Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best looking open-world titles to date on the PC platform, but often can result in difficulties running on low-end hardware but is it really possible Valve’s Steam Deck, Valve’s new portable handheld gaming device capable enough to deliver on a playable gaming experience with satisfactory performance?
Over 100 outlets had access to the Steam Deck over the course of this month to test the device with a range of games, including Grand Theft Auto V and Max Payne 3 – our coverage on this can be seen here.
The folks over at Tom’s Hardware were among one of the outlets who had full hands with the Steam Deck to review the device, the outlet reviewed a range of AAA titles running the device, one of them being Red Dead Redemption 2. Tom’s Hardware in their test said the title performed with frame-rate results at an average of 49 frames per second with each graphical setting set to the lowest preset – it is worthy to note Red Dead Redemption 2 relies heavily on streaming data at a super-fast pace due to the sheer level of high-resolution assets throughout the open-world so this is really damn impressive.
There’s a downside though, the only caveat with the game running on the Steam Deck is that outlets such as Digital Foundry have noted in their reviews that Red Dead Redemption 2 can often encounter crashing issues during random playthroughs. Some reviews also noted the game requires an internet connection as the Rockstar Games Launcher needs to verify ownership of the game through a digital server, though sometimes it’s not required – it might be a good idea to have a mobile hotspot in case you plan on playing the game on the go.
Red Dead Redemption 2 crashes randomly, while Doom 64’s continual seconds-long stuttering makes the title unplayable. There’s the sense that there’s still a long road ahead until Steam Deck compatibility is absolutely where it needs to be.Richard Leadbetter, Eurogamer’s Technology Editor
Valve has done a fantastic job delivering on this device and the future for sure looks bright for portable gaming – especially if Nintendo decides to invest in better hardware for the Nintendo Switch. We hope some of the issues can be sorted out going forward as Eurogamer noted with the Steam Deck.
A gameplay video has surfaced a few days after writing this piece
An Italian outlet PC-Gaming IT recently uploaded a video of gameplay running on the Steam Deck with performance tests with graphical settings set between low-to-high – in Red Dead Redemption 2’s benchmark test, the Steam Deck performed with frame-rates between 40-50 frames per second in most instances, more demanding areas of the game such as Saint Denis saw performance with an average 30-40fps, still very impressive.
Keep in mind the game appears to be operating at 720p, however, AMD’s FSR feature built into the Steam Deck OS should keep the overall visual presentation looking great. Bumping up the resolution to the maximum threshold of the Steam Deck’s supported screen resolution (800p) may cause performance to take a slight hit but AMD FSR should do the trick of keeping the game looking good with the resolution set at 720p resolution so there isn’t really any justification of keeping it at 800p.
Sources used in this article
Eurogamer/Digital Foundry: Steam Deck review: the handheld PC capable of console quality gaming • Eurogamer.net
PC-Gaming It: Steam Deck Gameplay – Red Dead Redemption 2 – YouTube