25 Best Steam Deck Games in 2024

25 Best Steam Deck Games in 2024

Since its 2023 launch, Valve’s Steam Deck has emerged as a formidable rival to the Nintendo Switch, redefining portable gaming. Enabling gamers to enjoy their beloved PC titles anywhere, it boasts compatibility with thousands of games. Among these, some shine particularly bright on the system. If you’ve recently acquired a Steam Deck, here are the 25 games you must have:

Before diving in, it’s essential to note that the games listed here are ranked solely based on their performance on the Steam Deck. Now, without further ado, let’s explore the top 25 games for your handheld console:

1. Vampire Survivor

The first title listed is Vampire Survivors, a time-survival game with rogue-like elements. You play as one of the heroes and battle hordes of enemies. At each level-up, you can acquire randomized power-ups and items to aid in combat. The objective is to survive enemy hordes while discovering new items and foes. The game is casual and highly addictive.

Regarding Steam Deck performance, it’s a double-edged sword. Implementing best practices to extend battery life, like adjusting the TDP, yields five hours of gameplay. However, the frame rate drops significantly when more enemies appear. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this game for its replayability and simple gameplay, especially for Steam Deck users.

Get the game ($4.99)

2. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley, developed by ConcernedApe and published by Chucklefish in 2016, swiftly captivated fans with its retro-style graphics, relaxing gameplay, and immersive world-building. Inheriting your grandparent’s derelict farm, you have the freedom to create your dream farmhouse. Players can engage in romancing NPC characters, nurturing relationships, completing missions, and more. Additionally, cooperative play with a friend online is an option.

Regarding its compatibility with the Steam Deck, Stardew Valley is an ideal title for the handheld device. Its retro-style graphics and relaxing gameplay make it perfect for on-the-go play, and its open-ended nature allows players to pick up and play without feeling lost or overwhelmed. Additionally, the game’s pixel art graphics ensure minimal battery consumption, alleviating concerns about battery life. Despite its browser game-like appearance, this is a masterpiece.

Buy the game ($14.99)

3. Cuphead

Cuphead, a side-scrolling platformer, was developed and published by StudioMDHR in 2017. Renowned for its challenging gameplay and unique hand-drawn art style reminiscent of old American cartoons like Disney, the game follows the adventures of Cuphead and his brother Mugman as they traverse levels, overcoming formidable bosses to settle a debt with the devil. Notable for its difficulty, Cuphead offers a range of weapons, abilities, and boss encounters.

For Steam Deck compatibility, Cuphead is an ideal title. The hand-drawn art style isn’t demanding on the hardware, and reducing the TDP to 4-5W provides around 4-5 hours of battery life. Regarding controls, the game offers proper bindings with the option to rebind them in-game. Overall, Cuphead is perfect for playing on the go.

Buy the game ($19.99)

4. South Park: Stick of Truth

South Park, the renowned adult cartoon depicting the inhabitants of a small town, needs no introduction. After years of anticipation and a developer switch, the long-awaited video game adaptation, South Park: The Stick of Truth, has finally arrived, delivering its trademark adult humor. Players assume the role of a new kid navigating through an RPG campaign with the South Park gang. The game offers turn-based combat, a class system, and humor that is unabashedly crude—unless you reside in Australia, where the game underwent tasteful censorship.

Thanks to its graphics, the game runs well on the Steam Deck, offering approximately 2-3 hours of playtime. Lowering your TDP to 5-6 watts extends battery life significantly. Capping the frame rate at 40FPS or lower extends playthrough time to almost 4-and-a-half hours on a single charge. The game also features proper Steam Deck control binding, allowing users to summon and use the Steam Deck keyboard hassle-free in-game to type.

Buy the game ($29.99)

5. Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight, a 2D metroidvania title by Team Cherry, explores the Hollownest, a fallen kingdom plagued by a supernatural infection. The game offers diverse locations, NPCs to interact with, and fluid melee combat. Players confront a variety of bosses, unlock abilities, and discover intriguing lore.

For Steam Deck, Hollow Knight, a great game, is optimized to run flawlessly. It features proper controller bindings, screen resolution, and can provide up to five hours of battery life. Adjust the overall TDP to around 4-5 watts. Although locking the game to 60 FPS and dropping the TDP to 3 watts is necessary, the battery life makes it one of Steam Deck’s best games.

Buy the game ($14.99)

6. Dark Souls Remastered

Dark Souls Remastered, the progenitor of the Soulsborne sub-genre, is a remastered iteration of the highly-praised Dark Souls from 2008. It encompasses all features from the original release while introducing essential enhancements like improved framerate, accessible blight-town, DLCs, multiplayer, and beyond. Renowned for its exceptional world-building and level designs, it’s often likened to Metroidvania due to its interconnected world.

On Steam Deck, Dark Souls Remastered runs at 60 frames, occasionally dropping to 50 frames. Battery life ranges from 3-3.5 hours with TDP set to 7-8 watts. Locking the frame rate at 40FPS extends playtime beyond 4 hours on a full charge. The game recognizes Steam Deck buttons as an Xbox controller by default. Dark Souls Remastered is a must-play on Steam Deck for its exceptional entertainment value.

Get the game ($39.99)

7. Hades

Hades, crafted by Supergiant Games, is a rogue-like hack-n-slash game. It centers on Zagreus, Hades’ son, as he endeavors to escape the underworld for Olympus, his familial abode. Procedurally generated dungeons, randomized enemies, and power-ups are prominent features. Death is frequent, yet players can learn from errors, find trinkets aiding their runs, and encounter new characters post-mortem.

Hades performs exceptionally on Steam Deck as developers collaborated with Valve to optimize gameplay. Every action is mapped to system buttons, and the game supports the appropriate screen resolution. Performance-wise, it runs flawlessly, achieving around 60 FPS consistently with TDP lowered to 4-5W. Steam Deck sustains gameplay for over 3 hours. Overall, Hades is a must-try on the go, particularly for its impressive battery life.

Get the game ($24.99)

8. Grand Theft Auto 4

Choosing Grand Theft Auto 4 (GTA 4) among the series was deliberate; I’m currently replaying it on my Steam Deck, and it runs smoothly in 2024. Released by Rockstar Games in 2008, GTA 4 is an open-world action-adventure game featuring Niko Bellic, an Eastern European immigrant in Liberty City, a fictionalized New York City. Renowned for its gritty portrayal of urban life, the game explores themes like the American Dream.

With its unparalleled popularity and enduring legacy, the game stands as a must-play for serious gamers. The Steam Deck’s robust hardware effortlessly handles it, boasting the best game physics among all GTA titles. The attention to detail is astonishing, making it a standout choice.

Its open-ended nature lends itself perfectly to on-the-go gaming, allowing players to dive in at any moment without being confined to a linear narrative or strict objectives. While numerous games have attempted to replicate its formula, none come close to the perfection embodied by GTA IV.

If you set the screen refresh rate to 40 and reduce TDP to 6 watts on a full charge, your Steam Deck will provide 3 hours of gameplay.

Get the game for $19.99.

9. Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler, an old-school turn-based RPG developed by Square Enix, debuted on the Nintendo Switch. It follows eight characters, each with unique backgrounds and abilities, embarking on an adventure. The game boasts retro pixel graphics reminiscent of classics such as Chrono Trigger and Dragon Quest, along with engaging turn-based combat, side quests, and a captivating world divided into eight distinct regions.

On the Steam Deck, the game supports 1280×800 resolution and proper controller binding. Its art style is not taxing on the system, ensuring extended battery life. Reducing the TDP to 3-5 watts extends gameplay to approximately 2.5–3 hours. Octopath Traveler is ideal for the handheld device, with stunning visuals, immersive world-building, open-ended gameplay, and multiple storylines.

Buy the game ($59.99)

10. Slay The Spire

Among the early titles popularized in the indie boom on Steam Deck was the rogue-like deck-building game Slay The Spire. It’s a card RPG that guides players through an adventure. Each enemy encounter provides a randomized deck of cards for attacking or progressing. Additionally, you can upgrade your deck, and given its rogue-like nature, each run offers varied scenarios and a unique deck.

Slay The Spire fits seamlessly into the Steam Deck gaming lineup. Its gameplay loop is ideal for extended travel sessions, and the keybindings are optimized for the device. Additionally, the game’s art style ensures it runs smoothly, even with a low TDP of 3 watts, allowing for five hours of uninterrupted gameplay. This makes it a perfect choice for the handheld PC hybrid.

Buy the game ($24.99)

11. Valheim

The early-access launch of Vallheim, an open-world Viking survival game, made waves during the lockdown, attracting thousands of players. This title immerses players in a world inspired by Nordic mythology and the Viking lifestyle. Players gather, build, and hunt to survive, encountering unique bosses along the way. Vallheim offers multiplayer servers for cooperative play, a distinctive base-building feature, and blends low-poly retro aesthetics with modern graphical options.

Regarding its compatibility with the Steam Deck, Valheim stands out as an ideal title for the handheld device. The game’s focus on exploration and discovery aligns perfectly with portable play, allowing players to dive in without feeling lost. Additionally, developers have streamlined the experience for Steam Deck users with proper controller bindings, graphic options, and quality of life adjustments.

However, Valheim is notably demanding, potentially requiring users to optimize performance settings or carry a power bank for extended play on the go. Alternatively, exploring similar, less demanding games could be an option. Initially, adjusting to Valheim’s mechanics may pose a challenge, but numerous Valheim Discord servers offer support to ease the learning curve.

Get the game ($19.99)

12. Dead Cells

Dead Cells, a 2D rogue-like platformer by Motion Twin, debuted in 2018 on Steam and later expanded to consoles, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices. You embody a mysterious warrior navigating procedurally generated, interconnected levels with permadeath. The game has since received multiple DLCs, ensuring abundant content.

For Steam Deck compatibility, the game features full controller bindings and appropriate resolutions for seamless operation. Dead Cells’ art style enhances battery life, making it a top choice for Valve’s handheld PC. The default frame rate is 60 frames per second, providing 2.5 hours of gameplay on a full charge. To extend battery life further, adjust the frame rate and lower the TDP to 4-5 watts.

Get the game for $24.99.

13. Subnautica

Subnautica, a popular survival adventure game by Unknown Worlds Entertainment in 2018, is set on an alien planet submerged in water. Players explore ocean depths, gather resources, construct structures, and fend off aquatic predators across diverse biomes such as coral reefs, deep trenches, and volcanic vents. The engaging storyline unfolds as players craft and explore.

Subnautica on Steam Deck recently received updates from developers to ensure smooth performance on the system. It features preset control key binds and graphics options, optimizing gameplay. Adjusting certain settings such as reducing graphics to medium, capping the frame rate at 40FPS, and limiting the TDP to 8W can significantly extend battery life, surpassing the default runtime of an hour and a half.

Get the game for $29.99.

14. Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid, crafted by an indie team, is an intense zombie survival game where players battle against an outbreak. Character death is frequent, emphasizing its hardcore nature. The game boasts immersive survival mechanics such as hunger, thirst, exhaustion, and injury. Players scavenge for essentials while defending against zombies, utilizing a crafting system for weaponry and structures. The latest update introduces multiplayer, allowing friends to brave the apocalypse together.

Project: Zomboid might seem incompatible with Steam Deck due to its traditional keyboard and mouse setup. Nevertheless, developers ensured full controller accessibility, mapping all functions appropriately. Performance-wise, the game maintains a stable 60FPS for about three hours, with minor adjustments available in-game.

Get the game ($19.99)

15. Hi-Fi Rush

Hi-Fi Rush, developed by Tango Gameworks, achieved several feats. It attracted a large gamer audience upon its announcement. It distinguished itself with its innovative rhythm-based hack-and-slash gameplay. Remarkably, it seamlessly ran on Steam Deck without any hitches. The game immerses players in the role of Chai, a young protagonist on a mission to dismantle a malevolent corporation aiming to dominate the world. Hi-Fi Rush boasts rock music from renowned bands, distinctive rhythm-based hack-and-slash mechanics, captivating Sunday morning cartoon-inspired visuals, and an endearing robot cat companion.

Considering the Steam Deck’s capacity, running the game at 60fps might pose a challenge due to its recent release. Consequently, system battery life could suffer without adjustments. Optimally, setting the game frame rate to 40 and TDP to 10 watts yields approximately 2 hours of playtime. However, developers have tailored controller bindings and graphic options with the Steam Deck in mind, ensuring gameplay and visuals remain uncompromised.

Get the game ($29.99)

16. Yakuza 0

Another series close to my heart. Instead of suggesting the few Yakuza titles playable on Steam Deck, we opted for Yakuza 0. It marks the start of the long-running beat-em-up series canonically and stands as a solid title. The game follows fan-favorite characters Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima in 80s Japan. With a story involving an empty plot of land, Yakuza 0 portrays the turbulent beginnings of the legendary Dragon of Dojima and Mad Dog of Shimano. It offers various side activities, side stories, and engaging beat-em-up gameplay.

On Steam Deck, the game runs well with optimized performance settings, including full controller binding, proper screen resolution, and 60FPS. We recommend capping the framerate at 40 and reducing TDP to 7-8 watts for a better gaming experience without sacrificing battery life. Try this game; it’s worth it.

Get the game ($19.99)

17. Batman: Arkham Asylum

2009’s Batman Arkham Asylum achieved what many titles attempted – delivering a memorable superhero experience and nearly perfecting the Batman game. Even today, it remains one of the best Batman games ever created. During that time, there were only a few quality Batman and Marvel titles. Arkham Asylum altered that landscape, offering an original tale of Batman confronting his rogue’s gallery including Joker, Bane, and Poison Ivy. The narrative revolves around Batman thwarting Joker and his inmates’ escape plan from Arkham Asylum.

On Steam Deck, the game runs phenomenally. Arkham Asylum recognizes Steam controls as an Xbox 360 controller, automatically binding buttons to standard schemes. Thanks to its age, Arkham Asylum runs well on the Steam Deck performance-wise. Additionally, locking the frame rate to 40fps ensures a solid three-and-a-half hours of action-packed gameplay.

Buy the game ($19.99)

18. Apex Legends

Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends spans across various platforms. Despite unsuccessful mobile endeavors, Steam Deck users can access the 3-player battle royale game. In Apex Legends, a team of three players selects a legend, drops into the battle zone, and competes to become the arena champion.

The Steam Deck version mirrors the PC edition, optimized for portability. Its fast-paced gameplay and intuitive controls suit the handheld device, and its free-to-play model allows players to dive in without purchasing the game. While numerous games resemble Apex Legends, none match its adrenaline rush.

Experience the game (Free)

19. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition, developed and published by Square Enix, updates Dragon Quest XI with new features. The game follows the Luminary’s journey to save the world from the Dark One. It boasts a stunning open world with towns, dungeons, and landscapes to explore. This edition introduces additional story content, character options, and the ability to switch between 2D and 3D graphics.

On Steam Deck, Dragon Quest XI proves demanding on battery life, yet manageable. Control bindings and resolution are optimized, but players must adjust graphics settings manually. By limiting frame-rate to 40, disabling in-game anti-aliasing, and reducing environment graphics to medium, players can extend playtime to around three and a half hours.

Purchase the game for $39.99.

20. Devil May Cry 5

After many long years, Capcom finally launched the fifth entry in their Devil May Cry series, delivering the over-the-top gameplay it’s known for. Canonically after Devil May Cry 2, the game sees three protagonists fending off a demon invasion in their respective chapters. Devil May Cry V boasts beautiful visuals, fast-paced hack-n-slash combat, and a serviceable storyline. Furthermore, the three protagonists bring varied gameplay, each vastly different from the others.

Buy the game ($29.99)

21. Persona 5 Royal

Debating whether Persona 5 birthed Shibuya in Japan is unnecessary. It crafted a memorable turn-based RPG cherished by many. As the fifth installment in the Shin Megami Tensei spin-off series, Persona 5 follows a new kid moving to Tokyo after prior troubles. Doubling as a life simulation, players must befriend classmates and combat evil with mythical creatures known as Personas. Persona 5 Royal, an upgraded version, extends the in-game calendar, introduces a new character, additional dungeons, and more.

For optimal battery life on Steam Deck, adjust game settings. If battery life isn’t an issue, performance is flawless. Recommend capping frame rate at 40, adjusting refresh rate, and setting TDP to 8 watts. Game fully supports Steam Deck controller and resolution. Persona 5 Royal excels for RPG and turn-based enthusiasts.

Get the game ($59.99)

22. Risk of Rain 2

Risk of Rain 2, a beloved rogue-like, serves as the sequel to the side-scrolling original. Players select from a variety of characters to explore a planet teeming with hostile life and hidden secrets. Progression entails swiftly collecting power-ups scattered across maps, as game difficulty escalates continually. Additionally, multiplayer mode allows for cooperative completion of levels by teams of two. Notably, as a rogue-like, each power-up, enemy placement, and world exit undergoes randomization.

On Steam Deck, the game runs well for the most part. The frame rate drops to 30-40 when numerous enemies appear on the game map. Players can get around 3 hours of battery life if they adjust the TDP to 6-7 watts, turn off particle effects, and drop the graphics quality to medium. This will provide better performance. The game is a must-play on Steam Deck due to its replayability.

Buy the game ($24.99)

23. No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky is a sandbox exploration game where you play as an explorer, venturing through various star systems. The game features millions of planets that players can land on, with procedurally generated biomes, environments, and more. Later, players can command their fleet, acquire sentient ships, build bases, and even obtain mechas. The game at launch received criticism for its incomplete nature. However, over the years, the developers have released various free updates, transforming it into a must-play title for exploration enthusiasts.

On Steam Deck, No Man’s Sky features proper controller support and appropriate screen resolution. Adjusting the TDP to 8 watts and locking the frame rate to 40 provides around 3 hours of exploration. No Man’s Sky on Steam Deck supports AMD’s FSR upscaling for a stellar playthrough experience. Choosing below 720p and scaling FSR improves game performance and battery life.

Buy the game ($59.99)

24. Divinity Original Sin 2

Sequel to Divinity: Original Sin, Original Sin 2 boasts enhanced combat, broader character creation, and a fully voice-acted cast. Craft your character and join adventurers pursuing godhood as “Source Masters.” Dive into a rich story with diverse paths and endings, an expansive world teeming with captivating characters and secrets, turn-based combat reminiscent of classic RPGs, and a robust character progression.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 on Steam Deck fully utilizes the available features. Players can use the touch-screen, trackpad, or controller. It offers proper resolution support and good battery life without tweaks. To extend battery life, reduce the TDP to 9-10w.

Buy the game ($44.99)

25. Dying Light

Dying Light, an open-world survival horror action game by Techland, casts you as Kyle Crane, an undercover agent infiltrating a quarantine zone in Harran, a fictional Middle Eastern city. The game includes a day-night cycle for scavenging and crafting weapons. Nighttime increases danger with more aggressive zombies. End-game content, side quests, events, parkour mechanics, and co-op play attract both new and veteran players.

On Steam Deck, Dying Light exceeds performance expectations, running at 50-60 frames without adjustments. The game offers properly bound controls and resolutions. By locking the refresh rate to 30 or 40, you can enjoy up to 3 hours of gameplay. It requires a minimum of 7-8 watts TDP, so optimizing frame rate and improving battery life is possible by adjusting accordingly. If you’re seeking top horror games for your Steamdeck, this is it!

Buy the game ($29.99)