Steam Deck impressions

Neuromancer

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Feb 4, 2022
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123
My first impressions :

  • The deck feels very well in the hand, for me its not too heavy and not too light, it feels solid and well made.
  • The fan is audible, but in my case not really loud and also not at an unpleasant frequency. Totally fine (šŸ˜…)
  • The display is good and the colors are completely OK, it reflects clearly if you have a black background, but it is no longer noticeable inGame
  • Setup went quick and flawless, first an softwareupdate and then bios update. I had to initiate the Bios update myself via the menu.
  • WLAN worked, but I have a fairly low bandwidth (6.5 MB/s) although I generally have 1000Mbit at home and the average on PC is 70MB/s (ok using LAN). No idea why that is.. but it's annoying as I want to load larger games.
  • SD card recognized and formatted directly, runs fast as far as I can tell.
  • Controller, buttons, trackpad are all easy to use, klick and feel good.
  • The sound is surprisingly good over the speakers, I connected a headset via the jack. I haven't tested Bluetooth yet

Because of the DL speed I only downloaded Dead Cells, Cloudpunk and Valheim.

  • Dead Cells runs as smooth as expected and is super easy to control, I just played for half an hour because I was totally inside :D With 60FPS 5-6 hours are easy. Very cool
  • Cloudpunk also ran well, is a bit more demanding as far as the battery is concerned, but I didn't change anything other than the limit of 30 / 60 FPS.
  • Valheim I ran into the problem that my character and level were not loaded, I had activated cloudsave on PC (it was strangely off before) and then had to activate it again on the deck which I was not aware off. However, that was an older save, but it is probably due to the deactivated cloud save. I had to do something else and will test it later.
Now I'll look into the download issue and then fill up that SD card :p

Conclusion so far: I love it :love:
 

Ruder Laplace

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Feb 5, 2022
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31
6.5 MB(ytes) / s is a very neat Wi-Fi transfer rate for a 54Mbit/s linked signal (54Mbits / 8 bits = 6.75 MBytes / s), which is the old-good-days standard 802.11a/g

So I'd say your router is not configured for (or capable of use) newer protocols (Wi-Fi 4 o 5), since Steam Deck has a Wi-Fi 5 chip .
Or, for some reason, your router decided to link in a/g mode instead of ac (Wi-Fi 5).

I hardly think is a Steam Deck related config or issue.

But, if for some wierd reason your mobile does indeed work with higher rates connected to Wi-Fi, remember that you can Theather(ing) your Wi-Fi in your phone through a USB wire to your deck for faster downloads.

You can probably even test it with your own phone acting as a Acces Point (wich is more likely to have Wi-Fi 4 or 5) and speedtesting your Deck to internet through your mobile's WiFi which uses your provider 4/5G.
 
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Kupfer

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Feb 3, 2022
Messages
155
I'm totally with your conclusion @Neuromancer.

Some thoughts about the low bandwidth;
the Deck has a weird Wi-Fi. You may remember the problems with my first, broken device and its broken Wi-Fi. The replacement unit has about the same problem, but without the freezes and crashes during the initial updates. I was able to connect with my hidden SSID in the very first splash screen, whereupon the deck updates itself, boots to SteamOS, and performs the bios update. When the Deck reboots after these initial updates, it greets you again with the very first welcome screen from before the upgrades, so you have to set the language, time zone, and Wi-Fi again. Oddly enough, I can't connect now with the same hidden SSID that was working fine 10 minutes ago. If I set my SSID to visible, it's no problem at all.

So I think it's still software side issues at the moment that will hopefully be patched soon.

But now, in visible wifi everything works smoothly and especially fast. The download speed is pretty much the maximum that is provided to my router.

Bandwidth1.jpg

Bandwidth2.jpg


Are you connected via a 5ghz or a 2.4ghz network? If you live in a metropolitan area with many neighbors and networks, 5ghz may be the better choice. The range is limited compared to 2.4ghz, but the 5ghz networks don't get in each other's way as much.

EDIT:
What just came to my mind, do you install directly on a SD card (not the internal memory) ?
As far as I know, steam downloads ("CURRENT") and unpacks ("DISK USAGE" in the upper right of the picture) at the same time when installing a game. I'm not using an SD card at the moment, so I can't test it, but maybe downloading and unpacking is too much for a SD card and the speed drops.
 
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Neuromancer

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Feb 4, 2022
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Hi @Kupfer

I tested both, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz .. but still max. I get is 5-11.7 MB/s ... looking into my FritzBox Router I see the actual rate at 130 / 65 Mbit/s and I donĀ“t know why.

Regarding the SD, yes, I download on it but according to others (my brother for example) this should not be the issue, as he easily has 32 MB/s .. which is max. of his internet connection.

I have to investigate .. because loading bigger titles is painful and reminds me at old times :D

1648297138878.png
 

Ruder Laplace

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Joined
Feb 5, 2022
Messages
31
Hmm...
There is a reliable test that never fails and don't mind about internet or storage speed limitations.
How much do you know about computing?
And, in your desktop, do you have Windows or Linux?

You can DM me if you want.
 

Neuromancer

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Joined
Feb 4, 2022
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123
Ok, embarrasing and easy solution .. it actually was the bad connection in my office/PC Gaming room upstairs :D My PC is on LAN and with my smartphone it obviously was not an issue ... I went into the living room were the router is based and voilĆ” .. high speed :ROFLMAO:
šŸ™ƒšŸ˜¬
 

Neuromancer

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Feb 4, 2022
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@Gryffin

Here you go :D

My second impression after 9 days of playing around with the Deck (IšŸ˜it) :

  • Haptics and overall size still feels great, for my liking its very well balanced in general.
  • After some very long sessions i could feel my hands are getting a bit tired, but in this case it was not the best position
  • Screen is really good for what it is, overall graphics are nice to look at, good dark representation but colours could be a bit more punchy at times, maybe if Valve would add a possibility in the future to adjust the screen colours etc. would be nice
  • Controlls are spot on, nothing to complain, sticks are great and the trackpads are useful imho
  • I used the speakers for some time now and they deliver quite well, was enjoying playing Dead Space via the Speakers or Bluetooth earpieces
  • SteamOS works great most of the time, had some smaller crashes in the beginning but they had been Game related (KotoR)
  • Gamescope is an amazing and needed tool to quickly adjust power consumption to your needs. Still I would like to have the possibility to create configs per game to be loaded automatically when I start the game.
  • I love to just be able to jump into a game, even if its for half an hour, pause it (sleep mode) and just play later another session on the couch. Or in a break between meetings :p
  • SD Card (I bought an 512GB Samsung Evo Select) performs really well. So far there was no moment I was thinking about too long load times tbh. I installed all Games on it to keep the space on the 64GB internal for all the Proton Versions and Linux Runtime etc.

Games I installed and tested (besides the ones mentioned already) are listed below. Basically I was just switching between 30 or 60 FPS, brightness was around 60% ... no big config ingame on graphics etc. no use of FSR or TDP Limits (yet). In general I was positively surprised that almost all Games I tested worked quite well or without any issues. I havenĀ“t noted the battery life for all of the games, will update when I check again ;)

  • Baldurs Gate I works out of the box very well and itĀ“s a mix of touchpad / touchscreen / sticks .. so you can choose what fits the best. Text is readable and the more tactical fights also help. Full charge will last 5-6hs minimum.
  • Bastion works very well, 'I just had to change the controller layout as the initial one just didnt work, no response from any button etc. but after that I runs like a charm, plays well and looks great. On full charge I would say roughly 6h playtime.
  • Batman Arkham Asylum .. this one loaded into the main screen, but after selecting Start Game .. it crashed. I couldnĀ“t get it to work yet, choosing Proton Experimental didnĀ“t help. Need to do some research.
  • Bayonetta runs out of the box, looks amazing and plays very well. Crazy action and 60 FPS are absolutely recommended. 4h battery life.
  • Bioshock Remastered runs perfectly out of the box, looks amazing and very smooth. 60FPS is amazing but also with 30 FPS it plays very well. 4-5h playtime for sure.
  • Chasm is an indie rougelite, great pixel look and plays very well. 6h+
  • Dead Island Riptide Definitive Editon .. its verified and works well and absolutely playable, better on 60FPS. Its quite demaning on the battery and I suppose 2h are max. on 60FPS (without tinkering options) .. 30 FPS works ok and gives much more battery life. 3h or so.
  • Dead Space .. this runs amazingly well on 60 FPS. It looks amazing on Deck and I played already until Chapter 6 .. like 8-9h in the game and it has been a great experience. Will be the first game I will complete on the Deck :D 5h+ on 60FPS .. amazing.
  • Delver .. another Rougelite .. in general it starts and looks great on deck, but i had issues with the controller layout that didnt work out well. I found some community layout that works but there is some config needed. Besides that, its fine.
  • Dirt Rally .. runs great, great graphics and its really difficult. Quite demanding on 60 FPS .. which you need in my opinion. CanĀ“t remember runtime but I guess 2-3hs.
  • Skyrim ...what can I say .. it works. Its Skyrim. It looks amazing on Deck and runs smoothly .. It was directly loading all the workshop mods i had subsribed on Steam (17) and everything just works. What a time to be alive :p At 60 FPS it is draining the battery (2h max.) but it also runs at 30 FPS playable which will give around 4h+ .. not bad.
  • Fable Anniversary is verified and works right out of the box. Its also very nice on Deck, with 30 FPS activated its 4.5h playtime and runs ok. 60 FPS is much better, but cuts battery life to 2.5h max. with high/ultra settings.
  • Fallout 3 ... according to Steam its not supported .. but it runs very well and started directly without problems. At least the prologue was perfectly playable with 60 FPS everything cranked up and 4.5h battery life. I will definitely play this !
  • Frostpunk . works, nice graphics in general but the text in some ares is a bit too small and subgoals are on the edge to be readable. It is playable but I would say better on a big monitor with mouse etc. Roughly 3h on 30 FPS limit.
  • Ghostbusters .. it starts, looks amazing but I couldnĀ“t get the controls working ingame. It loads, cutscene everything fine but then IĀ“m ingame and canĀ“t move. Need to investigate .. but definitely something I want to play on Deck.
  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas .. works fine with high settings and 60 FPS I just had to change the control settings to controller and you are good to go. 5h playtime.
  • Graveyard Keeper .. runs flawless out of the box and looks nice on Deck. Its verified.
  • HalfLife 2 .. its verified and runs flawless at 60FPS and its ... its Halflife in full glory on a handheld ?!? :D 5h battery life
  • Hotline Miami .. again verified. I need to get used to the controls but its just nice with the pumping score.
  • Journey to the Savage Planet .. again an verified Game, Graphic fit perfect for the Deck. 60 FPS on default settings was very demanding, 1.5h battery life .. 30 FPS runs well and gives you 3h roughly.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 it runs of course well, as it is verfied. I had problems with the sensitivity of the sticks which was to high for my liking, resulting in overcompensating. Need to tweak this.
  • Limbo is just very gorgeous with his reduced style .. fits great on deck.
  • The Long Dark .. it works also very well out of the box, also here the reduced graphic looks great on the Deck. Controls on default also had been a bit too sensitive and needs adjustment.
  • Metal Gear Solid - Ground Zeroes .. works pretty great, graphics are amazing and here the controlls work like they should. very nice on 60 FPS was also relatively easy on the battery
  • Owlboy .. it just didnt start ^^ I loaded Proton Experimental and it produced another error. No solution yet.
  • Sable .. again a Game with an reduced art style, which is a great fit for the Decks smaller screen. It just looks great and also handling is very good. Also not very demanding on battery.
  • Shadowrun Returns .. it runs directly, text is ok to read (there is a lot of text) .. controls are something to get used too. I had just checked very briefly, but I want to play it on Deck so another test is planned.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of Chernobyl .. I was surprised how well it ran, handling was also in general surprisingly good ingame, but in the menu you have to use the trackpads which is not directly intuitive. There was an issue with changing weapon ingame. Need to look closer into adjusting controls. I really love Stalker and to be able to play this on a mobile device is just amazing for me. 60 FPS will grant you 3h playtime with high settings. Not bad.
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic ..it worked but was not very good in handling. Also it crashed my Deck completely and I had to turn it off and restart to get it working again. Needs some investigating or just patience until its fixed.
  • Stardew Valley .. it just looks sweet and runs perfectly. So cute :)
  • State of Decay ... is running quite well, controls work out of the box and on highest graphic settings with 30 FPS its good playble, roughly 2.5-3h .. on 60FPS its very demanding an its down to 1.5h max. on high settings.
  • Titan Quest Anniversary Edition .. its a great Action RPG in my opinion which was a bit overlooked. It works greatly on Deck, still very nice graphic and great gameplay. Controls area also good. Text is readable but quite small in parts. 5h+ at 30FPS, 3.5h at 60FPS
  • Torchlight another nice Action RPG in Diablos Tradition, the graphic style also suits very well to the Deck and smaller screen.
  • The Last Remnant .. JRPG that runs very well and looks good. 30 FPS are perfectly playable and reward you with approx. 5h playtime. 60 FPS around 4h.
  • The Walking Dead (Telltale) .. never had a full playthrough on PC, but I think its a great fit for the deck. It looks great on the smaller screen, handling is also totally fine and its not very demanding to the battery. I plan to have a full playthrough this time .. on Deck ;) Runtime at 60FPS is 5.5h+
  • Valheim .. it just works and runs well (verified) but I had an issue with my cloud save, therefore I didnt play a lot.
  • Valves Deskjob is really funny and perfectly designed for the Deck (obviously) .. fun experience in the Aperture Universe. I played roughly 15 Minutes and will finish it for sure. I just had to test so much other stuff :D
If you have any questions regarding the games checked or have some requests, I can see if I own the game and test it !
 
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Kupfer

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Feb 3, 2022
Messages
155
Great list @Neuromancer !
Quick question on the side; if you set the haptics to 10/10, go into controller test mode and gently press the trackpads in, do you get a double click on both trackpads? The first click with light pressure, and if you apply more pressure, another one?

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that my now second Deck has a defect again.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of Chernobyl .. I was surprised how well it ran, handling was also in general surprisingly good ingame, but in the menu you have to use the trackpads which is not directly intuitive. There was an issue with changing weapon ingame. Need to look closer into adjusting controls. I really love Stalker and to be able to play this on a mobile device is just amazing for me. 60 FPS will grant you 3h playtime with high settings. Not bad.
I feel you. I am 20hours into S.T.A.L.K.E.R. on the Deck right now and it has completely picked me up again. (Radial menu for switching weapons is king)

Also, since you have tested so many games, feel free to conrtibute you thoughts here . Unfortunately, I can't easily filter your list by unknown and unsupported, otherwise I would take over some entries.
 

jeniffergate

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Apr 5, 2022
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When I bought the steam deck, I was very worried that I would have memory problems. Then I started searching for the best micro sd card for steam deck. As it turned out, there is a slot, including the cheapest version of the Steam Deck, where by default a rather slow 64 GB eMMC memory is used. That is, purely hypothetically, you can order a younger model and insert an SSD there ā€” in this case it will compare with more expensive versions, since the rest of the hardware is the same for all members of the Steam Deck family. So it didn't become a problem.
 
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kaosimian

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Apr 5, 2022
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Got my deck yesterday, and my first impressions were pretty much identical to yours @Neuromancer

Really impressed with the hardware, and the set-up was painless. 36 hours in, I'm happy with my purchase.

So far I've played:

Bastion - all good out the box, seems well suited to the deck.
Disco Elysium - spot on, works great with the default controls, cloud sync from my active desktop game was faultless.
No Man's Sky - game itself loaded quickly and looks great, but I struggled with the controls/gameplay. Going to take more time to get in the zone, as I'm pretty sure this is a me thing, not a game thing.
Superhot - loaded and worked fine, but I think it caused a bug with the volume which made it unplayable - I plugged in headphones and it forced the vol to max, and when i tried to lower it, it automatically went back to max. The issue persisted after closing the game, and in other games too. I had to reboot the deck to resolve, and am going to retest more thoroughly before logging a bug with steam and/or superhot devs.

Installed and waiting to be played:
Bayonetta, Vanquish, Portal 1+2, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Plague Tale, Ryse: Son of Rome
 

Gryffin

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Feb 14, 2022
Messages
26
Got my deck yesterday, and my first impressions were pretty much identical to yours @Neuromancer

Really impressed with the hardware, and the set-up was painless. 36 hours in, I'm happy with my purchase.

So far I've played:

Bastion - all good out the box, seems well suited to the deck.
Disco Elysium - spot on, works great with the default controls, cloud sync from my active desktop game was faultless.
No Man's Sky - game itself loaded quickly and looks great, but I struggled with the controls/gameplay. Going to take more time to get in the zone, as I'm pretty sure this is a me thing, not a game thing.
Superhot - loaded and worked fine, but I think it caused a bug with the volume which made it unplayable - I plugged in headphones and it forced the vol to max, and when i tried to lower it, it automatically went back to max. The issue persisted after closing the game, and in other games too. I had to reboot the deck to resolve, and am going to retest more thoroughly before logging a bug with steam and/or superhot devs.

Installed and waiting to be played:
Bayonetta, Vanquish, Portal 1+2, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Plague Tale, Ryse: Son of Rome
I freaking loved A Plague Tale. Enjoy.
 

tenchi13

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Feb 3, 2022
Messages
41
Well, I finally got my Deck on Thursday (1.5 months of GLS twiddling their thumbs with the first package).


No trouble with the second package at all. I also just got an email from TiltFive about them preparing to finally send my package, so please look forward to seeing my impressions of that in a month or two.

Wow is SteamDeck a great piece of hardware.

- The fan seems to be fine to me - no weird whine so far - better than most of laptop fans I've heard, though I'm not sure if it got to the top RPMs at all
- all the controls seem fine, except for the back buttons - those are really hard to use for me (got pretty long fingers)
- Sometimes the gamepad controls stop working in the menus (maybe "Steam"+"B" toggles that?)

The Dipos matte screen protector (not glass unfortunately) works great and does not blur the screen too much (no moirƩ from what I can see), but it's too accurate (or just too big ;) ) to the size of the front glass and it's very hard to mount without any bubbles (right top side of the picture). Fortunately the bezel is thick enough for that to not be a problem.
It's been a long time since I last used a plastic screen protector and it took a few tries to clean it from any dust specks.

Now to games:

First thing I tried is Sucker for Love,
which is currently "UNKNOWN". It will probably stay that way for a while, what with it being a lesser-known title.
Anyway it seems to be working fine, though I could not find where the save states are located and there is no Cloud integration.

One thing is that, when trying to exit the game using the "force close" or using the steam menu results in the game still running but we lose the whole steam UI, the only thing that worked at this point is to force power cycle the Deck. Using the in-game quit option is OK


Next was Feudal Alloy - a nice little metroidvania at 90% discount currently.
This one also seems to be working fine too and has the same problem with exiting as Sucker for Love.


The ones I was looking most forward to playing for the first time were Ys games, so:
The only one I tried for now is Ys: Origins which is "UNSUPPORTED" for now

I've tried multiple solutions for fixing the non-working video files, but could not fix that.
The game seems to be working fine for now using the newest proton provided by Valve.

The instructions from Proton DB seem to suggest proton 4.2-9(+some proton tricks), but the game kept freezing on black screen immediately after launching (the statistics overlay froze) with that one and also with proton-ge 7.18.
I also tried protontricks fix, but it could not find the proton 4.2-9 when the game was installed on sdcard and when installed on the Deck's SSD, it just showed a warning about that version no longer being supported and then gave me an error about some directory being empty.

I did not want to spend more time troubleshooting this so I decided to just use Youtube to watch the cutscenes and play the game without them.

I am using Power Tools plugin to limit my threads to at most 4 usually.
 

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