Can You Run Horizon Forbidden West on the Steam Deck? Best Settings

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Can You Run Horizon Forbidden West on the Steam Deck? Best Settings

Surya Kumar
Updated On: 
Highlights
Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition currently has ‘Unknown’ compatibility in the list of Steam Deck Verified games.
While the game does manage to run on the Steam Deck, achieving a playable experience demands significant sacrifices to visual quality.

Guerilla Games’ critically acclaimed action RPG has finally made its way to PC in the form of the Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition and fans are overjoyed to get their hands on it. Considering that the game is available on Steam, many handheld gamers are curious about its compatibility with Valve’s Steam Deck, which supports most titles from their storefront. While the short answer is yes, you need to know a few important things before you purchase and download the game on the portable console.

How Well Does Horizon Forbidden West Run on the Steam Deck?

Considering that it has only been a day since the release of Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition, it is currently rated ‘Unknown’ in the compatibility scale of Steam Deck Verified titles. However, thanks to the game’s manageable system requirements, the game does boot up and run on Valve’s handheld. Sadly, it suffers from several performance issues in its current state.

Although it runs better than the PC port of Horizon Zero Dawn, the majority of Forbidden West’s performance issues come from the fact that it renders shaders in real-time, which puts the load on the Zen 2 CPU, causing the game to stutter and drop frames frequently. 

Additionally, you will also have to turn things down to the lowest possible graphical presets, even after enabling FSR 2.2, which might be an unappealing experience for many, due to the jagged edges and rough textures.

If you still wish to run the game and do not mind the poor visual quality, here are the best settings that you can currently use:

Display

  • Window Mode: Fullscreen

  • Display Mode: 1152 x 720

  • Aspect Ratio: Auto

  • Vsync: Off

  • Dynamic Resolution Scaling: Off

  • Anti-Aliasing: locked due to FSR

  • Upscale Method: AMD FSR 2.2

  • Upscale Quality: Balanced

Graphics

  • Preset: Custom

  • Texture Quality: Medium

  • Texture Filtering: 4x Anisotropic

  • Shadow Quality: Medium

  • Screen Space Shadows: Off

  • Ambient Occlusion: SSAO

  • Screen Space Reflections: Low

  • Level of Detail: Low

  • Hair Quality: Low

  • Crowd Quality: Low

  • Terrain Quality: Low

  • Water Quality: Low

  • Translucency Quality: Default

  • Parallax Occlusion Quality: Off

  • Field of View: Default (0)

  • Depth of Field: Off

  • Bloom: On

  • Motion Blur Strength: 0

  • Sharpness: 5

  • Lens Flare: Off

  • Vignette: Off

  • Radial Blur: Off

  • Chromatic Aberration: Off

While keeping the textures at medium does help a little, the frame drops are still quite prominent, going even below 20FPS during graphically intense scenarios. However, capping the frame rate to 30FPS using Steam Deck’s settings does seem to stabilize performance for the most part. Moreover, turning down the resolution from 800p to 720p also relieves some of the stress on the GPU.

Sadly, even with all of these sacrifices to visual quality, Horizon Forbidden West only reaches an almost playable state on the Steam Deck, with low frame rates and stutters still occurring while exploring open areas and combatting a horde of enemies. If Nixxes manages to pre-compile the game’s shaders, it could have a good impact on its performance for the handheld.


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Surya has been an avid gamer all his life with an emphasis on single-player titles since the PlayStation 2 era. After switching to PC, he has also dabbled in the world of Valorant ever since its beta. He aims to spread his passion for gaming through his writing.

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