Don't worry, Valve isn't making any Steam Deck-exclusive games

Alyx says: No exclusives on the Steam Deck

In a new FAQ aimed at game developers interested in the Steam Deck, Valve reiterated one of its main talking points since first revealing the Steam Deck in July: It's a PC. And because it's a PC, Valve isn't planning to develop any games that will only be playable on the Steam Deck, and it doesn't expect other developers to do so, either.

"That doesn't make much sense to us," the FAQ says about Steam Deck exclusives. "It's a PC and it should just play games like a PC."

Elsewhere the FAQ delivers the same ultimate message about what developers and players will be able to do with the hardware. Valve didn't design the Steam Deck to play VR games, but "Technically it's possible. We've seen people jury rig it," the FAQ says. If you want to install a DRM-free game from GOG and then use it with Steam's Linux compatibility layer Proton, you can do that too. "You can install and add any game like you would on the Steam desktop. Just install the application and then add it to Steam from desktop mode and it'll show up just like it would on any PC," the FAQ says.

With Valve's ambition to make the Steam Deck capable of running every game in your Steam library, it wouldn't make much sense for the Steam Deck to have its own exclusives. Valve may still be developing games built with the Steam Deck's portability and control options in mind, though—since the days of the Steam controller, Valve's clearly been interested in how first-person shooters play with gyro controls.

The direct statement in the FAQ comes just a few days after a video from Tyler McVicker claiming that Valve is developing Half-Life: Citadel, a "Half-Life-based FPS/RTS hybrid… being created with the Steam Deck in mind." Valve responded to the rumor in an email to PC Gamer, stating "We think it’s important to reiterate that while Tyler is a passionate gamer, he has no inside information about what goes on at Valve. Any important announcements on projects that we are or aren’t working on will come directly from us."

Check out the full FAQ for some other technical tidbits about the Steam Deck. It's mostly information Valve has already shared just made more concise, but a couple things stood out to me. Valve is hoping to implement system-level support for AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling (aka AMD's version of DLSS), which could help the Steam Deck maintain performance when outputting to a higher-res monitor. It also confirmed that the new version of SteamOS will be downloadable independently of the Steam Deck sometime after launch.

As for when you'll be able to get your Steam Deck: the earliest units are still scheduled to ship in February 2022 due to a supply chain-related delay

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).