Dave the Diver was provided by MINTROCKET and EvolvePR for review. Thank you!

Get ready for an adventure RPG where getting addicted to the gameplay loop is quite common. Dave the Diver will put in the role of Dave, a professional diver who took on a new job. During the day, you will put your diving to use and capture fish, as well as gather resources to complete missions and improve your gear. As night falls though, you will need to help man the sushi restaurant. Set the menu, enhance the meals, and wait on customers to make money and fund your expenditures. All of this while discovering the secrets of the Blue Hole.

I can’t remember the last time a review has been put off a little bit due to how addicting the game can be, but Dave the Diver definitely did. This game is phenomenal, the two styles of gameplay weave into each other in fantastic ways that highlight each one’s importance. The diving not only brings the fish you will be serving, but you can find new weapons, artifacts, gear, and complete missions to keep the interesting story going. Then we head to the sushi bar management where you will be setting the menu, waiting tables, and giving drinks to keep the money flowing. The more money you make, the more you can upgrade in both the restaurant and the diving.

Cover all of this with a gorgeous pixel artstyle with smooth animations and you get an addicting experience that’s very pleasing on the eyes. And then we have the fantastic humor injected in as well. There have been a good chunk of food enhancement cutscenes and dialog that threw me on the floor laughing. Dave the Diver is a fantastic game that I loved gameplay-wise, though when it comes to performance on the Steam Deck, that’s where things get a little iffy at times.

Dave the Diver - Steam Deck Performance

At nights, manning the sushi restaurant had no drops and runs flawlessly, which is fantastic. There were no issues I had during the night time, but diving was another issue. At first, I didn’t see many issues and diving was going well at a solid 60, but as I got deeper, that’s when trouble started brewing.

Going down into the depths of the waters brings in much more complex backgrounds, which end up taking a toll on the Deck. The framerate will start to fluctuate, getting close to the 50 FPS range. This can feel a bit jarring as the framerate dips, so setting the refresh rate to 50hz and using 50 FPS solves this for the most part. There are some areas that may dip to 48 with a 17W drain, but this isn’t that bad overall. 50 does feel quite smooth when it’s set correctly, so I’d definitely recommend keeping it this way.

Dave the Diver doesn’t have many graphical settings, really only resolution and that can’t be changed, so we are stuck with the default settings in-game. We can force the resolution down through Steam, however, the game looks arguably worse with minimal performance increases.

You can also bring it down to 40 FPS, which will be completely stable, but not as smooth. Personally, I preferred the smoothness and the few sacrifices were worth it, but if you want something fully stable with slightly better battery, bring the refresh rate and framerate lock to 40.

The game doesn't support 16:10 resolutions, but it supports cloud saves and Gamepad controls.


Dave the Diver is a fantastic casual adventure/management RPG that oozes with humor and a great visual style. Both of the main elements of the game are fantastic and really complement each others well, emphasizing making each affect the other in meaningful ways. Performance on the Steam Deck could be a bit better at lower depths, which is unfortunate, but it’s totally playable otherwise. Even with this, I would recommend the game due to how addicting the gameplay loop is.

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!

This game was provided to us by NIS America for review. Thank you!

Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society is a turn-based JRPG dungeon crawler about commanding a brigade of puppet soldiers to unearth the Curios hidden within an underground labyrinth. After being hired for a special job, you will investigate the nooks and crannies of the maze with your created heroes that you will level up, equip, and customize to power your way through gorgeously designed monsters at Galleria manor. Put together a team of up to 40 fighters and explore over 50 hours of content as you discover the secrets that lie beneath.

Labyrinth of Galleria is a game I had to really pry myself away from. If you are a fan of other NIS America titles like Disgaea or turn-based JRPGs with customizable fighters like Octopath Traveler or Etrian Odyssey, you will love this game. The combination of using witch's pacts and assigning your warriors to them felt like a nice merging of team building and strategy, while finding loot and crafting items to get the best gear. I also didn't think I would enjoy the story as much myself, but it grew on me the more I played as well. I would say the voice acting is a little bit much, especially the consistent quips from warriors when they're using Special Crest skills, but it isn't something worse than other JRPGs. Overall, this is a game I can see myself sinking 80+ hours into, and luckily, I will be able to enjoy it fully on the Steam Deck.

Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society - Best on Deck

With absolutely no tweaking at all, Labyrinth of Galleria runs perfectly at 60 FPS staying under a 9W drain with no changes in settings whatsoever. Granted, this game is half visual novel and half static 3D maps, but I have seen un-optimized games with similar quality do much worse. This game feels like it was made for the portable platform with the way it is structured and the content it has!

I didn't have any problems with controls and the visuals looked crisp and clear. It also has some nice accessibility features to go along with it including cursor size, guide display, auto saves, and battle speed (my favorite one). The game only has 1280x720 native display and not 1280x800, so you will have the black bars at the top and bottom, but this is me being nit-picky.


Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society is a game that continued my love for more in-depth JRPGs. The visuals are gorgeous and the gameplay is enjoyable with some complexity to it. It felt like a very good balance between simple and intricate, walking that fine line to keep me playing the game without mulling over every single decision and scratching my head. With a nice blend of unit building, crafting, and exploring, Labyrinth of Galleria ticked all the boxes I want to see in a game like this.

And if you're hoping for playing this on-the-go as well, performance on the Steam Deck will be a near-perfect guarantee! This is one I am happy to add to our Best on Deck catalogue! The game is releasing on the Nintendo Switch as well, but since the game uses cloud saves through Steam, you will be able to enjoy this one on PC and Deck without losing any progress. This is the premiere way to play Labyrinth of Galleria!

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

Get ready to partake in the ultimate Lego Star Wars adventure! The Skywalker Saga spans all 9 of the mainline Star Wars films, allowing you to play through the entire series with over 300 characters, 100 vehicles, and 23 entire planets! The game takes a giant leap forward in Lego games in general with open-world gameplay, a new camera angle, side missions, upgradable abilities, and much more! If you're a fan of Lego games and Star Wars, this is the game for you!

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game was the first Lego game I played and it still sticks with me today. I fell in love with the gameplay and, being a fan of Star Wars already, it was awesome to experience the world in this way. Now, The Skywalker Saga takes that gameplay to a gigantic new level and MAN is it great. I absolutely adore the changes they have made with this entry and hope this is something they stick with for future releases. I can go on and on about this, but I believe a first look on the Steam Deck is in order!

In my initial tests, I found that resolution is the biggest contributor to performance, but also has minimal amount of visual impact (compared to other games). The stutters or performance issues came into play during extensive scenes or when fighting/breaking tons of objects. Going from 1280x800 to 960x600 with FSR Sharpness 0 seemed to have minimal impact on how everything looked overall, but significantly helped with stability of the framerate on a TDP limit of 9. The other graphics options have little to no effect on the performance, so keeping them at high and medium was okay.


There are still some minor stutters when breaking objects or fighting, but having a GPU Clock Frequency of 1200 helped most of them. Other than that, the game looks and feels phenomenal in most areas I have played so far. 40 FPS feels fantastic and with the battery averaging around 11W - 13W, I am extremely happy with the drain! Waking up the Deck with the game on did change controller prompts to KB+M, but pressing a button changed them right back. No controller issues I have encountered so far!

Overall, I would consider this a gem to play on the Steam Deck. The game itself is a ton of fun and with a couple tweaks, it runs fantastically too. Other than the small dips from time to time, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga shined at 40 FPS with good looking visuals and a great battery life for an open-world game. We will play more and try to create a higher framerate and quality build, but so far, 40 FPS is definitely going to be the way I play.


If you enjoyed this first look, 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

Stray is a platformer where you play as the greatest protagonist ever thought of, a stray cat. Solve puzzles and hop your way through a dystopian cyberpunk city that’s been abandoned and left to become ruins. Uncover memories and learn the truth about why this "paradise" has been forsaken by its former inhabitants. Stray has a more linear style to it, like you can’t jump on surfaces unless there’s a prompt, it is still enjoyable running around, knocking over paint cans, putting scratch marks on walls, and exploring this odd city.

The Optimization of Stray

Seeing Stray for myself before it came out, I imagined it wouldn't be a tough game to run on Deck. Though unfortunately, I was greeted by the main menu with an insane 25W battery drain and almost 80c temps. I was running a 60 FPS cap with no TDP limit, but even so, there should be no reason why the main menu of a game needs to get that hot.

Stray Main Menu

Main menu at default/max settings with no TDP limit and a 60 FPS cap.

This continued into the starting area of the game, where it was running 20W and 75c averages. While it did get a little easier to run after the starting area, it still suffered from high battery usage (around 23W) and similar temps.

The framerate would almost never be a stable 60 FPS, so I decided to change that first. It does hit 60 in smaller corridor areas, but the larger open areas had trouble keeping a consistent 40 FPS, so I decided to stick to a 30 FPS cap. This did cut down on battery usage and temps significantly, and although there were some drops here and there, it stayed relatively stable. This dropped battery and temps so much that I was actually able to keep the highest quality settings and still be very playable. I did bump down the resolution scale to 70% as well. It didn't feel like there was a massive change to the visual quality, but kept things more stable overall. This felt like the most solid way to play the game, and while it could be pushed further, it would increase everything else pretty heavily.

It is also possible to play Stray with a higher framerate without it being too overwhelming on the system. By pushing to 40 FPS and changing all settings to medium, the game can run decently well at around 14W - 16W with spikes going up to 19W and temps going up to 80c. This is a huge change from the recommended build and there are many more VERY noticeable framerate dips. This really impacted gameplay, especially in the wider open areas, and made traversing the buildings less enjoyable. Visual quality seemed to remain relatively the same, which is great, but there was too many fluctuations with framerate to keep me loving the 40 FPS build.

Left ImageRight Image

Recommended (30 FPS) build vs 40 FPS build. Almost no change to quality, but the temp and battery usage is massively increased.

There are a few noticeable bugs/glitches that occur, and while none of them affect gameplay, they were as clear as day. The biggest one is the graphics on the fur of the cat and the ghosting trails. This isn't as noticeable in the 40 FPS build, but it is very obvious when in any sort of lit up area. You can see black pixels hopping around along your stray and then as soon as you move, quickly goes into ghost mode. Since a chunk of the game takes place in the darkness, this isn't as bad, but it is definitely there. Otherwise, there were some physics issues with objects that would just stay floating in the air, but none of this prohibited my movement forward in the game.

Stray Fur Issues

Example of the graphical issues with the fur. Zoomed in, you can see the black spots all over the cat, which is not supposed to be there.

Honestly, I expected better from this game. It is a UE4 game, which means the stuttering makes some sense, but regardless, I expected more. This isn't a game that has many different complex systems or state of the art visuals. It is a beautiful game, but definitely have seen better. It is playable, and can be pushed to 40 FPS for smoother framerates, but the fluctuations and graphical issues stop me from really enjoying Stray on Deck.

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!

Update 9/8/22: Due to the newest update adding in native FSR 2.0, we will be reassessing the builds and updating the review! Consider this one outdated for the time being.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) is a third-person open-world game with a heavy emphasis on freedom. You take the reins of Arthur Morgan as he travels with his infamous gang to evade federal agents and bounty hunters during the American wild west of 1899. You can choose to follow the story and see how the deepening internal divisions affect the game in this well-written story, or go on your own and rob, steal, tie people up, or just watch the game’s enjoyable physics do their work. Rockstar, the developers of RDR2, are known for their fine-tuned gameplay and beautiful worlds, and this is definitely one of them.

Before I get into the performance, there have been reports of crashing when playing RDR2 for a period of time, usually around 30 minutes. In my playthrough, I experienced no crashes whatsoever. I installed the game with Proton GE 7-24 and my playthrough of the game had Triple Buffering and Vsync turned off. From reports I have read, this seems to be the main cause of any crashes as well. If you experience crashes, don’t hesitate to send a message on our Discord server so we can troubleshoot and figure out how to remedy it.

Knowing the kind of game this is, I had a good feeling going in that it would need a good amount of tweaking, and I was most definitely correct. This is a game you shouldn’t expect to get 3+ hours of gameplay with lower temps, this is a full open-world AAA game that tends to be at the forefront of game development. At max settings, with a 60 FPS cap and no TDP limit, I was getting over 80c temps with 25W of battery usage…just standing still in a camp. And even with a 30 FPS cap, battery drain was still much higher than it should have been for just standing still. 

Left ImageRight Image

The temps and battery for standing still in max settings is insane, while the recommended battery build in the same area is much cooler overall.

The prologue of the game, up to chapter 2, does experience some instability, but that disappears once you can freely roam the open world. While I knew 40 FPS would be possible, I wanted to focus on a solid 30 FPS build that will strike a good balance of quality without an insane battery drain of over 20W. After playing around with the presets, I did arrive at my goal and was able to get a good quality build with temps that largely stayed under 80c with native resolution and under 20W battery drain. The framerate was stable 99% of the time, but did experience some spikes every now and then. These were far and few though, and without the overlay showing my framerate graph, I wouldn’t have noticed. These spikes are also common across all builds, not just this one. While the visuals look great, the temps and battery drain left more to be desired.

Then comes the battery build. This build for RDR2 is way more competent than I expected. It doesn’t destroy the visuals too much and keeps temps and battery more closely under wraps. By setting everything to low, and using FSR 2.0 in balanced mode, the game keeps a stable 30 FPS while keeping temps under 75c and battery around or below 17W. This is, in-part, thanks to the TDP limit of 8 to keep it lower. It is a great alternative for people that want to preserve battery as much as possible, but keep decent visuals. It was a very close call between this and the quality build, but ultimately, I feel the battery is better suited overall for the Deck.

Left ImageRight Image

The 40 FPS build however is for those who only want to play a little while having a better framerate that feels significantly more smooth. While the reduction in quality is very noticeable, it isn’t a deterrent from playing the game. Even with all the quality settings on low and a high TDP limit of 12, the game can run at 40 FPS about 80% of the time. There will still be spikes and dips in framerate that are quite noticeable even without the graph there. With the 80c average temps, I wouldn’t personally use this build, but it is possible and can be done.

The only mod I ended up using was the FSR 2.0 mod, which I feel helps to really stabilize the battery and 40 FPS builds more. You can check out how to get it and follow our quick guide down below. I also, very luckily, did not experience any bugs or glitches that inhibited gameplay. Though, when changing FSR 2.0 settings, it can cause the whole screen to go white. This is remedied by moving around or moving the camera, the world will populate back in. I did find this happen once or twice when going into a town, but I just kept moving around slightly and it would all come back.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a fantastic game and it is even more amazing that it can be played on Deck regardless of the compromises. This game was not one I expected going in to be playable for 4+ hours with fantastic quality, but what came out of it is what I would consider a marvelous achievement. Plus, you are playing RDR2 in the palm of your hand, I feel something needs to be said about that!

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!

Firewatch is a single-player story game that tells a engrossing tale about a man dealing with overwhelming grief. Without spoiling too much, he takes up a job to watch over a forest to spot fires and, with the help of his sarcastic and unprofessional boss, uncovers a disturbing turn of events that changes everything. The game hits you in the heart real quick and turns into a powerful narrative about pain, guilt, and sorrow. For such a small game, it was a wonderful experience and playing on Steam Deck was a fantastic way to see the story unfold.

Firewatch Settings

Overall, performance on deck was mostly fluid. I went through the entire game using the optimized/recommended settings and didn’t feel much holding me back. At 40 FPS, and using Proton GE 7-19, I was able to play the entire game without any huge slowdowns. I would get framerate drops and some battery usage spikes when running quickly in the forest, but it would quickly bounce back. Firewatch has full controller support and does show Steam Deck icons in-game.

This also means that the official gamepad layout works extremely well for the game and I felt no awkwardness using the controls. The only gripe I have is trying to change the resolution in-game. Doing this with just the deck controller is aggravating and near impossible. The right trackpad is mouse cursor control by default, but there’s no keybind for a left mouse click, which is essential. I just binded the left click to pressing the right trackpad down and it made changing resolutions and navigating some menus easier.

The Bugs of the Forest

I encountered a couple bugs in my playthrough, but they were more slight nuisances and nothing game-breaking. The biggest bug I found was one time starting up the game and it went to a black screen and stayed there. This was easily fixed just by putting the deck into sleep mode and waking it up right after.

Another little bug includes some minor framerate dips and audio crackling when coming out of sleep mode (which fixed themselves shortly after), but that was all I experienced in my playthrough. In my testing, I was also not able to ideally hit 60 FPS without battery being drained incredibly quick and quality being on the lowest setting. I also noticed, when I was testing the maximum battery build, that it didn’t seem like FSR or Half Rate Shading did anything to affect quality of the game. A little disappointing, but not the end of the world.

Firewatch on Steam Deck - Conclusion

Overall, my experience with Firewatch was a positive one. Framerate drops were not very noticeable and any bugs were generally fixed after a couple seconds. Adding the binding for left mouse click to the right trackpad solved my biggest gripe of going through the settings menu for the game. With a verified rating from Valve, which I agree with, this is definitely a great game to add to your deck library.

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!