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Can You Play Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty on Steam Deck? Answered

Cyberpunk 2077 is a tough game to run in any condition, but can the Steam Deck handle the new Phantom Liberty expansion?

The Steam Deck is roughly equivalent to a PS4 or Xbox One in performance, and Cyberpunk 2077 wasn’t known for its stability on either platform when it released. With Phantom Liberty leaving the previous generation behind and getting an updated set of system requirements on PC, how does Valve’s machine stack up? Can you play Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty on Steam Deck at a proper FPS, or does it chug like a dying train? We’ll answer that question in this guide.

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Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty — Can You Play It on Steam Deck? Answered

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Let’s answer the immediate question first: Can you play Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty on Steam Deck? Yes, you can. However, the more appropriate question is should you? Let me dissect that below with my own experience playing the base game and expansion on the device.

Cyberpunk 2077 Base Game (2.0) Performance on Steam Deck

Cyberpunk 2077 — the base version — runs admirably on Steam Deck after update 2.0. While I didn’t see consistent 60 FPS on anything approaching high settings, the Deck could manage around 30-40 FPS using the Steam Deck preset. Granted, I did have to make some downward adjustments, like reducing shadow resolution, LoD quality, and other resource-hogging settings.

However, the framerate and frame time would hitch quite a bit when driving. The game would dip into the mid-20 FPS range frequently, and there was noticeable hitching in more demanding scenes. One of the most difficult areas of the game for Cyberpunk to render, in my experience, is the intersection just outside of V’s apartment megabuilding. I saw my highest volume of hitching, frame drops, and other graphical hiccups there, even compared to driving at times.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty Performance on Steam Deck

Entering Dogtown, the Phantom Liberty-exclusive zone was a whole different beast. The Steam Deck struggled to even maintain 30 FPS shortly after entering the newly available Night City district, and I had to make even larger concessions to get it to run at a playable framerate. Additionally, the Deck would run hot in Cyberpunk, around 85-90 degrees for both the CPU and GPU, with every other system running at or near 100% capacity.

In short, while the Cyberpunk 2077 base game runs fine on Steam Deck, the Phantom Liberty content doesn’t. Bear in mind that I’ve gathered this data on a pre-release build of the game, and additional patching may make the experience much better. The game does have a Steam Deck graphics preset, after all, and is Verified on the Deck, so CD Projekt RED obviously cares about the platform. Additional performance updates may yet see Valve’s machine taking on everything Cyberpunk has to offer, but for now, I can’t recommend it.

That answers the question: can you play Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Linerty on Steam Deck? More appropriately, it answers whether or not you should. For more on Cyberpunk 2077 and the Phantom Liberty expansion, check out our hub for the game.

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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.