Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition

Posted:  Jun 17, 2022
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Occasional Battery Spikes


Horizon Zero Dawn is an open-world action game taking place on an Earth recovering from a terminator-like event. Developed by Guerilla Games, you play as Aloy, the girl wonder with no parents, who has been tasked to save the world from a corruption taking over the rampant machines roaming the wildlands.

Throughout the journey, you will have to fight, craft, and explore your way to saving this world and figuring out who you are. With a beautiful setting, enjoyable combat, and a unique story, this game is definitely worth your time. I am a sucker for post-apocalyptic settings and open-world games in general, so this already checked so many of my boxes before playing. Just based on the game’s content, I would say it is a worthwhile purchase, but what about the performance on deck?

Horizon Zero Dawn on Steam Deck

After my initial testing, I ended up feeling that 30 FPS was the way to go. While it’s possible to increase it, I felt a much more stable 30 still plays really well and keeps temps and battery further down than I expected. There were some drops still, but they were few and didn’t impact gameplay. Game settings wise, I ended up feeling a slightly lower than native resolution with low settings, shadows at medium, and FSR turned on in-game to Ultra Quality, was the best medium for stable performance and quality visuals. This also kept battery life around 2.5-3 hours with around 14W - 16W usage.

I did see some performance and battery spikes under certain situations though. The biggest one that spiked both was when traveling around the world fast. When running, the world would render more and this would cause spikes in battery, usually up to 17.5W, and some performance hiccups. The only other one I really noticed was when walking around crowded cities, but leaving the immediate area remedied that.

There thankfully wasn’t too many game-breaking bugs that I encountered, though there were two that stick with me. First, when loading into the game, I opened my quick access menu, the button with the ellipses, and it froze on that screen. The game kept playing in the background and I had to power cycle the device since no buttons worked to close it. Second, there was one time I was running around and fighting robots, but my right analog stick randomly stopped working.

I could still press down on it and it responded in game, but I could not move it around. I had to close and re-open the game to fix that one, and luckily, I had just saved the game. Both of these only happened once though and I don’t expect it to be a huge issue. There was some minor audio stuttering at a few points, but that could have been the speakers and wasn’t anything of significance.

Overall, Horizon Zero Dawn ended up running better than I anticipated. Getting around 2.5 - 3 hours of battery life while temps staying around 70c. Framerate was stable 95% of the time at 30 FPS and still looked wonderful with FSR on and resolution slightly under native. It was a blast to play this game as much as I did on the Steam Deck and I cannot wait to see how Horizon Forbidden West and even Marvel’s Spider-Man will fare!

Side Note: For those who have Power Tools installed through the plugin manager, make sure CPU Boost is turned off. When it is turned on, temps and W usage jump a lot due to the CPU overclocking. This is not necessary for the game though and just adds unnecessary temp and battery usage.

Need some help understanding how we got to our score? Check out our Guide to Steam Deck HQ.

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

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back!

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

All-mother would be proud of this running on Deck. The small compromises can't take away the pure excitement of Horizon being stable on a portable device.

Build Score

Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
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.
Steam Profile

Community Rating

Let us know what level of playability you consider Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

Should SDHQ re-evaluate this game review?

Other Builds & Information

Max Quality Settings


30FPS Cap with 60 Refresh Rate

Half Rate Shading OFF


Proton Version:

No forced compatibility

Game Settings:

Resolution at 1280x800

Overall Quality Medium

Motion Blur OFF

Upscaler turned to FidelityFX Super Resolution at Ultra Quality

Projected Battery Usage/Temps:

16W - 18W with spikes to 20W

Around 73c temps for CPU and GPU

Around 1.5-2 hours of gameplay

40 FPS Settings


40 FPS Refresh Rate with 40 FPS Cap

Half Rate Shading OFF


Proton Version:

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings:

Resolution at 1152x720

Overall Quality Favor Performance

Motion Blur OFF

Upscaler turned to FidelityFX Super Resolution at Balanced or Quality

Projected Battery Usage:

18W - 19W with spikes to 21W

Around 72c - 73c CPU and GPU

Around 1.5 hours of gameplay

Optional Mods

None used!

related Settings

7 comments on “Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition”

  1. I'm currently playing 960x600 no upscaling, original setting set the steam FSR sharpness value set to 2

    I cannot see graphical differences with your 1152x720 config... however I get a frame rate between 40 to 60 fps with an average of 54 fps.

    I took two screenshots, and the quality is almost identical

  2. Quick note on the right analog stick - that's a pretty common issue, happens often when coming back from standby.
    To fix it, simply open the weapons dial (LB) and the analog stick should be working again.

  3. I, personally, believe that while Discord is a useful tool in diagnosing things, unless the results are published, the findings are useless for the greater community.

    I'm glad you're more than willing to work with individuals, don't get me wrong, I just hope that the gist of the conversation is published as an addendum so that others can potentially benefit if we too have the same, or similar, findings.

    1. Yes it usually will be! Any changes to our findings will be updated publicly on our reviews. We love working with individuals, but understand that some information will benefit more than just them!

  4. Hello Guys,

    Greatly appreciate the work you guys are doing! Quick question: I have your settings exactly copied on my 512 GB steam deck. I have the new fan control off but am still getting power usage of up to 22 and temps in the 80-85 range. i even have powertools installed and cpu boost off. Is that the case for anyone else or am i doing something wrong?

    Thanks and have a great day!