Steam Deck review

Steam Deck review

Steam Deck has been on the market for about a year and a half. This device tried to do something new. It wasn’t a handheld computer game, because before that you could already resort to Ayaneos and GPD winning in this world. What the Steam Deck is trying to add to that is an Arch Linux-based operating system built specifically for the device, a Proton translation layer to run Windows games on, and a wide range of programmable input devices. All of this should result in a laptop that does a much better job than its gaming laptop competition.

Upon release, reviewers were mostly impressed with the device. There was praise for its performance and versatility: you could run any game you wanted and probably make it work just fine. With a fast sleep mode where games don’t crash, stopping is as easy as starting. With the right games, that vision of a good gaming laptop has become a reality.

The “proper games” should be emphasized, because the games certainly weren’t flawless. Many games had to be modified a lot before they worked. Other games wouldn’t work no matter how much tweaks you made to them, either because the Proton translation layer wasn’t ready or because the anti-cheat simply didn’t tolerate the platform. Or the game has already launched, but the battery life is unrealistically short. Finally, SteamOS also regularly showed bugs that greatly hindered usability.

However, Valve didn’t send the deck with a set in the reeds. During the review period, the company regularly released updates to the deck and to date, the operating system in circulation including beta versions has received around 200 updates. These bugs fixed and new features were introduced. At the same time, Valve is working with Wine developer CodeWeavers to make the Wine-based Proton compatibility layer support more games. Valve is also trying to take the search off your hands with it Check the deck-program. In doing so, it approves Steam games, which can receive verified, playable, or unsupported stamps. Verified and unsupported are self-explanatory, and playable, according to Valve, means they “require some extra effort to set up or run”.

As is often the case in the Linux world, Valve is far from doing the work. The community has also been busy in the meantime with scripts, plug-ins, and apps that help with things like compatibility, support for other players, and general usability.

So how does Steam Deck work now? Is it now better recommended for the more technical user? How much and how often do you have to mod for the game to work? And could he secretly be recommended to your non-technical nephew?

Another little note: The Steam Deck is really just a PC, and PCs can do a lot. To keep the scope of the story manageable, I don’t look at what it’s like to run Windows on deck. Without going too deep into it, I focus on cloud gaming and simulations.

Biggest complaints with version

Perhaps the biggest complaint with the release was the amount of “playable” games. In the first reviews, the list of games approved by Valve was relatively short. As a result, it was often a lottery whether the game wanted to start and whether you had to modify it a little or a lot. The counter of verified addresses was somewhere between 700 and 800 and the verdict was: this should be higher. Ideally, there should be more Valve verified games that worked without tweaking, but of course the ones that worked after tweaking were still better than nothing. Valve partially fulfills this desire by further developing the Proton.

F1 2021 has sometimes wanted to stumble too hard on Deck release time.

Bugs and general “incompleteness” of the software have also appeared in many revisions: small quibbles in the interface such as a hard-to-find search function, various scenarios in which the deck gets stuck, bluetooth audio that doesn’t work properly, wifi that’s forgotten, games which disappear from the library even after a reboot. It was a pile of minor complaints that have become noteworthy for many reviewers.

The final complaint is the ability to find games that have been verified by Valve. On deck, you can navigate to the Great on Deck section, but once there, the options to continue finding what you’re looking for aren’t as robust. There is a search function, but it lacks basic options such as filtering by lowest prices, release years, developers, publishers, and tags that users can add themselves.

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