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Is Homeworld 3 Steam Deck compatible?

We have tested real time strategy game Homeworld 3 on Valve's handheld gaming PC to find the best settings for performance and gameplay.

Homeworld 3 Steam Deck

Is Homeworld 3 Steam Deck compatible? Real time strategy may not be the first genre that comes to mind when thinking of the Steam Deck, but Homeworld 3 performs surprisingly well. However, benchmarking and actual game testing yielded very different results that you need to be aware of.

Testing Homeworld 3 on the Steam Deck OLED was simple, in part due to the low system requirements set by developer Blackbird Interactive. In fact, I found that my time testing this game on Valve’s handheld gaming PC was a far smoother experience than on PC.

Is Homeworld 3 Steam Deck compatible?

Homeworld 3 is currently rated as Playable on Steam Deck according to Valve’s testing parameters. It flags warnings for controller functionality, non-controller icons, and in-game text size. 

At first glance, Homeworld 3 is the kind of game that makes me challenge whether Valve’s Steam Deck rating system needs an overhaul. Essentially, the graphical settings aren’t too taxing, but everything else could cause users issues.

Again I feel the need to point to a contrasting example where a game was perfect on Steam Deck but needed some settings tweaks. Horizon Forbidden West is still classified as Unsupported because you would need to play around with the graphical settings to find the best performance, even though every other aspect of the game was near perfect.

Here, the default graphical performance is deemed enough to ignore any other potential issues with the game on Steam Deck.

Best Homeworld 3 Steam Deck settings

After running the in-game benchmark countless times while also testing settings in live gameplay situations, I recommend the following configuration for Homeworld 3 on Steam Deck.

  • Compatibility Tool: Proton Experimental
  • VSync: On
  • Frame Rate: 60
  • Motion Blur: 0.0
  • Upscale Algorithm: AMD FSR 2.0
  • Resolution Scale: Quality (67%)
  • Use High Res Translucency: Yes
  • Anti-Aliasing Quality: High: TAA
  • Post Processing Quality: Low
  • Shadow Quality: Low
  • Shading Quality: Low
  • Visual Effect Quality: Low
  • Texture Quality: Low
  • Screen Space Reflection Quality: Off
  • View Distance Quality: Near
  • Nebula Quality: Low

The Homeworld 3 benchmark initiates a scene that represents the game at its most hectic with an all-out dogfight happening in a very tight space. This means all results are quite misrepresentative of what average gameplay looks and feels like.

Where the benchmark would return results with a 39 fps average, general gameplay ran at a steady 52 fps with few noticeable drops outside of intense combat. I set the max frame rate to 60, but this can be lowered to 30 if you wish to have a much more consistent frame rate.

In truth, a far bigger obstacle was the control scheme, but that is down to personal preference. While the Steam Deck does more to aid RTS games than most other handheld gaming PCs, thanks to its trackpads, it was rare that I ever felt like I had adequate control in Homeworld 3, and this disconnect grows quite strong during time-sensitive gameplay moments.

You can instead use one of the best Steam Deck docks to connect to an external monitor and then use a mouse and keyboard. If you don’t have this option, I can confidently say that the existing control scheme works, but it just takes a lot of getting used to.

If you want to know what the best Steam Deck games are, we’ve got you covered. We’ve even tested every game on the list so you know they all work well on Valve’s handheld.