Steam Deck 'Won't Play Games That Require Anti-Cheats'

Steam Deck 'Won't Play Games That Require Anti-Cheats'
Valve | Respawn Entertainment

Written by 

Tom Chapman


19th Jul 2021 12:16

While the handheld Steam Deck sounds like a gamer's dream, there are already worrying reports that the number of games on offer could be seriously limited thanks to Valve's own software. On paper, the idea of a portable PC for gaming on the go is a genius brainwave that could even give the Nintendo Switch a run for its money - or so we thought.

For longer than we'd care to admit, we've been waiting for someone to release a handheld gaming solution that lets you take your favourite PC games on the go.

It's something of a paradox as the mouse and keyboard setup is swapped out for standard controls, but as PC gaming faces a resurgence, it's about time someone knocked the Switch off its perch.

Why is anti-cheat affecting the Steam Deck?

According to PC Gamer, around half of the top 10 games available on Valve won't run on the Steam Deck. Well, not right now. Titles affected include major hitters likes Apex LegendsPlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Destiny 2, and Rainbow Six. You'll be able to boot up all of the above on your Steam Deck, however, the anti-cheat compatibility will stop multiplayer in its tracks. 

Apparently, it's all because the Steam Deck uses the Linux-based SteamOS. Currently, anti-cheat on all of the above means these games are only supported on a Windows-based operating system. Although Valve is continuing to tweak the SteamOS and the ProtonDB tool to get Windows games working on Linux, it's a race against time to get it done before the Steam Deck launches. 

Can Valve fix the Steam Deck anti-cheat?

On the official Steam Deck site, Valve notes, "We're vastly improving Proton's game compatibility and support for anti-cheat solutions by working directly with the vendors". It means it should be relatively easy for game developers to get their titles on Steam Deck, but the anti-cheat developers are where the problem lies.

The crux of the issue is relatively easy to solve. Valve is releasing the Steam Deck as something of an open book. You'll be able to freely install Windows if you want and get around the problem. Then again, a little patience should pay off - with Valve actively working on a solution. 

Players are already divided by the pros and cons of the Steam Deck and its £349 price tag for the base system. Storage already outshines the Switch, but coming with an average eight-hour battery life and weighing twice what the Switch does, it takes a bit of the portable shine off Valve's latest creation.

Still, the Steam Deck is already being praised as better than the Nintendo Switch OLED, which can only be a good thing. Away from Nintendo, the likes of Sony have a questionable history with portable gaming devices, *cough* PS Vita *cough*, but only time will tell whether the Steam Deck is the portable PC powerhouse it claims to be.


Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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