Steam Deck: How to find out which games are going well and how well

With the help of four badges, the playability of a title can be classified. Valve also explains how the compatibility program works. Valve has begun hiring an army of human testers to check the compatibility of computer games with the Steam Deck mobile console. The manufacturer had announced that the “mobile gaming PC” should be able to run every title in the game library. Steam has tens of thousands of games on offer, and in theory, every Steam deck owner could have any title in their library. Now the platform operator explains how the tests work, what categories there are, and how you know which game is doing how well on the Steam Deck.

categories for orientation

In the large-scale compatibility test, employees check the games according to four characteristics. Input support means full controller support including text input - without having to make any further adjustments. Next, the resolution is on the test bench. At 1,280 by 800 or 1,280 by 720, the text must still be legible and the frame rate must be playable (30 frames per second). The general hardware compatibility checks whether there are compatibility warnings and problems in the third-party launchers. The fourth feature relates to the operating system. The game must either run natively on Steam OS or via the Proton compatibility layer. The valve includes middleware such as anti-cheat software. During the tests, the testers concentrate on the mobile use of the console, i.e. without a connected mouse and keyboard, an external television, or projector.

Untested titles also run on the Steam Deck

The titles that meet all the criteria straight away are given the green “Verified” label with a tick. If they work for the most part, but the owner has to change some settings, the testers give them the label “playable”. The symbol shows a small "i" on a yellow background. The category “Not supported” is given to games that do not work properly - it is symbolized by a gray prohibition sign. Unchecked games are labeled "Unknown" and a dashed circle with a question mark emblazoned in the middle. Users can also see the restrictions that testers have found. The labels are in the Steam store next to the price tag. Valve emphasizes that users can, however, also load and run unchecked and "unsupported" software on the deck.

Shop category "Great on Deck"

The platform operator has come up with more guidance: The Steam Store will have a new tab called “Great on Deck” in the future, where it will list games with the Verified checkmark. In addition, a verified tag is to be introduced that can be used in the search for the game catalog. Valve employees told the game portal Rockpapershotgun that they are working on a new function that checks the compatibility of their own library content at the push of a button.

The examination can be requested

Developers can request the deck compatibility test separately. You will then receive a detailed analysis, structured according to the four characteristics. In addition, Valve offers an API that studios can use to check deck compatibility before handing the title over to the review team. After an update, the game can also be submitted repeatedly.

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