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Can the Steam Deck play all Steam games?

The answer isn’t necessarily straightforward.

steam deck handheld
Image: KnowTechie

Quick Answer: The Steam Deck has the potential to play any Steam game, but not all games may run optimally on the device. To determine compatibility, check the Steam Store or the Steam Deck‘s official website for a list of optimized games.

Valve, the company behind Steam, launched the Steam Deck on February 22, 2022, and at the time, most assumed the company was deliberately gunning for Nintendo and the Switch.

As it turns out, that wasn’t the case at all. Mainly, it’s PCs who should be worried. Here’s why.

The Steam Deck has a seven-inch display and can play many of today’s AAA games.

This is Valve’s first journey in developing a standalone gaming system. The Steam Deck is built with impressive components, and Valve wants us to know that it is a full-on PC.

steam deck on purple background

The Steam Deck features a Linux-based operating system, but the company has assured us that users can install whatever programs they want on the device.

READ MORE: Can the Steam Deck play GTA 5?

The fact that this handheld PC comes stocked with a Linux-based operating system leads to questions about the device’s capabilities.

One of the biggest questions that always pop up is, “Will the Steam Deck be capable of playing all Steam games?”

But the answer isn’t necessarily straightforward, which is probably how you landed here on this page. So let’s see exactly what our options are.

valve steam deck games full list

So, can Steam Deck play all Steam games?

Short Answer: Yes, with help

As noted earlier, Valve confirmed users could download different operating systems, including Windows, to their Steam Deck devices.

Because of this, all of the games on Steam’s platform can technically run on the device.

However, there is one catch. The Steam Deck launched with a Linux-based operating system tweaked to work with the device.

windows subsystem for windows 11

Installing other operating systems, like Windows, might mean that your device will have a user interface that is not optimized for handheld.

Therefore, it may be best to stick with the original operating system that launches on the Steam Deck.

READ MORE: Can Steam Deck play Minecraft?

Thankfully, Valve has been working to make Linux a more supported OS for its games.

proton steam deck on a purple background

The company developed Proton to help games run on Linux, and it has already optimized many games for the Linux platform.

You can check out ProtonDB.com to see if the game you are looking for is optimized for Linux.

Steam Deck (64GB)
4.0
Starts at $399
Price Currently Below Retail Check Price at Walmart
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