Valve reviews the whole Steam catalog for Steam Deck compatibility

by Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor,... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Valve is taking on the mammoth task of checking its entire game catalog.
  • The company aims to have all the 50.000 titles be compatible with the Deck.
  • Games are broken into four compatibility categories, as you will see in the article
  • Remember that the Steam Deck will be launching at the end of this year.
steam deck

Can you imagine that the wait is almost over? So, ahead of the Steam Deck’s grand release in December, Valve has taken on the job of reviewing the entire Steam catalog for compatibility with their new handheld gaming PC.

While no specific numbers were mentioned, this presumably includes everything from AAA titles to the smallest indie games that anyone can publish on Steam.

Just so that you get the idea, as of February, the total number of games on Steam reached 50,000, so Valve employees are facing a pretty daunting task.

Is Valve adding all 50.000 games to Steam Deck?

The company’s verification process breaks games down into four big categories. The first one, verified, means it runs as intended on the Steam Deck.

Playable means it may require some tweaks or less-than-ideal control inputs, such as using the touchscreen to navigate a launcher, for example.

Unsupported indicates that SteamOS can’t run it or it’s unsupported due to other limitations of the Steam Deck, as all VR titles, for example, will be unsupported.

The last category is unknown, meaning Valve just hasn’t tested it yet.

In order to be considered verified, a game needs to hit four major points.

  1. It needs full controller support, including appropriate input icons and an in-game keyboard.​
  2. It shouldn’t display any compatibility warnings, and if it uses a launcher, users must be able to navigate with a controller.​
  3. It must support the default resolution of the Steam Deck (1280×800 or 1280×720), have good default settings, and legible text. (Valve does not clarify its criteria for “good” default settings.)​
  4. If running through Proton, all aspects of the game, including anti-cheat, must be supported by Proton.​

The review process has already started and will continue even after the official launch. This process will also be ongoing, as games will be re-evaluated as updates are released.

This will happen either for individual games or for the Deck’s software itself. Valve is currently working on a way to let users see the compatibility of their libraries before launch.

And for all of you that really want to know, Valve also detailed how browsing the store and your personal library will work on the Steam Deck.

When launching the store, the Deck will default to a tab showing games that are verified from Valve, though the full store will only be one tab away.

Thus, when viewing the store or your personal library, games will have a small badge icon to indicate their compatibility rating.

Regardless of rating, however, you’re free to run, or attempt to run, whatever games you wish on your device.

There was also no mention of limiting what games can be purchased from the Deck, though warnings about compatibility will be displayed.

On each page for a game in the playable category, there will be a detailed breakdown of what aspects of the game may or may not meet compatibility standards.

The company also appears to be updating its own titles to better meet compatibility with the Steam Deck, as indicated by a beta update for Half-Life 2.

Since this is only a beta release there are no official patch notes, but it appears to fix some long-standing bugs, while also increasing the FOV to 110 and adding ultrawide support.

Are you planning on purchasing a Steam Deck when it comes out? Share your opinion with us in the comments section below.