Valve’s Steam Deck is a portable game system that’s basically a handheld gaming PC. But it has a custom AMD Ryzen processor with RDNA 2 graphics. It ships with Steam’s Linux-based Steam OS software pre-installed. It has controllers and touchpads, but no physical keyboard. And the display resolution is lower than some gaming PCs.

So while Valve says “many” of the 50 thousand games available from the Steam game client will run on the Steam Deck without any problems, not every game will be compatible. So the company has launched a new Steam Deck Verified rating to let you know if the Steam Deck can handle the games you want to play.

The ratings are basically broken down into four categories:

  • Games with a green check box are verified, and should run well out of the box.
  • Games with a yellow information icon are playable, but may require you to do a little tweaking before you can play.
  • Games with a grey line through a circle icon are unsupported and won’t offer a good experience if you try to run them on a Steam Deck.
  • Games with a grey question mark fall into an unknown category, indicating that Valve hasn’t tested the game yet and doesn’t have enough information to let you know if they’re playable on a Steam Deck or not.

Valve says the icons will be visible in the Steam game client when you’re shopping for games or browsing your library. In addition to the icon itself, there’s a Learn More button that you can press to get more information about why a game is playable or unsupported rather than verified.

The company says it checks games to ensure that they:

  • Support the Steam Deck’s input system, working with the built-in controllers and automatically bringing up the on-screen keyboard when you need it.
  • Support 1280 x 800 or 1280 x 720 pixel display resolutions and that text is legible at those settings.
  • Don’t display any compatibility warnings and launchers or other features can be navigated using controllers.
  • Work with Proton, Valve’s compatibility software that allows Windows games to run on Linux, assuming they’re not natively available for Linux. This includes all aspects of the game, including anti-cheat software, which also has to be compatible with Linux.

Game ratings may change over time if game developers update their titles or as Valve updates Steam OS. But there are some things that will likely remain constant – for example, the Steam Deck isn’t designed to support virtual reality games and experiences and doesn’t really have the horsepower for it. So any game that requires a VR headset will be listed as unsupported.

The Steam Deck is available for pre-order for $399 and up, and it’s set to begin shipping in December to customers who have already placed pre-orders, although new customers will not receive their units until the second quarter of 2022.

via Steam Community

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  1. That’s nice. I wonder if other OEMs make their own SteamOS 3.0 handhelds (Valve says they encourage this), will Valve and these OEMs do this and the other optimizations being done for the Deck as well.

    1. It’d be great if other large companies make their own SteamOS handhelds.

      Although, I don’t think they’ll have verified game labels within Steam unless Valve really is serious about wanting other companies making their own and closely work with them.

      1. Valve’s goal is for PC OEMs to take over the manufacturing of Steam Deck models. It sounds like the plan is for them to all use the same SOC, and presumably other specs could differ?

  2. It’s great Valve is doing a lot more than just making and selling the Deck to make sure the user experience is good.

  3. It’s great when a reputable and relatively large company enters the PC gaming handheld space. Can’t wait for my Steam Deck.

    1. Impatiently waiting for my Q2 Steam Deck!

      I’m already guessing/fantasizing what the Steam Deck 2 would have.