The launch of Gotham Knights has been, to put it generously, rocky. The game reviewed poorly, suffers from some truly bewildering technical issues and compares incompetently to the Arkham games that preceded it. So, with Gotham Knights struggling to maintain 30 FPS on the PS5 and Xbox Series X, how does the game fare on Valve’s Steam Deck? We’ve made a couple of videos showcasing the performance of Gotham Knights on the Steam Deck, as well as looking into how the game compares to consoles and a full-fat PC.
The first mission of Gotham Knights gives a dash of hope on the Steam Deck. Despite running poorly with frequent sub-30 FPS dips on the PS5 we tested it against, the Steam Deck manages to keep comfortably above 30 FPS for the majority of the mission. Dips below 30 are, to our eyes, much less frequent than on consoles. Check out our video of the full first mission in Gotham Knights below.
Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when exiting the indoor confines where the first mission largely takes place. Even on minimum settings, the Steam Deck struggles to maintain 30 FPS while exploring Gotham City. Like consoles, the frame rate takes a massive hit anytime players take to the Batcycle. Sometimes dropping into the mid-teens. We made another video showcasing the Steam Deck’s performance in the open world of Gotham Knights. Check that out below.
Although performance in the open world isn’t the best, it’s comparable to the current performance of Gotham Knights on consoles. In places, it’s slightly better. Fighting groups of enemies on the Steam Deck seems to be a little smoother than on PS5, while the current-gen console doesn’t suffer quite as badly when riding the Batcycle.
The bigger issue on the Steam Deck are crashes that, in our testing, the consoles don’t seem to suffer from. Just within the first 10 minutes of playing Gotham Knights, we had our first crash. According to reports from other Steam Deck users, this is a problem that gets worse as players get further into the game. Some particularly demanding areas of the game become unpassable due to the crashes.
With the state of Gotham Knights on PCs with beefy graphics cards, it’s kind of a wonder that the Steam Deck can run the game as well as it does. At present, we can’t recommend getting the game to play on the Steam Deck. This is disappointing because much better-looking games run excellently on Valve’s portable PC. Perhaps after a patch or two, performance will improve, though there’s a long way to go.