Confused on Steam Play and Proton? Be sure to check out our guide.

We've been wondering what Valve had planned to show off Steam Deck compatibility for games and now they've launched Deck Verified as their answer.

Valve say they are reviewing the entire Steam catalogue on the Steam Deck, with each of them gaining a category that it falls under that will show up across Steam from the store to your own Steam Library. The ratings will be split across Verified, Playable, Unsupported and Unknown. This is good because there's a lot of reasons why games will mix between perfect and unplayable on Steam Deck and the Arch Linux-based SteamOS it ships with.

To be actually Verified the games need to hit these four points:

  • Input - The title should have full controller support, use appropriate controller input icons, and automatically bring up the on-screen keyboard when needed.
  • Display - The game should support the default resolution of Steam Deck (1280x800 or 1280x720), have good default settings, and text should be legible.
  • Seamlessness - The title shouldn’t display any compatibility warnings, and if there’s a launcher it should be navigable with a controller.
  • System Support - If running through Proton, the game and all its middleware should be supported by Proton. This includes anti-cheat support.

When you're playing on a Steam Deck, the first tab in the Steam store will also only highlight games that are "great" on the Steam Deck too.

Check out their video explainer below:

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Want to see what their plan is? You can check it out on Deck Verified.

Valve also put up a Steam Deck Compatibility Review Process guide, which goes over the steps required for developers to take a look at. It gives an interesting insight into exactly what Valve and developers will be doing. Developers however will not be able to remove their game from being listed as Valve say the Deck is "an extension of Steam onto a new portable PC form factor, and so customers both expect and have access to the same store and library that they would on any other PC".

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149 comments
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kaiman 18 Oct, 2021
To me this seems a rather bold move on Valve's part, and I'm wondering if that's not going to get them into trouble with developers. Imagine you never ever thought about releasing your game outside a traditional Windows environment and now the #1 distribution platform is telling you: "hey, we have this new handheld device that's running a totally different OS, and we're putting a mark of shame on your game should it not work well on that". I can't really see how this would endear the Deck or Linux to prospective developers.

OTOH, judging by the very small sample size of 1, there seems to be at least some enthusiasm to have a game running on the Deck without zero effort or intent from the developer's side. Not quite sure I like that attitude either.

Cool feature for the players though. I just hope my favorite devs don't get too upset from having a gun put to their head.
slaapliedje 18 Oct, 2021
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Quoting: jensNice, sounds like a valve curated protondb.
Or like what the SteamOS compatible / couch gaming should have been.
BielFPs 18 Oct, 2021
Quoting: Liam DaweValve made it pretty clear they are ultimately the ones who make the ratings.

This will going to take a while then, giving "how few games" they have on the store so there's a possibility that we only really see those ratings mostly from famous ones, unless Valve has some kind toolkit to at least partially automate the process.

As long as they don't stagnate as they did with their "white list", I actually prefer they to be responsible for the ratings.
BielFPs 18 Oct, 2021
Quoting: kaimanImagine you never ever thought about releasing your game outside a traditional Windows environment and now the #1 distribution platform is telling you: "hey, we have this new handheld device that's running a totally different OS, and we're putting a mark of shame on your game should it not work well on that".

Good point, this could open the possibility of developers requesting to "opt-out" the review process, claiming that this will give "bad PR" to their games, or making Valve to only show this evaluation system for those running the client on deck / linux (and hiding completely from windows users for example).
CatKiller 18 Oct, 2021
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Quoting: BielFPsGood point, this could open the possibility of developers requesting to "opt-out" the review process, claiming that this will give "bad PR" to their games, or making Valve to only show this evaluation system for those running the client on deck / linux (and hiding completely from windows users for example).
Valve have already said that developers can't opt out.

QuoteI believe my game isn't a good fit for Deck. Can I stop my game from showing up in the Deck store and library?

Removing products available on Steam from the Deck store or library isn't a supported feature. The Deck is an extension of Steam onto a new portable PC form factor, and so customers both expect and have access to the same store and library that they would on any other PC.

While it's possible for players to hook up a keyboard or a monitor, we believe most customers will be treating the Deck like a handheld appliance, most of the time. Because of this, one of the goals of the Verified badge Verified on Deck badge is helping customers easily understand how well any game plays with just the standard Deck hardware configuration and no peripherals.

Though this may be the most common customer use case, it isn't the only one. As with Steam in general, rather than completely restricting access to some products, we want to enable customers to find the right products given their specific goals and desires.

All Steam games are going to be visible from the Deck, and all (once they've been tested) will show how well Valve thinks they'll work on the Deck, with those that work well getting additional visibility.

They haven't said (AFAIK) that the "mark of shame" is coming to the desktop client, but they have said that they want it to all be different views of the same data (rather than BPM which was an entirely different product), and they really want every game that's at all possible to run well on Linux so there's no incentive for them to shy away from chivvying along those devs that are dragging their heels.
Arten 18 Oct, 2021
Quoting: BielFPs
Quoting: Liam DaweValve made it pretty clear they are ultimately the ones who make the ratings.

This will going to take a while then, giving "how few games" they have on the store so there's a possibility that we only really see those ratings mostly from famous ones, unless Valve has some kind toolkit to at least partially automate the process.

As long as they don't stagnate as they did with their "white list", I actually prefer they to be responsible for the ratings.

There are several ways it can be queued for evaluation. Perhaps the most important thing is the developer can manually request a review. Valve will provide feedback, the developer can fix the problems and re-request an evaluation. Since games with verified status will get another place to show them, I assume that most will want to take advantage of it.

According to their FAQs, they expect the game to be evaluated within a few weeks of being queued up.
BielFPs 18 Oct, 2021
Quoting: CatKillerValve have already said that developers can't opt out.
Thanks for clarifying

Quoting: CatKillerThey haven't said (AFAIK) that the "mark of shame" is coming to the desktop client
Personally I think they'll have to, just imagine someone buying a Deck only to discover latter that the game you have doesn't work with it, because not stating that the game won't run on it could open a grey area of lawsuits claiming "false advertising".

While I believe this is no problem for Valve itself (putting the mark of shame outside the deck), I expect some publishers to not like this decision and can result in some lawsuit or they leaving steam because of that.
mphuZ 18 Oct, 2021
QuoteSteamOS can run this game
What do they mean by this concept?

Native? Proton? WHAT?
BielFPs 18 Oct, 2021
Quoting: ArtenThere are several ways it can be queued for evaluation. Perhaps the most important thing is the developer can manually request a review. Valve will provide feedback, the developer can fix the problems and re-request an evaluation. Since games with verified status will get another place to show them, I assume that most will want to take advantage of it.

According to their FAQs, they expect the game to be evaluated within a few weeks of being queued up.
Even so, there are literally thousands of games on steam, and manually reviewing them will take a lot of time. Remember that this situation is different from something unofficial like Protondb, because this seal is Valve officially stating how well the game runs on deck so they can't mess up with it.
Shmerl 18 Oct, 2021
Quoting: Alm888So… In other words, Valve acknowledges that their "all your library should work" and "no porting required" promises are not feasible.

I don't think it was ever meant as anything more than a marketing bait. A good one for our cause, but did you ever take it literally? To put it in more realistic terms, replace "all" with "many".


Last edited by Shmerl on 18 October 2021 at 10:31 pm UTC
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