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Epic's Easy Anti-Cheat system will work on Steam Deck, after all

(Image credit: Valve)
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As the Steam Deck launch date approaches, Valve and a number of game developers are making a push to smooth out compatibility issues arising from the handheld's Linux-based operating system, which uses software called Proton to run Steam games that don't support Linux natively. One concern has been that anti-cheat software won't easily make the transition, but Valve says it has solved one big chunk of that problem: Epic's popular Easy Anti-Cheat system should now work on the Steam Deck without any big hassle for developers.

Earlier this month (opens in new tab), Warhammer: Vermintide 2 developer Fatshark replied to a Steam discussion thread about Easy Anti-Cheat Steam Deck support, saying that it would be difficult because the software is split into two versions: a supported version that uses Epic Online Services (opens in new tab) (a free set of cross-platform multiplayer services that Epic offers game developers) and an unsupported version that doesn't. Vermintide 2 uses the older version of the anti-cheat software, and the developer said it would need to look into creating a separate Steam Deck version of the game to get it working. The Dead By Daylight developer suggested that it was in the same predicament (opens in new tab).

According to a recent update from Valve (opens in new tab), Epic Online Services are no longer needed to support Easy Anti-Cheat on Steam Deck. 

"Our team has been working with Epic on Easy Anti-Cheat + Proton support over the last few months, and we're happy to announce that adding Steam Deck support to your existing EAC games is now a simple process, and doesn't require updating game binaries, SDK versions, or integration of EOS," wrote Valve.

Epic bought Easy Anti-Cheat in 2018, and introduced a free license (opens in new tab) last year. The software is used in tons of games, including Apex Legends, Fortnite, and Rust. BattlEye, another anti-cheat software, also works on the Steam Deck, which should help games such as Ark: Survival Evolved and Rainbow Six Siege earn their Deck Verified badges, should they choose to.

Valve wants Steam's entire library (opens in new tab) to be playable on the handhelds, and supporting anti-cheat software was one of the bigger hurdles that needed to be leaped to make that happen. Barring any unforeseen issues, Steak Deck now supports the two largest anti-cheat providers.

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.