Does Returnal run on Steam Deck?

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Does Returnal run on Steam Deck? Valve’s handheld PC feels particularly suited to roguelike games, allowing you to continue your current run or start another one (or perhaps thirty) on the move. As such, Returnal looks like a perfect fit for the portable powerhouse on paper, but in reality this, unfortunately, isn’t quite the case.

With the Returnal install size coming in at 60GB, some of you will need one of the best Steam Deck SD cards in order to fit the game on the base model. This aside, the micro machine does meet the Returnal system requirements for the most part, but its GPU remains a weak point.

Is Returnal Steam Deck compatible?

Yes, you can play Returnal on Steam Deck. However, neither Valve nor the game’s developers have commented whether it will be deemed Playable or receive the full-whack Verified certification.

Based on our testing, the best Returnal settings for Steam Deck are essentially a combination of the game’s ‘Low’ preset alongside FSR in ‘Performance’ mode. Even with these noticeable compromises in visual quality, we strongly recommend using a 30fps cap for a more consistent frame rate and to boost battery life.

Future patches may help Returnal run more smoothly on Steam Deck. As things stand right now, it’s not a great experience and we don’t really recommend playing it on the system. That said, we shouldn’t stop hoping that things will change, as it’d make a cracking addition to any portable library.

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