Hades 2 runs perfectly on Steam Deck right out of the box

Hades 2 runs perfectly on Steam Deck right out of the box
Images via Supergiant Games

Written by 

Joshua Boyles


7th May 2024 10:42

Hades 2 might have only just launched into early access, but it’s already becoming a Steam Deck icon with the game running pretty much perfectly in handheld right out of the box.

The original Hades was an absolute banger on the Steam Deck with it regularly appearing in the most-played titles on the machine. It seems that its biggest competition may now be its successor, with Hades 2’s roguelike action just as good if not better when played on the go.

I’ve played a few hours of Supergiant’s new game on a Steam Deck OLED, and here’s what I’ve experienced so far.

Best Hades 2 graphics options for Steam Deck

The best steam deck settings for Hades 2
Click to enlarge

Hades 2 defaults to using the highest graphical preset when booted up on Steam Deck for the first time, and honestly, there’s no real reason to change this at all. On my Steam Deck OLED model, I was easily averaging well over the 90 fps that the screen is capped at, resulting in a silky smooth experience.

What’s more, the power draw of Hades 2 doesn’t seem to be all that large, which translates to excellent battery life during gameplay. In the first area that you explore as Melinoë, I see an average of 8-10w of drawn power on the OLED model, which will likely be a couple higher on the LCD Steam Deck. The power menu indicated around 5-6 hours of gameplay with a fully charged battery - more than enough juice to get you through several sporadic play sessions during the day.

Sometimes with games on Steam Deck, you can tweak the device’s settings further to limit the TDP output to claw back a bit of battery life. However, I found no need for that when playing Hades 2 on my device. I lowered the TDP limit to 8w, which was as far as I could go before incurring a penalty to my frame rate. However, this didn’t improve my estimated battery life, with the Deck still projecting around 5-6 hours in total.

All in all, you can get away with loading up Hades 2 and doing no tweaking whatsoever for it to run perfectly on Deck. Even the text appears large enough to read on the smaller screen, although it would be great to see some accessibility options added here in the future.

Hades 2 is perfectly suited for portable play

Some of the boons you can choose in Hades 2, captured on Steam Deck
Click to enlarge

Outside of the technical aspect, Hades 2 pairs perfectly with the Steam Deck and its portable lifestyle. In the early game, my runs are lasting no longer than 10-15 minutes, which is perfect to pick up and put down between household chores or while out and about.

The controls of Hades 2 are specifically tailored towards the controller, too, with a pop-up warning telling you as such if you try playing the game with a mouse and keyboard on a PC. As such, Hades 2 feels extremely tight to play with the Steam Deck controls, and I haven’t even experimented with mapping the back buttons yet, either.

Supergiant has done it again with the stunning painted art style making its return. It looked good in the first Hades, and that’s not changed with the jump to the sequel. With more blue and green tones in the first area of the game, it looks stunning on the OLED model especially, with the deep blacks seeping into the bright and colourful spots on the screen. I only wish it had an HDR mode to make everything truly pop, but that could still be added as part of the early access development.

Overall, if you’re thinking about picking up Hades 2 to play exclusively on Steam Deck, you absolutely can’t go wrong. It runs perfectly with minimal tweaking, and the gameplay loop is well suited to the pick-up and put-down playstyle that most Deck users adopt. The quest to take down Chronos is very quickly replacing Balatro as my go-to time-killer (pun intended).

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For more helpful Hades 2 guides, keep reading GGRecon.

Joshua Boyles
About the author
Joshua Boyles
Joshua is the Guides Editor at GGRecon. After graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Broadcast Journalism, he previously wrote for publications such as FragHero and GameByte. You can often find him diving deep into fantasy RPGs such as Skyrim and The Witcher, or tearing it up in Call of Duty and Battlefield. He's also often spotted hiking in the wilderness, usually blasting Arctic Monkeys.
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