Steam Deck Is Coming, but What Games Can You Play?

Steam Deck Is Coming, but What Games Can You Play?
Rise of the Tomb Raider. Image: Square Enix

Steam Deck is nearly here, but what’s the point of getting one of the most anticipated gaming consoles of all time if you don’t know what games you can play when it finally lands? OK all of that’s a bit dramatic, there’s a tonne of reasons, but I still want to know what’s waiting for me on the other side (and I’m sure you do, too).

Valve’s Steam Deck is finally going to start shipping from the end of this month, but there’s a catch. Unless you’re willing to perform some online wizardry, we’re going to be waiting a little while longer than our friends in the U.S. for a Steam Deck.

Although Valve is starting to ship the Deck to the U.S., UK, Canada, Germany and France from the end of February, the company is still pretty tight-lipped on what games you’ll be able to play. Thankfully, the internet exists and some decent humans have helped us get this Steam Deck gaming list together.

Valve Steam Deck

If for some reason you’ve read this far and have no idea what I’m talking about, the Steam Deck is a handheld gaming device most similar to a Nintendo Switch, intended for portable gameplay of PC games.

Current list of compatible games on Steam Deck?

In theory, most PC games that you can access via Steam should also work on Steam Deck, providing tweaks are ironed out, ofc. We explain that in the next section if you want to jump ahead.

According to this list we stumbled across thanks to Twitter legend @Wario64, we’re starting to get a decent idea. Portal 2 was the Deck’s first verified game. Over on SteamDB, the running list of Steam Deck compatible games is currently at 916. When we first published this article, the list was at 86, which made it a lot easier to list a-l-l of them, but we’re not going to do that for over 900, don’t worry, but you’re guaranteed to be happy with something on the list. Make sure you check them out, though.

Will everything Steam be on the Deck?

Valve is reviewing the entire Steam catalogue on Deck. After each game is reviewed, it is categorised for its level of compatibility of Steam Deck gaming. You’ll see these categories on Steam, when you’re browsing your library or shopping for games on Deck.

I jumped the gun a little above before explaining how Steam is verifying games. There’s four categories of Deck compatibility: verified, that the game works great on Steam Deck, right out of the box, playable, that the game may require some manual tweaking by you before you can play (such as manually selecting a community controller config, needing to use the touchscreen to navigate a launcher, etc), unsupported, the game is currently not functional on Steam Deck and unknown, which simply means they haven’t checked it for compatibility.

The first thing you’ll see when you open the store on your Deck is a section called ‘Great on Deck’. In this section, you’ll find only games that have the highest rating, verified.

Steam Deck Games gaming
Image: Valve Corporation

There are no games made specifically for Deck but it’s worth noting Steam is also working with the industry to make sure your gaming experience isn’t limited on the Deck.

What games can Stem Deck not play?

The team is currently working on a way for you to be able to check the compatibility category of each of the games in your own library ahead of the Steam Deck launch.

But what we do know is that VR games are all unsupported, as are games that Deck’s operating system doesn’t work with yet.

As for gameplay, while we haven’t gone hands-on with Valve’s handheld just yet, we’ve gotten a glimpse at just how games will run on it. We know that games run reasonably well on the technology, given hands-on previews that we’ve seen (including the preview from Linus Tech Tips below) but for the moment we don’t have any gameplay footage outside of the realm of pre-release models.

Until the Steam Deck arrives, here’s another vid to get your fix:

We’ll keep this post updated as we learn more, so make sure you check back.