Sep 15, 2023 5 min read

Lies of P: Review and Best Settings for Steam Deck

How does this Pinocchio-inspired soulslike stack up on Steam Deck? We take a look if this dark horror experience gets its wires crossed or if there’s no string attached on Valve’s handheld.

Lies of P on Steam Deck

How does this Pinocchio-inspired soulslike stack up on Steam Deck? We take a look if this dark horror experience gets its wires crossed or if there’s no string attached on Valve’s handheld.

Lies of P, from South Korean developer Neowiz, is a soulslike reinterpretation of the classic Pinocchio tale in which you explore a grim 19th-Century gothic steampunk world full of deadly horrors and creepy twists.

After many hours of enduring and dying more often than I’d comfortably admit, two major questions remained in my head: Why did it take so long for a spiritual successor to Bloodborne to arrive, and how well does this bloody epic run on Steam Deck?

Let’s find out, shall we?

Unboxing the Puppet

First off, Neowiz did an outstanding job in delivering Lies of P in an optimized state. Right off the bat, this dark puppet soulslike defaults to a mix of Medium and High settings on Steam Deck, with FSR 2 set to Quality.

Without any changes, this results in an average framerate of around 50 FPS — with some dips into the 40s and peaking at a lovely 60 FPS.

Lies of P on Steam Deck

However, due to the game world’s nature and the many different areas loading in and out while traversing the death-ridden city of Krat, you’ll quickly notice regular dips. Looks like aside from the refreshingly great hardware utilization of Lies of P on Steam Deck, there’s some additional headroom needed — and testing indeed confirmed this: Especially in ‘overlapping’ areas between the different subsections of the city and surroundings, frame pacing takes a massive, albeit short toll.

One area in particular seemed to put the most continuous, yet surprising strain, on the game’s engine and therefore Valve’s VanGogh APU; the lobby of Hotel Krat. Here, with protagonist ‘P’ standing next to the Stargazer (essentially bonfires) and looking at the main door, the frame rate really tanks, without any reason visible to the player. I’m assuming a mix of transparent shaders and particles from the Stargazer, overlapping with the reflective elements of Hotel Krat’s luxurious marble floor and walls.

Since I didn’t notice any performance hiccups comparable to this scenario during ‘real’ gameplay, I’m brazenly taking advantage of this weird occurrence to put the settings through their paces, to then confirm their efficiency in different parts of the game.

Gepetto would be proud

The baseline for the following benchmarks are the Steam Deck’s native resolution (at 800p), both V-Sync and AMD’s CACAO disabled. AMD’s temporal upscaler, FSR2, is disabled for these specific benchmarks. Outside of the game, I made sure that no frame rate caps are in place whatsoever and furthermore enabled “Allow Tearing” to prevent additional FPS limits.

The main takeaway here though is the fact that AMD’s ‘FidelityFX Super Resolution 2’ in general seems to provide the crucial heavy lifting to reach 60FPS here - and the next results show exactly that. There might be a reason, developer Neowiz defaults to upscaling, so here’s how the different scaling presets stack up:

Since running at purely native res without any temporal upscaler in place often gives diminishing returns on such compact displays anyway, anyone looking for more than 'cinematic' 30FPS should clearly stick to FSR2.

As a fun little experiment, let's see how the hardware utilization looks when adding that feature to the mix, since this usually also has an impact on overall stability as well as battery life.

Unsurprisingly, lowering the FSR-quality takes a slight cut at the Deck’s GPU-bottlenecking here (as the GPU has to bear less rendering load, but the CPU get’s more work to do). 

However, the overall visuals of Lies of P take a huge toll on every setting lower than ‘FSR Balanced’ — but it was still nice to see ‘load relocation’ in action on Deck.

Lies of P: Optimized Steam Deck Settings

The game boasts many different and unique areas to explore, all the while a crazy army of robot puppets seeks to dismantle P. Aside from the already mentioned level loading hiccups (say during fast camera turns or ‘between’ areas), the frame rate seemed to stay relatively stable on my end. As performance stability and the resulting frame pacing are crucial to P’s survival due to the nature of LoP’s combat, we can accept visually downgrading the otherwise truly excellent art ever so slightly.

Going through the game’s visual options, I was able to clearly isolate the most taxing settings throughout my journey in Krat. As it turned out, ‘Visibility’ and ‘Shadows’ (insert surprise-mofo.gif here) had their biggest impact. Lowering Visibility from High to Medium adds around 12 FPS on average, while opting for Low Shadows instead of Medium gives us a whopping 14 FPS on average!

All in all, it’s astonishing how many settings can actually remain on their higher tiers, making Krat’s grim, dark areas and alleys still look great on Valve’s handheld. 

So, without further ado, here are the best settings for Lies of P on Deck:

Setting Value
FSR 2 Quality
Visibility Medium
Anti-Aliasing Quality High
Postprocess Medium
Shadow Quality Low
Texture Quality High
Effect Quality Medium
Vegetation Low
Shading Quality High
Reflections Medium
Volumetric Effects Medium
Ambient Occlusion Low
Anisotropic Filtering High

Quick Action Menu:

  • Frame rate limit: off
  • Refresh rate: 50Hz
  • Allow Tearing: on

You may have noticed that I recommend setting the Steam Deck's refresh rate to 50Hz. I’m usually an advocate of the so-called 'Golden 40'. But a lower frame rate cap would crucially add input latency, while 60 FPS (may be possible, yet) trades-in those juicy visuals. Leveraging these tweaks, you'll see an average battery life of around more than 1.5 hours.


Lies of P is a more than welcome souls-like, and may end up as the closest thing to a next-gen Bloodborne we will ever see. The gothic steampunk settings, the impressively designed game world, and its unique cast resembling many well-known faces from Pinocchio — but with amazing twists.

We're dealing with such an incredibly optimized release here - running and looking fairly good on Steam Deck, let alone other handhelds. This one will stick with me.

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