There are only hours left for Valve to start shipping the first Steam Deck, seven months after the company finally confirmed the rumors that it was working on a portable console. Since then, we have been waiting for its arrival with many expectations, since the proposal is quite promising, but also with a question that stands out above the rest: the Steam Deck’s compatibility with the games in the Steam catalog.
A first assessment of this by Valve was, in my opinion, somewhat triumphant:
«All the games we wanted to be playable, it’s actually the entire Steam library. We haven’t really found anything this device can’t handle yet.»
This, at that time, made us wonder under what conditions the Steam Deck would be able to “move” the entire Steam catalog, since there are many factors that must be taken into account so that Such particular hardware is capable of adequately managing such a wide catalog of games, which is also a particularly demanding type of software.
Thus, after such strong statements, Valve decided to opt for a more reasonable position, and from the middle of October began a complete testing program to check the compatibility of each title with the Steam Deck, a considerable effort, and the results of which we first learned about a little over a month ago, with the announcement of 42 compatible titles. A good start, but one that points to a long future until the company can offer high-volume verification of its catalogue.
Work has progressed since then, but the situation has reached a point where list publishing is no longer an effective method, especially for those with a large library. The good news is that Valve is aware of this and, in response, they have created a web page where each user of the service can check, in a personalized way,the compatibility of the games in their library with Steam Deck.
To classify console compatibility, Vale has defined four groups:
- Verified: The game has been verified to meet all the necessary requirements to be able to be played without problems on the Steam Deck.
- Playable: The title is playable, but may require manual adjustments, additional props, or some of its elements (mainly text) may not display well on screen.
- Not Supported – As the name clearly states, these games cannot be played on the Steam Deck. The incompatibility may be temporary, depending on the cause of the incompatibility.
- Unknown: The game has not yet been tested and therefore its compatibility is unknown.
As for the parameters that determine the level of compatibility of games with Steam Deck, again we find four groups:
- Input: The title should be fully controller compatible, use the appropriate input icons, and display the on-screen keyboard automatically when needed.
- Fluidity: The title must not show compatibility warnings and, if it has a launcher, it must be able to be controlled with a controller.
- Display: The game must support the native Steam Deck resolution (1280 x 800 or 1280 x 720), have appropriate default settings, and display text at a readable size.
- Compatibility: If the game runs through Proton, it and all of its middleware must be compatible with Proton. This includes the anti-cheat system. And it is precisely to this point that I was referring when mentioning the temporary nature of the lack of compatibility, because as we saw a month ago, Steam Deck can gradually gain compatibility with anticheat systems.
Thus, when you access that page, where you will have to log in with your Steam credentials, after a short introduction explaining what we have told you, you will be able to see the four groups that I indicated before , with all the games in your library that have that level of Steam Deck support. The only exception is the group dedicated to not yet tested, in which only the number is indicated.
Depending on the number of games you have in your library, each group may initially show you only a portion of the games in that group, with a show more button at the bottom of it. In my case, this is the full compatibility summary of my library:
The process, as indicated above, will take time. In my case, I have a total of 695 games, of which 32 are verified, 41 are playable, eight are not compatible… and 614 have not been tested yet:
Why is a game not compatible with the Steam Deck?
The list, per se, only tells us which games are in each of the categories (except the untested), but something that Valve has done very well is that we can expand such information for each particular title. A) Yes. If you hover your mouse pointer over a game and wait a moment, more information about the game will be displayed, and at the bottom of the game you will see a blue button with the text “Steam Deck Support”. A click on it will show you the full compatibility report:
With this new website, Valve makes available to users a very useful tool for all those people who are considering buying a Steam Deck, but who have logical doubts regarding its compatibility with your games. In addition, thanks to the fact that your information will be constantly updated, it will be possible to check if any of the games that are currently not compatible become compatible at some point in the future.