As the Steam Deck gains more traction and users, understanding the difference between “Verified” and “Playable” game statuses becomes crucial. In this article, we will dive deep into what these terms mean, how they affect the gaming experience, and how they may impact the overall performance and compatibility of games on the Steam Deck.
When it comes to gaming on the Steam Deck, Valve has implemented a verification system to ensure that users know the level of compatibility and performance they can expect from their games. This system classifies games into two main categories: Verified and Playable. It’s essential to understand the differences between these classifications to have an optimal gaming experience on the Steam Deck.
Verified Games on Steam Deck
“Verified” means the game is fully functional on the Steam Deck “out of the box.” That means:
- Controller Inputs: The game has controller inputs properly set for the Steam Deck, and in-game controller references use the correct labels, also known as glyphs, for individual controls.
- Text and UI Legibility: All text and UI elements are legible on the Steam Deck’s screen.
- On-Screen Keyboard: Whenever text input is needed, the game summons the on-screen keyboard.
- Performance: The game performs well at the default graphical settings. While it’s not explicitly specified, a stable 30fps is a reasonable assumption.
- Proton Compatibility: The game runs in Proton without any notable bugs or incompatibilities. It’s unclear if Valve has started testing native Linux games yet.
- Pregame Launchers: Either no pregame launchers or launchers that support the controller are present.
Playable Games on Steam Deck
“Playable” means the game is fully functional on the Steam Deck but may require some degree of setup or manual tweaking to play. For example:
- Controls: The game’s controls may not be mapped out of the box, the in-game controller representations may use the wrong labels/symbols, or controllers may not be natively supported at all. In the latter case, you’ll need to use Steam Input to “fake” a mouse and keyboard.
- Performance: The game may not perform well, but it does function.
- Launchers: The game has a launcher that requires mouse input.
- Text Legibility: Text may be too small to read easily.
- Text Input: Text entry requires you to manually invoke the on-screen keyboard.
Any one of these issues will knock a game from “verified” down to “playable.”
Checking Game Status on SteamDB
To see the specific issues holding a game back from verified status, you can use the “information” tab on SteamDB. SteamDB is a third-party database that provides detailed information about games available on Steam, including compatibility and performance details for the Steam Deck.
By using SteamDB, you can quickly identify the shortcomings of a game and decide whether it’s worth trying to play on the Steam Deck or waiting for a patch or update to address the issues. SteamDB can also help you identify region locks of Steam games.