Following a hands-on preview of Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, we had a chance to talk to the game’s director, Masaru Yamamura, and producer Yasunori Ogura who wanted to assure players that the game would be “fully supported” on Valve’s Steam Deck.
“Obviously seeing how well Elden Ring performed on the Steam Deck, we were very happy, and we wanted to at least create that as a baseline going forward for this handheld,” Ogura tells Digital Trends. “So it is fully supported for Steam Deck … we just want to reassure players that it will be fully supported.”
Up to this point, Armored Core VI hasn’t received Valve’s seal of approval through the Deck Verified program, which notes which games run best on the Steam Deck. It’s not surprising to see Armored Core VI join those ranks, as all of FromSoftware’s PC releases have a Verified badge, short of Dark Souls: Remastered, which is considered “playable” on Steam Deck.
There were some concerns about Armored Core VI on Steam Deck, though. Armored Core VI, like other entries in the series, will have competitive multiplayer and likely include some form of anti-cheat software. Normally, anti-cheat software is a roadblock to Steam Deck verification, but titles like Elden Ring have shown that it’s possible to support Steam Deck while still using anti-cheat.
Although the game will be supported on Steam Deck, it’s tough to say how well it will run. In our three-hour preview, we dug into the graphics settings and found that the game doesn’t support any upscaling tools like AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). Elden Ring, the studio’s previous release, doesn’t support any upscaling tools, either.
That’s despite the fact that the game includes a ray tracing setting, also similar to Elden Ring. Our preview was done on a machine packing an AMD RX 6900 XT, which was able to easily maintain over 60 frames per second (fps) at 1440p, even with ray tracing on. The Steam Deck is considerably less powerful, though.
Even so, the team seems confident that the game is well-optimized to run on a variety of PC configurations. “We do all of our development on PC first and foremost, so of course we wanted to optimize it to that experience,” Yamamura said. “So we’ve tried to incorporate our knowledge over the last several years of game dev and try to correct that and try to optimize as best we can for the PC audience.”
Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon launches on August 25 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.