Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck is one of the most anticipated portable gaming hardware in recent years, not only because it seems to play games really well, but because it is essentially a portable PC with all your Steam games on it. The trouble is, not all games on Steam are fully compatible with the Deck, and Valve is making sure it will be easy to check.
We still don’t know when exactly the Steam Deck is launching, but they will begin shipping in December 2021 at least. Thankfully, Valve is reviewing each and every game available on Steam to check which ones will play best, which ones may require a little more work to get running, and which ones are completely unsupported on the hardware.
Essentially, there are 4 tiers of compatibility for the Steam Deck: Verified, Playable, Unsupported, and Unknown. Each one is pretty self-explanatory, with Verified meaning it will run perfectly fine out of the box, Playable meaning a little bit of work is involved (like using the virtual keyboard or custom controller configuration).
Unsupported are games that simply won’t run on the Steam Deck. For instance, the hardware does not support VR, and so all VR games will be playable on the Deck (Half-Life: Alyx, for example). Lastly, Unknown simply means Valve has yet to review the game and see what compatibility issues there may or may not be.
Valve also revealed that they will be re-reviewing games after updates, which sounds like a terrifyingly huge task, but incredibly useful for players to know which games will and won’t be supported (and Valve is committed after all). Additionally, Valve is working on a way for you to check your current Steam Library’s compatibility ahead of the Steam Deck’s launch.
What do you think? Are you excited for the Steam Deck? Which version are you looking to get? And how do you feel about the compatibility system outlined above? Let us know your thoughts!