Palworld Steam Deck compatibility, gameplay, and settings

Is Palworld Steam Deck compatible, and what are the ideal settings? We've put together everything you need to know about running the new game on the handheld.

Steam Deck in front of Palworld Pals

When was the last time a videogame dominated the gaming landscape as blatantly as Palworld? A matter of days after its release, the seemingly Pokémon-inspired survival shooter passed 1.8 million concurrent players on Steam, overtaking even the mighty Counter-Strike 2 as the most-played game on the platform. But is Palworld Steam Deck compatible? We’ve got all the information you could ever need on that, and more.

For more on handheld gaming, check out our Palworld Switch compatibility guide, our list of the best Nintendo Switch games, and our predictions for the Nintendo Switch 2. Or, read our Steam Deck 2 speculation piece, and see our breakdown of the Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch.

Is Palworld Steam Deck compatible?

Palworld is Steam Deck compatible, though it only scores a ‘playable’ rating for the handheld console as per Valve’s official rating system for assessing compatibility. So, what does that mean, exactly? Well, it means you can definitely have a go at running Palworld on your Steam Deck, but the game isn’t optimized for the handheld console, you might encounter some frustrating obstacles in menu navigation, and there’s no auto-detect capability to match the settings to your Steam Deck’s performance level.

On Reddit, players have been discussing the game’s performance on Steam Deck, with the general consensus being that Palworld runs “pretty well” albeit on lowered settings, though some complained of frame rate issues and system crashes. That being said, in another discussion thread a user posted a video of gameplay on the Steam Deck, and the game certainly seems to live up to its ‘playable’ score: just don’t expect super-smooth perfection.

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How do I play Palworld on Steam Deck?

You can play Palworld on the Steam Deck either by installing it directly onto the handheld device and running it on the system itself or by streaming it from your PC.

For the first option, purchase Palworld on Steam through the account connected to your Steam Deck, and then download and install Palworld onto your Steam Deck. Now, you can run the game directly from your device, from anywhere (if you’re playing offline). To play Palworld on your Steam Deck via your PC, open Steam on your PC and make sure Palworld is installed, and then ensure that your PC and Steam Deck are both connected to the same wireless network. Now, open your Steam library on your Steam Deck and choose Palworld, and you can play it on your Steam Deck via your PC.

What are the best Palword Steam Deck settings?

When running Paworld on your Steam Deck, you’ll want to alter your settings depending on your preferences. If you want to prioritize high FPS and smooth gameplay without drops, you should lower your graphical settings. This comes at a cost though, and the game looks significantly uglier. If you don’t mind the occasional drop in frame rate in order for Palworld to look better most of the time, you’ll want to run the game mostly on its medium settings. This latter option strikes the better balance in our view, though you might want to occasionally lower your settings in demanding instances.

Here are our recommended Palworld settings:

  • Max FPS: no limit
  • Vsync: off
  • Motion blur: off
  • Anti-aliasing: TSR
  • View distance: medium
  • Grass details: medium
  • Shadows: medium
  • Effects quality: medium
  • Texture quality: medium
  • Field of view: 90

That’s everything you need to know about running Palworld on the Steam Deck. As Pocket Pair updates the game, better compatibility could be on the cards. But, until then, these are your best options.

For more gaming delights, see our picks for the best Nintendo Switch RPGs, and check out our predictions for the new Pokémon game.