This performance boost is courtesy of AMD’s FSR technology, which uses spatial upscaling to improve the resolution of a game to reduce the workload of the GPU and boost the frame-rate performance. This technology is already available on gaming PCs and laptops, allowing users to benefit from 4K visuals even if their hardware isn’t capable of such workloads.
However, AMD FSR currently only works with a modest list of compatible games, which includes God of War, Deathloop, Resident Evil Village and more. Since the Steam Deck is powered by an AMD APU, it’s no surprise to see that FSR will be supported.
But Valve has now revealed that the Steam Deck will be able to benefit from FSR even if a game lacks native support. On the official Steam Deck FAQ page, Valve wrote, “Games that already include FSR will work as is, but also FSR support will be included as part of an OS future release.”
By baking FSR into SteamOS, you should be able to use the upscaling feature on a larger range of games. This should be great news for those who were worried that modern AAA games wouldn’t be able to run with the highest graphics settings.
It’s worth mentioning that AMD FSR isn’t perfect, as it’s rarely capable of replicating the exact same image quality as a natively rendered game. Look at background objects and you may notice they look a little less detailed than they would originally. But we haven’t tested this feature on the Steam Deck just yet, and it’s entirely optional. If it’s the only way to play a demanding game on the portable at the max screen resolution, it may still be worth the compromise.
For more details on the Steam Deck, make sure to keep an eye on Trusted Reviews.