Returnal performs rather poorly on the Steam Deck. The game was a PS5 exclusive in 2021 and looked really great on the console. Having said that, we were expecting it to run at least at a stable 30 FPS with low settings on the Steam Deck but that’s not quite the case at the moment.
In intensive scenes, which are many in this game, we see the frame rate drop to 20 and then back to 30. We tried every upscaling setting to get stable 30 frames, Low + FSR, Low + NIS, and Low + VRS, but the performance is more or less the same.
Leaving performance aside, the image quality is also subpar with FSR, NIS, and VRS. At the moment, Returnal doesn’t have FSR 2.1, something that may make things more stable. The frame pacing in particular is atrocious. Here’s hoping Climax Studios, the developers behind the port, will look into this.