Valve Steam Deck

The first round of Steam Deck purchases should now be rolling in, with early units expected to be in the hands of the lucky ducks that were able to secure their spot at the head of the line. In anticipation of the Steam Deck finally being released into the wild, Valve has created a tool that will let you know which games in your Steam library are Deck-ready, and which are not, to varying (ongoing) degrees. For me, it’s not looking super great so far.

According to this tool, I own 91 games on Steam. This is by no means a huge amount; I’m sure that’s pretty meager when compared to PC players who have been on the platform much longer than the two years I’ve been PC gaming. But of those 91 games, I expected to see an overwhelming percentage confirmed as Deck-verified, or at least playable to some extent (even though some of those games are very niche).

Steam Deck

Now, considering it isn’t entirely clear what the difference is between games that are Deck-verified or simply Deck-playable, it’s hard to know what to expect when the handheld is actually… well, held in your hands. Are we talking about some buttons being mapped appropriately, while lesser ones are missing some inputs? Or does this mean that every intended input is mapped between the same buttons, so although the game is technically ‘playable’, you’ll be hard-pressed to actually play play it? This vagueness alone makes it kind of difficult to get excited for any game that falls somewhere below “Deck-verified” on the spectrum.

So let’s run down the numbers, keeping in mind that, as the website states, these games could be bumped up to a higher playable tier as Valve continues to test games.

Deck-Verified Games From My Personal Library

The Long Dark
  • Half-Life 2
  • Session
  • Skater XL
  • Dying Light (original)
  • The Long Dark
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Portal 2

At first glance, this brief list definitely has some bangers, albeit not nearly as many as I had hoped to see. But still, it’s a promising start, I suppose.

Deck-Playable Games From My Personal Library

  • Cities Skylines
  • Valheim
  • Craftopia
  • Islanders
  • Poly Bridge 2
  • Binary Domain Collection

This is where is gets a little interesting, if also a bit confusing. Considering how popular Valheim is, for the most part it already has controller support. So seeing it on this list is a bit perplexing — what about it doesn’t meet the standard of a verified game? And considering Cities Skylines already has a console version, I’m hopeful that those control schemes would be easy enough to implement in the PC version. So seeing both of these games still unverified is a bit of a surprise to me.

Unsupported Games From My Personal Library

  • Deadside
  • Desolate
  • Patron
  • Tinkertown
  • The Infected

So here is where we leave the beaten path, I suppose you could say. I haven’t actually played Desolate yet, so I don’t know if this is much of a loss. Honestly, I don’t even recall purchasing it. I do, however, enjoy me some Deadside, and being able to play it while chilling on the couch or in bed would be dope.

It is interesting to see that, as we start to get down into the less-mainstream titles, things get a little dodgy. And, as it turns out, if your tastes are similar to mine, suddenly it feels like the Steam Deck was designed for normies, the folks who play nothing but Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed (I don’t own any of those games on Steam, so I can’t say what their verification status may or may not be). Considering the Steam Deck initially felt like it was designed for the hardcore crowd, whose collective game library is surly diverse, it’s weird to see it pandering to such a mainstream crowd.

Untested Games From My Personal Library

Valve Steam Deck

This is where the S hits the F, because the remaining 73 titles in my library fall into this category.

Now, as I previously stated, I don’t actively play all of these games. Some, I would imagine, I will probably never play again, regardless of whether they were Deck-supported or not. And although the number seems high, as roughly 80% of the games I own fall on this end of the spectrum, it might not be as bad as it seems at a glance. After all, “untested” doesn’t necessarily mean “unplayable;” it just means the folks at Valve haven’t gotten around to testing them out yet.

So that is currently where my game library stands. At first glance, it doesn’t look all that promising, and with the unclear wording, it’s really hard to get too excited about Steam’s gaming-on-the-go solution. At the same time, it might not be as “doom-and-gloomy” as that first glance seems to suggest.

The good news, I suppose, is that there is still probably almost half a year before I will even have a chance at buying a Steam Deck, so it’s possible that by then, the list of verified or playable titles will be much greater than it is now.

Then I’ll be PC gaming in leisure instead of chained to my desk. And that’s all I really wanted from the Steam Deck in the first place.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x