Guild Wars 2 May Be My Favorite MMO To Use Steam Deck
It doesn’t assist me either that the last time I played Guild Wars 2 was its launch. Around the exact same time I was dealing with an Elder Scrolls Online-focused podcast, I was knee-deep in The Lord of the Rings Online (I imply, when am I not, though?), and while I took pleasure in Guild Wars 2, I didn’t really have anyone around me playing, so I fell off rather quickly.
But when Guild Wars 2 released on Steam earlier this year, I was quite figured out to try, but given that it wasn’t Steam Deck validated, I figured it would not be something I might leap in and play. Rather, it would require some significant setup to turn this mouse and keyboard MMO into something workable with a game pad control scheme.
Quick forward to now, and it’s one that, with a bit of work, I’m really enjoying on the Steam Deck, regardless of it being a smudge bank.
Ends up it’s been a little column A, little column B.
I have actually spent the last 6 months or so searching for the very best to use Steam Deck. Since Valve’s platform introduced, this has been my primary focus: can I take my preferred worlds on the go with me, or will my Steam Deck just end up being a glorified JRPG machine like my PlayStation 4 Pro has become?
Action Cameras Are Clutch
As an outcome, this implies that I can control my Guild Wars 2 Burglar as if I were playing ESO or Black Desert Online. However, this does not precisely solve how to connect with opponents, usage abilities, access the myriad windows that require my attention, and more. Luckily, I’m not the only one who has actually been interested in doing this.
Steam’s assistance for numerous control plans for controllers lets players share their controller develops with the community. As a result, there are quite a few control schemes on Steam Deck to select from. After attempting a few out, I picked Sam CW’s Guild Wars 2 Steam Deck ABBY Design v1.0 (that’s a mouthful) as it provided the best and most streamlined-feeling control scheme for the MMO.
While it feels natural compared to other controller layouts on Steam, it does take some getting utilized to, along with a need to fine-tune down sensitivity to ensure that when you swipe the trackpad the camera does just fly all over. However, as soon as it clicks, it feels like Guild Wars 2 was built with Steam Deck in mind.
This video is clutch in setting everything up, and if you’re at all interested I highly recommend checking it out.
What makes Guild Wars 2 playable directly on the Steam Deck is thanks to its support of an action fight video camera. While you can play with your standard tab-targeting of the past, GW2 has an action camera mode that allows you to manage the MMO more like an action RPG. In doing so, it maximizes the requirement to utilize the mouse cursor to navigate the MMO’s UI, instead turning the mouse look into electronic camera.
The mouse look is mapped to the ideal touchpad, and it feels incredibly natural to manage the MMO by doing this. As a way to browse the various in-game menus, from the Hero panel, stock, to your map and more, these hotkeys are all set up on the left trackpad. It took some getting utilized to there, once I found out how it was laid out, with each panel having its own quadrant of the trackpad, it ended up being like force of habit to me.
Battle is rather basic to control also. Your main attack is mapped to clicking the best trackpad, while the skills themselves are on the face buttons. Since there are only four face buttons, pulling among the rear paddles will offer you access to the rest. Jump and dodge are mapped to L1 and L2, while occupation skills are toggleable utilizing R1.
Guild Wars 2 Feels Natural On Steam Deck
What makes Guild Wars 2 playable straight up on the Steam Deck is thanks to its assistance of an action fight camera. After attempting a few out, I settled on Sam CW’s Guild Wars 2 Steam Deck ABBY Layout v1.0 (that’s a mouthful) as it provided the best and most streamlined-feeling control plan for the MMO.
As it stands now, I’m pretty sure this will stay my go-to on the Steam Deck. While The Senior Scrolls Online and Final Dream XIV are great on here, and EVE Online is serviceable enough to make it an excellent platform to run my ore mining operations, Guild Wars 2 is the MMO I’m finding myself choose up my Steam Deck day in and out to play the last couple of weeks. I can’t wait to get back at more time in here, ultimately playing through the excellent End of Dragons expansion, with Cant ha in all its magnificence emblazoning the small Steam Deck screen while I’m lounging in my backyard around the Chimney, or laying in bed completing a couple of quests prior to calling it a night.
When I’m in the MMO, Guild Wars 2 feels like it was built with the Steam Deck in mind. Its painterly design pops on the little Steam Deck screen, and its audio soundscape truly sounds unbelievable on the Deck’s front speakers. While The Senior Citizen Scrolls Online and Last Dream XIV are terrific on here, and EVE Online is serviceable enough to make it a terrific platform to run my ore mining operations, Guild Wars 2 is the MMO I’m discovering myself select up my Steam Deck day in and out to play the last couple of weeks.
Running around the beginning area of Queens dale has been a reward, with the MMO really feeling at house here. I’m not that far along, just about level 10, but so far my experience in Guild Wars 2 has been a real treat, helped by the reality that I can simply lounge in bed in the night, taking and exploring the landscape out rampaging centaurs with wild desert.
I remember feeling this method in Final Dream XIV when I was transitioning from PC and PlayStation 5 as my primary platform there, necessitating the usage of the controller to play. With time, it became second nature, which many of the peculiarities of this community layout currently do for me. Time will make this better, and ideally as we progress we’ll see a native control plan from Rennet and official Steam Deck assistance come down the pipeline.
It’s not ideal, either. While the controls work, they aren’t necessarily going to change the mouse and keyboard controls the MMO has actually been primarily built around, and I do seem like I might be slower to the draw than I would be otherwise. In world occasions that have dotted the landscape, I felt an action behind the rest of the players around me as I tried to remember the proper button mix simply to use the 5th ability on my bar.
Guild Wars 2 feels like it was constructed with the Steam Deck in mind when I’m in the MMO. Its painterly design pops on the little Steam Deck screen, and its audio soundscape really sounds amazing on the Deck’s front speakers. It runs reasonably well as well, with my frame rates hovering in the 50s and 60s (with some dips into the 40s) for the lot of part, which is crucial to making sure that the MMO does not feel like a slog to control.
Those very first moments walking into Divinity’s Reach were awesome also, the big, stonewalled city looking amazing on the Steam Deck screen. I feel the painterly art design lends itself well to dealing with Steam Deck, though the Deck can some beautiful great-looking titles operating on it too.