Valve has released a new update to their Steam Deck’s SteamOS, that addresses issues with Red Dead Redemption 2.
Valve did not specify the details of the issue. Generally, Red Dead Redemption 2 were experiencing crashes so consistently that Steam Deck owners could not meaningfully play the game on the handheld.
Another major change coming with this update makes it easier to connect the handheld to an external display. The Steam Deck’s obboard FSR upscaler should no longer cause issues with frame pacing statistics.
On another end, this update also adds the ability to put in your own custom boot screens. Modders already found a way to enable this feature, but with Valve adding it in an official capacity, everyone can take advantage of it now.
Of course, if there was one single game that warranted its own performance update, Red Dead Redemption 2 would be near the top of the list. This long awaited sequel to Rockstar’s original cowboy themed open world game is number 9 in the rankings for the best selling video games of all time. To add to that, Red Dead Redemption 2 reached this landmark after losing its Red Dead Online component. Red Dead Online never saw its full potential in the same way that Grand Theft Auto Online did, but the single player was a strong enough experience to hit these sales numbers.
It also happens to be a technical achievement that Red Dead Redemption 2 runs on the Steam Deck at all. The game is also available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but only runs at 30 FPS on those consoles. While its true that the Steam Deck has more advanced technology, itis still quite impressive that its custom Zen 2, four cores, eight thread CPU manages to outdo those consoles. Framerates for Red Dead Redemption 2 on the Steam Deck hits around the 40 to 55 FPS range.
While its true part of the reason for this is the Steam Deck outputs the game at a lower resolution, there is definitely more to it than that. AMD’s Ryzen architecture are a significant performance and efficiency upgrade to other mobile CPUs, like the SOC that the Nintendo Switch has. Lastly, credit deserves to go to Valve itself. Their hard work on optimizing and utilizing WiNE into Proton. It cannot be overstated the significance of Proton enabling Windows games to run on Linux, and even making those games perform better on Linux than on Windows.
Yes, this does also mean if you went out of your way to install SteamOS on your own computer, and updated it accordingly, you can also feel this performance upgrade for Red Dead Redemption 2 on Linux desktop. And assuming this update addresses those crash issues definitively, it will have even better performance than if you had it running on Windows, and potentially better than on the Steam Deck itself.
But getting back to the Steam Deck, this is a significant update for the console, making it possible to imagine even future games will be playable on the Steam Deck on optimal settings, as long as Valve puts in the work.