Is Unreal Engine 5 ‘too big’ for Steam Deck?

January 6, 2024
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Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 is swiftly becoming the engine of choice for current generation gaming. It’s not hard to see why: it combines ease of use and flexibility with some of the most advanced rendering tech in the industry, especially with its Lumen and Nanite systems. At the same time, that sophistication poses a challenge for lower-power platforms, which often aren’t the target for Unreal Engine 5 projects – and that extends to Valve’s Steam Deck.

The Linux-powered portable powerhouse is capable of some impressive feats, but more advanced titles often don’t scale well to the system. So is Unreal Engine 5 a bridge too far for the diminutive handheld or does Epic’s boundary-pushing tech scale down better than you might expect?

As of early 2024, we have a nice variety of early UE5 software to take a look at – mostly lower-budget efforts, but with some very attractive entries as well. Some of these games were even included in our best graphics of the year discussion back a few weeks ago, with some seriously impressive visuals on display. But are they ‘too big’ for Steam Deck? In our tests, we wanted to keep the games’ visual character intact, while still aiming for 30fps or better performance levels.

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