Can You Play Elden Ring on Steam Deck?

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Elden Ring promo
Credit: FromSoftware

The release of Elden Ring approaches, and the gaming world holds its breath in anticipation. FromSoftware's next big game was announced years ago, and it's very much so in line with Dark Souls set in a true open-world. Accordingly, everybody wants to play. Elden Ring comes to a number of platforms, but will Elden Ring be playable on PC? In this article, we'll tell you what you need to know about Elden Ring on Steam Deck.

Elden Ring on Steam Deck: Is It Possible?

Elden Ring promo
click to enlarge
Credit: FromSoftware

In short, yes, it's possible. Neither Elden Ring nor Steam Deck is in the hands of many gamers right now, so there's very little official word about Elden Ring on Steam Deck, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been confirmed.

Gaming insider Jeff Grubb has his hands on a Steam Deck, and he's also been playing Elden Ring, and he's made comments about playing Elden Ring on Steam Deck. Jeff is a well-known industry insider with a long reputation for getting early access to stuff and leaking solid information. Considering this, we can expect Elden Ring to work on Steam Deck.

Related: Steam Deck Repair/Replacement/Modding Explained

As far as system requirements go, Steam Deck meets the requirements for Elden Ring, and beyond that, Steam Deck doesn't have a particularly high resolution, so running Elden Ring on Steam Deck with a reasonable framerate is likely possible. However, with a new FromSoftware game, technical issues are inevitable, especially on a new platform.

FromSoftware games like Elden Ring routinely have streaming, hitching, and stuttering issues, especially as they transition between major gameworld spaces. Elden Ring reportedly has similar issues with stuttering and lagging, and on a new platform like Steam Deck, we can expect these issues here, as well.

Steam Deck has a modern CPU with a good number of cores, but it's not clocked very fast to keep power and heat requirements in check. This means that high-framerates may not always be sustainable in all areas, and it may mean that hitching and stuttering are more prone on Deck than on other similar PCs.

Related: How Steam Deck Can Run Mobile/Android Games/Apps Better Than Phones

It's also important to remember that Elden Ring isn't currently slated to come to Linux/SteamOS, and it will rather be a normal Windows Steam game on PC. Steam Deck is built to play normal Steam games from your Steam library through Valve's own translation layer Proton, but playing a game with Proton will net you worse performance than playing the same game natively on Steam Deck.

Nonetheless, while performance won't be perfect on Steam Deck, Elden Ring is certain to work on the device, and as the game is patched after launch and the community gets their hands on it, later fixes and tweaks will likely come as well.

Ultimately, Elden Ring will be a major AAA release, and FromSoftware's most technically ambitious and demanding game, that works on Steam Deck, a mobile gaming machine. That's pretty impressive stuff, all told.

Related: Fortnite Will Come to Steam Deck

Elden Ring Steam Deck Official Port

Elden Ring promo
click to enlarge
Credit: FromSoftware

Elden Ring has no official Steam Deck support. Steam Deck runs SteamOS, which is a Linux-based operating system. So, if Elden Ring came to Linux, it would essentially be official Steam Deck support in all but name.

Unfortunately, no Linux port of Elden Ring has been announced; in fact, there isn't even a Mac version, either. FromSoftware is not known for its support of operating systems outside of Windows. In fact, they originally only made console games, and making PC games was a big step for the studio around the time Dark Souls first came to PC.

So, there's not much likelihood Elden Ring gets some kind of official support for Linux or Steam Deck, but it's not totally impossible. Elden Ring is slated to be a massive success and probably earn many Game of the Year awards. And Steam Deck also looks like it's going to be a huge success.

Related: Can Steam Deck Play Mac Games?

Successful games oftentimes get ported to as many platforms as possible, and if there's a popular new platform out there that's gaining steam and can actually run Elden Ring, it may make sense for the game to receive some official Steam Deck support.

However, this is all just speculation, and by all accounts, there's not much reason to expect official Elden Ring support to come to Steam Deck anytime soon, but anything is possible. Keep your eyes peeled for Elden Ring news after the game comes out and gamers have had a while to play.

FromSoftware Steam Deck Compatibility

Elden Ring promo
click to enlarge
Credit: FromSoftware

FromSoftware has a variety of games available for purchase and download on Steam, including the entire Dark Souls series alongside Sekiro. These games, like Elden Ring, don't have Linux ports or official Steam Deck support.

Related: Do Emulators Work on Steam Deck?

However, according to ProtonDB (a repository for information about how well a game works using Proton, Valve's method of getting Windows Steam games to work on Linux platforms like Deck), all of FromSoftware's games work flawlessly or work flawlessly after some minor tweaking.

This is good news not just for FromSoftware fans interested in Steam Deck but it's also good news for Elden Ring fans. If FromSoftware's engine plays well with Proton, that's a good sign that Elden Ring won't have issues there, which will only make the gameplay experience on Deck even better.


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