This past week has been rich in announcements regarding anticheat support for the Steam Deck… and Proton at large. In a matter of days, we have received the confirmation first that EAC (owned by Epic) would provide native and Proton support for their current EAC system:
Earlier this year, Easy Anti-Cheat for Windows games was made available to all developers, for free. Today, we extend support to Linux and Mac for developers who maintain full native builds of their games for these platforms.
To make it easy for developers to ship their games across PC platforms, support for the Wine and Proton compatibility layers on Linux is included. Starting with the latest SDK release, developers can activate anti-cheat support for Linux via Wine or Proton with just a few clicks in the Epic Online Services Developer Portal.
If you have been following news closely (including with our recent Podcast with James Ramey) it should come as no surprise to see official support for EAC ahead of the Steam Deck launch. As discussed during our interview, this will probably require signed Proton builds in order to have EAC running in the games that require it (one of the requirements of Anti-cheat technology is to have reproducible environments). In practical terms this probably means that custom Proton builds made by third parties (like Proton GE) may not be able to include such support. We will have to see when more defails surface.
Among the top 50 games, EAC is a blocker for most of the games that did not work, but that’s not the only one. Battleye is the other competitive anti-cheat technology that is also used by a few more titles. In turn, they have just announced support as well for the Steam Deck and Proton:
BattlEye has provided native Linux and Mac support for a long time and we can announce that we will also support the upcoming Steam Deck (Proton). This will be done on an opt-in basis with game developers choosing whether they want to allow it or not.
With these two announcements, it looks like there should be a nice jump in compatibility for anything running under Proton in the very near future (maybe even ahead of the Steam Deck launch). Will that be enough to reach 100% compatibility as announced by Valve? Probably not, but my guess is that the fact that they are shipping a truckload of devkits of the Steam Deck early to developers is going to help for the remaining gaps.
Expect more announcements to come within October/November!