Horizon Forbidden West Mountains
Screenshot by Prima Games

How to Play Horizon Forbidden West on Steam Deck

A dinosaur-filled world in your pocket.

Despite its current status as one of the best ports from console to PC, thanks to the hardworking team at Nixxes, sometimes you don’t care about graphical fidelity and want to play on a handheld. Here’s how to play Horizon Forbidden West on Steam Deck!

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Can You Play Horizon Forbidden West on Steam Deck?

For whatever reason, at the time of this writing, Horizon Forbidden West does not feature a Steam Deck Verification tab on its Steam Store Page. This is quite uncommon, as almost every game on Steam features the information in the sidebar, whether it works on Deck or not. All that said, Horizon Forbidden West works wonderfully on Steam Deck.

As it’s a massive, gorgeous game, however, don’t expect the best battery life. I was lucky to score an hour, maybe a little more, while playing on a full charge. But hey, that’s an hour of exploring post-apocalyptic America full of robotic dinosaurs that I didn’t have before!

Furthermore, don’t expect too much in the way of frames. If you’re running the game on Medium settings, which I recommend, for the most part, you’ll achieve around 30. But if you lower a few more settings, you can reach 40-50 FPS in some spots.

Horizon Forbidden West’s Best Settings on Steam Deck

As this is a modern open-world game with stunning and detailed graphics, you should expect to lower many of the game’s settings to run on Steam Deck. That’s okay, though. Those who regularly play on Steam Deck understand this necessity and don’t mind!

  • Proton: Default
  • Display: 1280×800
  • FOV: Default
  • Preset: Performance
  • FSR: Off
  • FPS Limit: 40
  • Half Rate Shading: Off
  • Upscale Quality: Balanced
  • Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
  • Screen Space Occlusion: Off
  • Shadow Quality: Low
  • Texture Filtering: Trilinear
  • Terrain Quality: Low
  • Hair Quality: Low
  • Water Quality: Low
  • Clouds Quality: Low
  • Depth of Field: Off
  • Bloom: Off
  • Chromatic Aberration: On

While certainly not definitive, as you may wish to tweak some settings to suit your preferences better, these settings should provide you with a stable experience for the most part.

Many feel that, upon arriving at the Forbidden West, performance tanks on the Steam Deck. It’s a massive open world, and FPS often drops into the teens. Again, the game is not yet fully Steam Deck Verified, and performance patches will likely drop in the coming days and weeks.

Once you’re up and running on the Steam Deck, here’s how to find easy loot in the game!


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Author
Brandon Morgan
Brandon began writing in 2012, for websites such as OnlySP, before transitioning to digital marketing in 2016 to learn the ins and outs of SEO. In mid-2023, Brandon returned to write strategy guides for Prima Games, IGN, DualShockers, and more, with a focus on ARPGs, RPGs, and Survival games. His past coverage includes Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, Starfield, Skull and Bones, and many more!