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Starfield can’t compete with Skyrim or Fallout on Steam Deck

While Bethesda RPGs normally prove popular on the Steam Deck, Starfield has failed to create the same staying power as Skyrim or Fallout.

Key art from Starfield, featuring an astronaut, displayed on a Steam Deck OLED

Following its launch earlier this year, it appeared as though Starfield could follow in the footsteps of previous Bethesda RPGs and become a Steam Deck mainstay. Sadly, however, it appears that the game has been unable to escape from under the towering shadows of Skyrim and Fallout.

With over 250 developers currently working on Starfield, there’s still every reason to believe that Bethesda’s latest will join the hallowed halls of the best Steam Deck games, given time. In the here and now, though, Starfield isn’t fantastic on Valve’s handheld, and its apparent popularity among the Steam Deck community is a testament to that.

Despite Baldur’s Gate 3 and other RPGs reigning supreme on Steam Deck, the statistics for the most played Steam Deck games in November 2023 don’t include Starfield (despite it making an appearance in the previous two months). This is by no means a gradual decline in popularity either, falling from #5 in October to the void this month.

For context, its spiritual predecessors, Skyrim and Fallout 4, have both remained in the top 20 for the past 15 months. Things are no less dreary looking at Steam more broadly, either, with Starfield having fewer Steam players than Skyrim. Part of this, naturally, can be explained by PC Game Pass as well as the prices of each game, but the degree to which both factors play their part is anyone’s guess.

All this said, Starfield remains great even if it’s not GOTY material, and we sincerely hope it can enjoy a resurgence akin to No Man’s Sky and Cyberpunk 2077. However, in order for it to succeed in the handheld space, Bethesda first needs to address Starfield Steam Deck compatibility issues.

Check out our Steam Deck OLED review if you’re deciding whether to pick up Valve’s handheld, or if you’re unsure whether to upgrade from the LCD model. Otherwise, if you’re already deep into the ecosystem, check out our best Steam Deck docks guide to complete your setup.

Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a handy source of information, our new Starfield Database goes further, offering you daily news, searchable databanks, and even interactive tools.