Valve Reveals Compatibility Rating System For Steam Deck Games

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅20.10.2021 00:10:04

Valve's Steam Deck handheld PC was probably the biggest gaming announcement of June 2021, and since that illustrious unveiling there's been a slow drip-feed of information on this brand new gaming platform. At the time we were treated to its technical specs - it's equipped with an AMD Zen2 APU, 16GB of memory and up to 512GB of NVMe SSD storage - and a limited tear-down of the device has followed, but now the team have seen fit to discuss a little bit more on the software side; namely, game compatibility.

The Steam Deck is effectively a new gaming platform even if the capabilities of its internal components are well understood at this point. Games on Steam (and PCs more generally) however are typically adapted to the desktop Windows PC or, in rarer instances, Steam's Big Picture livingroom mode. The needs of this handheld device are quite different; from the dual-stick and trigger control system to its smaller screen and semi-custom Linux-based OS, optimisations or at least a wide selection of in-game settings need to be implemented for the best possible experiences. Valve understand this and are tackling the problem head-on by adding a rating system to games sold through Steam, thereby indicating the quality of experience to expect from each game played on the Deck.

One of four rating tiers will be indicated on the product page of all Steam games:

Verified: The game passes all compatibility checks and is a great experience on the Steam Deck.
Playable: The game is functional, but requires extra steps or manual work from the user.
Unsupported: The game does not function on Deck due to incompatibilities with Proton (the OS) or specific hardware components.
Unknown: The game hasn't been assessed yet.

The Learn More button will then take you to a more detailed breakdown is available, offering guidance on where exactly the title falls short.

This style of rating system will be essential unless and until the Deck becomes more widely recognised as a platform, helping owners buy with confidence while also putting pressure on developers and publishers to invest resources on optimisations for systems in this performance class. That being said, Valve needs to invest in and maintain this service beyond the months after the Decks release, a commitment that Valve has historically shied away from making.

More information can be found at Pre-orders for the Steam Deck are currently closed, but you can add yourself to the reservation list at with order availability currently anticipated for Q2 2022.


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