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Forspoken needs desktop Linux to spoof being a Steam Deck to work

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Update 25/01/23: Valve are now forcing the spoofing of a Steam Deck server-side, so the workaround is no longer needed.

In a case of what the heck? Square Enix and Luminous Productions just released Forspoken, which works on Steam Deck but it won't run on desktop Linux without spoofing it being a Steam Deck. One of those moments where I had to blink a good few times, wipe my glasses and let out a big sigh. 

To run it on desktop Linux you can either load launch Steam directly with "-steamdeck" or by setting "SteamDeck=1 %command%" as a launch option for the game itself. No this isn't a joke. It's not entirely clear why but I'm not going to say the developer or publisher actively chose to block Linux desktop, it's more likely they just didn't think about what they were doing outside of letting it run on Steam Deck specifically (which runs SteamOS Linux).

Without that workaround, launching it on desktop Linux gives you this:

It "didn't be installed" on my Windows Linux.

But when launching with the workaround, well it's a different story. 

Doesn't exactly seem very stable either, it would completely crash if I picked a different overall graphics preset. Some individual graphics settings made it completely crash too. I also couldn't get it to go above 30FPS, with Vsync off and a limit set to 120FPS it just wanted to stay at 30FPS (and plenty below that).

Looks like a rough launch with it being Mixed on Steam so far and plenty of critic reviews have not been particularly kind on it either. At £64.99 it just doesn't seem worth the price.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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Ehvis Jan 24, 2023
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It is possible that they did a little workaround somewhere to make it run on Steam Deck and they check for it to apply that. Possibly to do with starting appropriate non-crashing graphics settings.

Not going to test it though. Base game for 80 euro. A deluxe edition over a hundred. And of course some unacceptable denuvo. Good thing there is nothing about this game that sounds appealing to me.
Matombo Jan 24, 2023
sounds like they normaly render with dx12 but have a buggy fallback for dx11 or vulkan in the engine. they saw that their default dx12 renderer didn't work on the SD but the fallback did. so they hacked in an if-case based on that env varble to chose the fallback. obviously not much thought went into it, otherwise they would have choosen something more semanticaly sensefull, like checking for wines self identifying env variables

just educated guesses
mega Jan 24, 2023
The game also seems to load the incorrect LOD levels for many parts of the graphics.
Kimyrielle Jan 24, 2023
This game seems to be a mixed bag overall. Shame really, the basic idea is actually something I'd normally like.
tgurr Jan 25, 2023
We sadly already had and still have other very smiliar cases like that, Persona 5 when it came out, Pentiment. I don't like this trend at all. Nice to see things going well for the Deck but a really concerning development.
StoneColdSpider Jan 25, 2023
I wondered how long it would be before we would need a Steam Deck Emulator..........
Koopacabras Jan 25, 2023
Quotedidn't be installed
sounds like the kinda of english we speak in argentina ... brutish English :P lmao
tohur Jan 25, 2023
SteamDeck=1 only applies if you are using a Nvidia GPU I think as my game launches just fine without it. also highly suggest using gamemode with gamemoderun %command% . I got this thing included with the GPU I bought over the summer so if you do not own the game yet I would wait TBH for a sale or after some updates because the game is poorly optimized on PC as it runs like crap on both Linux and Windows for me

Last edited by tohur on 25 January 2023 at 5:18 am UTC
mr-victory Jan 25, 2023
Quoting: Matombosounds like they normaly render with dx12 but have a buggy fallback for dx11 or vulkan in the engine.
The overlay has "vkd3d" in it which means the game uses DX12.
Shmerl Jan 25, 2023
It didn't be installed. The game be destroyed prepare to.

— Square Enix.
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