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Killer Apps/Games on the Steam Deck which delivers a stunning and outstanding experience
HerrLange 28 May
I'm now enjoying my steam deck a bit more then two months and still searching for the ultimate Deck games and experience.

Just some context to my situation and motivation for this thread:
I have 420 titles in my steam library where about 250 are offered as steamos/linux compatible. I have to admit that in the past 10 years I only bought games that would run under linux natively or have at least a stable gold or platinum rating.

When I received my Steam Deck end of March/2022 only ~30 titles from my library were marked as "optimized for Steam Deck". In the meanwhile it's about 46 games and the number grows every week. While the growth is very positive ans I asume more to come I can still only play <10% of my steam library in an optimal way. So in the end number of games is currently limited.

I really like the Steam Deck, the OS/Linux on it. The steam integration is awesome and ux feels better than a switch or a PS. The device is really cool and outstanding in many ways. But - and here comes my issue - most of the games marked as "optimized" does not feel well suited to me. Just to make it clear: It is me, not the Device. I have issues with nearly any kind of 1st person action games like Half Live or Serious Sam as I'm used to play them with keyboard/wasd and mouse. I cannot get used to play such games with a gamepad. Again, the games runs great on the device. But from this kind of game only Portal 2 is kind of ok-ish in my perception. Any other ego/action games where precision combined with quick reactions is required deliver a really bad gaming experience to me. As explained above the number of excellent playable gemas is still limited and shrinks further due to my personal limitation which I unfortunately cannot ignore. (Still wondering how people only having a PS/xbox play those kind of games)

Therefore I would like to get feedback from other users and what games delivering a stunning, outstanding and extraordinary gaming experience in their eyes. Especially as I'm willing to spend money for getting more games on the deck as I really like it.

What do you think? Do you have the same UX as I have? Do you have any awesome experince/game to share?

So here comes my hitlist of games that felt really awesome to me. The games sometimes made even more fun on the deck than on my actual desktop PC:

My Awesome List
1. Wreckfest
2. Defense Grid 2
3. Death Road to Canada
4. Brütal Legend

My could be great but is technically not working 100% list
  • Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans -> game runs well and the controller is supported but there is no sound at all. With sound it would be on the awesome list
  • Nantucket -> game does not start due to a library issue; no longer starts on my desktop PC either

Game runs well but my gaming experience is negative
  • Half Live 2
  • Metro Exodus
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Serious Sam (can't remember which one)
  • Dying Light
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

Games I tried that run well but were just ok
  • Portal 2
  • Goat Simulater
  • Bridge Constructor

Next I plan to try out Hitman, Shodow of Mordor, Beholder

Last edited by HerrLange on 28 May 2022 at 9:47 pm UTC
I just got my Steam Deck on Friday morning, so I'm still slowly trying out games and learning the experience. I have always been a mouse-and-keyboard gamer for first-person perspective games (or Wii remote and nunchuk attachment - seriously, the Metroid Prime games are fantastic), so attempting gamepad controls is a learning curve for me. Aperture Desk Job, the free short set within the Portal games, did serve as a decent tutorial specifically for control functions I'm not accustomed to, such as motion aiming. Plus, it's fun, and I really want to see the
Spoiler, click me
praying mantis civilization
make a return in a future Portal game. Which will hopefully happen in my lifetime.

One game that I had never played before, and that I'm enjoying a lot on my Steam Deck, is Yoku's Island Express. It's a Metroidvania/pinball mashup, it's beautiful, and seems to "fit" the Steam Deck perfectly, both in terms of controls and appearance. I put 3 or 4 hours into it on train rides over the weekend, and I absolutely recommend it for the Deck.

I'm going to be trying out the original Portal this week, to get a better handle on the first-person interface. The other one I want to give some time to is A Hat in Time, which I'm suspecting will play brilliantly.

[Edit: Yup, A Hat in Time on the Deck is great.]

Last edited by Chuckaluphagus on 7 July 2022 at 1:37 am UTC
kokoko3k 30 Jun
for Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps and Beans, it is probably due to pipewire and a missing executable vs pulseaudio.
try to force the use of steam runtime, it worked for me, or proton at very last.
damarrin 30 Jun
Obvs FPSes and strategy games will not be awesome on a controller.

For FPSes, gyro aiming is amazing. I set it to kick in when I aim my weapon (L2 typically) and combat becomes a joy. I've been playing Singularity recently and not once have I wished I were playing with K&M.
I've been running something of a gamut of newer and older titles on my Steam Deck - mostly just things I never finished back in the day, but also trying to see how it handles different styles of games.

Two games that work very well are:

Minecraft Dungeons
Going Under

Both are Diablo-like ARPGs, although wildly different in style and much more modern. This sort of game seems ideally suited for the Deck.

Not so great:


Wizorb is a Breakout/JRPG mashup with 16-bit era pixel art. It's verified, and runs perfectly on the Steam Deck. However, it's a Breakout game - if it's being played on a computer, it really works best with a mouse. I have tried various control schemes on the Deck, and it's just not the same, and I don't have as precise a control of the paddle as I get with a mouse. I think someone with a better understanding of how to precisely dial in a custom control configuration might get a comparable feel, but I'm going to leave it to that person.

[Edit: 2022-07-15]
corben78 recently put a video up on Youtube about his experiences with XCOM: Enemy Unknown on the Steam Deck, and I followed his lead and installed the native Linux runtime, not the Proton version. It works perfectly: it has native console controls, looks and sounds great, and handles sleeping and waking without any issue. As it installs, it defaults to 1024x768 resolution, but you can just go into the settings on the menu screen and set that to the native resolution of the Deck. Text is small but clear, and I'm not having any trouble at all reading anything so far - I don't need reading glasses, though, so your experience may vary.

I never did get around to beating XCOM, so I'm pleased to see it running so well. No idea why it isn't verified.

[Edit: 2022-07-20]
Rogue Legacy is still in the "Unknown" category, but plays perfectly for me with no changes to any settings. I went so far as to beat the first boss, and everything is running correctly.

[Edit: 2022-07-24]
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion runs perfectly. I beat the game on the Deck, and tried out the post-game challenges as well.

Forza Horizon 4 requires you to log in to Microsoft's online systems with the on-screen keyboard before it allows you to play. Once that's done, though, it plays beautifully - until you sleep the Deck. After waking, it doesn't want to reconnect to the online servers, and the frame rate drops badly, often dipping below 20 fps.

Long Journey Home runs well. For some reason, it kicks the cooling fan on the deck into high gear almost immediately, but it never slows down the game.

Hotshot Racing plays great. I don't know why this is listed as "Unsupported," it's running perfectly. I didn't try online modes? Maybe there's an issue there.

Last edited by Chuckaluphagus on 24 July 2022 at 3:12 pm UTC
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