As the release of Steam Deck draws ever closer, Valve continues sharing more details about its highly anticipated portable gaming PC, and the company has now announced it’ll review the entire Steam catalog to create a new compatibility ratings system.
As outlined in Valve’s latest video, all games on Steam will fall into one of four categories – Verified, Playable, Unsupported, and Unknown – giving Steam Deck users an easy, at-a-glance means of checking compatibility with their system.
Verified games, denoted by a tick in a green circle, are said to ‘work great’ with Steam Deck, right out of the box. More specifically, these titles must pass all checks falling within four testing categories: Input, Seamlessness, Display, and System Support.
Verified games should, for instance, support the Steam Deck’s default resolution (1280×800 or 1280×720), have “good default settings”, and readable text. They’ll also feature full controller support, use appropriate input icons, and automatically bring up the on-screen keyboard.
Additionally, Verified titles won’t result in compatibility warnings, and launchers must be navigable with a controller. Finally, in instances where a game is running through Proton, both the game and its middleware – including anti-cheat – should be supported by Proton.
As for Valve’s other compatibility categories, Playable games (denoted by a lowercase ‘i’ in a yellow circle) “may require some manual tweaking” in order to play – for instance, players may need to use the touchscreen to navigate a launcher, or might need to manually select a community controller configuration.
Unsupported games, meanwhile, are those currently not functional on Steam Deck – such as VR titles – while Unknown games are simply those yet to be tested for compatibility.
Verified games will be highlighted on the first tab of the Steam Deck’s store but Steam’s full catalog will still be browsable from the device, with each game clearly displaying their compatibility icon. A more specific compatibility breakdown – detailing areas where a title has passed certain Verified checks but not others – will also be accessible for each game.
“We’ve already started reviewing titles and will continue to check games through launch and beyond,” says Valve on its compatibility page. “This is an ongoing evaluation of the entire catalog and a game’s rating can change over time – titles will be re-reviewed as the developer releases updates or the Deck’s software improves.”
Steam Deck is currently due to start shipping this December in certain territories, including the UK, EU, and United States. The device will be available in more areas throughout 2022.