Starfield Direct and Xbox Showcase have taken the world by storm. Now that the specs are out, most of you might be wondering about compatibility. Steam Deck is surely a tempting platform to play the game on the go. But at this point, there is no official statement from either Valve or Bethesda on Starfield Steam Deck compatibility. Valve is yet to add the game to their ‘Deck Verified’ list.
That being said, we can still come to some useful conclusions based on Starfield system requirements and Steam deck’s current capabilities.
Starfield Steam Deck system requirements
To start off, Starfield is an enormous game with some large-scale prospects. Naturally, the system requirements are quite high. Starfield Steam deck file size would require 125 GB of storage, which is bad news for those of you that own the 64GB version of the handheld device. Upgrading storage using microSD cards is not a good idea either, since Bethesda has stated SSD is a minimum requirement.
Coming to the GPU, Bethesda recommends an RTX 2080/RX 6800 XT for best performance. The minimum requirement is a GTX 1070ti or an RX 5700 for seamless gameplay. This presents quite a challenge for Steam Deck as its GPU performance is only equivalent to an GTX 1050 Mobile. Of course, Starfield will be optimized for play on lower specs as well so Steam Deck users can look to hope.
What we know about Starfield’s performance on Steam Deck
While most games offer optimizations for Steam Deck, AAA titles with high graphics requirements have their limitations. Bethesda’s games are known to give good gameplay performance even on low FPS. This is good news for Steam Deck since playability vastly improves when FPS is dropped to 40 or 30. Valve has optimized some games and offered FPS lock to improve gameplay. This could happen with Starfield as well if it meets the optimal requirements.
The problem with Starfield Steam Deck gameplay is that very few verified games exist that can match up to the specs. Cyberpunk 2077, which was recently added to steam deck, is a demanding title and is quite comparable with Starfield. It is playable on Steam Deck at an FPS cap of 45 and considerable downgrades on pretty much all aspects. However, considering the visual elements Cyberpunk has to offer, Steam Deck runs the game quite well.
If Starfield Direct is anything to go by, the scale of Bethesda’s latest offering is like nothing ever encountered in gaming before. There are tons of elements in the game without even getting into the core gameplay aspect. So, any comparison with existing Steam Deck playable games is mostly speculation at this point. However, based on what is known of Starfield and Steam Deck’s limitations, the game should be playable with a lot of downgrades and occasional FPS dips.
Will Starfield mods allow the Steam Deck to run the game?
The good news is that Starfield is a Bethesda game, which means a plethora of mods, some of which will possibly optimize the game for Steam Deck. The bad news is that mods and Steam Deck don’t necessarily go hand in hand. But if you can get through the hassles of installing mods on your Steam Deck, the Starfield Steam Deck experience should be worth it.