Maybe not the solution for fighting game tournaments on PC after all
Guilty Gear Strive is the biggest fighting game of the past year, so it makes sense that players would want to take the action wherever they go — but that’s apparently going to remain just a dream for now.
Despite being featured in marketing / promotional material to showcase the system last year, the newly released Steam Deck cannot actually play Guilty Gear Strive nor can it run a bunch of other big fighting games from the past few years.
While Valve sorta obfuscates which PC titles are / aren’t supported on the gaming handheld, there are other easy ways to check on the status of a game.
Through sites like ProtonDB, players can check whether their title has been marked as unsupported, playable, untested or verified for use on Steam Deck.
Along with Strive, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11, Injustice 2, Granblue Fantasy: Versus, Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, The King of Fighters 13, and Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r] are currently listed as unsupported titles, meaning they can’t be played at all.
Fighting Games Unsupported on Steam Deck
• Guilty Gear Strive
• Dragon Ball FighterZ
• Tekken 7
• Injustice 2
• Granblue Fantasy: Versus
• Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator
• The King of Fighters 13
• Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r
There are no confirmed reasons as to why these titles in particular do not work, but it likely boils down to compatibility issues with the Steam Deck’s operating system, which runs a modified version of Linux instead of Windows.
When taking a look at the ProtonDB page for Strive, players using Proton, a very similar setup to what the handheld runs, have reported issues like missing textures, frame rate drops, in-game cinematics not playing correctly and other problems that could be holding it back.
As for the fighters that are actually verified, Killer Instinct, King of Fighters 14, King of Fighters ’98, King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, Them’s Fightin’ Herds, Punch Planet, Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition and Brawlout make the cut.
Fighting Games Verified for Steam Deck
• Killer Instinct
• The King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match Final Edition
• The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
• Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
• Them’s Fightin’ Herds
• Punch Planet
• Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition
Being verified means that a title has been officially tested and confirmed to run on the Steam Deck without any additional setup from the player.
We’ve gotten to see with our own eyes that Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition appears to work fine on the Steam Deck, and anything not listed in either category (like King of Fighters 15) should run on the new platform although they may require tinkering with settings to get them going to full speed.
It’s not just fighting games facing these issues of course, as other popular multiplayer titles like Apex Legends, Dead by Daylight, Destiny 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Smite, Fall Guys and others aren’t compatible with the Steam Deck either.
There were reports last year that games using anti-cheat software wouldn’t work correctly with the Steam Deck, so that could explain Dragon Ball FighterZ’s absence.
Some in the FGC had been looking to the Steam Deck as a potential solution to running fighting game tournaments more easily on PC, but that’ll probably have to wait until more of the most popular fighters actually work on the system.
This should hopefully change over time as Valve and developers continue to update and test Steam Deck compatibility, so the list of unsupported titles will almost assuredly shrink as time goes on.