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The Last of Us Part I, former Steam Deck reject, gets Steam Deck Verified

Latest patch includes major PC performance help

The Last of Us Part I's Steam Store page, on the Steam Deck, showing its Steam Deck Verified rating. The RPS Steam Deck Academy logo is added in the bottom right corner.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

At launch, The Last of Us Part I almost looked like a lost cause for potential Steam Deck play. Even next to its wonky performance on desktops, it ran truly dreadfully on the Valve handheld, leading to the Steam custodians themselves slapping it with an Unsupported rating. Following yesterday’s v1.1.0 patch, however, it’s in much better technical shape, and has swapped that miserable grey Unsupported badge for a reassuringly green Verified one.

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I’ve had a quick look on my Deck, testing TLOU Part I’s post-patch performance at a number of points throughout the first two acts, and can confirm it’s deserving of its shiny new status. The game even opens with an acknowledgement that you’re playing on a Steam Deck, and offers to enable a tailor-made graphics preset. This includes FSR 2 running on its best-looking Quality setting, which makes the subsequent framerate improvements all the most impressive – sections that would previously drop below 25fps with FSR 2 on Ultra Performance can now, with all other visual options being equal, tick along at 30-35fps. Looks better, runs faster - an ideal outcome.

The v1.1.0 update is one of several that have aimed to speed up TLOU Part I’s sluggishness since launch, and it appears to be the most impactful yet. It’s not just helping out the Steam Deck, either, as its CPU and GPU performance upgrades, crashing bug fixes, and merciful shortening of the initial shader compilation times should help out on chunky desktops. Still, the patch notes include Steam Deck-specific improvements, and evidently enough of them to get performance up to acceptable levels and win that Verified tick overnight.

I did try a little tinkering with the graphics settings to see if I could polish things up further, but honestly, the offered preset works really well. It provides an almost completely steadfast 30fps minimum, rising above 40fps in enclosed areas, and I found that dropping FSR 2 to Performance mode only granted an extra 3-4fps fps at most (while making everything look slightly fuzzier). The only change I’d recommend making, then, is to use the Steam Deck’s own overlay settings menu to whack the screen’s refresh rate down to 40Hz, saving power.

Should The Last of Us Part I have launched without those techy problems in the first place? Yes, yes it should. But credit where credit’s due for this turnaround, even if has been a couple of months in the making.

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