15 best PC exclusive games to play on Steam Deck in 2022

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By kasumi
15 best PC exclusive games to play on Steam Deck in 2022

Now that Valve’s handheld has been with us for some time already, what games should you play on Steam Deck first?

The console is still difficult to obtain. If you wish to order it, you'll have to wait for six months, if not longer, before getting your hand on this gadget. It’s not surprising, as the same situation happened (and still continues) with the latest generation of Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

Before we move to the list we have prepared this time, it would be good to explain the idea behind categories of Steam Deck compatibility and what they mean for the titles you would like to run on your handheld.

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Steam Deck compatible games

There are four different categories for Steam Deck games: Verified, Playable, Unsupported, and Unknown. Verified games have been tested by Valve and work perfectly on the device. Playable may require you to utilize the touchscreen or fiddle with controller configuration, and Unsupported will work rather poorly or won't work at all. 

Valve is still checking numerous games as we speak. Some of your favorite PC titles may end up running perfectly fine on the handheld device in the future. Until this happens, they will fall under the unknown category. 

Now, what PC exclusive titles should you play on Steam Deck? We prepared a list of 15 recommendations for you to try out Valve's console (or, if you're still waiting for it, on PC). We’ve also added a note on their compatibility, so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises after downloading it on your device. Enjoy the read!

Age Of Empires IV

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

The fourth AoE installment is the most newcomer-friendly, so we decided to include this one. You will be given a solid tutorial before starting with one of four exciting campaigns Relic prepared for you: The Hundred Years War, The Rise of Moscow, The Mongol Empire, and The Normans. All of them offer different nations that you can lead to prosperity.

Whichever nation you choose, you need to adjust your gameplay approach a little, giving each playthrough a pleasant variety. This and several new features and enhancements make for a great return of a legendary strategy series, even though a new studio was working on it.

Baldur’s Gate III

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

You may not count on the prompt release of Baldur's Gate III full version, but what was made available to players as part of Early Access is already impressive. Even though the campaign mode is not finished yet, it already takes nearly 40 hours to complete the main and side йгуыеы.

The third installment of the cult RPG series refers to its predecessors while also introducing some significant changes. One of them is the turn-based combat system based on the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons rules. In the future, the title will probably also appear on consoles, but for now, you will have to limit yourself to PC and Steam Deck 😉

BeamNG.drive

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

This isn’t your regular racing title because BeamNG.drive is a car-driving simulator that takes pride in implementing a realistic physics engine. You know you need to take care of your vehicle, as it can get badly damaged in an instant.

Add an open world ready to be explored and all the possibilities created by being able to mod practically anything to your liking. In the end, you get a modern, realistic game with a lovable, creative community willing to improve the title further.

Black Mesa

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

Black Mesa started as a small fan project. A group of enthusiasts set out to refresh the iconic first part of Half-Life. What was fascinating at that time was that Valve did not mind and even allowed the mod to be distributed on the Steam platform.

Although Black Mesa is based on the original, which came out in 1998, the fan project does not use a single piece of the original code. It was created entirely from scratch! The game has been expanded with additional threads taking place in a separate dimension called Xen. Half-Life on Steam Deck? It would’ve been absurd not to try that!

Dyson Sphere Program

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

The game is a space simulation strategy that allows you to build the best interstellar factory ever! To help you with this noble mission, you can use a supercomputer that can do a lot of thinking for you, but there’s naturally a catch.

You’ll need to utilize the power of stars and collect resources for your space program to succeed. And you can be sure that the genius computer doesn’t understand that there’s not enough power on the entire planet. Then, it’s essential to find resources anywhere. Will you be able to construct Dyson Spheres that will give you all of the energy you need to push humanity to the future?

Factorio

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

This PC exclusive is a real phenomenon! Factorio is entertaining and makes you think hard, which can be frustrating and exciting simultaneously. However, we cannot deny that this is one of the most interesting exhibits on the list. Expanding and managing a factory on a barren planet is extremely rewarding.

You need to ensure adequate supplies of raw materials, optimize the production line so that everything works better and more efficiently, and defend the base against invasions of indigenous inhabitants who are not entirely happy that someone is ruling their area. Fortunately, this option can be turned off to enjoy the factory's unfettered expansion.

Inscryption

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

Facing a Leshy in a battle is a thing you would typically associate with The Witcher 3, although this game has a different idea on how the combat should look like. Instead of giving into physical violence, you face your opponent, sitting in front of him and playing a tabletop game!

Inscryption is a suitable title for Valve’s console. It's a neat, easy-to-understand game that blends adventure titles, roguelikes, and card games into one. The result is an atmospheric, cool experience perfect for brief evening gaming sessions.

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

Precisely on the 10th anniversary of Mount & Blade: Warband release, which is a standalone expansion for the famous Mount & Blade sandbox set in the Middle Ages, the second full-fledged installment of the series has appeared on Steam. The game is still in Early Access, and the full release will hopefully happen somewhere in 2022.

However, the work on this game is taking a long while, and it is unknown whether the creators will manage to finish it this year. After all, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord already has plenty of content that delivers fun for hours. Regarding gameplay, fans got what they expected, combining an action game with strategy and RPG elements.

Ready or Not

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

If you’re old enough to remember SWAT 4, you'll get a clear idea of the game from the get-go. This title will let you join the ranks of an elite SWAT police unit. Before you go and help restore order in the town, you need to plan the intervention. You can study the structure of a building you’re about to enter, choose the weapons you will bring with you, and equip yourself with some handy accessories.

Thanks to the focus on realism applied by the developers of Ready or Not, you will feel like a part of a professional anti-terrorist squad. Every aspect can affect the outcome of the mission, for example, the believable behaviors of both your team members and your enemies to mobility issues when someone is shot. If you got a bullet in your leg, moving around will be difficult. Ready to go on a mission? 

RimWorld

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

RimWorld is a rather unusual strategy game about managing an extra-terrestrial colony of survivors. The group is composed of different people, each with their characteristics and predispositions, determining the approach to work and other residents.

As if that was not enough, the title implements the AI Storyteller function. This mechanism tracks the player's actions, constantly flooding you with new goodies. Sometimes, you may get bonuses in the form of a resource drop or the arrival of a new colonist, and sometimes you will have to deal with an attack by bandits or food poisoning. Thanks to this, each playthrough is different.

Satisfactory

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

Imagine Factorio, but in full 3D, and that's basically Satisfactory is. You’re an employer of the FICSIT organization, which has a crucial task for you. You need to build the best factory complex in the world! However, to do so, you will need materials, but there’s no other way than to find them on the lovely named Massage-2(A-B)b planet.

You will be walking around in search of materials in FPP and building your factory empire block by block. The process is intuitive and fun, the exploring is great, and seeing your factory expand more and more is hugely satisfying. Just be careful while exploring the planet, as some of its parts can get pretty dangerous in no time. Carrying a gun in the wild is heavily recommended!

Teardown

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

We don’t think stealing is morally acceptable, but when done in video games, we’re all guilty of looting a chest or two 😉 In Teardown, an office worker reaches a point of no return. As his company won’t pay him in time, he decides to find an alternative way of earning money. Thus, he becomes a thief; and a professional one at that.

It means that you will need to plan each step of the heist carefully. Having the escape pathway to flee after getting the goods safely is crucial. You have 17 different tools at your disposal to carry out your missions efficiently, and if you want to walk around the game’s world without worrying about your tasks, there’s also a sandbox mode available.

V Rising

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Playable

Being a vampire may sound fun, but when your kingdom is in shambles after hundreds of years you’ve been asleep, there’s some honest work ahead of you. V Rising is a multiplayer isometric title with a hack'n'slash combat system and a big, open world full of resources and humans to feed on. You will also make some of them join your vampire army, so be ready to upgrade your castle frequently to let your army grow in power!

It would be best if you were also wary of other blood-thirsty individuals. You might raid other players, but you can also benefit from cooperating with them. It’s all your choice to make! The combat is pleasantly responsive with the trusty WASD and mouse controls, and it’s also a good thing to have a break from all the planning from time to time 😊

Valheim 

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Verified

This representative of the best PC exclusive games requires you to survive, which will involve a lot of crafting and building. Your other goal is a bit more challenging, which is defeating bosses in the name of Odin. As a true Viking, you’ll need to do both of these tasks to the best of your ability.

It’s a delightful mix of exploration with elements of survival games and a satisfying combat system that rewards you for beating tough bosses - for example, with food recipes. These can be then used to produce food granting you specific perks. As you move further, you’re constantly encouraged to grow in power so that the game doesn’t get repetitive after a while. Furthermore, playing Valheim with someone else is much better, as you can invite up to 9 friends to join you on your adventure.

Vampire Survivors

Steam Deck Compatibility Category: Verified

We end the list with a dynamic roguelite game with a touch of RPG elements. It looks like it escaped the past and somehow traveled forward in time to 2022. In this case, though, we mean it as a compliment. Vampire Survivors is a retro-stylized survival game that gives you a simple task: survive the night and collect as much gold for your successor, that is, until your next run.

The premise is simple, and the combat system isn’t anything revolutionary, but there’s just something highly addictive about continuously leveling up and keeping up with swarms of opponents. The game is also as cheap as it gets. Is there any better starter title for your new console? 😉

And here we have it. The possibility of playing PC exclusive games just about anywhere intrigues even the most loyal representatives of the Master Race and is now a reality.

Is Steam Deck worth buying?

The short answer is yes; owning Valve's device is delightful. Steam Deck was officially released on the 25th of February 2022, and after the first batch of products arrived at our homes, the hype got even bigger. After all, this device can run Elden Ring at stable 30 FPS-es on high settings.

The device has a considerably big screen for a handheld (namely, 7-inch), and it’s surprisingly powerful. Valve didn’t lie about it being able to run some of the demanding PC games. There are already dozens of gameplays uploaded on the Internet, so you can check out what the performance looks like before purchasing a Deck for yourself.

Regardless of what you think about Valve’s console, we hope you found some useful suggestions on our list. If you would like to share your opinion on them, or you know a perfect game to run on Valve's console, feel free to share your opinion in the comment section.

Your recommendation may help other people looking for games to play on their devices. A good deed once in a while won’t hurt. 😉

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