Steam Deck, the definitive Linux handheld gaming PC to date, has recently crossed the threshold of supporting 12,000 games marked Playable or Verified by Valve. These are both tags on the Steam store corresponding to a game's supposed playability status on Valve's gaming handheld, with "Verified" having a somewhat reasonable requirement of only 720p resolution and 30 FPS.
Initially reported by GamingOnLinux, the data can be confirmed with SteamDB's Search tool, which shows exactly 8039 games marked "Playable" and 4061 games marked "Verified" on the platform as of October 31st, 2023.
The current Steam Deck hardware may not be suitable for running intensive virtual reality or ray tracing games, but the little handheld fares surprisingly well in most major titles released since the device came out in February 2022. Quite a few games have also added settings specifically targeting the Steam Deck, showing the importance of the platform as a whole.
There are some big names on the Verified list, including the open world action RPG Elden Ring from From Software. That game ran well enough to meet the aforementioned "Verified" spec with the help of some additional Proton Linux trickery. Other major titles include Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Resident Evil 4 Remake, and even PlayStation ports like Marvel's Spider-Man: Remastered and God of War. Those willing to fiddle with extra applications can even successfully run games from other launchers on the Steam Deck, unless they're extremely demanding or have DRM requirements that prevent them from working.
Most games run well on Steam Deck, barring those pushing truly cutting-edge graphical features or simply having some kind of fundamental compatibility issue with the underlying Linux operating system. Even ray-tracing can be brute-forced by the Steam Deck's onboard ray-tracing hardware, which can allow for low-but-playable framerates with RT-enabled games like Doom Eternal.
However, anti-cheat programs (like Easy Anti-Cheat) don't seem to get along with Valve Proton, so titles reliant on those programs like Dragon Ball FighterZ don't work on the Steam Deck at all, despite being otherwise well within the device's specifications. If you're considering picking up a Steam Deck, check that your favorite games don't fall outside these "Playable" or "Verified" categories, lest you be left with a handheld that doesn't do what you want it to without streaming from another PC.
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