Will these top Steam games support Steam Deck? We ask their developers

Valve’s $400 Steam Deck gaming handheld runs Linux, but it can play Windows games too. Many of them, anyhow! Some of the biggest games on Steam use anti-cheat software that doesn’t play nice with the Proton compatibility layer which lets Windows games work. That’s changing this year, with both Epic’s Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) and BattlEye confirming to The Verge that support is on the way, and Epic says it takes “just a few clicks.” Valve says BattlEye support is as easy as an email.

But will game developers let their games take advantage? Not necessarily! We reached out to every developer of every top EAC and BattlEye game on Steam. Initially, only four of them gave us a definite yes, but it seems we’ve got at least one more on the way.

Here’s the current status of each.

7 Days to Die — No comment

“We have no comment on it at this time. Our game is still in development. As we are still in Alpha, we are not ready to give a definitive yes or no at this time,” a spokesperson for developer The Fun Pimps tells The Verge.

Apex Legends — No answer yet

“We’re checking with the Respawn team on this and will get back to you as soon as we have an update,” a rep told The Verge on September 28th. We haven’t heard back since.

Ark: Survival Evolved — Complete, November 2021

“Yes, we plan to update ARK settings to enable Battleye’s anti-cheat tweak for Steam Deck,” a Studio Wildcard rep told The Verge. In November, Valve revealed that Ark had already gained support.

Black Desert — No answer yet

“I’m checking with our devs right now and will get back to you with an answer asap,” a Pearl Abyss rep told The Verge on October 3rd. We haven’t heard back since.

DayZ — Tentatively yes

DayZ was originally a maybe, but the answer is now basically a yes. “If it’s all working as intended, we do mean to enable Battleye anti-cheat support for Proton/Linux,” a Bohemia Interactive rep tells The Verge, saying that the team wants to test and make sure the change won’t cause issues.

The original reply was less promising: “At this stage it’s a ‘maybe’ for us – we are still evaluating Proton as a whole and cannot yet commit to anything,” a rep told The Verge in October.

Dead by Daylight — Yes

“I can confirm that we plan on updating our EAC to support the Steam Deck in the future, but we can’t confirm a release date at this time,” a Behaviour Interactive rep tells The Verge.

Destiny 2 — No answer yet

“We’ve been trying to run this down. We don’t have anything to share right now, today, but we’ll keep at it,” a Bungie rep told The Verge on October 3rd. We haven’t heard back since.

Fall Guys — No comment

Even though it’s owned by Epic Games, the company saying EAC support should take “just a few clicks,” Mediatonic would not commit to an update for Fall Guys.

“Thanks for reaching out but at this time we won’t be making a comment,” a Mediatonic rep tells The Verge.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection — No comment

“I won’t have anything to share here, I’m afraid,” a rep for Microsoft tells The Verge.

Hunt: Showdown — No reply whatsoever

Crytek didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.

Paladins and Smite — Maybe, but not this year

“We don’t currently have a timeline available but hope to provide such support in the near future,” a Hi-Rez Studios rep tells The Verge, adding:

While we have been actively doing some research on the topic, it is unlikely this support would happen by the Steamdeck launch in December. Even though our games do share some similarities, each one of them requires its own implementation that is significantly more delicate than changing some settings in the SDK. Hi-Rez is proud to have its games available on multiple platforms and consoles, so we hope to be able to provide such support in the near future.

PUBG — No comment

“The team does not have a comment for this,” a rep for Krafton tells The Verge. We got no reply after reaching out again in November. PUBG uses BattlEye, and Valve claims enabling it for Proton is as easy as sending an email.

Rainbow Six: Siege — No comment

“We don’t have anything to share at this time,” a Ubisoft rep tells The Verge. We got no reply after reaching out again in November. R6 Siege uses BattlEye, and Valve claims enabling it for Proton is as easy as sending an email.

Rust — Yes

“Yeah we’re working on it. Hoping to be done by the time the Deck comes out, if not it’ll be really soon after,” Facepunch Studios founder Garry Newman tells The Verge.

War Thunder — Yes

“Yes, we’re planning to do everything we can to make sure that War Thunder works on Steam Deck,” Gaijin Entertainment co-founder Anton Yudinsev tells The Verge.

We’ll update this story as more top games offer a yes or no on support for anti-cheat on Linux/Proton generally, and the Steam Deck specifically.

Update, November 9th: Upgraded DayZ to a tentative yes, and pointed out the lack of reply from other developers.


CITIES SKYLINES – Bursts in to flames

KERBAL SPACE PROGRAM — Yes @ full 60 seconds per frame

should be easily doable – it runs on switch!

Mods on it are… intensive. (And nearly everyone on PC uses mods)

Devs will ignore Steam Deck unless it gets more a couple million units of sales, which given the supply chain constraints – we’ll see.

dyson sphere program? or am i asking for too much…

Who cares what the developer’s say? You can just install windows 10 / 11 and play everything you want / need as normal.

Do you not think though that a lighterweight Linux-based OS would allow the games to run better on this thing? Windows isn’t the most "i’m a tablet with limited* specs" friendly…

* I of course understand this is not a tablet, nor does it have limited specs. But I doubt it’s going to be TOP OF THE RANGE or Upgradeable… (but no, I have not done my research)

I mean you’re not wrong. If you get the base steam deck, Windows is going to take up most of the internal 64GB of storage

How so? An installation of windows 11 takes up 15GB. And that’s the default not a barebones installation.

It grows. Using Windows for any length of time on less than 250GB is painful. 500GB boot drive seems to be a good start. Not saying it can’t be done, but after about a year, you’ll be micromanaging disk space.

It’s not so much about games running better – gaming on Linux even natively hasn’t proven to be faster.

It’s more about a "console" experience – not getting kicked out of a game so Windows can spend an hour updating, or a random popup taking you out of the UI. (Lest we mention paying for a Windows license)

This is the biggest point in favor of sticking with the native software. If Linux was reliably awesome at squeezing more gaming performance out of hardware then we’d all be using it on our rigs at home, but that just isn’t the case.

But Windows has baggage on devices like this for the same reason it has baggage on tablets or HTPCs or digital signage or really anything that isn’t a traditional workstation: it won’t live in the background forever. If you’re running Windows it will interrupt you sooner or later for something you don’t care about.

A minor drawback for some, but if you’re really after the Switch Lite experience with your Steam library it would be ideal to be running a system that was actually designed to run quietly in the background.

The Linux gamers do. I personally am not going to go back to Windows ever again, unless 100% necessary because of work or something like that, so it really matters to me.

I’ve been interested in Apex Legend for a while, especially as I saw my friends playing it, but I’m not reinstalling Windows just for that. I do still have a dual-boot setup because I’m too lazy to erase it, but the wifi driver seems to be broken given that I can’t connect to any Wi-Fi and resetting or reinstalling it seems arse.

Especially as I can already play most of the games I’m interested in, which is mostly single players, on Linux. Quite literally was playing DMCV last night and while videos (cutscenes) is jank as always, I can still play at the expected performance for my hardware.

Performance is always getting better (with futex2 finally getting accepted to the kernel) and video/gstreamer is something that will eventually be focused on so it works OOTB (you usually can fix it with a few commands) – it’s just anti-cheat that’s mostly out of everyone’s hands.

I just started using a Ubuntu based gaming laptop last week as a test to make a switch from Windows to Linux. So far, it’s been good overall in running games. Every game I tested so far via Steam/Proton has worked except for Horizon: Zero Dawn. Horizon will play audio but its video will not display. The only other gaming issues are stutters from time to time which I experienced in Warframe, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Monster Hunter: World. But Devil Daggers (Windows version) and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow ran perfectly. I’m new to Linux so I’m still learning the ropes and testing out settings.

My issues with the hardware are the same issues one would have with any higher end laptop hardware spec. Real world use kills the battery. Not that nonsense of looping a video or surfing the web. I’m talking running a recent game that pushes the hardware or 3D rendering. It’s dismal, going from 100% to 20% in 45 minutes to an hour. I’m talking sitting there and literally watching the battery drain before my eyes. Obviously the Steam Deck isn’t running a similar spec as my Ubuntu device but it’s using a mobile battery with a spec that’s far beyond a Switch by comparison. Switch also has heat and battery life concerns even with a old ass X1 in it.

The other issue is there’s a Core i7 11800H, 3080 Max Q as well as two 2TB NVMe drives in the device so trying to run the laptop in performance mode causes the fans to scream due to heat. Whoever can find a better heat dissipation method for thin electronics and better battery tech will change the world.

Even though it’s owned by Epic Games, the company saying EAC support should take "just a few clicks," Mediatonic would not commit to an update for Fall Guys.

That’s a really weird way of saying "we ‘bout to pull the game from Steam for new users and force them to EGS".

Following Rocket League out the door until Epic can figure out how to a) ship an official EGS client on Linux and b) make dropping to Steam Deck’s desktop to install it sound like a tragedy on the scale of the Hindenburg, complete with a tediously melodramatic Fortnite cutscene.

I think this article is a bit misleading. Most of the Proton implementations are developed by the community, many of whom are experts in implementing Proton, not by the game developers themselves. Check out protondb.com to get a sense of this. It would be nice for more game devs to step up though.

Or if devs tested with Proton to see if it works.

This is related to Anti-Cheat which does require the developer to enable support.

I AM curious as to why Ark and War Thunder are on there as they already have native Linux binaries on Steam for their games….. Same for many other games already out there. The Anti-Cheat situation is specific to games running in Proton with Anti-Cheat, not games on Linux with Anti-Cheat (like War Thunder or Ark)

I realized as I read down the list, this was less about asking "game devs" about the Deck, and moreso about asking multiplayer game devs if their anti-cheat is going to support Linux. That’s not really up to the Proton community, AFAICT.

Ask Guerrilla Games about Horizon Zero Dawn (and eventually Forbidden West) on Steam.

Again, this is only relevant to games with Anti-Cheat where the Developer has to take action. Proton support for games is supported by Valve (in most cases) or the community (there is a Proton github repo) rather than the Developer themselves.

7 Days to Die has been in Alpha stage since 2013…..I think they may never leave it

7 Days to Die also has a native Linux version, so I’m not sure why this would be news :shrug:

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