Doom Eternal

Posted:  Jul 10, 2022
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Very minor stuttering
Near Perfect Performance


Doom Eternal is the latest evolution of the grand-daddy of first-person shooters. Its "push forward combat" approach to gameplay throws a barrage of enemies, explosions, and pixels on the screen all at once which the Steam Deck handles with aplomb!  Thanks to some impressive hardware packed into the (relatively) tiny Steam Deck, as well as amazing optimization on the part of ID Software, the Deck handles this intense shooter with ease.  

Doom Eternal Performance

Right out of the box, Doom Eternal fires on all cylinders at a solid 60fps but at the expense of some higher temps (up to 89*C in my initial testing) and higher power consumption (23-24W, giving about 1.5 hours of battery life).  A little fine tuning of settings and limiting TDP gives you options for either high quality graphics with 60fps 95% of the time (Quality Build) or lower graphical settings but at a rock solid 60fps (Performance Build). I personally preferred the performance build as a consistent 60fps helped the feel of the action in Doom Eternal and lowering the graphics as noted in the performance build did not make the game visibly unpleasant at all. 

The really good news is that you can achieve both of these with greatly reduced temps and significantly more battery life. The quality build played at 50fps most of the time with minor dips to 48-49 fps for a split second. Without the Steam overlay, I don't think I would have noticed these moments, but they were most present when the screen got extremely hectic (mostly during glory kills which don't require player control in the moment). The performance build gave a rock solid 60fps, but with noticeable aliasing on some elements, like the targeting reticle, that took a while to get used to. This required lowering the resolution, turning on FSR, and adjusting the graphics settings as noted in the performance build.  The builds kept the GPU temps down to 73*C on quality and 68 for performance, while CPU temps were 75c for quality and 70c for performance.

The battery build, while does save some battery and temps, makes the game’s text very hard to read. It gets around 65c for GPU while CPU hovers around 68c-70c. FSR saves the day at the resolution used for this build, but the quality downgrade doesn’t really justify the battery that can be saved from this setup.

When using the quality build I played with motion blur on. Yes, motion blur - wait, put down your pitchforks, let me explain. Yes, I know motion blur is regarded as horrible, but with the help of DRS, it becomes much less horrible and adds to the quality of the game in the performance build. Basically, Dynamic Resolution Scaling (DRS) will adjust the game’s resolution as needed, often lowering it temporarily, in order to try and maintain a higher framerate at the expense of blurring the image some. Since motion blur seemed to be implemented on a per object basis. This made the DRS’s downscaling much less noticeable while still keeping the frame rate and temperature gains.. Turning off motion blur didn't dramatically increase stability or allow for major graphical setting changes, and even in the quality build, it added to the experience. This could be a Doom only setting, and I understand why motion blur is hated, but I feel it really helps this game shine.

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Custom Controls

Interestingly enough, one of the greatest pleasures running Doom Eternal on the Steam Deck was the ability to fully remap the buttons (an option available in the Doom Eternal setting as well, but greatly expanded with Steam). I used the back buttons for jumping, dashing, grenade switching, and flame belch which let me keep my fingers on the joysticks at all times and I enjoyed some fine-tuned gyro aiming with the capacitive right joystick.  I also set up the right track pad as a radial dial, giving each one of Doom Eternal's weapons its own spot for quick switching with a rapid light tap that just isn't possible with other console controllers. You can go even deeper down the customization rabbit hole by adding double tap weapon switching and action sets with controller chords to switch weapons even faster. It can take a little while to wrap your head (and hands) around it, but there is a very deep level of controller customization possible. I would definitely say weapon hot swapping and animation cancels are mandatory at higher difficulty levels. The controller scheme can be found in the Community Layouts and is called "Doc Jones SDHQ".


As a friend said to me when I talked about playing Doom Eternal on the Steam Deck: "That thing is so well optimized it could run on a toaster."  He may be right, but it doesn't short-change the Deck's impressive hardware. The ability to customize the button layout even more via Steam allowed me to create a layout that was much closer to keyboard and mouse precision.  There were also no game breaking or distracting graphical bugs/glitches that I noticed as I played through the main campaign and horde mode (which includes enemies from The Old Gods expansion). I ran a few multiplayer deathmatches and they ran very well with these settings. From all of my testing, I can easily say Doom Eternal is amazing and playing on Deck will be well worth your time.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

"That thing is so well optimized it could run on a toaster." is a saying that rings true on Steam Deck for Doom Eternal. Killing demons has never been so easy on-the-go.

Build Score

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Community Rating

Let us know what level of playability you consider Doom Eternal to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
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Proton DB Rating
Doom Eternal Grid

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Other Builds & Information



50FPS Cap with 50 Refresh Rate

Half Rate Shading OFF

TDP Limit 10

FSR Upscaling with Sharpness 4


Proton Version:

Proton GE 7-24


Game Settings:

Resolution 1152x720

Graphics Preset: Ultra Nightmare

Volumetrics, Texture Filtering, and Geometric Quality: Nightmare

Dynamic Resolution Scaling (DRS): Off


Projected Battery Usage/Temps:

15W - 17W with spikes to 19W

Around 70c - 75c temps for CPU and GPU

Around 2-2.5 hours of gameplay



60FPS Cap with 60 Refresh Rate

Half Rate Shading OFF

TDP Limit 7

FSR Upscaling with Sharpness 4


Proton Version:

Proton GE 7-24


Game Settings:

Resolution 800x500

Graphics Preset: Low

Dynamic Resolution Scaling (DRS): Dynamic


Projected Battery Usage/Temps:

12W - 13W

Around 65c - 70c temps for CPU and GPU

Around 3.5 hours of gameplay

Controller Scheme

The Controller Scheme is under the name "Doc Jones SDHQ" and can be found in the Community Layouts tab when looking at controller schemes for Doom Eternal.

related Settings

5 comments on “Doom Eternal”

  1. Hi.

    I recently purchased a SD and I'm trying to run Doom Eternal with the recommended settings mentioned above but the game is randomly crashing and the device reboots after each crash making it unplayable.

    I didn't find the game setting about particle and geometry but I guess this is unrelated to the crashes.

    I tried with default proton and also tried with Proton GE 7.24.

    I'm running stable version of Steam OS.

    Does this happen to anyone else? Any ideas?

    I guess I need to try the medium profile in the game settings but this will be disappointing.


      1. Thanks for looking into this. I see that my SO version is 3.4.6.
        My deck is the 64GB version so I'm running the game from an microSD card. I think this should be fine as I don't have any problems with other games/emulators.
        I have verified the game files and everything seems to be OK with the files.
        I also tried with the latest ProtonGE version and installed/enabled Cryo Utilities.
        I lowered the settings to Medium (except texture quality which I kept as High and particles and geometry I kept as Ultra, as recommended above). I was able to play for 20 minutes without crashes but then it crashed again.
        I think the game tends to crash in this situations:
        * When entering a new area
        * When fighting many enemies at the same time
        * For some reason, the game menu also crashes some times

  2. Do you remember what rpm your fan was at when testing this?
    I normally find the guides on here rather accurate, but this time I can't replicate the battery life per settings no matter what I try.

    I've tried both the recommended preset and the battery preset, at the in game and steam deck settings listed, with the same version of proton GE, with sound off, and screen brightness set to lowest, and I still seem to come out about half an hour or more of battery life behind of each set of settings. The game performance is great, but I'm a bit disappointed, it would have been nice to get 3 hours battery life. The only thing I could think of is that perhaps my deck has slightly worse air flow due to having opened it up to replace the whiny fan, or maybe an update to the game or os somehow affected the results?

    Curious what you think.

    1. Interesting. If you could, join our Discord so we can talk a bit more frequently and if you don't have one, email us at [email protected]

      There could be multiple factors behind the battery difference. I will redownload the game right now to retest and see if we can figure out the issue!