Hello, I’ll be giving you straight-up gameplay of how well each of the various games work through the Steam deck, as well as how the controls feel, what settings I had to use to get the game to run smoothly, and whether I personally prefer to play this game on the PC or the Steam deck. I won’t be doing any sort of deep dive into the performance or hardware of the Steam deck. Project zomboid steam deck .
The game that we are checking out today is Project Zomboid. Since its initial release in 2013, Project Zomboid has seen a surge in popularity as its gameplay and visuals have been improved. If you’re not sure what Project Zomboid is, it is a zombie survival game that can be played solo or multiplayer.
You loot, build crafts, fight, farm, and fish as you struggle to survive a zombie-infested world. Project Zomboid’s current Steam decompatibility is unsupported, which means that Valve has said that this game is not functional on the Steam deck. But since I am playing Project Zomboid, it is indeed possible to play on the Steam deck, so let’s dive right into it.
Project zomboid steam deck
Quick Launch Fix
So if you’re expecting to just download Project Zone Board and launch it, you may be disappointed to find that it just doesn’t launch with the default settings upon installation, but don’t worry, there’s an easy fix for that.
All you have to do is go into the gear icon, go down to properties, then down to compatibility, check the use of the specific steam plate compatibility tool if it is not checked already, and then select steam.
Project Zomboid is a game with heavy keyboard and mouse controls, but I didn’t realise the game already has controller support built into it, which is a
Pleasant surprise! You’ll be prompted with Xbox controls that match up with the Steam deck’s controller layout. Well, I recommend doing the short tutorial before playing if you’re not familiar with the controller layout. I did not do that and could not for the life of me figure out how to use my weapon, so save yourself some misery and familiarise yourself with the controls.
Steam Controller Layout
The layout I am using is the recommended layout that it has defaulted to, which is the gamepad with joystick trackpad.
I pretty much left it all as is, with the exception of making my right trackpad the mouse and left click, the left trackpad the right click, and the l4 back grip scroll wheel up and the l5 back grip scroll wheel down. The main menu for the game can be entirely
Main Menu Navigation
be navigated with the controller. There is no need to use the trackpad mouse; I only have it there for when I feel like using it to navigate the in-game UI.
Control Wrap Up
The controls can take a bit of memorization to master, and they can be quite fatal when you’re panicking as a horde of zombies is trying to devour you. Moving around, facing your character, pushing, and attacking are all easy to do.
My gripes with the game’s controls mostly lie in remembering which radial menu the game has put within one of those buttons. There was one occasion where I took a really long time figuring out which button it was and just slowly bled out, but once you’ve understood the controls, playing on the Steam deck is quite enjoyable.
Project zomboid steam deck Graphics
I played the game at a resolution of 1280 x 800. The settings do not allow me to change it to 1280×720 to get rid of those black spaces on the left and right of this video. 1280×800 is the native resolution for the Steam deck, so on the Steam deck, those black spaces aren’t there, and the game fills up the entire screen.
The Steam deck runs Project Zomboid very well; you can pretty much stay at 60 fps the whole time while playing, which isn’t much of a surprise since Project Zomboid isn’t heavy on graphics to begin with.
Mods – Project zomboid steam deck
You can indeed have mods enabled as you play Project Zomboid Steam Deck is just for PCs, so you can have mods just like on your desktop PC. Any mods that you have already subscribed to on the Steam Workshop will be downloaded as soon as you first install Project Zomboid.
You can also access the steam workshop through the steam deck UI, but the actual workshop page can only be navigated through touch controls and doesn’t show the whole page. It is better to just switch to desktop mode and subscribe to the mods from there.
The steam workshop UI looks full on the recording, but the steam deck itself doesn’t show the whole page. Mods can be toggled in the main menu of the Zomboid project, just like on the desktop PC. When you start a new game, the lua scripts will be reloaded, and you’ll see that the mods are now visible.
Even though the steam has labeled projects on board as unsupported. I personally feel that i should have a verified status or at least playable. I understand that out of the box it deserves the unsupported status since you can’t just download the game and play you have to do some extra manual steps to get the game to launch, but you only need to do that once and steam will remember that setting specifically for that game.
So once you get the game launched it just works there really isn’t much for me to say it just works you don’t need to modify the default controller layout you can just start the game as normal. The control scheme has a bit of a learning curve but that mostly lies with the various radio menus that the game hides behind several buttons.
It’s not as terrible as I make it sound, but it does take some getting used to. Personally, I would play Project Zomboid on the Project Zomboid Steam Deck on my desktop PC. The controls are much easier and something that I am much more comfortable with, but during my session of trying it on the Steam deck, I enjoyed having a very in-depth zombie survival game on the go, and I am willing to push past that learning curve in the controls.