Wild Hearts

Posted:  Feb 13, 2023
Full StarFull StarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Sub 30 FPS
Disclaimer: This is an initial impression of the game. Our review and recommended settings will be updated when we've completed a full and thorough analysis of how it performs on Steam Deck. Check back soon for our full analysis!


Wild Hearts is a monster hunting game set in a medieval Japan world. Using ancient technology, you will go out to hunt fearsome beasts that are ravaging the land. Go solo or with up to 2 friends (cross-play enabled) and gear up with countless materials and loot you will gain from the monsters you bring down. Will you be able to utilize the ancient technology you have and stop the Kemono rampage?

Before I get into the game's performance, I will say I enjoy the game itself. It looks beautiful and I love this kind of gameplay. The similarities with Capcom's Monster Hunter series are bound to happen, but I really like this vibrant take on the genre. That being said, as of right now, I would avoid getting this on the Steam Deck.

Right out of the gate, you are thrown into the tutorial and it is very heavy. Even on the lowest graphical settings, I couldn't hit 30 FPS, regularly dropping to 21 - 22 with a 24W - 25W drain. This was made worse during certain fights, and even went down to 15 FPS in a boss fight. On top of that, I did get some stutters that completely paused the game for a moment or 2 before resuming and it did crash my game completely once.

The game also has some cutscenes that need Proton GE to play, otherwise it will be the rainbow bars. I did try with multiple launch commands too, but nothing has helped bring framerate up.

Wild Hearts is also lacking some graphical options, mainly lower resolutions below 1280x800 and no upscaling methods like DLSS or FSR 2. For newer more intensive games, this is almost essential for the Deck and, according to reports from Desktop PCs, essential there as well. I tried forcing the resolution down through Steam too, but it completely shrinked the screen and didn't help performance.

It is possible that using CryoUtilities could help the performance a bit, but from the performance I am seeing without it, and the lack of options to enhance it, I would say the gains would be minimal.

Wild Hearts is an awesome game at its core and I can tell from the time I have played with it. Unfortunately, it was hard to really enjoy the great content in the game due to the inability to play at a consistent framerate. While there were some areas that could handle higher framerates (staring at a rock wall almost got me to 40), it couldn't handle the bigger areas. For that, I would say this is one to avoid for now.

We will take another look when the game is fully released and a shader cache has been built. While that is happening, we plan to test out other ways to run the game, including CryoUtilities, to see the difference it makes. Though our review will be based on the default Steam Deck configuration with no modifications. We do this since we will never expect someone else to do something more to modify their device other than what is given from SteamOS and Valve.

Wild Hearts Screenshots:

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Wild Hearts has potential to be an awesome game, and while it can technically be played on the Steam Deck, it's not an enjoyable experience just yet.

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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