Valve has introduced a new way to check the compatibility of PC games for the upcoming Steam Deck. Since not all games will offer the same experience, Valve has come up with a four-category solution to make things clear. The rating system takes into account how well certain games function and which criteria are met.
Verified games must feature full controller support and be playable at the Deck’s default resolution. In addition, games running through Proton must be supported by the software layer. Games labeled as playable should work fine, but may require some extra effort from users to make things work as intended. This includes manually selecting a community controller configuration, as is the case with Valve’s very own Team Fortress 2.
Unsupported games are not compatible with the Steam Deck and simply aren’t playable on the device. One such example is Half-Life: Alyx, which isn’t compatible since it requires a VR headset.
Finally, Unknown means that Steam hasn’t checked the game for compatibility yet. You may still be able to play titles in this category, however, Valve does not guarantee a great gaming experience.
You’ll be able to tell which games have been verified as compatible with the Steam Deck by looking out for a green check symbol. This will let you know which games in your library are fully compatible on the handheld device. The first page of the Steam Store will also show games in the “Great On Deck” tab which features verified titles.
Valve aims to regularly check games for compatibility in preparation for the Steam Deck’s launch and will continue to update the list of games post-launch. Also, titles that have already been reviewed and placed in a category may be reassessed if an update solves certain compatibility issues.
Although it remains to be seen if the Valve’s snazzy new handheld will really catch on, the current outlook seems promising. The Steam Deck will begin shipping in December 2021, starting at $399 USD.