Palworld Steam Deck compatibility and optimization

Palworld proudly wears its 'Pokémon with guns' label as a badge of honor, but will you be able to take it on the go via the Steam Deck.

Palworld Steam Deck compatability

Is Palworld Steam Deck compatible? Taking clear inspiration from Pokémon and Breath of the Wild, Palworld is a game in demand now that it’s available on Steam. A mix of cozy, survival, and RPG monster battle adventure, there is something for everyone in Palworld.

The Palworld release date has arrived, and the ‘Pokémon with guns’ game is garnering mostly positive reviews. Could it sit among the best Steam Deck games or will it fall short of handheld optimization?

Is Palworld Steam Deck compatible?

Palworld is ‘playable’ on the Steam Deck according to Valve’s rating system but it is far from earning a verified rating as things stand.

It’s quite disappointing to see Palworld launch unoptimized for the Steam Deck, but given how some recent indie releases have panned out -looking at you, The Day Before – it’s understandable that the Steam Deck may have taken a back seat for now. If you’re looking for the best Palworld settings for PC, they make much nicer reading as the game runs very well even on some dated hardware.

Strictly speaking, Palworld passed none of the barriers for playability, as you need to make slight adjustments to the graphical settings to get the best performance. The Palworld system requirements don’t ask for much, but there is no in-game optimization tool to auto-detect the Steam Decks performance level.  There are no green ticks on the list of Steam Deck compatibility when you check the Steam page.

Initial menu navigation is poor, requiring the use of the touchscreen more often than not, but when you’re in the game, everything is well-mapped to a standard controller layout.

Best Palworld graphics settings for Steam Deck

Palworld isn’t a demanding game, but it isn’t yet optimized for the Steam Deck, meaning your best performance will come on medium settings, with a few adjustments made for comfort.

Here are the best graphics settings for Palworld on Steam Deck:

  • Max FPS – No Limit
  • Vsync – On
  • Motion Blur – Off
  • Anti-Aliasing – TSR
  • View Distance – Medium
  • Grass Details – Medium
  • Shadows – Medium
  • Effects Quality – Medium
  • Texture Quality – Medium
  • Field of View – 90

The above settings should net you a solid 35-40 fps, depending on what is happening on screen. This feels okay when playing, but there are definitely moments where performance still drops and becomes unstable. Pushing for high settings will drop your fps to around 20-25 which I don’t recommend.

I did try limiting to FPS to try and negate any drops, but this didn’t work, which is why you are better off leaving it on No Limit.

Going the opposite direction and dropping all the settings to low does boost fps as high as 50, but the graphical offset is ugly and the texture and item pop-in is hard to overlook.

AMD FSR is not featured in Palworld, so there is no upscaling tech to help with performance. Nvidia’s DLSS is featured for those on PC with a team green RTX GPU.

Performance mod for Palworld on Steam Deck

We recently covered a Palworld Steam Deck mod and it’s completely transformative. It will enable you to run the game on ultra settings without much impact on performance.

Created by TheHybred on Nexus Mods, it’s not just a Steam Deck mod, but also encompasses all handheld gaming PCs and low-end desktops too!

If you plan to try and take your Deck out and about to play Palworld, you might want to consider one of the best Steam Deck screen protectors to prevent any unwanted accidents.