Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is now on Steam Deck. How does this beasty game run on this portable system?
Because sure, we’ve seen how Spider-Man runs on PC, but you can make anything look amazing if you throw an RTX 3080 at it. A far greater task for developer Nixxes is to make this incredible game look and play well on the pared-back Zen 2 + RDNA 2 architecture of the Steam Deck.
We’ve seen it do some incredible things, but can it pull off the same magic for Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered? In one word, yes.
Spider-Man Remastered Steam Deck gameplay
The controller mapping is like-for-like on what you get in the PlayStation version (minus the change in button names), bar one interesting additional — gyroscopic controls are activated by default for smaller, more granular camera movements.
It’s weird at first, but after a couple minutes of getting used to it, not only is it ideal for smaller movements that you may not be able to do with sweeping analogue stick interactions, but it gives certain moments a gorgeously filmic hand-held quality, too.
There is zero controller lag, even at higher settings and unlike what I’ve seen from other testers, I didn’t notice any discernible audio lag in any of the more processor-intensive scenes.
Spider-Man Remastered Steam Deck performance
When we push Spidey to the limit and see how he performs on Steam Deck, I’m left feeling very impressed at what Nixxes has accomplished here.
Any visual fidelity chasers out there will be able to crank the graphics up to high and manage to easily get 30 fps. Granted, it’s a rather unstable 30 fps, reducing to lows of around 22-23 fps when in busy moments of on-screen action.
Sorry, ray tracing fans, but all of these features are inaccessible when playing on the Steam Deck. But to be able to turn these on in a game like this would probably blow up your console, so I think it's for the best!
Knock the preset down to Medium and you’ll see that framerate jump slightly to between 30 and 45 fps without the details taking too much of a hit. And for those who are looking to make it to the promised land of 60 fps, it is technically possible.
Visual fidelity does take a hit though, as you’ll need to set the graphics preset to very low and change the display resolution to 800 x 600. But if you love that fluidity over anything else, this guarantees 50-60 fps.
To help with smoothing out performance, Spider-Man makes the most of AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 technology, which reduces the physical demand on the internals by reducing the resolution, but upscales the in-game textures to simulate a clearer picture.
While in games like God of War, you can visibly tell that the resolution has been knocked back. I wasn’t able to distinguish that drop in Spider-Man, which is a mind-blowing achievement for this AI upscaling tech.
Spider-Man Remastered Steam Deck stability
One of the best things to do with your Steam Deck is tinker with it. In fact, most owners will probably admit to spending a good 60-70% of their time just fiddling with settings or making it do interesting things (like turning it into the best emulator).
I bring this up because tinkering seems to be the thorn in the paw of Spider-Man Remastered on Steam Deck right now, as the game regularly crashed when you change more than five different graphics settings, to find the best options for your gameplay.
It makes the process of tweaking the game a little annoying, but it’s worth noting that once you do find your gameplay zen, I experienced zero crashes in gameplay. Here’s hoping this is something that can be patched out with an update in the future.
Best settings for Spider-Man Remastered on Steam Deck
A gripping single-player adventure like this doesn’t need the highest possible frame rate at the expense of texture quality. But you don’t want to crank up every graphical setting to max and slow the fps down to an annoying crawl.
What we need for Marvel’s Spider-Man is balance, and after plenty of testing, we think we’ve managed to find a good middle ground that will make every gamer happy. Follow this list in your Display & Graphics settings:
- Display resolution: 1152 x 720
- VSync: On
- Upscale method: AMD FSR 2.0
- Dynamic resolution scaling: 45
- Graphics preset: Medium
Once done, open up the Steam Deck Performance settings screen (the three dots button) and tweak the following options:
- Refresh Rate: 40
- Framerate Limit: 40
At this level, you’re getting the best of both worlds — plenty of detail with a super stable frame rate. As I mentioned above in my testing, you can tweak it towards better graphics or better frame rate, but this is the sweet spot.
Marvel’s Spider-Man absolutely slaps on Steam Deck. The web slinger’s adventure has been one of my favorite games to play over the past few years, and Nixxes has done an incredible job making it work smoothly on this mini system.
The beauty comes in how much you can tinker with the settings to get an experience you want, and how well Spider-Man is optimized to run on Steam Deck, no matter how much demand you put on it.
Simply put, I’d say this is a must-buy for any library — easily earning a top spot as one of the best Steam Deck games out there right now.
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.