Factorio is one game that I've yet to try on my Steam Deck but it sounds like it's not ideal right now. Thankfully
Wube Software LTD. are working on it.
The problem, like for a lot of similar such games, is that they were designed primarily for mouse and keyboard. To get them working nicely on a Steam Deck, they need you to make a Steam Input configuration which takes time and even then the experience might still not be ideal. Valve actually sent Wube a Steam Deck so they're working on making it play better.
Currently they're working on bringing over proper controller support to Factorio! That will benefit everyone of course and many more games are doing (or have done already) the same. However, their upcoming expansion is still the priority. For now, they're planning some UI fixes and improvements for the Deck, as it's below the minimum resolution Factorio currently needs.
They did mention a few quick points for now though:
- Since it's a native Linux build, you don't have to experiment with or deal with Proton related issues.
- The battery life is great. In my test, I got 5 hours and 45 minutes of playtime on one charge, on an average base with average screen brightness.
- Performance is good, any reasonable base should run at 60FPS/60UPS.
Once they make some improvements, we'll be sure to let you know.