How to know if a game is compatible with Steam Deck

Steam Deck and Linux

The peculiarities of the small Steam Deck mean that not all games can work correctly when running them. This is due to several factors:

  • The console works under a Linux-based operating system
  • The controls emulate those of a game pad
  • The hardware might not run properly with top quality games

These details prevent the process from being simply install and play, since the games are designed to run on Windows, so Valve has had to create a translation layer for Linux that allows the games to launch without problems. And that’s just what it does Proton.

What is Protone?

It is a tool published by Valve Software that does the work of translator and interpreter between Windows and Linux. Inside it hides tools like Wine and DXVK that work in a completely transparent way for the user.

You just have to limit yourself to installing one game and Proton will take care of the rest. However, due to its young age, the software still has a long way to go to be 100% perfect, and that forces users to still have to do a little research and perform some extra configuration.

What games are supported?

Steam Deck compatible games

Considering that Steam is an amazing game store, Valve has everything neatly organized for Steam Deck owners to know which games are compatible with the console. You just have to browse the section «Great on Deck» to discover the games that work perfectly.

If you have a large collection of games in your library, you can visit the Your Games section to check which games run perfectly on your console. There you will find three different valuations:

  • verified games: They are those that have been verified by the Valve team and guarantee the perfect operation with the controls and the screen of the Steam Deck.
  • playable games: These are games that start and allow you to play, but that could present some difficulty to do something specific (open the map, control a certain camera or write text).
  • Unsupported games: Directly the games you have in your library that are not compatible with the console.

There is hope: ProtonDB

Steam Deck

But as we mentioned before, the core that allows you to run the games on the Steam Deck is Proton, and as a good tool, it has many modifiable settings that allow you to run games that are not compatible in principle. The secret is to modify the version of Proton that runs with the game, and for this we will only have to go to the properties of the game within the Steam menu and in the Compatibility tab, choose the version of Proton that we want to activate when launching the game. play.

And which version of Proton is the one to choose in each game? That’s where it comes in ProtonDB, a website that compiles different user configurations, so that we can search for a specific game and find out which version of Proton works best for it.

Thanks to community input, many games that weren’t originally compatible with the Steam Deck are perfectly playable if you choose the right Proton version. An essential website for every owner of the console.

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