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, 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 (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.
According to a recent update from Valve, 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 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 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.