Starfield is a surprisingly demanding PC game, requiring a fairly hefty GPU and CPU to run it smoothly at anything approaching max specs even at 1080p. And, alas, it’s just a bit much for the Steam Deck to handle unless you’re happy to sacrifice visual fidelity, framerate or – in most cases – both if you plan on spending your time doing anything except browsing menus (though there’ll be plenty of that).
All that said, help may be at hand in the form of a Potato Mode mod that deliberately aims to make Starfield, well, seriously ugly. Modder BulwarkHD’s creation swaps every texture in the game for its 128-bit equivalent, leaving the 2023 game resembling something that released closer to the turn of the millennium.
BulwarkHD knows exactly what they’re going for, proposing “Does your PC have 1gb of Vram? Is it so old your grandpa used it to play Morrowind?” as two possible reasons for wanting to send high-resolution textures the way of dogs in Starfield’s future.
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While Potato Mode is still likely a bit much for a literal potato to run, there might be a surprising flipside and genuine advantage to this mod clearly created as a bit of fun. With Starfield’s performance not up to par on Steam Deck, I’d love to know whether this mod actually allows it to run at a decent framerate – albeit while resembling a PSP game. Still, on a far smaller screen, the crappy visuals might not look so bad. Right?
If nothing else, installing the Potato Mod gives you a fun excuse to double up on potato antics in Starfield by copying the example of the player who filled their spaceship with thousands of potatoes. Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in the airlock.