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New images show Kingdom Hearts running perfectly on Steam Deck

It's a good day to be a Kingdom Hearts fan
Last Updated on June 14, 2024
Yes, Kingdom Hearts works perfectly on Steam Deck
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The good news keeps on coming for Kingdom Hearts fans. After 3 years, the PC port of Kingdom Hearts III has finally arrived on Steam Deck, offering a new handheld experience for the entire series. This is a significant improvement over the previous Epic Games Store versions, which struggled with compatibility on Steam Deck.

Square Enix addressed these issues by working with a third party to optimize the games for the Deck. The result? These Steam ports are now the best way to play Kingdom Hearts on a handheld device.

Furthermore, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 were demoed at last week’s Summer Games Fest (and posted to X), running incredibly well.

Official Kingdom Hearts imagery – Image Source: Kingdom Hearts

Compatibility woes in the past

Previously, HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX was particularly troublesome on Steam Deck. However, the new Steam versions run flawlessly, even on Windows PCs. Booting up Re: Chain of Memories showcases this improvement – the FMV cutscene plays perfectly without tinkering. Performance is equally impressive, offering over 5 hours of battery life on a Steam Deck OLED at a smooth 90 FPS. Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II follow suit, although some pre-rendered cutscenes remain locked at 30 FPS. Additionally, while there’s an 800p resolution option, the games run at 720p internally without stretching to fit the Deck’s display – though this minor drawback is unlikely to deter users.

Kingdom Hearts III and performance tweaks

For Kingdom Hearts III, achieving the desired frame rate depends on your graphical settings and preferred resolution. While the lack of resolution control remains a point of contention, the game still performs well. On medium settings with 100% resolution, expect a near-locked 45 FPS. Reducing the resolution to 75% unlocks a consistent 60 FPS. Both options offer decent playtime, with 3 hours on Deck OLED and 2 hours on the original model. Lowering the frame rate to 30 FPS significantly extends battery life, but that decision is up to you.

Minor problems

One minor issue is the lack of HDR support for Kingdom Hearts III on the Deck OLED. Hopefully, this should be addressed in a future update. Overall, these Steam ports deliver a fantastic Kingdom Hearts experience on Steam Deck and have brought new life into the franchise once more.

Tom is a tech writer with a detailed view on ensuring the best buying advice, most useful information, and latest news makes its way into PC Guide's articles.