From the very beginning, we knew that Valve's $400 Steam Deck handheld would not play all Steam games out of the box. It can run Windows games on Linux with the Proton compatibility layers. Some of the most popular Steam games use anti-cheat software which has historically not worked with Proton. Valve, one of the largest anti-cheat vendors, said that this shouldn't be a problem for BattlEye on Friday.
"BattlEye integration of Proton has reached a point at which a developer only needs to reach BattlEye in order to make it possible for their title," writes Valve. Valve states that the only additional work required by the developer is communication. Ark: Survival Evolved and Mount & Blade II Bannerlord are also up and running.
That is, one email should suffice to make the largest unsupported games on Steam Deck playable at a basic level. However, developers will want to make it gamepad- or touchscreen-friendly in order to earn Valve's official "verified".
What does this mean for the largest BattlEye titles that aren't available on Steam Deck? DayZ, PUBG, Rainbow Six Siege, and others? These emails will be sent by Ubisoft and Krafton, as well as Bohemia Interactive. It doesn't look great. They didn't respond immediately to our requests for comment today and declined to comment last month when we reached out top Steam developers regarding the Steam Deck.
BattlEye doesn't support Proton alone, but the Steam Deck is also supported by BattlEye. We reported September that Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC), now supports Linux. Epic Games, the owner, announced that activation should be "just a few clicks" in the Epic Online Services Developer Portal.
Top game developers don't want to support the cause. We were only able to get a response from four of the 15 studios that we reached out to despite their promise of "just a few mouse clicks." Epic Games, which is also an EAC owner, did not respond. Epic did not agree to Mediatonic's Fall Guys, its subsidiary that uses EAC, to the platform. Epic also declined to comment on Fortnite, which uses BattlEye, being available on Steam Deck.
Although Sony hasn’t yet committed to the Steam Deck, Shuhei Yoshida, a PlayStation executive, tweeted that Horizon: Zero Dawn runs on it. ProtonDB, which currently rates Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition as a "Gold", won't be surprised.
Ex-exclusive PlayStation title Detroit: Become Human may also work on Steam Deck
While the Steam Deck will ship in December to the first batch, many day-one customers won't receive their preordered handhelds until at least Q1 2022, or later. Valve suggests that you reserve your Steam Deck today to avoid disappointment in the second quarter 2022.