Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck handheld console will automatically list every SteamVR game as ‘Unsupported’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them a try.
That news surfaced as Valve introduced its ‘Deck Verified‘ system for the device today. Deck Verfieid includes four labels designed to instantly tell you if a game works well on Steam Deck or not. The Verified label, for example, confirms that the game will run great on Steam Deck with no hassle. Playable, meanwhile, is for games that can definitely run on the system but may need some extra configuration like using the console’s on-screen keyboard. There’s also Unknown for games that simply haven’t had their compatibility checked yet.
The final category is Unsupported, which means that the game is simply not designed to run on the device. As the video above makes clear, every VR game in the Steam library will be given this rating (unless, of course, VR support is optional). All the graphics for Deck Verified include Valve’s own Half-Life: Alyx as a staple example of a VR game that will display this label.
But Unsupported doesn’t mean you can’t at least try to run a VR game on Steam Deck. Valve has noted on multiple occasions that it won’t stop owners doing what they want with the device, meaning they’re free to try and plug in a PC VR headset and run SteamVR games, the company itself just can’t guarantee you’ll have anything like a good experience with it. Indeed, we’ve already seen developers like Cloudhead Games get their titles technically ‘running’ on Steam Deck, but not without significant issues.
You absolutely shouldn’t be considering a Steam Deck as a portable VR device, then, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see some fun experiments. And, besides, Valve has already clearly hinted that it’s considering a possible standalone VR headset of its own to run SteamVR titles, and there have been some reports that may have shed light on those potential plans. Perhaps we could one day see a version of Deck Verified that helps guide users to the best VR experiences on that hypothetical headset.