Valve has a ‘Deck Verified’ program in which individual testers will evaluate and grade every game in Steam library for the Steam Deck Handheld Gaming PC

Valve Steam Deck Verified Game Title Badges Explained
Get your verified game titles for the Steam Deck for the best gaming experience? Pic credit: Valve

The Steam game library is huge, but still, Valve has announced the ‘Deck Verified’ program. Under the initiative, internal game testers will evaluate and confirm the titles that work well on the Steam Deck handheld gaming PC.

The Valve Steam Deck is more of a portable computer than a dedicated handheld gaming console. Valve wants almost every game title available in the Steam library to be playable on the device. Hence, the company is evaluating every title’s playability on the Steam Deck.

Steam Deck will have to accommodate multiple game engines, anti-cheat services, and Windows-optimized titles:

There’s no denying that the Steam Deck is a portable computer that can play games. Steam seems to have intentionally, developed and built the handheld console to support a full-fledged operating system.

The portable gaming PC runs SteamOS. However, it has an AMD CPU, and all other relevant hardware to run Windows 11 as well as a Linux distribution. This essentially means the Steam Deck is a PC that Valve built to play games on the move.

Valve is confident that the Steam Deck should be able to play a subscriber’s entire library of games from Steam. The company even claims that all the game titles will run at least 30 FPS, with several titles running at 60 FPS or more.

There are thousands of games available to Steam subscribers. Moreover, there are multiple anti-cheat services. If that’s not enough of a challenge, the Steam Deck’s OS has a Proton compatibility layer to run games optimized for Windows OS.

Simply put, it would be a miracle if all the games available on the Steam library work flawlessly on the Steam Deck at the time of the handheld console’s launch in December.

It appears Valve is well aware that it needs the Steam Deck to reliably play games available on the Steam library. Hence, the company has unveiled its plan to confirm game compatibility and playability on the console.

Valve Deck Verified program will label every game title with one of the four grades of playability on the Steam Deck:

The Deck Verified program is exactly as it sounds. The initiative will reportedly attempt to bring clarity on whether specific games will be able to run (and run effectively) on the Steam Deck.

The Deck verified program is essentially an “internal” review program. In other words, select Valve employees are tasked with going through every game experience available on Steam. The primary goal is to find a game’s compatibility with the handheld.

Valve is clearly well aware that it will encounter game titles that work really well, in addition to several titles with varying levels of accessibility. Hence, the tested games will receive one of four grades: Verified, Playable, Unsupported, or Unknown.

  • VERIFIED
  • PLAYABLE
  • UNSUPPORTED
  • UNKNOWN

A “Verified” game title will receive a green tick. As the tag suggests Steam Deck owners should not have any issues playing the title on their device.

The “Playable” game title suggests the titles should work well but may need some minor tweaks in the settings. The most obvious suspect would be the in-game visual details or graphics settings.

An “Unsupported” tag should be a rarity, but some game titles may have the same. Steam Deck owners should steer clear of such titles if they come across one.

The “Unknown” tag suggests the game tile hasn’t undergone any compatibility checks by a Valve internal reviewer. Gamers could give the title a try.

Interestingly, there’s an additional tag, called ‘Great on Deck’. It is actually a tab in the Steam game library. As the name suggests, this category will have games that have received the Verified status. Additionally, a game title with such a tag could have specific optimizations for an improved experience on a Steam Deck.

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