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Developers say Steam Deck runs their games "flawlessly"

Steam Deck hands-on
(Image credit: Future)

Steam Deck development kits are making their way to developers, who are posting their first impressions on social media.

In a blog post last week, Valve said that "limited batches of Steam Deck dev-kits" were heading out to partners. The company says that what's shipping to developers "are functionally identical" to what customers will end up with, but that "the dev-kit program gives us the chance to guide game developers through the process of getting their games on Steam Deck."

Some of the most comprehensive impressions come from Mike Rose, founder of indie publisher No More Robots. In a series of tweets, they said that several of their games, including mountain biking game Descenders and medieval RPG Yes, Your Grace, run "flawlessly." Even a game currently in development runs "near perfectly" on the platform, with just a few input and resolution tweaks required.

Visual novel publisher Sekai Project also showed off a number of its titles working on the Steam Deck, suggesting that even games in a 4:3 aspect ratio look "pretty good" on the 16:10 screen.

Arguably the most glowing early review comes from Cliff Harris, of Democracy developer Positech Games. They say that the Steam Deck is "really, really cool." The latest title in Positech's Democracy series runs "ok," but the framerate is "perfect," and the sound "really good."

It's worth noting that all of these early impressions appear to come from smaller developers and publishers, and don't really reflect how the Steam deck will cope with fast-paced shooters or open-world RPGs. Valve says it'll consider it a bug if the platform can't handle every game on Steam - running at at least 30fps - but it remains to be seen how well the handheld device will handle future big releases.

Here's how the Steam Deck stacks up against the Nintendo Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X.

Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.