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The company is in the process of reviewing the entire Steam catalogue, and is marking each game with one of four ratings designed to show how smooth the experience will be when playing that game on its upcoming handheld.
These ratings will appear next to game titles when users browse the Steam Store using their Deck, meaning they’ll know if a game works well on it before buying.
They will also be shown next to the games in a user’s library, allowing them to tell which of the games they already play on PC can be downloaded on their Deck without any issues.
The four ratings that will be assigned to each game are as follows:
- Verified – works perfectly on Steam Deck, players can just download and play
- Playable – works on Steam Deck but may need some manual adjustment by the user (such as manually selecting a community controller config, using the touchscreen to navigate a launcher)
- Unsupported – doesn’t work on Steam Deck (all VR games are unsupported, for example)
- Unknown – hasn’t been checked yet
Players will also be able to view detailed compatibility details for any game that’s been reviewed by Valve, meaning if a game is listed as Playable they can see exactly which functionality doesn’t work perfectly and how it can be addressed.
Valve points out that a game’s status can change over time. For example, if a game is listed as Playable but the developer updates the game to make the experience more seamless on Steam Deck it may be upgraded to Verified.
According to Valve, a game can only be rated Verified if it ticks all four of the following boxes:
- Input – “The title should have full controller support, use appropriate controller input icons, and automatically bring up the on-screen keyboard when needed.”
- Seamlessness – “The title shouldn’t display any compatibility warnings, and if there’s a launcher it should be navigable with a controller.”
- Display – “The game should support the default resolution of Steam Deck (1280×800 or 1280×720), have good default settings, and text should be legible.”
- System Support – “If running through Proton, the game and all its middleware should be supported by Proton. This includes anti-cheat support.”
(Proton is a compatibility layer that lets Windows games run on Linux, which Steam Deck’s OS uses.)
Announced in July, Steam Deck is described as “a powerful all-in-one portable PC” capable of running the latest AAA games.
Steam Deck runs the latest version of Valve’s SteamOS software – which is based on Linux – allowing players to access their Steam games library and all the platform’s features.
However, Valve insists Steam Deck is also an open PC with the ability to install any software or connect with any hardware.
Steam Deck features a “powerful, custom APU” developed with AMD, a 7-inch touch screen, full-sized controls with gyro and trackpads, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microSD expansion slot and a USB-C port.
It will begin shipping in December with prices starting at $399 (64GB eMMC). Increased storage options will also be available for $529 (256GB NVMe SSD) and $649 (512GB NVMe SSD).
Developers started receiving Steam Deck dev kits and giving their initial impressions in late September. And earlier this month, CD Projekt Red showed off the current-gen version of The Witcher 3 running on the system (above).