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Update 17:09 UTC: they said in a new Twitter post, that they're now going to be adding specific settings just for the Steam Deck:

Our team, striving to provide all players with the best experience, continued looking for ways to maximize #AtomicHeart performance and is glad to announce that it has been made possible to add specific graphics settings relevant for Steam Deck with the future patches. Stay tuned

So we've gone from having all settings, to having none and next we're getting dedicated settings. Okay then.

Original article below:

This is just weird. Developer Mundfish seems to have intentionally removed all graphics options for Atomic Heart on Steam Deck.

Originally, they seemed to be claiming it as a bug and that it would be fixed. A month later though, and their team on Twitter has made it clear it was intentional:

We hear all your feedback.

Removing the graphics settings in Atomic Heart on Steam Deck was a hard decision for us to make in order to maximize performance, Steam Deck battery and gameplay stability.

Our main goal here is to provide best game performance on every platform.

Respectfully, I'm going to have to firmly disagree. Removing player choice like this is not acceptable in my opinion. Give the game good defaults (like a "Steam Deck" preset), and then let people tweak it as they wish afterwards - that would be the proper way to do it. Also have an option to reset to the defaults as well, this is all just basic stuff for a PC platform. 

Hiding options in the name of maximising performance? That just doesn't make any sense.

Good intentions perhaps but simply the wrong way to go about this. It ends up feeling like they're trying to cover something up. It doesn't affect desktop Linux with Proton at least (I checked) just the Steam Deck.

It feels just as silly as Striking Distance Studios hiding the benchmark mode for Steam Deck in The Callisto Protocol.

You can see a whole bunch of gameplay on Steam Deck from release in my video below:

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What do you think? It's weird right?

You can buy it on Humble Store and Steam.

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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. Find me on Mastodon.
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JVargas May 18
Isn't this what normally happens with consoles?
Liam Dawe May 18
Article updated.
kokoko3k May 18
The ability to set options *may* actually degrade performance, this is expecially true in gpu and shader programming.

That's because the preprocessor or the compiler itself cannot optimize the code in advance to avoid possible code branching, precalculate things and so on.

I don't know if this is the case, but I'd think twice before shooting in the legs someone that *probably* knows better than us his work.

Instead, I'd applaude their work because that would mean that they are really pursuing better performance, which today is a very, VERY rare thing.

Last edited by kokoko3k on 18 May 2023 at 5:37 pm UTC
kaktuspalme May 18
What's more annoying to me is that in some Games on the first run predefined settings are set for the Steam Deck. But the profile is nowhere selectable. So if you change some things you don't know what the "curated" Steam Deck Settings have been.

In one Game the resolution was set to 1280x800, I changed some settings, and somehow it also changed the resolution to 1280x720. I couldn't change the resolution back it was not in the list of supported resolutions. So it seems the resolution was hacked into the configuration file. So changing back to "optimized" Settings wasn't easy after that, not doable within the game.

I kind of like the idea that I don't have to tweak the config on Steam Deck. Or the best of both worlds would IMHO of be you can tweak, but you can easily switch back to "recommended" Steam Deck Settings.
R3BiRtH May 18
I've since learned, for any game that does this, to just launch the game with "SteamDeck=0 %command%" in the properties. It sucks that the game was forcing settings however.

Last edited by R3BiRtH on 18 May 2023 at 7:56 pm UTC
Smoke39 May 18
Quoting: JVargasIsn't this what normally happens with consoles?
The entire appeal of the Deck is that it's not just a console, but a full-fledged handheld PC. Dumbing down desirable features that are common on PC but not on console is antithetical to its purpose.
1xok May 19
Quoting: R3BiRtHI've since learned, for any game that does this, to just launch the game with "SteamDeck=0 %command%" in the properties. It sucks that the game was forcing settings however.
That would be a good compromise. I can understand treating the Steam Deck like a console by default, but at the end of the day it's still a PC.
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