Valve Steam Deck compatibility program checks games for the laptop

As Steam Deck’s launch in December 2021 approaches, Valve is taking the time to make sure players know which titles will work on their portable machine. While his to place always promises “Your Steam Library, Anywhere,” we’ve had some interest – and some skepticism – about whether games designed for PCs will actually perform well on a portable device that runs Linux.

The company recently opened its @On the bridge Twitter account to highlight demos of PC games running on Steam Deck, and today it revealed the Steam Deck compatibility program.

Steam Deck compatibility labels appear on all games released through Steam, separating them into four categories. The highest level, Verified, has a green logo with a check mark, indicating games that perform “great on Steam Deck, out of the box.”

Steam Deck Compatibility Labels
Image: Valve

The next step is a yellow exclamation mark for playable, which means you may need to change the settings manually for this to work. The other two brands are for games that are not supported on Steam Deck or just unknown because they haven’t been tested yet.

Image: Valve

Verified games work with the on-screen keyboard, support Steam Deck’s native resolution, fully support its operating system, and you can navigate their menus with a controller. The first page of its integrated store will only show verified games, but you can still browse or search the entire store.

Valve also contains information for developers to verify their games support laptop and stages so that everyone can submit their titles for review. “Important” games can be reviewed even if they are not manually submitted, and developers can submit titles for review before release. One thing to note is that even if a developer thinks their game is not suitable for the Steam Deck, there is no way to hide it from the machine’s built-in store. Valve says that “rather than completely restricting access to certain products, we want to enable customers to find the right products based on their specific goals and desires.”

For PC gaming, compatibility and setup across a wide range of devices are always strengths and weaknesses. Everything from special control schemes to anti-cheat software could derail things, and it’s good to see Valve taking proactive steps to help owners know which titles will work immediately. Now we just have to see which games do not pass the test.

About Dorie Castro

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