Valve has revealed the Steam Deck Compatibility program, which will show users exactly how well games will run on the forthcoming handheld gaming PC.
While excitement surrounding the Steam Deck is high, there is some lingering concern over game compatibility given the bulky portable’s particular specifications.
Precisely how well is Valve’s ambitious machine going to run games that have been developed with hulking desktop rigs in mind? How many games simply won’t run on this quirky Linux-based system?
Valve is looking to assuage those fears with its new Steam Deck Compatibility program. This grading system will award one of four badges to each game published on Steam.
The top mark is Verified, as represented by a green tick. These games have been tested for their controller support, seamless compatibility, support for the Steam Deck’s default resolution (1280 x 800 or 1280 x 720), and system support for games running through Proton.
The Playable badge, as represented by a yellow ‘i’ sign, means that “The game may require some manual tweaking by the user to play”. This could be as simple as requiring the user to manually select a community controller configuration, or needing to use the touchscreen to navigate the game’s menus.
Then we get onto the undesirable labels. Unsupported means exactly what you might expect: “The game is currently not functional on Steam Deck”. Unknown, on the other hand, means that “We haven’t checked this game for compatibility yet”, so there is at least some hope attached to its blank question mark symbol.
This new compatibility system will also serve as a filter of sorts, as the first page of the Steam Deck’s storefront will only show Verified games. This alone should serve as an incentive for developers to work on securing that green tick.