My Steam Deck has had a new lease of life lately: as a portable Diablo 4 machine. Oh yes: despite not being available to purchase on Steam, it’s easy to get Blizzard’s latest release running on the handheld PC. And now it’s set up, there really is no looking back.
Both Diablo 2 Resurrected and Diablo 3 are available on Switch. And if you’re a long-term Diablo fan, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the joy of being able to slay hellbeasts on the go. Whether you’re laid in bed as you venture outside of Tristram, or whether you’re exploring Sanctuary on the train, there’s something rather magical about being able to play a Diablo game no matter where you are. Diablo 2 Resurrected’s cross-play functionality even means you can pick up on Switch exactly where you left off on PlayStation, Xbox or PC. Really, it’s fantastic.
But with no Switch version on the cards (yet) for Diablo 4, there’s no immediately easy way to play it on the go. Enter Steam Deck. Granted, it’s not quite as easy as clicking ‘install’ and heading on my merry way. But getting Diablo 4 set up on Steam Deck was much easier than I thought it would be. (You can read our step-by-step guide to getting it installed here.) And now it’s on there, there’s no looking back.
Diablo 4 runs wonderfully on Steam Deck. Launching Battle.net through Steam allows me to immediately open up Diablo 4, letting me loose in Kyovashad and its surrounding regions within seconds. It runs so well that it’s almost baffling that Blizzard didn’t make it easier for people to play its latest Diablo release on the go. Sure, a big screen gaming experience is great. But there’s something rather special about playing one of your favourite games in a handheld format.
I didn’t have to tweak many settings to get Diablo 4 running smoothly. With its graphical options mostly on ‘medium’, it’s silky smooth with no real slowdown to speak of. Loading times are pretty swift too, meaning I’m able to get destroying demons in no time at all. Since Diablo 4 has built-in controller support on PC (thank you Blizzard!), the controls work perfectly, too. Once you’re in the game, you’d never guess it’s not technically made for playing on Steam Deck.
The only real negative is the Steam Deck’s battery. You’ll get around two hours of play, depending on things like what brightness you have your screen set to. For most sessions, it’s probably plenty: a sneaky half hour before bed, or a bit of time on the sofa in an evening. It’s even enough for most commutes. Imagine: a bit of Diablo in a morning on the train to work. What a life.
Sure, I love my Steam Deck in general. I’ve hundreds of games in my Steam library that run beautifully on it. And yet, every time I pick it up I find myself drawn to Diablo 4. There’s something magical about slicing my way through hundreds of demons right in my hands. If you’ve got a Steam Deck and own Diablo 4 on PC, you know what to do.