Update (March 25, 2022 - 3:37 PM) - In an apparent coincidence, Valve has announced a new "Opt-in Feedback" feature that will allow it to collect data from users about Steam Deck Verified games.
"We're adding a new feature to Steam Deck today to support gathering feedback from players by asking direct questions about your experiences. (This is an opt-in feature: we'll ask you once if you're open to answering questions, and you can opt out at any time.)" read the Steam news post.
"The initial data we're gathering in this way is about titles that are Steam Deck Verified. We're able to collect objective data (crashes, etc.) to help us understand how well the technical side of our review process is working, but ultimately the Deck compatibility ratings are about the overall experience: the definition of 'working well' is succeeding at enabling current and future Deck customers to find the experiences they want. We want to make sure we're doing that, or identify the titles for which your experiences don't match your expectations."
Our original story continues below.
Several gamers have reported problems with Steam Deck Verified games over the last week, including popular titles like GTA 5 and Vampire Survivors.
First revealed last year, the Steam Deck is a handheld gaming PC from Valve. One of the advantages of this gaming machine is the Steam Deck Verified program, an initiative that rates the playability of games on the Steam Deck. A number of games have been tagged as Verified since then -- and now, it appears that some of these "Verified" games aren't working quite as well as they should.
Some Steam Deck Verified Games Have Major Issues
As highlighted on Reddit, Valve created a discussion thread on the Steam Community asking for players to report any "possible error" with Steam Deck Verified Games. A few players have stepped up to highlight issues with games, and some of them are quite noticable.
One such report is detailed in greater length in an article on GamingOnLinux that also highlights several issues with GTA 5 experienced by its author. That same author also compiled a list of Steam Deck Verified games that are having some kind of issue -- here are the Steam Deck Verified games that are reportedly having problems:
- Atelier Ryza 2 - "Verified" but reportedly doesn't save your graphics settings, and the defaults don't perform well.
- A Way Out - "Playable" but the resolution is cropped to the middle of the screen, and it sometimes doesn't load.
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel - "Playable" but gamepad input apparently not working.
- Call of Juarez: Gunslinger - "Verified" but videos don't play.
- Deathloop - "Verified" but multiple complaints of poor performance, and reportedly some users say suspend makes it crash.
- DOOM (2016) - "Verified" and yet there's reports of it repeatedly crashing through the game.
- ELDERBORN - "Verified" but repeatedly freezes.
- Grand Theft Auto V (my report) - "Playable" but I talked about some of the problems of getting it working in an article, the current version of Proton tagged has major problems with the launcher not working.
- HITMAN - "Verified" but gamepad input not working. Another said it causes the Deck to reboot.
- Hoa - "Verified" but some of the movies are broken.
- Luck be a Landlord - "Verified" but doesn't even have gamepad support at all and mouse / touchscreen input is problematic.
- Monkey Island 2 Special Edition - "Playable" but a menu keeps popping up making it not really playable.
- Nuclear Throne (I can confirm this too) - "Verified" but gamepad input doesn't work with the default configuration. After testing this one more myself, having seen the report on the issues, it sort-of detects the Deck with it set to keyboard / mouse input but not properly and it's certainly not playable. It also likes to give you a tiny resolution.
- Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - "Verified" but does not recognise gamepad input, a message box comes up asking about safe mode that needs touchscreen input and it needs a manual bring-up of the keyboard.
- RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition - "Playable" but has distorted menu audio and in-game doesn't work as the screen flickers between the game and a test screen.
- SHENZHEN I/O - "Verified" but doesn't work. It's currently set to use Proton but the Native Linux version works, this one is due for a retest as part of their original problem of not verifying the native build first. But still, how did it get Verified like that when it doesn't work?
- Sonic Generations - "Verified" but has poor performance, some parts can drop to single digit FPS.
- The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth - "Verified" but one user reports it crashing on launch. Works fine for me however.
- Vampire Survivors (my report) - "Verified" but performance will go down to single digit FPS at the most important parts of the game at the last 5 minutes of each level. The developer is even fully aware, with a port to a new game engine happening but that's not due until at least the "Summer".
That's a fair mix of titles in there. While issues with older games such as RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 aren't necessarily surprising, there are some fairly recent games on that list that are having trouble working correctly on the Steam Deck for some players. Notably, not all of these issues appear to be universal. GTA 5, for example, works just fine for some players and doesn't work well for others.
While these issues are certainly worrisome, it seems that the Steam Deck Verified program works more often than not -- there are over 1,000 games on the growing list of Verified titles, yet there's only been a handful of reports with problems to date. Still, the fact that some Steam Deck Verified games are having problems shows that Valve might need to revaluate its verification process.
Correction: We originally referred to the GamingOnLinux article as a "forum post." We apologize for the error.