Elden Ring

Posted:  July 22, 2022
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Best at 30 FPS
SDHQ Settings
Review
Game Info

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
30 FPS
Limit
60
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
9
Scaling Filter
Linear
GPU Clock
Disabled
Proton Version

Proton GE 7-25

Game Settings

Terrain Quality: High

Antialiasing Quality: High

SSAO: Medium

Depth of Field: OFF (optional)

Motion blur: Low (optional)

Shadow Quality: Low

Lighting Quality: Medium

Effects Quality: Medium

Volumetric Quality: Medium

Reflection Quality: Low

Water Surface Quality: High

Shader Quality: Low

Global Illumination Quality: Low

Grass Quality: Medium

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
13W - 16W
~65c - 70c for CPU and GPU
2.5 - 3 hours

Review

Elden Ring is an open world Souls game, which features a large variety of enemies and areas with plenty to explore and experience. With many possible builds to play your way, you will trek across a unique land that makes you want to explore every inch of it. Use magic, swords, halberds, and even prayer, to dispatch a variety of enemies that can range from giant crows to giant shrimp to giant dragons...I might be seeing a pattern here. Be ready though, this game is not for the faint of heart. Plan your strategy wisely and enlist the help of your friends, though this could be your undoing. Now, how does this open-world AAA game that came out last year run on Steam Deck?

Elden Ring Optimization

When trying Elden Ring out at max settings, it actually ran ok. It would stick above 30 FPS, which would mean capping it could be do-able. The biggest problem though was temps being around 80c just standing still and a whopping 24.9W battery drain. To me, the best way to play is a combination of high, medium, and low settings, but set to a locked 30 FPS. This was by far the smoothest and most stable way to play, while also allowing a longer battery life. Sadly, the game does have about 6 areas that I can’t list, due to spoilers, that no matter what the settings are, drop 1-2 frames. The good thing is that those frames don’t cause a noticeable stutter so gameplay felt quite smooth. I also locked the TDP to 9, making sure the battery usage doesn't go up much further than 16W almost the entire time. I also tried Elden Ring with this build while docked to my TV and thought the game was still able to look quite appealing even on the larger screen.

I really wanted to do everything I could to get a 40 FPS build up and running. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a fully stable build for it. I was able to get very close, with framerate dips down to 36-37 that weren’t super noticeable, but it did come with a cost. Pushing the resolution down to 1152x720, and turning graphics settings to lowest, got Elden Ring the closest it possibly could to a stable 40. There is a quite noticeable difference, and the framerate isn’t stable, but it is the closest I believe is possible to hit something higher than 30 FPS without the Deck overheating and losing too much battery.

Left ImageRight Image

While both are stable here the recommended has much better temps and battery, while looking much more sharp.

In the end, the game finds it impossible to hit 60 FPS, but can be stable at 30 FPS and low battery usage with some compromises. Elden Ring on the deck is for people that will accept those shortcomings in exchange for portability, which still baffles me. This is a AAA open-world game that just came out and looks sharp and beautiful, but still runs at a stable rate. While it cannot hit 40 FPS, Elden Ring runs like a charm with minimal issues and will be a fantastic addition to anyone’s library for their Deck.

Liked this review? Check out our Game Review page for more reviews and optimizations!

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Elden Ring is a fantastic example of what the Steam Deck is capable of.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Zeratul831
Steam Profile
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$59.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

Review

Elden Ring is an open world Souls game, which features a large variety of enemies and areas with plenty to explore and experience. With many possible builds to play your way, you will trek across a unique land that makes you want to explore every inch of it. Use magic, swords, halberds, and even prayer, to dispatch a variety of enemies that can range from giant crows to giant shrimp to giant dragons...I might be seeing a pattern here. Be ready though, this game is not for the faint of heart. Plan your strategy wisely and enlist the help of your friends, though this could be your undoing. Now, how does this open-world AAA game that came out last year run on Steam Deck?

Elden Ring Optimization

When trying Elden Ring out at max settings, it actually ran ok. It would stick above 30 FPS, which would mean capping it could be do-able. The biggest problem though was temps being around 80c just standing still and a whopping 24.9W battery drain. To me, the best way to play is a combination of high, medium, and low settings, but set to a locked 30 FPS. This was by far the smoothest and most stable way to play, while also allowing a longer battery life. Sadly, the game does have about 6 areas that I can’t list, due to spoilers, that no matter what the settings are, drop 1-2 frames. The good thing is that those frames don’t cause a noticeable stutter so gameplay felt quite smooth. I also locked the TDP to 9, making sure the battery usage doesn't go up much further than 16W almost the entire time. I also tried Elden Ring with this build while docked to my TV and thought the game was still able to look quite appealing even on the larger screen.

I really wanted to do everything I could to get a 40 FPS build up and running. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a fully stable build for it. I was able to get very close, with framerate dips down to 36-37 that weren’t super noticeable, but it did come with a cost. Pushing the resolution down to 1152x720, and turning graphics settings to lowest, got Elden Ring the closest it possibly could to a stable 40. There is a quite noticeable difference, and the framerate isn’t stable, but it is the closest I believe is possible to hit something higher than 30 FPS without the Deck overheating and losing too much battery.

Left ImageRight Image

While both are stable here the recommended has much better temps and battery, while looking much more sharp.

In the end, the game finds it impossible to hit 60 FPS, but can be stable at 30 FPS and low battery usage with some compromises. Elden Ring on the deck is for people that will accept those shortcomings in exchange for portability, which still baffles me. This is a AAA open-world game that just came out and looks sharp and beautiful, but still runs at a stable rate. While it cannot hit 40 FPS, Elden Ring runs like a charm with minimal issues and will be a fantastic addition to anyone’s library for their Deck.

Liked this review? Check out our Game Review page for more reviews and optimizations!

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Elden Ring is a fantastic example of what the Steam Deck is capable of.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Zeratul831
Steam Profile

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
30 FPS
Limit
60
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
9
Scaling Filter
Linear
GPU Clock
Disabled
Proton Version

Proton GE 7-25

Game Settings

Terrain Quality: High

Antialiasing Quality: High

SSAO: Medium

Depth of Field: OFF (optional)

Motion blur: Low (optional)

Shadow Quality: Low

Lighting Quality: Medium

Effects Quality: Medium

Volumetric Quality: Medium

Reflection Quality: Low

Water Surface Quality: High

Shader Quality: Low

Global Illumination Quality: Low

Grass Quality: Medium

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
13W - 16W
~65c - 70c for CPU and GPU
2.5 - 3 hours
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$59.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

Other Builds & Information

40 FPS (Unstable)

SteamOS:

40 FPS Cap with 40 Refresh Rate

Half Rate Shading OFF

TDP Limit 12

Linear Upscaling

 

Proton Version:

Proton GE 7-25

 

Game Settings:

Terrain Quality: Low

Antialiasing Quality: Low

SSAO: Medium

Depth of Field: off

Motion blur: Low

Shadow Quality: Low

Lighting Quality: Low

Effects Quality: Low

Volumetric Quality: Low

Reflection Quality: Low

Water Surface Quality: Low

Shader Quality: Low

Global Illumination Quality: Low

Grass Quality: Medium

 

Projected Battery Usage/Temps:

14W - 19W

Around 70c - 80c temps for CPU and GPU

Around 2 - 2.5 hours of gameplay

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