Your entire Steam Library might not be playable on the Steam Deck after all according to comments from the developer of Warhammer: Vermintide 2.
The Steam Deck has been a hotly anticipated gaming device since its announcement last year. However, it has faced its fair share of hurdles to cross. By far the biggest was the device’s initial incompatibility with anti-cheat software - which would have made 28% of the 50 most active Steam Games would be unplayable at launch.
While it seemed like the crisis was averted back in September last year, a recent Steam post from a Warhammer: Vermintide 2 developer (spotted by GamingOnLinux (opens in new tab)) suggests that some of our favorite games may still face compatibility issues with the Steam Deck because they use the wrong version of Easy-Anti Cheat.
Why won't the Steam Deck play Steam games?
The main cause behind the issues was Valve’s decision to have the Steam Deck run on a Linux-based operating system.
For the most part, this seemed like a smart move; the Linux OS is less technically demanding than Windows meaning that the Steam Deck’s limited PC power could be focussed on running games rather than background operations.
And because not all games are designed to run on Linux, Valve would also implement its Proton software - a nifty tool that would make Windows games compatible with its Linux device.
Unfortunately, some games aren’t just reliant on their own software to operate, plenty also use external anti-cheat programs and won’t allow users to play unless these systems are active.
It wasn’t clear if these anti-cheat programs - such as BattlEye and Easy Anti-Cheat - would be compatible with Proton or not. Thankfully fears were assuaged back in September 2021 after the developers of both the software said that Proton and Steam Deck support was coming and that game creators could add this support to their titles with just a few clicks.
In the case of Easy-Anti Cheat (EAC) though it doesn’t seem like this is the whole picture. That’s because Epic has created EAC has two separate versions: one that uses Epic Online Services (EOS) and an older version that doesn’t - and Proton support isn’t yet included with both.
As noted by the Vermintide 2 developer, “Most games historically use Non-EOS EAC. It's the one Vermintide 2 uses as well. Epic only added Proton support for the EOS version of EAC.”
Because Vermintide 2 is built around the wrong version of EAC that ‘just a few clicks’ processes has morphed into a need to conduct a “huge amount” of reworking based on the developer’s predictions.
It’s not clear how many other games are reliant on the older version of EAC but a few other studios have stated they’re also facing compatibility issues.
Hopefully, Epic Games can help these developers sort out a simple workaround soon as with the Steam Deck still on track to hit its February launch many early adopters could face disappointment when they find out their favorite games can’t be played on the system.
- Check out our picks for the best Steam games of 2022