-26-2021

60 fps is just not that possible in some games like cp 2077, the medium or flight sim.

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21:16 Jul-26-2021

Unfortunately.

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18:02 Jul-26-2021

Benchmarks when, Valve?

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Radeon R9 280 Gigabyte WindForce 3X OC 3GB Edition 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 4k
Core i9-10900K 10-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 3070 Gigabyte Vision OC 8GB 64GB
Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz Radeon HD 7500G 8GB
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 5600 XT Sapphire Pulse 6GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Core i3-4030U 1.9GHz Intel HD Graphics 4400 Mobile 2GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [5 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 GeForce GTX 1070 Ti MSI Gaming 8GB 16GB
Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB