Palworld Steam Deck compatibility and best settings

Grizzbolt holding a minigun from Palworld inside a Steam Deck
Credit: Valve / PocketPair

Palworld has finally landed into early access, with the game going viral and being nicknamed "Pokémon with guns", and for good reason. But if you were hoping to have a Switch-like experience with Palworld, you may want to find out whether it's Steam Deck verified, or even playable on the portable PC.

While Valve's Steam Deck verified status helps users easily decide which games will be playable on the best gaming handheld, a playable, unsupported, or unknown tag doesn't mean you can't play games at all. Nevertheless, here's whether Palworld is playable on your handheld.

Is Palworld Steam Deck compatible?

According to the Steam store page, Palworld has a status of Playable on Steam Deck, meaning you shouldn't have any major performance issues, but Valve's internal testing shows that it has these issues:

  • Some functionality is not accessible when using the default controller configuration
  • Palworld sometimes shows mouse, keyboard, or non-Steam Deck controller icons in-game
  • Entering text requires manually invoking and using the Steam Deck keyboard
  • Some in-game text is small and difficult to read
  • You'll need to manually configure graphics settings for the game to perform well

All of this means you'll have to spend some time tweaking the settings or getting used to less-than-ideal situations, but overall, it's a great sign that Palworld is playable. Hopefully, future updates will ensure the game gets a Steam Deck Verified tag.

Steam Deck compatibility status for Palworld on top of a blurred Palworld image
click to enlarge
Credit: Valve / PocketPair

Palworld Steam Deck best settings

Over on ProtonDB, a community-run website for sharing settings and whether a game is playable on Linux, Palworld has scored a Gold ProtonDB badge, suggesting it "runs perfectly after tweaks".

Before you start the game, we'd recommend finding the game in your Steam Deck library, opening the settings (via the gear cog icon), scroll down to compatibility and turn on Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool, and select Proton Experimental. This will help the game run via Linux.

Start the game on your Steam Deck, then head to the Settings and the Graphics tab. Here's the list of changes you'll want to make:

  • Screen Mode: Full Screen
  • Max FPS: No Limit
  • VSync: Off
  • Motion Blur: Off
  • Anti Aliasing: TSR
  • View Distance: Low
  • Grass Details: Low
  • Shadows: Medium
  • Effects Quality: Medium
  • Texture Quality: Medium

You can make some adjustments to the Field of View (FOV) to suit your preferences, but overall, these settings should give you a decent experience in the game. It's likely that, as you progress and expand your base, you'll have some performance issues, but there's quite a few hours of gameplay before that happens.

That's all you need to know about Palworld and whether you can play it on Steam Deck. We'd recommend finding out how to use Palworld fast travel, as the world is huge, and we'd suggest learning how to cook in Palworld ASAP, as your hunger bar depletes very quickly.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Guides, Gaming, PC Gaming, Hardware, and Tech pages.