Best Steam Deck Games of 2022

Screenshots of the hit are visible on the Steam deck screen

picture: Valve / FromSoftware / Square Enix / Anywhere Studio / Kotaku

The Steam Deck, Valve’s mega-powered mini-PC, just launched this year, and while there’s plenty of reason to check out one of the most exciting pieces of gaming hardware available today, the slew of great, hassle-free games on the device is proof enough of its success.

But Steam is a big marketplace and not every game works well on the deck. While many successful games run fine on the device, some won’t launch, while others require you to hunt through various settings and search forums and Reddit posts for solutions. Fun for the techie, but not ideal if all you want is a great gaming experience. Valve has simplified the process by marking specific games as “verified” on the device, but sometimes that’s not always a guarantee that a game will run without issues.

But don’t worry, this list will guide you to the best experiences to have during the first year of Steam Deck’s life. These games are all verified on the platform, so you don’t need to boot into desktop mode or fiddle with any settings to get something working. Heck, I’m not even going to tell you to tweak graphics settings with these. They work great on first boot. (If you’re feeling brave, however, you can tweak a few settings here and there to make the experience even better for you. That’s the magic of the deck.)

As you may know, there are relatively easy ways to get non-Steam games working on the deck, but we’ll cover those for another time. This list focuses on great games that are guaranteed to give you instant access.

There’s no particular order for these titles, but before we get into it, there are a few honorable mentions. Here they are, with a little bit about why they didn’t make it if you decide to play them:

God of War

The prestigious PlayStation 4 exclusive of 2018 came to PC in January of this year, and the experience has been pretty good on most PCs. It’s also verified on Steam Deck, so of course I expected it to go perfectly with a Best Of.

However, performance issues completely prevented me from enjoying myself on deck. I won’t rule out the possibility that some may miss the bouncing, stuttering, and full freezes, but even on low graphics settings, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this one.

Definitely look elsewhere to experience this game, you’ll be much better off with a more powerful machine.


Outward is an epic fantasy game with some pretty gritty survival mechanics. You can’t actually die, though – each “death” sends you down a different branching story path, meaning failure isn’t met with just open frustration. i really wanted to Outward to make this list. Some might find the combat a bit too rigid, but I think the scope that the game offers exceeds this criticism for the most part. Unfortunately, Outward has lots of text – lots of important text and menu dives that become sort of a deal breaker on the smaller screen of the Steam Deck.

Maybe your eyes are better than mine though. If so, this is quite an epic game to play in such a small form factor. And the graphics seem right at home on the deck’s 800p display – just make sure you match the in-game resolution to match the deck’s screen if you give it a chance.

Strange horticulture

Strange horticulture is a very cool puzzle game that combines the occult with gardening. You could have a great time with it on deck, but I found the smaller text font too much to weigh against the game to include it in the main list.

There is a very helpful zoom feature that you will use a lot when playing deck. Going in and out of zoom levels is a different experience than playing on a larger, higher-resolution screen, though.

dungeon munchies

That kind of breaks my heart dungeon munchies only gets an honorable mention here. This side-scrolling action RPG is a genuinely endearing, addictive, pixelated culinary romp with a wonderful sense of humor. It was really close to making the cut, and maybe it does spiritually. Unfortunately, I think the font and character portraits could serve to fill more of the deck screen real estate. Also, I found the settings menu a bit too buggy.

If this was a list of the 11 best games, there would be room for this one.


Stray was about to make the list and you should check it out. Given its relatively short runtime, it works well in a portable format, and I find the colors and graphics suit Valve’s mini PC well. Unfortunately, frame stuttering dulls the experience a bit too much, too often, in the game’s faster sections, an issue that might have been overlooked had the game been a larger size.

Alright, with those out of the way, let’s get to the best steam deck games of 2022! Best Steam Deck Games of 2022

Curtis Crabtree

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