The Steam Deck Can’t Play Every Game, And There’s a Reason Behind It


by in General | Jul, 27th 2021

The concept of a handheld gaming console that can play high-end PC games is incredible. High-quality graphics on the go felt impossible just a few short years ago, as other companies had tried to bring that feeling to their handhelds, like the PlayStation Vita. The release of the Nintendo Switch proved that console-level graphics could be achieved on a handheld, but with the reveal and upcoming release of the Steam Deck, that idea of a high graphic handheld has fully come to fruition. However, despite the console being able to play almost every single game in the Steam library, the console is being held back, not by its power, but by the software running on the little handheld.

What Games Can’t Run on the Steam Deck


There’s a short list of the games that won’t be able to be enjoyed on the Steam Deck at launch, including Dead by Daylight, Apex Legends, Destiny 2, Paladins, Fall Guys, PUBG, Siege, Smite, DayZ, Black Desert Online, and Hunt: Showdown. More could be added as we get closer to the console’s launch, though already this list includes some pretty big names.

Why the Games Can’t Run


However, the reasoning behind these games being removed from the Deck isn’t due to the Deck itself. The Steam Deck is very powerful, being able to run and play games at high settings in 720p, which is the screen used on the Steam Deck. On top of this, the Deck will also run the games at 60 FPS, and can be plugged into the TV with a single USB C to HDMI cable. With all this in mind, it does suck that the Steam Deck isn’t going to be available for players who want to experience Destiny 2 or Dead By Daylight. However, the reasoning lies within the software being used to run the Deck. SteamOS can run Windows games through a program called Protondb, but the operating system itself is using Linux-based software for the Deck. While this doesn’t sound bad, the problem is that all the games mentioned are all online multiplayer games, and the Deck isn’t able to run them because of one single issue with the games themselves: they all run anti-cheat.

The anti-cheat for many of these games won’t work on Linux platforms, and while this could be circumvented through player’s being able to install a version of Windows onto the Deck, and use that to play those games, they’ll be missing out on SteamOS and will be unable to use the program that Valve bundled in with the console.

However, all hope isn’t lost for the Steam Deck and its library of games, as developers are going to be able to update their games to work with SteamOS and the Deck. With that, it’s only a matter of time before the games get added, but it’s also up to the developers of the games to decide on making the necessary changes to their games.

Regardless, without the few games mentioned, the Steam Deck offers an immense amount of games in its arsenal, letting players choose from their ever-expanding list of titles on the Steam storefront, as well as letting players download other programs like Discord, Battle.net, and Epic Games Store, to expand their handheld game collection further to titles that haven’t appeared on the Steam storefront.

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