Valve has said it wants almost every game on Steam to be playable on the upcoming Steam Deck handheld PC. However, considering the range of games on the platform, the handheld's hardware prowess and Linux base, control methods, or simply game bugs, this won't be an easy task. Today, Valve announced the Deck Verified program to let customers find out how games on its storefront will run on the Steam Deck even before it launches.
The company has begun an internal reviewing program to go through every experience available on Steam to find its compatibility on level on the handheld. Depending on how this goes, games are given one of four grades: Verified, Playable, Unsupported, or Unknown. Here's the rundown on each one:
- VERIFIED - The game works great on Steam Deck, right out of the box.
- PLAYABLE - The game may require some manual tweaking by the user to play.
- UNSUPPORTED - The game is currently not functional on Steam Deck.
- UNKNOWN - We haven't checked this game for compatibility yet.
The manual tweaking that's required of the games holding the "Playable" tag could mean doing things like manually selecting a community controller config and requiring input using the on-screen keyboard or the touch screen for some elements.
When a game is performing acceptably on the Steam Deck (it seems 30FPS is the minimum target to hit), has no issues with the resolution of the device nor its input methods, displays no compatibility warnings, and supports running seamlessly through Proton if a native Linux version is not available, it enters the coveted Verified category.
Valve is working on displaying these compatibility settings on Steam libraries of players before the Steam Deck launches, and it plans to continue this manual review program beyond the launch as well. As developers update their games and the Steam Deck software improves, Valve will also re-review titles to see if playability has improved.
The Steam Deck launches this December with three models costing $399, $529, and $649. While the AMD-powered internals remain the same, the storage amount and speed included in the package changes in each version. Reservations are available here. Recently, another debacle for playing games on the Steam Deck was removed, with Easy Anti-Cheat support coming to Linux, making a huge chunk of multiplayer titles available on the platform via Proton.