Steam Deck gaming options continue to improve, with new figures showing that 75% of the games tested have been categorized as Playable or Verified. According to figures prepared by Boiling Steam, Valve has tested 13,306 games and found that over 10,000 are supported by the popular handheld.
When the Steam Deck was launched, only the most optimistic customers would have expected the majority of their games library to be supported. We noted in Feb 2022 that Valve’s efforts meant verified and playable games hit the 500 titles milestone. Now, a year and several months later, we are impressed by the 10,000 Playable and Verified figure.
Please research before investing in a Steam Deck, as the above 75% figure probably doesn’t mean that three quarters of your favorite games are going to be verified. Previously we found that many of the most popular Steam Games weren’t classified as Playable or Verified. However, we've noticed things have changed a lot for the better over recent months, when checking through the top selling charts. The only top 10 game that isn’t supported on the Steam Deck at the time of writing is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.
There are also a lot of games that could be kindly quantified as 'junk' on Steam. There are over 50,000 games available on Steam, but it's a safe bet many of those aren't even worth the time it would take to download them. How many of the 10,000 verified/playable games are poorly rated? That's a bit harder to determine. A better view may be to look at the most popular Steam Deck verified games, which has many heavy hitters from the past two decades.
Boiling Steam sought to highlight the acceleration of Steam Deck gaming validations. In a report on the matter it said that Valve’s verification program was running faster than ever, and it even commonly includes games that are yet to be released.
The current rate of verification is running at around 3,000 games every six months, according to the source’s charts. However, it isn’t all good news for existing and prospective Steam Deck owners. Firstly, Boiling Steam observes that the cumulative percentage of Steam Deck Verified games is dropping continuously compared to titles classified as Playable. Secondly, as we reported back in January, the Steam Deck is starting to show its age in some respects. We noted that blockbuster titles with demanding hardware specs like A Plague Tale: Requiem were making plain the hardware limits of this popular handheld.
Recently, there have been some further disconnects between ‘verified’ titles and expectations. Boiling Steam singled out The Last of Us as gaining a verified rating after a series of patches. Nevertheless, even with the new 'potato' settings (very low), this game often struggles to maintain 30fps, says the source.
Overall, prospects for Steam Deck gaming fun based on the massive PC Steam library look positive. More publishers and developers seem to be paying attention to those playing on machines with Steam Deck specs and getting games verified before launch.
We also note the emerging niggles in games being too demanding could be addressed by the Steam Deck 2, if / when such a device emerges. The Asus Ally is another handheld that now packs significantly higher specs than the Steam Deck, and with more than a million Steam Decks now sold, and three million units expected to be sold by the end of 2023, a new model seems like a given.