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Dragon's Dogma 2 prepares for takeoff... but not on Steam Deck (for now): Streaming the only option for handheld players

Console and PC seem to be the most stalbe options at the moment.

Dragon's Dogma 2
Image credit: Capcom

Dragon's Dogma 2 lands tomorrow, but hold on to your excitement, handheld PC gamers, because your new pride and joy won't be the perfect travel companion for this adventure.

That’s because your handheld is likely unable to run the game well in the first place.

Dragon's Dogma 2's Warfarer vocation is an Arisen-exclusive vocation that can use all vocational weapons and skills.Watch on YouTube

According to RPGsite, outside of streaming Dragon’s Dogma 2 from another PC or a console, you won’t be playing it on handhelds such as Steam Deck, the ROG Ally from Asus, or even Lenovo Legion Go. If you own the Ayaneo 2, a gaming handheld more powerful than Steam Deck, you’ll be able to run the game, but this handheld too has its problems, so it’s not recommended either.

The reason comes down to Dragon's Dogma 2's memory requirements. While Steam Deck meets the minimum 16GB of RAM listed in the system specs, the game gobbles up 13GB for system memory and an additional 5GB for VRAM, even at the lowest settings. These requirements translate to performance issues, with frame rates plummeting below 15fps alongside an abundance of stuttering, making the experience unplayable, says RPGsite.

While the site said it didn’t test Dragon’s Dogma 2 on ROG Ally or Legion Go, both handhelds feature the same amount of RAM as Steam Deck, meaning your experience could be the same.

The PC version isn't immune either, with performance dropping in bustling cities packed with NPCs. Capcom acknowledges these CPU-induced framerate issues and is "looking into ways to improve performance in the future." While it’s true that some PCs can hit 80-100fps when out in the world, even really high-end systems only get 60fps in cities, and when in Vernworth, it can even drop to 50fps.

Our very own Alex Donaldson played Dragon’s Dogma 2 using this beast of a PC and enjoyed a “solid 60fps at 4K with everything maxed out,” however, he still experienced drops below 60fps. On console 30fps is “a soft target,” but even the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions can see a dip into the mid-20s - all of which stems from CPU restrictions. Plus, due to the game’s emergent, AI-driven nature, having to calculate all of it impacts performance.

That said, Alex said in his Dragon’s Dogma 2 review that playing it on a potent PC generally delivered performance well over 60fps, but for a few drops.

You can test how well your gaming system handles it on release day, March 22.

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