The Steam Deck, released on February 25, 2022, marked Valve’s entry into the portable video game market. These three gadgets aim to provide PC gamers with a more convenient mobile choice without sacrificing too much power. The product has been well-received thus far. However, certain complaints have been voiced (such as the Steam Deck’s poor battery life). Despite some hiccups with the rollout, this is still a valuable asset to the gaming industry.
Valve has been methodically working through the Steam catalog since the hardware’s debut to ensure that each game is compatible with the Steam Deck. Any game certified by the firm as suitable for the portable system has been proven to perform well. To find the greatest Steam Deck games, we’ll use Deck Verified as a standard.
Stray dispels preconceived preconceptions of it being a simple “haha cute cat” novelty game with its impressive level design and accessible puzzle platforming, both of which are aided by the game’s slick context-sensitive navigation style. This works flawlessly with the Steam Deck’s controls, and despite its visual polish, Stray runs smoothly on portable hardware. There is some sporadic stuttering, but even high-end desktop PCs experience this occasionally, and dropping the Effects quality option from High to Medium should prevent frame rates from falling below 30 frames per second.
#2. Vampire Survivors
You’ve decided to play Vampire Survivors after hearing it recommended by a number of RPS readers (and, presumably, hundreds of other Steam Deck owners). While at first the idea of simply moving around and auto-attacking may sound incredibly dull, the hypnotic appeal of holding back the tide with time-stopping lasers and weaponized Bibles soon becomes apparent as XP-unlocked weapon upgrades pile up and the initial trickles of enemies become screen-filling bullet hell hordes.
Vampire Survivors is another Steam Deck highlight since it just requires the left thumbstick and the rare face button for inputs, and the framerate stays over 40fps even with the most overwhelming monster populations. It’s not terrible for battery life, though.
#3. Elden Ring
Despite certain issues with its Windows performance. Elden Ring is a perfect fit for the Steam Deck and has thus been awarded Verified status by Valve. Using the thumbsticks to play and browse menus is more convenient than Elden Ring’s clumsy mouse and keyboard support, and the shader pre-caching function in Proton makes the game run more smoothly than it would on native Windows, even months after its release.
Four, the upbeat racing game Forza Horizon 5 To further emphasize the sensation of stomping on the accelerator, the Steam Deck’s haptic shoulder buttons provide a little tremor when the player presses a button. If you want to play it quickly after starting it via Steam, we recommend turning down the graphical settings to Medium; alternatively, if you have PC Game Pass Ultimate, you may stream it.
#5. Neon White
Runner’s-eye-view of a sprinting race Nearly half of the RPS crew may have had their friendships damaged or destroyed because of Neon White’s high-score war. It’s great for when you want to get your competitive juices flowing, but it’s also great for when you want to kick back and relax, like when you’re lying in bed or hanging over the back of the couch. Due to Steam Deck’s portability and high performance. Neon White can be enjoyed in any setting while maintaining a smooth 60 frames per second. Also, since each level may be completed in a matter of seconds, the Deck’s convenient pause/resume function works wonderfully.
#6. Apex Legends
After resolving issues with Steam’s anti-cheat compatibility, Apex Legends has become not just one of Steam’s most-played titles, but also one of the best multiplayer shooters available through Steam. It’s also a crucible for players who are still getting use to the Deck’s inputs. As going up against experts at taking headshots with a mouse flick gives you a great incentive to grow better at extracting accurate shots out of the trackpads.
#7. Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn, like God of War, is a PlayStation exclusive that has made a smooth move to the Steam Machine. Everything in Guerrilla’s initial RPG-tinged open-world adventure runs fairly flawlessly on the Deck’s hardware. So here’s hoping its sequel, Horizon: Forbidden West, is next in line for a PC conversion. Similar to God of War, you can achieve better frame rates by reducing the quality settings, however the 40fps you’ll receive on the Original preset is fine.
#8. Monster Hunter Rise
What could be better than playing a PC game designed for a handheld on your handheld device? Before a solid PC version made it playable on Windows and, by extension, the Steam Deck, Monster Hunter: Rise was exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. In certain cases, such as when navigating the user interface, the Deck’s more Switch-like controls seem more natural than a keyboard, and the lackluster graphics are much easier to overlook on the smaller 7-inch display than they would be on a larger display, such as a 27-inch, 1400p desktop monitor.
Even fewer games have had patches released to optimize performance on the Steam Deck, but RimWorld is one among them. What this implies is that the interface, a potentially bewildering hodgepodge of icons, indications, logs, tabs, and other tiny-typeface features, is nonetheless readable on a 1280×800 display. Swiping the touchscreen allows you to navigate through lists and zoom in for a closer look. All in all, really well-considered upgrades might be the difference between famine and success in the sandbox.
#10. Half-Life 2
Valve was committed to adapting Half-Life 2 for its portable PC that they revisit the 2004 shooter in early 2022 to fine-tune its user interface (UI) for a smaller touchscreen. You may aim with the thumbstick, trackpad, or gyroscope, making full use of the Deck’s features.
#11. Super Meat Boy
In spite of the fact that 2D platformers seldom showcase the Steam Deck’s full potential. They are a perfect fit for the system. Controls that just need a thumbstick, modest demands on processing speed and battery life, and no practical benefit to frame rates beyond 60 fps? Super Meat Boy effectively proves that few genres are as well-suited for portable play. Super Meat Boy is a quick, exciting, and ultimately gratifying game, but its bastard-hard difficulty will test your ability to refrain from flinging your portable against the next wall.
Beautifully simplistic simulation of a life overhaul. To put it simply, the Steam Deck is the ideal place to unpack. The relaxed pace of stacking and arranging puzzles in Deck is more suited to those times when you’d rather melt into a couch or bed than sit up straight at your computer’s desk. As an added bonus, you can move your lifetime’s worth of knickknacks around the room by touching and dragging them with the touchscreen, but the left thumbstick also does the trick.
As if it were to ignore a chance to promote Deathloop. Playing Arkane’s unique time looper shooter on the Steam Deck with maximum settings will result in framerate drops below 30fps, so aim for Medium or High instead. Except for that minor annoyance, Deathloop is playable as intended, with customized controls and full support for its tricky multiplayer mode.
#14 Ori and the Blind Forest
Surprisingly, the Steam Deck lists the newer game Ori and the Will of the Wisps as Unsupported. Despite the fact that it loads and may play for a while without any difficulties. Perhaps there are later parts or mechanisms that create issues. In comparison, the original Ori and the Blind Forest is fully Verified and runs as smoothly as you’d expect for a platformer with such gorgeous animation.
The opening splash for Outer Wilds recommends using a gamepad for the game’s full experience. As an alternative to your primary computer, a Steam Deck will do if you want to take this charming and clever generator of doomed space adventures on the road.
#16.Aperture Desk Job
If you’ve never tried any of the games on the Steam Deck before, you should start with the brief but satisfying Aperture Desk Job. In essence, it’s a no-cost Steam Deck lesson that will familiarize you with the interface. But it’s deliver in the form of a hilarious side-quest set in a world before the invention of the Portal. It’s an inventive, unexpected, and consistently endearing way to become acquainted with your new device, and it serves as a gentle reminder that Valve really need to release more games.
On the Steam Deck, it retains the same high level of tension, originality, and wit, running at a buttery smooth 60 frames per second and requiring only the face buttons and a single thumbstick for its slick, combo-happy fighting. Due to its roguelike nature, the Deck is not ideal for short bursts of portable play, such as on a bus journey; however, the fast restart option allows you to pause at any time and get back into a run whenever you like.
#18. Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection
Even though the PC version of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection launched with some rough edges (most notably in the area of cinematic animation), it’s still one of the best-looking games available on the Steam Platform. But that doesn’t mean it’s slow; with a few adjustments, you can maintain a smooth 40 frames per second or more without compromising on the game’s impressive visuals.
Uncharted: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: Lost Legacy, like a number of other entries on this list, were made with a PlayStation gamepad in mind. Making them a natural fit for the Deck’s paddish controls. The right ABXY button prompts are there, thus the port is still passable.
#19. Death’s Door
It’s a lighter but still hard spin on the genre of “How do I kill this fellow no wait I am dead” RPGs, and it works wonderfully on the Steam Deck. After getting the hang of it on the Deck, you may try it out on your computer, though you may find yourself gravitating back toward the dual sticks of the portable device. A smooth 60 frames per second may achieve with little effort.
You can see why Valve included Portal 2 as one of the first games playable on the Steam Deck. It runs without a hitch, doesn’t require a mouse and keyboard, and has the lowest battery drain of any game I’ve played; whereas Portal 2 drained my battery in four hours, most 3D games do so in two. It also does a good job of showcasing the device’s back buttons, which let you to leap and crouch without removing your thumb from the right stick while directing the portal.