Devs prioritising Steam Deck support benefits all PC gamers

Optimise, optimise, optimise.

It’s easy to view Steam Deck support as needless fluff, assuming you don’t own the awesome handheld. Why should developers optimise a game for low-end portables when desktops are much more prevalent? Well, that’s just the thing. Studios like Keen Games getting Enshrouded to work on lower-end hardware benefits us all in the long run.

Making games work on Steam Deck isn’t just good for those who own one. All components age, and if you don’t upgrade every few years, your rig might be in the same performance bracket. It’s not realistic to grab new parts as frequently as we used to, especially with prices the way they are. We’re always hunting for bargains on our deals page, but core components don’t discount as often as we’d like. Ensuring Steam Deck support guarantees a level of optimisation that other titles might not have.

Tweaks include things like making sure it can run on a controller, but there’s so much more to it. Earning the Steam Deck Verified badge guarantees at least 30fps at 720p resolution. It’s a reasonable prerequisite but one that’ll be harder to achieve as games become more sophisticated. Devs need to pay extra attention to the base system requirements by proxy and could lower them as a result. Having better equipment makes everything look and run smoother, sure. Having a lower baseline, however, means more people can enjoy playing the game as it’s intended without feeling like they’re suffering because they can’t afford the latest GPU.

This has a knock-on effect in making your PC building experience that much cheaper. And for those of you unwilling to upgrade, settings should be more granular so you can scale graphics down to meet your needs. It’s not a silver bullet to performance woes, of course, but menus are usually a little more versatile. Even if it’s not a promise, there’s also a greater chance you’ll see upscalers like AMD FSR.

Enshrouded isn’t the first game to put Steam Deck support on its roadmap, and it won’t be the last. Hopefully, more developers will take note, though, as it’s not just in the interest of handheld owners. The focus is good for PC gamers the world over, even if I’d argue there’s a good reason to have a Steam Deck in your arsenal in the first place. In fact, go and buy one. It’ll give studios more reason to optimise.