30 FPS is the bare minimum accepted by Valve.
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In speaking with IGN, a Steam Deck designer Pierre-Loup Griffais, said that Valve has a target of "30Hz" for their output framerate with Steam Deck. He says that everything they (Valve) have tested have run "without issues" and have hit that 800p and 30Hz target really well.

Obviously, some people took this to mean that the Steam Deck would only run games at a 30FPS cap. Some have even begun to doubt the capabilities of the hardware packed into the Steam Deck, fearing that it might not be able to push anything above 30FPS.

Thankfully, Griffais made sure to clarify his remarks, this time taking to Twitter to have his voice heard.


In short, Valve is using that 30FPS as a basis for the absolute ground floor "of what (they) consider playable in (their) performance testing." He assured fans that all of the games they have tested have met and exceeded that requirement. He also added that there will be "an optional built-in FPS limited to fine-tune (performance) vs. battery life."

At present, Valve says that a full-charged Steam Deck battery will last players anywhere between 2-8 hours. As an example, they say that you can play about 4 hours of Portal 2 at 720p and 60FPS before you need to recharge the device. Obviously, the battery life is going to differ quite a bit from game to game. To compare, the Nintendo Switch OLED will supposedly have a battery life that offers about 4.5 to 9 hours before needing recharged. The Switch OLED is also a less powerful machine by comparison.

Valve's Steam Deck is set to begin shipping late in 2021. The most basic model begins at $399 (USD).