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Fun games for Steam Deck that won't break the bank

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Looking for some games to play on Steam Deck that are good, work well and don't cost too much? Here's a few choice picks from me to you.

While there's a number of game lists and videos from various websites and creators, a lot only seem to focus on the top "best" games. Usually, they're made up of the latest AA / AAA. As always, I like to be different. So going over my Steam library and picking out some absolute gems, here's some suggestions with a nice varied mix. All tested directly by me.

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The games mentioned and shown are:

I'll be repeatedly going over my own Steam library to pick out various games both new and old for you to check out. What games have you found to be reasonably cheap and perhaps a little unknown that work great?

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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kellerkindt Aug 17, 2022
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My two cents: Kingdom and Kingdom: Two Crowns have been insanely addictive for me lately. Simple controls and due to the pixel style a great battery life (I swear, it's only been 5mins from starting it at 10pm and the low battery notification at 2am!)
chtk Aug 17, 2022
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Adding to the list:
CatKiller Aug 17, 2022
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I've mentioned it before a few times in a few places, but Art of Rally is an absolute gem on the Steam Deck. The top-down perspective, the cute visuals, and the analogue controls all come together to make it an excellent experience on the Deck.
CatKiller Aug 17, 2022
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Also, Dark Nights With Poe And Munro is perfect for doing one half-hour episode in bed before sleep. Engaging and tongue-in-cheek, although the menu text is a bit on the small side; hopefully they can fix that up.
CatKiller Aug 17, 2022
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I also ran through the Blackwell games on the Steam Deck and had a great time. Point and click games work really well, despite the fact that you're not really pointing or clicking. The rhythm of exploration and contemplation is great with the pick up/put down nature of the Deck.
shazzner Aug 17, 2022
Yooka-Laylee - Usually goes for cheap, native game, and woks perfectly on steam deck. Fun 3D adventure-platformer.

Wizorb - Retails for $2.99, fun little breakout rpg adventure that's perfect for the steam deck. Native game too.
nullzero Aug 17, 2022
I played and replayed these ones on the deck with much satisfaction, in no particular order:

  • Horizon Chase - A sweet driving arcade game perfect for a coffee break and soon to have an update.

  • Cloudpunk - had previously bought and refunded due to Nvidia issues. Perfect on deck. Cool music and ambiance.

  • Queen's Wish - An new but old school rpg. Had to remap some keys for a more pleasurable windows scrolling, but otherwise good experience with trackpads as mouse

  • Carto - Charming puzzle game. Good in multiple runs.

  • Lara croft go - An unexpected favorite. Puzzle game on rails, that looks mobile first but looks great on both deck and big screen.

  • into the breach - Recently updated and good use of battery on the deck, from the maker of FTL.

  • heaven's vault - Got it on humble choice and I intend to finish this adventure game.

  • The Darkside Detective - Small point and click adventures with witty dialogue.

  • Children of Morta - Good action roguelike for a break.

  • 112 operator- Got it on humble and was another unexpected instant favorite. Some UI buttons are a bit tiny (the less important ones) but otherwise good using trackpads as mouse. Never though acting as an emergency responder and dispatching units through out MY neighborhood was so fun! It can use geolocalization and a real map so you start the game on your home city.

That and the F2P Magic The Gathering Arena via Heroic (Epic). It's probably my most played game on the deck!

Last edited by nullzero on 17 August 2022 at 4:48 pm UTC
Philadelphus Aug 17, 2022
I went looking for good Deck games and found Symphony of War, which only came out back in June (Windows version only), for $18. It's got an interesting battle system where you move squads of up to 9 units around the map, and when you initiate a squad-on-squad battle there's a short, automatically-resolved fight between them. Proper squad composition (usually with a variety of units) is thus key; for instance, putting your defensive polearm wielders out in front of your squishy mages* is much better than the reverse! I will say that the UI feels slightly clunky and could probably stand another pass, but I found I actually preferred it on the Deck's gamepad controls to on my desktop.

*Or gunners or cannons – the game includes both magic (including dragons) and firearms.
lordsprite Aug 17, 2022
Baba is You is probably one of the most innovative puzzle games in the last decade... Super good highly recommended!

I own my copy on Itch so just use the native launcher for this one.

To add to the list;
Stardew Valley is pretty affordable and super Steam Deck friendly.

Emulator if you own a game already, get a ROM and go nuts!
Craggles086 Aug 18, 2022
Lonely Mountain Downhill
is my two cents worth.
Might cost a bit more than two cents though.

If you like downhill bike riding through beautiful nature shots. And trying to run the fastest ride down the hill. Lots of tracks to unlock and new bikes and gear.

Sadly only one player..

Last edited by Craggles086 on 18 August 2022 at 3:27 am UTC
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