Playing Forza Horizon 5 on the go will soon be a reality

Thanks to its analogue triggers, high-resolution screen and powerful hardware, the Steam Deck looks like the perfect platform for playing racing games on the go.

While third-party racing games like Burnout Paradise Remastered and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit were ported to the Nintendo Switch, Valve’s portable gaming PC is a far more capable system that lets you play triple-A games in the palm of your hands.

We already know which racing games are fully compatible with Steam Deck. However, there’s one racing game that’s notably absent on the Steam Deck Verified games list: Forza Horizon 5.

Can you play Forza Horizon 5 on Steam Deck?

Valve is currently testing the compatibility of every Steam game on Steam Deck. Tested games are rated as Verified, Playable, Unsupported, or Unknown. According to Valve, Verified games deliver “a great, smooth experience on Deck.” Playable games will also work but may not be fully optimised.

Racing games like Art of Rally, Automobilista 2, Circuit Superstars, Hot Wheels Unleashed, and Project CARS 3 are Verified for Steam Deck. Other games like F1 2021, Need for Speed Heat, and SnowRunner are Playable, but The Crew 2 is Unsupported.

Forza Horizon 5 running on Steam Deck
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Running at 60fps, Forza Horizon 5 is an impressive technical showcase of the Steam Deck

Officially, Forza Horizon 5 isn’t Playable or Verified on Steam Deck yet. But thanks to the release of Proton 7, a compatibility layer enabling Windows-exclusive games to run on Linux, Forza Horizon 5 is playable on Steam Deck. While Steam Deck is powered by Linux, Windows can also be installed on the device.

Watch Forza Horizon 5 running on Steam Deck

Ahead of next week’s launch, several YouTubers have had early access to the Steam Deck and tested FH5 on the handheld system.

YouTube channel The Phawx has shared a video showing FH5 running on Steam Deck – and it looks fantastic. Soon, you’ll be able to explore FH5’s vast open-world in Mexico wherever you go.

Running in benchmark mode, The Phawx tested FH5 with different graphics settings to see how it performs. In the Very Low setting, FH5 runs at 60fps on Steam Deck, although the frame rate is variable.

Even so, seeing FH5 running at 60fps on a handheld that’s considerably cheaper than the GPD Win 3 and Aya Neo is very impressive. Soon, you’ll be able to explore FH5’s vast open-world set in Mexico wherever you go.

Unsurprisingly, the only drawback is that running a demanding game like FH5 inevitably drains the battery life. On Very Low settings, playing FH5 on Steam Deck reduced the battery life to 120 minutes. 

On High settings, FH5 ran at around 30-34fps on Steam Deck with 96 minutes of battery life, but this dipped to around 20-25fps in Ultra settings. However, since it uses less CPU and therefore less power, the Ultra setting delivered a slightly better battery life, lasting 104 minutes.

YouTuber Linus Tech Tips also testedFH5 on Steam Deck, but his experience was less positive. While the performance benchmark is still impressive and the “animation stayed true to the frame rate”, the YouTuber found the gameplay “uneven and jarring,” comparing the experience to buffering issues in video calls.

Steam Deck release date and price 

Starting at £349, the Steam Deck launches on 25 February. There are three storage options available: 64GB (£349), 256GB (£459), and 512GB (£569). Reservations require a £4 deposit, but new orders won't arrive until “after Q2.”

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