Have you been able to obtain a Steam Deck? You’re one of the lucky early adopters who will get to try out Valve’s innovative mobile spin on PC gaming. You can take your massive Steam library with you wherever you go with Steam Deck—but where should you start?
Steam Decks run Linux, but unlike Valve’s ill-fated Steam Machines, they use the Proton compatibility layer to run a wide range of Windows games with little to no problems. However, due to the SteamOS operating system and the optimization process for the Deck’s powerful but portable capabilities, getting a Windows game to run smoothly takes some effort. That’s why Valve created the Deck Verified rating system, which tells you how well a game works on Steam Deck. It examines everything from input support to text readability on the 7-inch screen.
While you may search for Verified titles while browsing on Steam Deck, SteamDB offers a database that highlights games that should run smoothly on the portable. Hundreds of titles are already on this list, and it should continue to expand as Steam Deck becomes more popular.
We used SteamDB to create a Steam Deck starting pack, which includes a list of great games that any Steam Deck owner should play. You shouldn’t have to worry about continual online connections or intrusive anti-cheat software because they’re all validated and primarily single-player games. We also sought to stay away from games that were already available on the Nintendo Switch, focusing instead on next-generation games that we had never experienced on a handheld device.
Check out these PC games on your new Steam Deck if you’ve never played them before or want to play them for the first time on the road.
Hideo Kojima, the creator of Metal Gear Solid and a game design superstar, returned to the stage with Death Stranding after a painful divorce with Konami. You unify America through clever parcel distribution in this weird, star-studded post-apocalyptic universe. It’s a steep learning curve, but playing Death Stranding wherever you choose sounds like the ideal way to get into the Steam Deck rhythm.
Devil May Cry 5 is the real heir to the renowned action game series, allowing you to choose from three different heroes as you pound demons into bloody pulps. You can now create a playstyle that feels completely your own—on the go—with anything from Dante’s classic style to Nero’s cyborg limbs to V’s demonic familiars.
Dishonored is Arkane’s spiritual heir to the Thief trilogy, but even if you don’t like for that immersive game, you should definitely visit Dunwall. You utilize acrobatic stealth, clockwork weaponry, and unusual magic skills to root out the plague and corruption that surrounds you in Dishonored.
Sony may no longer make handhelds, but God of War on Steam Deck is a fantastic substitute. Kratos transforms from a furious Greek deity to a repentant father living quietly in the land of the Norse gods in this compassionate reimagining. You can enjoy sophisticated and rewarding melee/projectile combat with Kratos’ magical frost axe when he must return to his savage ways. This once-exclusive PlayStation 4 game is now available on PC, including Steam Deck.
Another PS4 title gets a PC port, bringing it to portable splendour. Horizon Zero Dawn is a breathtaking open-world game set in a future where primitive humans and modern technology coexist. In other terms, it’s a game in which you snipe mechanical dinosaurs with electric bows and arrows. On handhelds, open-world games are fantastic because you can play as little or as much as you want, wherever you are. It’s all about having the freedom to look ahead to your future destination.
Every Metal Gear Solid game is great, but the best is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Venom Snake’s snooping missions no longer confine him to tight corridors in hidden bases; instead, they transport him all over a masterfully constructed open world. As you unearth a new conspiracy involving tanks with legs, call in help from your helicopter or give your dog a knife. This is, without a doubt, the first game I intend to launch on Steam Deck.
We broke one of our criteria by include Portal 2 on this list, as we recently learnt the game is also coming to Nintendo Switch. On the other hand, you should play at least one Valve game on your Valve hardware, and Portal 2 is one of the greatest. New mechanics, whether played alone or in co-op, push the portal puzzles to new heights. And the story is compelling and entertaining enough to help you forget all those cringe-worthy cake memes you’ve seen for years.
Persona 4 Golden, an upgraded version of the original Atlus RPG, was so good that you nearly forgot the PlayStation Vita had no other games worth playing. In this fantastic PC adaptation of an already fantastic Midnight Channel adventure, join Yosuke, Chie, and their companions on the road.
Resident Evil Village combines the scary, haunted European ambience of Resident Evil 4 with the plot and frightening first-person perspective of Resident Evil 7. It turns out that combining two terrifying and fantastic games results in yet another winner. Although Resident Evil Village lacks the immersive VR functionality of Resident Evil 7, playing it in bed with the lights turned off and a Steam Deck pushed against your face will guarantee many sleepless nights.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is, in many respects, exactly what you’d expect from the creators of Dark Souls. As you die over and over, punishing battle pushes you to your breaking point. Sekiro, on the other hand, has its own flavor thanks to a fresh concentration on swordplay over role-playing, as well as the unique feudal Japan setting. Just make sure you don’t break your Steam Deck by mistiming a critical parry.
“What if Bayonetta was also Gears of War?” wondered PlatinumGames as they sat down. Vanquish, one of the most memorable shooters ever built, was the consequence. You’ll need more than just good aim to succeed on the battlefield. Firefights are transformed into bullet ballet thanks to a variety of acrobatic talents ranging from lightspeed knee-sliding to bullet-time slo-mo.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon ushers in a striking new chapter in Sega’s crime franchise. You don’t need to be familiar with the prior games to enjoy this one. After all, your character just got out of jail and has no idea what’s going on. In between the melodramatic sequences, you may now enjoy a typical turn-based RPG if you weren’t interested in Yakuza’s beat-’em-up action. This is a long game due to the slower gameplay, but you may play it whenever you want on Steam Deck.
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