Fall 2023 is full of AAA releases that hit just about every major genre, from side-scrolling platformers to third-person adventures. One game in particular is kicking off the festivities, as Bethesda’s highly anticipated Starfield is set to launch in the first week of September. Todd Howard and company’s space epic has been the subject of frequent discussion since the moment it was announced, as Starfield’s ambition is almost as big as its procedurally generated galaxy. When the long-awaited release date finally arrives, many players will surely do everything they can to get their hands on it.
Starfield marks the first major step in a new direction for Bethesda Game Studios, as it is the developer’s first action RPG to be released following Microsoft’s acquisition of the company. While this has many Xbox fans excited, it leaves PC owners with a few questions, one of them being: will Starfield run on the Steam Deck? Valve’s powerful handheld device has proven to be an impressive piece of hardware since it was first released, as it can play some of the most technically intensive games available on Steam. With Starfield’s level of ambition, however, it’s currently unclear whether it will be portable PC compatible.Games that work on Steam Deck explained
The Steam Deck is one of the more unique game consoles out there, as while it shares many similarities with the Nintendo Switch, its usefulness is far beyond Nintendo’s popular hybrid console. Sure, it lets players play a wide library of diverse games, just like the Switch, but it’s the quality of those games that makes the Steam Deck stand out. Soulsborne epics like Elden Ring and adrenaline-pumping fighting games like Street Fighter 6 run smoothly on the Steam Deck as well as high-end gaming consoles or PCs.
When it comes to which games don’t work on Steam Deck, there aren’t many. The vast majority of AAA releases on Steam are “Deck Verified”, meaning they run on the system with little to no issues regarding performance or overall playability. The few games that are not Deck Verified are Deck Playable, which means either Valve has not yet gone through the process of fully verifying the game’s compatibility on Steam Deck, or there are one or two minor issues that prevent it from being officially designated as Verified. For Starfield, Valve’s Steam Deck verification history should work in its favor.
Starfield’s future on Steam Deck is uncertain for now, but looking at all the other verified games for the handheld, it will likely run just as well as any other expansive AAA game. It’s already been confirmed that Starfield will be locked to 30fps on consoles, and the Steam Deck is more than capable of consistently running games at 30fps. In terms of scale, games with procedurally generated worlds like No Man’s Sky are Steam Deck verified, which should bode well for Starfield. As long as the PC version of Starfield is well-optimized, it should provide an enjoyable experience on Valve’s handheld.
Starfield is one game among a sea of new releases in the fall of 2023, but it benefits from being one of the first to release during that time. While it doesn’t launch on as many systems due to Xbox and PC exclusivity, the Steam Deck could be an unexpected blessing for Bethesda’s title. Many players are still exploring the Steam Deck’s possibilities over a year after its release, and the potential to play games as massive as Starfield is part of what makes the system so exciting. Hopefully, when Starfield launches, players won’t have to wait too long to explore the stars wherever they want.
Starfield launches on September 6 for PC and Xbox Series X/S.