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Valve is reviewing all games on Steam for Steam Deck compatibility

Steam says it's hired a team of testers to evaluate how every game works on the handheld PC platform.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

October 18, 2021

2 Min Read
Key art for the Steam store page

Valve has revealed its plans for how it will be letting players know what games do and don't run properly on Steam Deck. 

The plan is two-fold. On the client side, players will be able to see at a glance how well a given game runs on Steam Deck by way of a series of colorful symbols and categories that clearly delineate what experience players should expect. 

"Verified" games with a green check mark have been found to "work great" on Steam Deck. These games have full controller support and display at the Steam Deck's default resolution. They also don't display any compatibility warnings, have controller-navigable launchers, and have full Proton support for all middleware, including anti-cheat support.

Games that are "playable" with a yellow icon "may require some manual tweaking by the user to play." Unsupported games like VR title Half-Life: Alyx will be noted as being non-functional on Steam Deck, and an "unknown" indicator means the game hasn't been checked for compatibility yet.

On the back-end, Valve's Greg Coomer and Lawrence Yang, have told Rock Paper Shotgun that it's hired a team of testers to manually examine every game on Steam and determine these standards. The pair say that this will be Valve's process for applying these labels "for the foreseeable future."

They also state that Valve plans to re-evaluate games when either developers make major update to their games, or Valve improves its Proton compatibility for the platform. "We absolutely view Proton support issues as bugs for Valve to solve," the pair explained. "Any Proton bugs encountered during compatibility testing are tracked, logged, and associated with the game being tested."

"As we fix these bugs, we can automatically re-test all the games that were affected by it."

Developers will be able to request reviews and re-reviews of their titles in order to make sure their game's Steam Deck rating is up-to-date.

Valve's PC-first attitude does mean that players will be able to try out games on Steam Deck that Valve hasn't had the chance to evaluate yet--though they should do so knowing there might be compatibility issues with the platform. 

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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