Final Fantasy VII Remake is (almost) perfect on Steam Deck

Square Enix launched a surprise Final Fantasy VII Remake on Steam during its 25th anniversary livestream, and relied heavily on the fact that the game was Steam Deck Verified. And with good reason. Final Fantasy VII Remake it’s over two years old and has only been available on PC via the Epic Games Store for six months.

I bit the bullet and bought the game a third time to answer one question: Is it worth spending $70 again just to play? Final Fantasy VII Remake on the steam deck? It’s a solid version of the game, much better than I expected, but it still has a major flaw that I hope Square Enix fixes in a future update.

Playing on Steam Deck

Final Fantasy VII Remake it’s all about fluid combat, which is why I was immediately concerned about the Steam Deck version when I saw that it was set to a 30 frames per second (fps) cap. Fortunately, Square Enix appears to have been conservative. I managed to get through the first mission and the Scorpion Sentinel boss fight while staying mostly at 60fps.

However, I did not arrive without adjustments and unfortunately, Final Fantasy VII Remake it doesn’t give you much room for compromise. It has two graphics settings: Shadow Quality and Texture Quality, and each has only two options. I had to take them both down. Low to get a smooth 60 fps. In highly, by default the game was in the 40fps range.

Image quality comparison for Final Fantasy VII Remake on Steam Deck.

As you can see in the comparison above, these graphics options have very little effect on the appearance of the game. These can improve performance quite a bit, but I was happy to lower both to achieve higher frames per second. It wasn’t perfectly tuned at 60fps, which I’ll get to later, but the frame rate drops haven’t affected the experience so far.

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Great look…for a handheld device

Final Fantasy VII Remake character models on Steam Deck.

Final Fantasy VII Remake it works great on the Steam Deck, but it’s still clear that you’re getting a lot less fidelity than on PS4 (let alone PS5). It looks great in motion, which is where you’ll be spending most of your time, but it’s clear there are some dips in quality if you look at the character models for too long.

It all seems a bit too basic. Take Cloud’s face above as an example. It gives the impression of more detail, but that detail is not there. This is even clearer on Jessie’s face in the background, that she sits in a murky and mysterious valley. The backgrounds seem to have more detail, actually, which was probably a smart compromise. When character models move, even outside of combat, those details are hard to make out on the Steam Deck screen.

The good news is that these lower resolution materials do not appear in many of the game’s cutscenes. There’s a lot more detail in the scenes, so unless you stop and really look for trouble, you probably won’t notice it.

a big flaw

Fight the boss from Final Fantasy VII Remake on the Steam Deck.

The biggest problem with Final Fantasy VII Remake on Steam Deck it’s the resolution. You may be surprised to find that it’s not too low, it’s actually too high. While 720p is the minimum resolution you can set, for some reason Square Enix allows you to set the resolution well above 4K on the Steam Deck.

You’ve got AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) built into the Steam Deck, so enabling it at a lower resolution like 540p would go a long way toward smoothing out your frame rates. It’s pretty consistent, but the game fell into the 40fps range with big attacks from the Scorpion Sentinel and transitioning into combat.

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Lower resolutions are even more important given how few graphical options there are Final Fantasy VII Remake have. I only played the first few hours on the Steam Deck, but I can imagine that later in the game the frames per second will drop well below 60fps. FSR would help a lot here considering it doesn’t have much bandwidth to improve performance on graphics settings alone.

However, I am very satisfied. Final Fantasy VII Remake on steam deck. She expected it to work terribly, but it didn’t. It’s a smooth experience with clever compromises, and I’m excited to complete my journey through Midgar for the third time on Valve’s gaming handheld.

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Categories: GAMING

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