Best Steam Deck Games To Play Right Now has become a gaming phenomenon, offering portable yet powerful gaming experiences. Consider playing titles such as Hollow Knight for an immersive and enjoyable gaming session on the Steam Deck, featuring breathtaking visuals and challenging gameplay. “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” is an amazing open world RPG with an engaging narrative and expansive open world to explore.
Meanwhile, “DOOM Eternal” provides intense first-person shooter thrills by taking advantage of Steam Deck hardware capabilities for fast-paced action gaming. “Stardew Valley” offers an ideal, relaxing gaming experience, offering a charming farming simulator designed for on-the-go gameplay.
“Hades” is an exquisite rogue-like game with stunning art, storytelling, and gameplay that will appeal to fans of the genre. Additionally, with its vast library, Steam Deck provides gamers with endless gaming opportunities that meet a range of preferences and playstyles.
Here Is List of Best Steam Deck Games To Play Right Now
- Aperture Desk Job
- Vampire Survivors
- Diablo IV
- Hi-Fi Rush
- Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
- Elden Ring
- Smushi Come Home
- Death’s Door
- Forza Horizon 5
- Portal 2
- The Entropy Centre
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- God of War
- Ghostwire: Tokyo
- Horizon Zero Dawn
20 Best Steam Deck Games To Play Right Now
1. Aperture Desk Job
Aperture Desk Job should not only be one of your first games on Steam Deck – it should probably be your very first!
Think of this delightful game as an engaging Steam Deck tutorial designed to get you accustomed to its controls layout, presented through an amusing mini-jaunt through pre-Portal Aperture Science. A clever, charming introduction that reminds us why more Valve games should exist!
2. Vampire Survivors
At the suggestion of several RPS readers (and with implicit endorsement from scores of other Steam Deck owners), I finally played Vampire Survivors and it absolutely rocks! Simply moving around and auto-attacking might sound tedious at first, but as weapon upgrades unlock with each level up and enemies become screen-filling bullet hell hordes,
it quickly becomes almost hypnotically engaging to hold off their tide with lasers or weaponised Bibles – as time-stopping lasers or weaponised Bibles become ever more effective weaponised Bibles become an ever more efficient way of holding off waves of enemies by holding off enemy attacks via time stopping lasers or weaponised Bibles becomes quite captivating!
Vampire Survivors can be played using just the left thumbstick and face button as inputs, with framerates still staying above 40fps even during massive monster crowds – making this another Steam Deck special! Additionally, I don’t expect its battery consumption to run out too quickly: though I have yet to run an exact full-to-empty test, four to five hours should suffice before your Deck runs dry!
3. Diablo IV
At launch, Diablo IV could only be played on Valve handheld through persistence and following an intricate step-by-step installation guide for Battle.net on Steam Deck. Thankfully now that it can be purchased directly through Steam instead, things have become much simpler; though traditional methods still work if you already own it through ActiBlizz store.
Diablo IV was actually more enjoyable for me on my Steam Deck than it was on my big, fat PC. Although this opinion may seem subjective, its thumbstick and face button controls seem more direct; combat is more satisfying when exerting more direct control than when clicking away anonymously with mouse.
Diablo IV runs pretty smoothly on mostly-high visual settings, which is increasingly rare among megablockbusters. If you’re curious, check out my Diablo IV Steam Deck settings guide for some recommended tweaks.
Hades earned RPS Game of the Year status on Advent Calendar rules back in 2020. Now available on Steam Deck, Hades remains as tense, innovative, and humorous. Running at a consistent 60fps, only face buttons and one thumbstick are needed for combat.
Perfect for quick bursts like bus rides where this rougelike would usually not work as well – however its quick resume feature allows players to take breaks whenever needed and continue playing right back into runs without delay!
5. Hi-Fi Rush
Hi-Fi Rush was always poised to make an excellent Steam Deck game due to its gamepad controls, making its success all but inevitable. Thanks to its ease-of-use performance, Medium quality runs at nearly 60fps while High quality can run up to 45fps or beyond!
Tango Gameworks’ rhythm action/hack-and-slash/platformer hybrid makes an enjoyable and satisfying experience, no matter the platform: from its funny and satisfying brawler elements to one of the finest combat encounters I’ve experienced in an action game, I am pleased to recommend this hybrid for play on any system imaginable – with Steam Deck being my go-to platformer, this makes me one very content wannabe rockstar indeed.
6. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
At last! PC gamers have it made. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart stands as a testament to our good fortune – being the inaugural game available on Steam is no doubt what propelled it into greatness in two decades-long franchise! A comedy, inventive shooter-platformer filled with clever sci-fi weaponry like burrowing rocket launchers and topiary sculpture grenades make R&C: Rift Apart an enjoyable shooter-platformer experience that provides hours of enjoyment!
On the Deck, visuals should be slightly subdued for best performance; but that still looks stunning – making an official Steam Deck control scheme adapt to PS5 pad inputs seamlessly, and all are highly customisable if desired.
Stray defies expectations as just a novelty game with stellar worldbuilding and intuitive puzzle platforming, complete with context-sensitive traversal style. This makes Stray an excellent fit for Steam Deck controls, and while its lookerly presentation may put off some,
Stray does not suffer any significant performance issues when using this portable hardware; only minor stuttering may occur at times (also found on high-end PCs); simply reduce Effects quality setting from High to Medium should see it stay within 30fps range.
Wavetale runs as smoothly on the Steam Deck as your character does in water. An emotive platformer at its core, Wavetale’s greatest joy is riding along on your movement-mimicking merperson friend to travel swiftly across the ocean’s rolling waves. When combined with chaining jumps and hookshot moves efficiently to navigate this vast landscape even quicker it becomes an unforgettable experience!
Wavetale originally launched for Google Stadia before finding refuge on PC, benefiting from its controller inputs matching those on Deck’s controller, making the experience feel natural and fitting right in with what was intended all along. Performance is excellent: not quite 60fps but consistently between 47-50fps.
9. Elden Ring
Elden Ring may perform poorly on Windows, but its compatibility with Steam Deck makes up for any shortcomings in performance – earning Verified status from Valve.
Playing and navigating menus using thumbsticks is far more comfortable than dealing with Elden Ring’s sketchy mouse and keyboard support; running Proton helps smooth out its shader pre-caching feature and thus help mitigate some of its stuttering that plagues PC players even today.
10. Smushi Come Home
At Wholesome Direct 2023, Smushi Come Home received its debut release to great fanfare – and wow is it wholesome! From his island home to flowery forests and airy caves, friendly fungi boy Smushi embarks on his return journey in peace through supporting characters that are friendly yet laid back; an acoustic-driven soundtrack delights; platforming is light… it’s just pleasant being here… particularly as this mostly free-roaming experience allows players to explore each new patch as desired!
Steam Deck’s hardware limitations do not hinder its overall appeal; Smushi Come Home runs at an excellent 60fps with pad controls, battery draining at a manageable pace, and in-game map reading was difficult at 800p resolution, although I was eventually able to use its zoom tool more often once I learned my way around.
11. Death’s Door
If, like me and Katharine, Souls-like RPGs don’t suit your temperament or hand-eye coordination, Death’s Door may be more tolerable. It offers a less demanding yet still challenging take on “How can I kill this dude no wait I am dead”
RPGs while fitting perfectly onto Steam Deck handhelds – I tried playing on both desktop and handheld after initially experiencing its charms on Deck; my hands quickly took over from mouse and keyboard with rapid 60fps levels available to them both!
12. Forza Horizon 5
Feel-good racer Forza Horizon 5 makes an ideal gamepad-style control choice, while Steam Deck’s haptic shoulder buttons add an authentic racing sensation by shaking it a little at launch. I recommend setting the graphics settings to Medium for optimal speed; alternatively if you subscribe to PC Game Pass Ultimate you could stream it instead!
There’s been plenty of action on this list; perhaps too much. Let’s all take a deep breath with Dordogne, a beautifully watercoloured indie adventure about appreciating both small pleasures and deep relationships. Instead of arcane point-click puzzling, Dordogne features simple interactions with everyday objects at a deliberately slow pace with enough thought and personality put into every interaction to stave off boredom; Dordogne masterfully recreates the feeling of reading personal letters, or finding long-lost family heirlooms among its pages!
Valve have only given Dordogne a Playable rating on Steam Deck rather than Verified status. I find Valve’s warning about undersized text to be excessive – I haven’t had to zoom in to read anything yet – though they do fall short by offering 1280×800 support; only 1280×720 resolution options come close; in all honesty this shouldn’t matter much either way; 80 vertical pixels don’t make much difference!
14. Portal 2
Portal 2 was one of the initial games Valve showcased for running on the Steam Deck, and it quickly proved itself as one of the best showcases for it. Running smoothly without needing mouse and keyboard control, and being one of the least demanding battery drainers (most 3D games typically consume their charge in approximately two hours versus four for Portal 2)
It quickly become my favourite experience on this device. Also an effective demonstration of its rear buttons which let players jump or crouch without taking your portal-aiming thumb off right stick, it proves itself successful as one of my favourite experiences for battery drain.
15. The Entropy Centre
An engaging Portal-inspired puzzler where instead of completing brain-bending test chambers for the amusement of a murderous AI, you are solving them to prevent Earth from exploding. Instead of portals, your gun fires a time-rewinding beam which sends objects back along their previous paths or rebuilds destroyed stairs and bridges – providing devious puzzle-platforming challenges and engaging action sequences as you desperately repair an escape route!
The Steam Deck can run The Entropy Centre reasonably well at Ultra quality, however I found switching to High kept its polished aesthetic while more reliably staying above 45fps. Furthermore, its straightforward control scheme and small installation footprint – less than 12GB – lend even further credence to its handheld compatibility.
16. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Steam Deck wouldn’t be complete as consumer electronics product unless it could run The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, though this time you won’t need Todd H. to sell you an entirely new copy.
Other than some minor UI issues when creating new character names, Skyrim remains alluringly sprawling yet explorable on handheld device.
17. God of War
God of War’s relationship-focused narrative and otherworldly beauty demonstrate its evolution since its original release.
However, its PlayStation link makes for an easy transition onto Steam Deck’s controller-esque buttons and thumbsticks; and runs adequately with default graphics settings if desired – however if desired higher frame rates can be achieved by switching on FSR upscaling instead.
18. Ghostwire: Tokyo
Ghostwire: Tokyo combines modern with mythological in a stunning open-world FPS that magically whisks away Shibuya residents, tasking you with vanquishing the folklore-inspired monsters responsible. While initially problematic on Steam Deck with broken cutscenes making progress impossible to achieve past the main menu, after receiving some patches it has now earned Verified status from Valve themselves.
Ghostwire will only run playably at low settings with FSR 2, yet this has little impact on its atmospheric visuals on the Deck’s small screen. Now is an ideal time to give Ghostwire a try as the Spider’s Thread update has added not only a roguelite side-mode but also combat powers, stealth tools, and movement abilities that add another layer of playability into Ghostwire itself.
19. Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn, like God of War, makes an effortless transition from PlayStation exclusive to Steam Deck. Guerrilla’s RPG-tinged open world adventure works almost perfectly on this hardware;
Higher frame rates may be achieved by decreasing quality settings – though its Original preset remains playable at 40fps-ish.
20. Monster Hunter Rise
What better game to enjoy on a handheld than one originally created as such? Monster Hunter Rise started its life exclusively on Nintendo Switch before receiving an impressive PC port that allowed for it to be enjoyed across platforms including Windows – and thus Steam Deck!
At times, particularly for user interface navigation, using the Deck’s more Switch-like controls feels more intuitive than typing with a keyboard, and less-than-ideal visuals can often be forgiven on its 7in screen than on a 27in, 1400p desktop monitor.