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Is Hellblade 2 Steam Deck compatible?

Senua's Saga Hellblade 2 pushes Valve's handheld gaming PC to its limits, and just about passes the minimum playable performance threshold.

Hellblade 2 Steam Deck Compatibility

Is Hellblade 2 Steam Deck compatible? While opinions on the definition of a playable gaming frame rate may differ, it’s widely agreed that the bare minimum requirement is 30fps, and Hellblade 2 barely passes this figure on Steam Deck. However, future updates could improve this situation.

Having tested Hellblade 2 on the Steam Deck OLED, I recommend sticking to playing this title on a gaming PC for now. Despite being the best handheld gaming PC, the Steam Deck struggles to handle Senua’s latest adventure, and the compromises needed to get the game running at 30fps aren’t worth making.

Is Hellblade 2 Steam Deck compatible?

Hellblade 2 is not yet rated for Steam Deck by Valve. Based on our testing, we estimate it will receive a Playable rating. 

While it’s possible to get a steady 30fps from Hellblade 2 on Steam Deck, I can’t honestly recommend it due to the comprises needed to achieve this level of performance. As a result, I wouldn’t be surprised if the game ends up getting an Unsupported rating, at least until a future handheld-specific optimization patch is made.

Best Hellblade 2 settings for Steam Deck

  • Custom Upscaler: AMD FSR 3.0
  • Upscaler Quality Mode: Performance
  • Post-Processing Quality: Low
  • VSync: On
  • Shadow Quality: Low
  • Effects Quality: Standard
  • Reflection Quality: Low
  • Global Illumination Quality: Low
  • Volumetrics: Low
  • Texture Quality: Low
  • View Distance: Low
  • Foliage Detail: Low

Pushing AMD FSR 3.0 to its Performance setting is what enabled us to secure a 30-32fps frame rate in Hellblade 2, but bear in mind FSR 3.0 in this game only gives you the resolution upscaler, with no option for frame generation. We also don’t recommend trying the Ultra Performance setting, as we found the game became unplayable at this setting due to the volume of graphical glitching. It also only increases the average frame rate by 2fps.

Even with AMD FSR enabled, the image quality of Hellblade 2 on Steam Deck is poor. This is especially noticeable given that I’ve moved between the Steam Deck and PC versions frequently.

At one point early in the game, you’re following what is effectively the outline of a human figure in the distance, and the outline is unclear on Steam Deck. While the game is very linear in its approach, it’s still easy to get lost if these little details that Hellblade 2 relies on can’t be identified.

Unsurprisingly, the Steam Deck GPU sits at 99% usage in Hellblade 2 at all times. CPU usage is around half this figure but can jump up to 65% during combat. When it comes to battery life, Hellblade 2 uses 22w on average, meaning you can expect around 2h 15m of gameplay on the Steam Deck OLED.

While Hellblade 2 won’t qualify just yet, you can check out our picks for the best Steam Deck games with every entry having been hand-picked and tested by us.