Valve is targeting 30 FPS for the Steam Deck

Steam Deck
Steam Deck (Image credit: Valve)

What you need to know

  • Valve shared more technical information on its Steam Deck handheld device.
  • Valve explained that the target for games is 800p 30 FPS.
  • There will be some variation based on the exact demands of different games.

Valve's upcoming Steam Deck handheld device is a simple pitch, one of allowing a player to take their Steam library with them on the go. When you look at the Steam Deck specs list, it packs some solid hardware considering the form factor, but players should know that Valve is targeting 30 FPS for the Steam Deck, at least for a large number of games. Speaking with IGN, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais notes that the target for games is 30 FPS.

"If people are still valuing high frame rates and high resolutions on different platforms," he says, "I think that content will scale down to our 800p, 30Hz target really well."

This will depend on exactly what settings players choose when running games, which will also affect the battery life. Valve previously noted that if the framerate is set to 30 FPS, players going through Portal 2 will get around five hours of battery life. You'll be able to access most of the best PC games, but they aren't going to look as good or run as smoothly as they would on a massive dedicated gaming rig.

The Steam Deck is using similar AMD hardware like the most recent consoles, the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5, which engineer Yazan Aldehayyat notes will also aid in better-performing games for the Steam Deck.

"We're not the only people with this architecture," Aldehayyat explains, adding that "...any optimisation game developers make for this new architecture will carry forward to all system makers too. So I think we're in a great place."

The Steam Deck is currently set to begin shipping orders in December 2021, with some orders, especially those for higher-end models, slated for Q1 or Q2 2022.

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • 800p, 30fps, 5hrs... For one of their own games that is many years old... That doesn't give me much hope.
  • What's different compared to your phone or laptop really. These are the limits of portable gaming right now
  • On a screen this small why on earth would you waste valuable system resources pushing more pixels? Pixel density is absolutely fine and therefore the games will look absolutely fine.
  • Maybe they're arguing that newer games at 30 fps at 800p is going to have less battery life... Like 2 hrs
  • Nobody should be surprised by this. Any form of mass-market gaming hardware prebuild is gonna target 30.
  • Would be great if less demanding games had an option to run at 60fps.
  • It can. This is a PC, so you can change the settings to target anything you want.
    The 30fps target is in regards to newer AAA games. The Deck can be docked and display up to 4K 120hz or 8K 60hz. Very few games are going to run at those resolutions, but probably a few lightweight indie games can.
  • How were they able to cram the Xbox series X or PS5 type cpu in this small device without overheating?
  • Easy, They didn't
  • This isn't the same. This is running a 4c/8t CPU with a much weaker GPU than the Series consoles.