9000 games on the Steam Deck with a Heavy Focus on Validating Games from 2021 and 2022


It’s time! As you know based on our previous analysis, every month and a half or a bit more (in this case over two months) there’s a 1000 new games added to the list of Verified and Playable games on the Steam Deck. This time we reach the new threshold of 9000 games. (8978 at the time of writing, but close enough)

  • Verified: 3260 games (36%)
  • Playable: 5718 games (64%)

Here’s a quick overview of what the trends looks like since the launch of the Steam Deck:

Trend since the Steam Deck launch

As you can see the progression is steady and completely predictable now. The problem, if I may say so, is that there’s about 300 new games released on Steam every week, roughly 1200 every month give or take, and the current pace of the verification process is too slow to ever expect to fill the gap. Of course, what matters is the verification of non-garbage games, as Steam has a lot, and I mean a lot, of shovelware. I can’t tell you how many games I remove every single week when I review the latest Linux native clients released that are just asset re-use, low-effort puzzle games, and low quality porn games. That’s probably 30% of all games released at least in the recent past. In any case, the gap would still remain. And therefore, Valve and their partners have decided to focus on priorities.

Less Verified Titles?

It seems like the ratio of verified titles is dropping a litle, according to the latest few weeks:

Not a huge difference, but would be nice to see the trend reverse at some point - you could expect that to happen the day devs start to count on the Steam Deck for achieving their sales targets, so it might take a while as there are still few Decks out there.

Games Validated by Year

Here’s what the chart looks like if we take the latest data and arrange it by year.

As you can see there is clearly a peak of verification for the years 2021 and 2022. You might say “this is expected, because that’s what the general trends of games released on Steam looks like”. And you would be half-right. Half, because indeed 2021 and 2022 were peaks also for all games released on Steam, but half-wrong because there’s not such a big gap between 2020 and 2021.

So in effect, we see Valve and their partners betting on verifying very recent games before anything else (at least, at much higher speed). This does make a lot of sense if you are focused on driving sales, because newer games are the ones that sell the most (Marketing 101: New beats everything else, including quality - the best movie from 20 years ago will never get as much audience as the latest turd from Hollywood released today) and it makes sense that Valve is trying to optimize for sales rather than 10 years old library compatibility.

Also, recent games are more likely to receive updates, and if they are rated as “Playable”, it gives the developer more opportunity to take in account how the game feels on the Steam Deck and improve text size, performance and more.

Recent Good Games?

Now that we are done with the graphs for now, let’s look at cool recent games that became Verified or Playable recently:

  • Cassette Beasts (made with Godot!)
  • Time Wasters
  • The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure
  • The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki
  • Company of Heroes 3
  • Resident Evil 4 (pretty much working since Day 1)
  • DREDGE (reviewed here)
  • Mr. Saitou
  • Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
  • Crab Champions
  • Sifu
  • Terraformers
  • Age of Wonders 4
  • Minecraft Legends

And many others…