Valve’s Steam Deck handheld won’t have any exclusive games, but it is slowly filling in some holes in its Windows game library — Valve says Arma 3, DayZ, Unturned, and Planetside 2 now have functioning BattlEye anti-cheat when you’re using the Proton compatibility layer to play Windows games in Linux. That brings the total to six games, including Ark: Survival Evolved and Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. (Those two already had support as of November 8th.)
That compatibility is important for Linux in general (and the Steam Deck handheld specifically) because they don’t play Windows games out of the box unless they work with Proton, and third-party anti-cheat software is known to interfere.
But for two of the most popular flavors of anti-cheat, this shouldn’t be a difficult fix! Epic Games has said enabling Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) in Proton should take “just a few clicks” in the game developer portal. Valve has said enabling BattlEye is as easy as sending an email.
And yet, the developers in charge of many of the top anti-cheat games on Steam have been unwilling or unable to confirm whether they’ll actually send that email or make those clicks, including Bungie, Crytek, EA, Krafton, Microsoft, and Ubisoft.
While many top games run on the Steam Deck, we do not currently know if Apex Legends, Destiny 2, Halo, or PUBG will be among them, for example. Epic would also not commit to Fortnite, despite enabling Easy Anti-Cheat for Proton in general. That’s not a Steam title, though, and Epic does see Valve as a competitor.