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Valve Details How It Improved Elden Ring Performance on Steam Deck

Valve Details How It Improved Elden Ring Performance on Steam Deck Image
  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 22:45 PM

Valve describes the technical work that went into improving Elden Ring's performance on its new handheld console, the Steam Deck.

p>The Steam Deck has now officially launched. And while Valve's handheld console may not be widely available, it's going to be in an increasing number of gamers' hands from now forward. Many of those new Steam Deck owners are likely going to want to play the latest games on their Steam Deck, naturally, and Valve is going to want to ensure those games are provided. With that in mind, the company recently provided some insight into how it improved Elden Ring's performance on Steam Deck, even as the game struggled on PC.

Elden Ring was officially verified for the Steam Deck when it officially launched on PC on February 25. That means it passed all of Valve's tests, which includes performance metrics as well as support for controllers and legible text. However, Elden Ring suffered some significant performance issues at launch on PC, and on the Steam Deck, these issues were particularly egregious. Given the popularity of Elden Ring, Valve stepped in to ensure the game was running smoothly on the handheld.

RELATED: Steam Deck Update Will Fix Elden Ring Stuttering Issues

Valve describes the most significant issue for Elden Ring on the Steam Deck as revolving around the game's shader pipeline. The game apparently creates "many thousand resources such as command buffers" in certain moments of the game. This, in turn, causes the hitches that Elden Ring players have been experiencing. On PC, the issue isn't simple to solve, since PC hardware is incredibly diverse. With the Steam Deck, which has its own hardware configuration, Valve was able to adapt.

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Valve says it was able to use the Steam Deck's "extensive shader pre-chaching system" to address the issue, at least as much as it was able. Where before, the Steam Deck's memory manager was going into "overdrive" trying to handle Elden Ring's command buffers and the like, now the Steam Deck caches those allocations "more aggressively." Instead of having to access memory for each command, the Steam Deck draws from a "pre-compiled cache entry on disk."

The solution that Valve came to clearly works, as Elden Ring performs significantly better now on Steam Deck. It's still a handheld console, however. It's running at 720p with a 30fps cap and mostly medium-quality settings. But it's a smooth gameplay experience and is only going to get more optimized from here.

While Valve's effort to improve Elden Ring on Steam Deck has immediate value, in that Elden Ring players will have a better experience, there are a lot of long-term positives to take away from the situation, too. Valve's deep familiarity with the Steam Deck's hardware, its OS, and its understanding of PC gaming compatibility on the device will prove invaluable going forward. Elden Ring is just one such example, but it's also evidence of how well future major PC gaming releases could be supported. And it makes the Steam Deck that much more attractive, too.

MORE: Elden Ring Upcoming Steam Deck Optimizations Explained

Source: Eurogamer

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