Valve has introduced Steam Deck Verified, a new process by which they’re having an army of testers verify whether or not their massive Steam Store catalog is playable on the Steam Deck hardware.
The new process of verifying compatibility will break games down into four categories:
- Verified – the game works great on Steam Deck, right out of the box
- Playable – the game may require some manual tweaking by the user to play
- Unsupported – the game is currently not functional on Steam Deck
- Unknown – we haven’t checked this game for compatibility yet
Examples were given for each game ranging from the indie hit Ghostrunner being totally compatible, the aged Team Fortress 2 being playable but requiring some tweaks, Half-Life: Alyx being unsupported (likely due to its VR-focus), and Day of Defeat being an unknown.
To date there are over 50,000 games on the entire Steam store, so it will be a very large project to even test a fraction of these games, old and new, for compatibility on the handheld console.
Furthermore, Valve breaks down Steam Deck Verified into four more compatibility categories:
- Input – The title should have full controller support, use appropriate controller input icons, and automatically bring up the on-screen keyboard when needed.
- Display – The game should support the default resolution of Steam Deck (1280×800 or 1280×720), have good default settings, and text should be legible.
- Seamlessness – The title shouldn’t display any compatibility warnings, and if there’s a launcher it should be navigable with a controller.
- System Support – If running through Proton, the game and all its middleware should be supported by Proton. This includes anti-cheat support.
Developers will be able to submit their games for a Steam Deck compatibility review even before their game releases on the platform, to which Valve is expecting to have the review done within a week of its submission. This varies, of course, pending the scale and complexity of the game they’re testing.
Regardless of whether or not a game is verified though, the Steam Deck is ultimately just handheld PC hardware with a battery attached to it – so you really can install whatever you want and tinker all you want.
It makes sense that Valve is rolling out aggressive testing with the Steam Deck as the company recently started sending out dev kits to developers.
Here’s a new video introducing the new process:
Valve’s Steam Deck is now available for pre-order in three flavors: $399 (64GB), $529 (256GB), and $649 (512GB), over on the Steam store. To pre-order now you have to had purchased a game prior to June 2021, an effort to help block scalpers and bots.
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