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Steam Deck's 30 FPS "target" "refers to the floor" of what Valve considers "playable in its testing"

Steam Deck
(Image credit: Valve)

Valve has explained that the term "targeting 30 FPS" means players should expect that to be the minimum framerate players can expect when playing on its new handheld Steam Deck.

Earlier this week, Valve told us that the company was targeting 30 FPS (opens in new tab) gameplay at a native resolution of 800p for Steam Deck (opens in new tab), its AMD-based handheld gaming PC. Concerned fans, however, weren't sure if that meant 30 FPS was all the handheld machine could manage, which prompted Valve's Pierre-Loup Griffais to clarify their statement.

Griffais further added that players could choose between framerate and performance in order to preserve battery life when out and about, and explained that all the games released this year that have been tested on Steam Deck to date have been "running without issues".

"The '30 FPS target' refers to the floor of what we consider playable in our performance testing; games we've tested and shown have consistently met and exceeded that bar so far," Griffais explained on Twitter (thanks, Gamerant). "There will also be an optional built-in FPS limiter to fine-tune [performance] vs. battery life."

Almost as soon as Steam's reservation page for the device (opens in new tab) went live at 10 am PDT / 1 pm EDT / 6 pm BST on July 16, the connection to the service became spotty. Several members of GR (including myself!) who were trying to get their personal pre-orders in found the process hung at the payment step, assuming they were even able to get that far. Some of us were even put on time out by Steam for attempting too many orders.

There are three units to choose from, ranging in price from $399 / £349 to $649 / £569 with improved specs to match. The handheld console uses a custom AMD Zen 2 APU to run it, with a quad-core Zen 2 CPU, and 16GB of Ram - which Valve says can comfortably "run the latest AAA games". It also has a battery life of two to eight hours depending on how demanding your gameplay session is and features a USB-C dock to connect it to external displays with up to 4K or 8K output. 

Valve may have made attempts to prevent scalpers from buying up all the Steam Deck pre-orders for its upcoming handheld system, but it didn't stop opportunists from auctioning off their pre-orders (opens in new tab).

ICYMI, there's a Steam Deck website Easter egg (opens in new tab) that pokes fun at the "SteamPal" leak.

Find your next favorite PC game with our guide to the best PC games (opens in new tab).

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.