Valve said in October 2021 that it was reviewing "the entire Steam catalog" to determine each game's compatibility with the upcoming Steam Deck handheld. A game's status would be indicated on the Steam storefront via a "Deck Verified" indicator showing that a game was Verified, Playable (with some limitations), Unsupported, or Unknown, meaning it hasn't been tested.
Valve's efforts are beginning to bear fruit. Members of the SteamDeck subreddit have noticed that some games have received a Deck Verified status, and while that status is not currently displayed on Steam store listings, it can be seen on SteamDB (there's also a workaround to see them on Steam—more on that below). The list is currently quite small, covering only 67 of the 60,000+ games on Steam, and further complicating the situation is that not all the games in the list are verified. The only way to check a game's status is to look at its individual listing.
Cuphead, for instance, is verified:
Subnautica, on the other hand, is only playable:
Some limitations are relatively minor: The Witcher 3, for instance, is fully functional using the default Steam Deck controller setup and "performs well" on the unit, but is only rated as "playable" because some in-game text is small and may be hard to read on the Steam Deck screen.
There are a handful of "unsupported" games in the list, but the good news for Steam Deck stans is that all but one are VR games (Steam Deck doesn't support VR). The lone standard game on the list that's unsupported is Persona 4 Golden.
As I said, there is a way to see these listings through Steam, laid out by redditor Priception_Official. It's wonky, but I tried it and it does actually work, using the Firefox browser at least—it might work with others but Priception_Official apparently hasn't tested it on different browsers and I'm a Firefox main myself.
Here's the process:
- Press CTRL + Shift + M on an open tab (This puts the browser into "Responsible Design Mode," a way to emulate different types of displays to ensure websites work properly on other devices.)
- Set the Resolution to 900x800
- Click the Settings icon at the top right and enable "Show User Agent"
- Type "Valve Steam Gamepad" into the "UA" field
- Make sure "Touch Simulation" (next to UA) is disabled
- Go to store.steampowered.com and look at some games
Assuming you followed the steps properly, you'll see the Steam Deck Compatibility indicator in the upper-right corner of the store page. Clicking the "learn more" button will provide a detailed breakdown of compatibility points.
It's not an ideal browsing solution, but it works, and more importantly it's evidence that Valve is making progress on this—small progress, yes, but single steps and great journeys, as the saying goes. Presumably the process of getting games verified will be accelerated soon: The Steam Deck is currently expected to begin shipping in February.
There's no word at this point as to when the verification results will begin appearing on standard Steam store pages, but Valve confirmed that it has started rolling out Steam Deck Verified test results for a few games in an email sent to PC Gamer.
"These early rounds are specifically to test various parts of the Store and Library on Steam Deck," a Valve representative explained. "We’ll be doing these small-scale tests over the next week or two before ramping up significantly towards (and past) launch."