Steam Deck Game Compatibility List Detailed Through Verified Feature

by in Technology | Oct, 19th 2021

The Steam Deck is the latest video game “console” that is coming out soon, offering a handheld, console-like experience of a full-on personal computer. Valve’s latest hardware venture is a bold one that looks to be quite popular already, and it helps that the Steam Deck game compatibility is quite extensive. 

Steam Deck Game Compatibility Features Detailed

Valve shared a new YouTube video at under three minutes in length that goes over the upcoming Steam Deck release and what you need to know about the Steam Deck game compatibility list. This is one of the most important parts of this new handheld system since it is supposed to be a PC.

However, the problem is that it is running on Linux and is a handheld, meaning that it is not benefitting necessarily from the standardized nature of running on Windows, which has brought up the issue that a limited number of games will not run on it.

Fortunately, Valve is clear about the Steam Deck game compatibility by offering the new Verified feature. This is essentially a feature that will tell you if a certain game on Steam is “verified” to work on the hardware and, if it does work, to what extent that is the case.

In the video, the Steam Deck game compatibility Verified feature is detailed to have multiple possible statuses, depending on how the game runs on the new system. In total, there are four possible statuses, and there are different symbols that represent each of them when you go into the Steam store.

There Are Four Possible Game Compatibility Statuses

When you boot up the game and head over to the Steam store to look for new games on your Steam Deck, you will find that each game will have a symbol on the art for the title. There are four possible options. The first is the green checkmark symbol that you can find on some titles. 

This symbol means that the game is completely Verified through this new Steam Deck game compatibility feature and will work smoothly on your new system from start to finish. You should have no issues playing the game since it will be compatible with the controls and hardware throughout. 

With Verified games, you should be able to go through the entire game from the menus to the credits and not have any hardware-specific issues with running it on your Steam Deck. This Verified status means that Valve has checked this game and noted that it runs nicely on the Deck. 

On the other hand, there are three other possible statuses that a game could have on Steam. The second one is not as great as the green Verified status, as it is a yellow marker and is noted as “playable.” If you see a game with this marker, this is not necessarily something bad. 

Playable, Unsupported, and Unknown Statuses

From start to finish, the game will be entirely playable on the Steam Deck without issue. The only problem here is that there might be something that you cannot do with the controller that the Steam Deck has already built into it.

Valve notes that, for example, this could mean that you have to physically type your name at the start of the game with a keyboard and will need to use the onboard digital keyboard to input that information. Or, it could mean that the main menus for the game do not work with a controller.

This all sounds mainly like the difference between full controller support on Steam and partial controller support, where you can play the game just fine on the Steam Deck. Still, you might run into some awkward parts regarding the UI and other non-gameplay-related features. 

It is the next two statuses that you will need to be concerned about, though. Some games are straight-up unsupported on the Steam Deck. However, this is not an issue at all, so both playable and officially Verified games are welcome experiences on the Steam Deck. 

It is currently unknown if you can try and boot them up regardless of whether or not they are supported, but this is the case. Some examples of these are VR titles since the Steam Deck will not support VR as the computer for that. 

The fourth and final status is unknown and is noted by a gray question mark. These games are currently unknown, so they could be any of the three other statuses. This means that Valve has not tested out this software itself. You will essentially be gambling as to how well it works on the Steam Deck. 

More often than not, though, so long as it does not have some weird DRM online issues with it, it has controller support normally on Steam, and it is not too heavy-duty for this hardware, there is a chance that it will work just fine on the system. 

Some Examples of Each Were Shown Off

In the Steam Deck game compatibility video, we could see a glimpse of just some of the games in the store and see some direct examples of games through this. For one, Ghostrunner is shown and is completely Verified alongside Hades and Death Stranding. 

This means that these games will provide a smooth experience without needing a keyboard from start to finish. On the other hand, Team Fortress 2 is playable on the Steam Deck, but it has the yellow marker, noting that something (perhaps the menus) will require a keyboard or something like that. 

Then there is the case of Half-Life: Alyx. Though that is quite a brilliant game, it is not supported by the Steam Deck since it is a VR-only title at this time. As for an example of an unknown title, Day of Defeat was shown off in the Steam Deck video, so fans of that game will have to risk trying it out themselves to see how it works on the system. 


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