Street Fighter 6 is going to be releasing soon and I, for one, am extremely excited. The game looks set to be a significant improvement over its predecessor with a nice aesthetic change and new modes like the World Tour where you create your own avatar and go around learning to fight from the masters like Ryu and Ken. And with the open beta going this weekend, ending tomorrow (May 21st), I decided to take a little dive into and get an idea of what performance could be like.
DISCLAIMER: This is an open beta of the game, which means all of this is subject to change in the final version of the game on release.
Street Fighter 6 Open Beta Performance
So diving in, there is only one option for the game modes, Battle Hub. In this mode, you will walk through a hub and find other players online to fight. This is the main mode I wanted to test regardless since online fights are the biggest component of fighting games like this.
The hub, for whatever reason, is still having a hard time in terms of performance. No matter my settings, lowest or highest, there were still issues with framerate. Without any caps and at the lowest settings, I was still getting drops into the 26-28 region when just walking and looking around. Testing this on my desktop PC, which is sporting much better hardware than the Deck, performance was around the same.
Due to this, I wouldn't fault the Steam Deck for lack of performance in this area. Putting in a TDP limit of 10 didn't change performance much either in this area, but now we get to the most important part of the game, the actual fighting.
This is where things get a little more complicated. The performance relies heavily on the stage and how complicated it is. For instance, the training stage, which doesn't have anything going on in the background, and it runs flawlessly at 60 FPS. I didn't experience any issues playing in this stage and experienced no slowdowns.
When it comes to the more complicated stages, however, I started to experience slight slowdowns. It wasn't anything super noticeable, but I could tell when there was some slight reduction to 57-58 FPS at some times. The game did stick around 60 for the most part and was playable, but it was noticeable when it went down.
I believe the slowdowns were caused by both the Deck and the connection. It seems the servers for Street Fighter 6 are not the most stable, so the slowdowns could have been an effect of that. But I don't believe that is the only issue as my Desktop seemed to run the matches a bit more stable. It still had its slowdowns, but they weren't as noticeable as they were on the Steam Deck.
This was all at the lowest settings, but bringing them up a bit to higher quality didn't change performance all that much. I also set a TDP limit of 10 after trying with no caps at all and performance didn't falter. I also tried Proton GE 8-3 to see if that helped at all (it didn't) and set a GPU clock frequency to try stabilizing (it also didn't help).
Final Impressions and Thoughts
After playing multiple matches and winning one, while losing 20, I feel the beta performs well for the most part. The matches showed that 60 FPS is possible in fights and I believe with more stable servers and final optimizations, both of which will more than likely be there for the full release, should help the game run much better on the Steam Deck. The battle hub's performance is a bit concerning, but that one happens across all hardware.
So if you are looking for a straight answer, whether to get it for your Steam Deck or not, I would say maybe. I am leaning towards the yes side, as I was able to play and enjoy the game, but I would hold off and wait if you want Street Fighter 6 and plan to be a bit more competitive with it. Seeing the final server status and optimizations are going to be key, so if you can hold off, I would wait until release. But I am left with cautious optimism as the game does play well in general.
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