The Steam Deck gives you the opportunity to play your Steam games on the go. But how well do MMORPGs actually play on the Steam Deck? MeinMMO editor Benedikt Schlotmann tried it out for you.
In theory, with the Steam Deck you can play all your Steam games on the go. But how well is the Steam Deck suitable for extensive games such as MMORPGs? To find out, I took two major MMORPGs and installed them on my device.
You can read about the experiences and how well the MMORPGs play on the device in this article.
Which games did I choose? I chose the two MMORPGs New World and Star Wars: The Old Republic. New World is still very fresh, while The Old Republic is quite a few years old.
Both games are rated “Playable” by Steam itself for the Steam Deck. This means that the installation is easy, but you have to set up some things yourself or certain commands require keyboard input and not everything works with the controller. In addition, no Windows runs in the background of the device, but SteamOS, Valve’s own operating system.
New World on the Steck Deck: If it wasn’t for the damn controls
What kind of game is this? New World is an MMORPG that was released on September 28th on Steam. You slip into the role of a freely creatable hero and fight your way across the fictional continent of Aeternum.
How well does the game perform on the Steam Deck? New World launches on the Steam deck with no issues. But this is where the first problem becomes apparent: New World does not offer official controller support. But there is the possibility to use community settings and they work very well. The controller settings can also be further adapted to your own needs.
You must therefore be content with the mouse emulation of the touchpad through the first menus such as server selection. This works quite well, but is cumbersome. Character creation is similarly confusing, so that at some point I turned off the game and created my character in desktop mode.
The next problem follows immediately, because New World complains that the “Easy Anti Cheat” file cannot be loaded when I want to start with my character. But there is a solution here, whereupon me altarofgaming.com had pointed out. With the fix the game starts without any problems.
With the fix I can then play New World. I fight my way through the tutorial and end up on the beach in the starting area, where I deal with more drowned sailors and unlock my next level up. Despite many new players regularly appearing in the zone, performance remains stable.
The performance itself is pretty good on the Steam Deck, I didn’t notice any severe frame drops. I consistently get 50-60 FPS on high graphics settings. However, the Steam Deck gets very hot when gaming.
In handheld mode, the fonts and menus in particular are sometimes very small and the chat is hardly recognizable. You can open the keyboard with the Steam key and X key, but I’ve never written long texts with it.
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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Small font, but otherwise great performance
What kind of game is this? Star Wars: The Old Republic is an online role-playing game that was released in 2011 as a paid-for subscription model. The game was later switched to Free2Play. You slip into the role of a Jedi, Sith or soldier and complete various tasks for the Republic or the Empire.
How well does the game perform on the Steam deck? The game also starts without problems. I can log into the launcher with no problems and then end up in character select. Character positioning is also a game of patience here, but runs a little better thanks to better controller controls.
Otherwise, the aged MMORPG runs very smoothly on the Steam Deck and looks damn good on the Steam Deck’s small display. With my Jedi Knight, I easily wander over the planet Quesh and defeat a number of enemy groups that stand in my way.
The skill bar is colorfully distributed on the buttons of the Steam Deck. Hitting the right keys is a gamble, especially in the beginning. I use the default settings of the Steam Deck. It happens to me here regularly that I press the wrong button in combat and then use up my medikits with a full life bar. But the game doesn’t explain anything to me either: it felt like it took me half an eternity until I was able to loot opponents.
What is also noticeable is the small display. Above all, the inventory with its rectangular boxes is very small and fiddly. The font size is better than Amazon’s New World. Temperatures are also more manageable here than at New World.
I wouldn’t buy a Steam Deck for traded MMORPGs
What is my conclusion? MMORPGs like New World or The Old Republic basically run without any problems on the Steam Deck: The games either start without problems or with slight restrictions on the Steam Deck and can also be played with more or less great effort.
However, as soon as there is no real controller support (New World) or a lot of small or nested menus are added (The Old Republic), gaming becomes quite cumbersome.
This applies primarily to the handheld mode. If I connect my Steam Deck to the TV or gaming monitor, the games shine in higher resolution and I can also use the mouse and keyboard. Full HD but only if I start the games from desktop mode and not directly from Steam.
But to be honest: If I play on the monitor anyway and have the choice between Steam Deck and gaming PC, I clearly prefer the latter. For “real” couch gaming I will probably continue to use the switch:
Since playing on the Switch OLED, I wouldn’t advise (almost) anyone to buy the regular Switch anymore
How about other games? The most fun I have on the Steam Deck at the moment are smaller titles like Brawlhalla, Persona 4: Golden or Temtem. Not only do these games look good, they play really well too. In particular, games that offer good controller support almost always work great on the Steam deck.
What’s next to the Steam Deck? If you are looking for other handheld devices besides the Steam Deck, you should take a look at the following list: There are now half a dozen devices that also claim to offer handheld gaming. We present the most interesting devices to you here on MeinMMO:
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