The Best Steam Deck Games To Play Right Now

In a very brief time, the Steam Deck has become a staple of PC gaming as the go-to portable solution for many PC players, and its popularity has seemingly inspired more portable PC manufacturers to join the market. This is partly because the device comes from Valve, and who better to create a handheld Steam machine than the makers of Steam?

You can read our Steam Deck review to see what we thought of it, but more than likely, you’re ready to dive in for yourself. As soon as you boot it up, you’ll find your Steam library is intact, which is exciting, but not all games are created equal when it comes to playing them via Steam Deck. The Steam Deck also received a notable upgrade with the Steam Deck OLED, which features an upgraded screen, better battery life, and more. The older LCD screen models, meanwhile, have gotten a permanent price drop.

We’ve rounded up a few dozen of the best games to play on Steam Deck, including major AAA hits, under-the-radar indies, and everything in between. In most cases, these games have already been declared as “Deck Verified” by Valve, meaning it’s fully supported without any caveats. Plus aside from just technical verification, some games just feel great in portable form, so we’ve taken that quality into account as well. And while the Steam Deck is great for PC tinkerers, for the purposes of this list we’ve stuck with games that run natively through the Steam interface without any special hoop-jumping. These are our best of the best recommendations for Steam Deck, and we regularly reevaluate and update. That means even now in 2024, you can reference this as a resource for finding great games.

If you do want to expand your horizons, though, you can also install Epic Games Store on Steam Deck to broaden your library even more. In most cases in our experience, these games work just as they would on your home PC, which is great when you consider how often Epic hands out free games on its platform. If you want to get the most out of your new toy, check out our list of the best Steam Deck accessories. As the list of Steam Deck-compatible games grows, so too will this list here. Keep checking back for recommendations on the best games to play on Steam Deck.

Editor’s Note: Article updated on July 3, 2024.

Arcade Paradise

Arcade Paradise starts out unassuming enough, as you go through the tedious work of managing an old laundromat. Soon you discover a few arcade machines sitting in storage in the back room and decide to open them up to the public. As you start to develop your business, you build up more and more cabinets, converting more of the laundromat to a burgeoning arcade business. While you need to manage your business, you can also play all of your own arcade machines to your heart’s content. In effect, this makes Arcade Paradise a great minigame collection, letting you dabble in tons of different retro-styled games. And those play habits feed into the business management mechanics as well, as your performance in the arcade machines increases their popularity and profitability. The Steam Deck is a perfect fit, as you can while away the hours playing games or just check in for a day of managing your business while you’re on the go.


Celeste is a challenging platformer with an emotional story to tell. It follows Madeline as she navigates her anxiety and depression–and it’s a story that’s arguably even more poignant today than it was in 2018. The narrative is best experienced without any spoilers, and it’s a journey that’s propelled to incredible heights thanks to its minimalistic graphics and a fluid movement system that works perfectly on Steam Deck. It only takes about eight hours to finish the journey, but completionists can stick around much longer if they want to uncover everything Celeste has to offer. It’s a beautiful game that all platforming enthusiasts should play.

Cult of the Lamb

Part dungeon crawler, part simulator, Cult of the Lamb enlists you as the leader of a tribe of cultists as you try to gain the favor of a mystical being that saved you from death. Combat is fast and fluid, with levels randomly generated for replayability. There are also tons of ways to enhance your skills, giving you plenty of reasons to dive back in for another quest. When you’re not swinging swords or slinging spells, you’ll need to manage your cult in typical sim-game fashion. That means feeding your members, giving them jobs… and picking up their poop.

Cursed to Golf

If you don’t mind going into fits of rage while riding the subway or sitting in a cab, consider adding Cursed to Golf to your Steam Deck lineup. This golf game is anything but leisurely, as it tasks you with navigating a 2D course filled with ridiculous hazards such as TNT and teleporters–although an assortment of useful power-ups gives you impressive flexibility to complete each stage under par. The goal is to clear all 18 holes in a single playthrough, but you can break your round up into multiple playthroughs to make things more manageable. Tight controls, adorable graphics, and an ever-changing assortment of levels make it easy to sink hours into the indie regardless of where you’re playing.


Don’t let its colorful, cartoon graphics fool you–Cuphead is a brutally difficult game. You play as the eponymous Cuphead as he battles a series of increasingly difficult enemies on his journey toward the Devil. Battles play out from a 2D perspective and take place in a single room, although each boss always manages to bring something new to the table. Beyond its striking graphics, Cuphead features some of the smoothest combat mechanics on this list, making it a blast to face off against each new villain (even if they destroy you just a few seconds later). Toss in a variety of unlockable weapons and abilities, multiple playable characters, and the stellar Delicious Last Course expansion, and it’s easy to see why Cuphead remains so popular more than five years after its release. It feels right at home on Steam Deck and is a must-play for anyone who likes challenging action games.

Dave the Diver

On the surface, Dave the Diver is a cute adventure sim game in which you go spear fishing during the day and then bring your catches in at night to serve as the menu for a burgeoning sushi restaurant. But like the Big Blue Hole that you’re diving into, there’s unexpected depth here. Dave the Diver ends up being a wild hodge-podge of tons of different genre influences, incorporating lots of different activities as it tells its lengthy story. Still, the loop of catching fish, serving sushi, and using your profits to upgrade your gear is so easy and compelling it’s a perfect fit for the Deck. The lovable Dave is a fun, rotund hero, and the game is also home to some of the biggest and best pixel cutscenes we’ve ever seen.

Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium is so text-heavy that it can feel like you’re actually holding a Kindle when playing it on a Steam Deck, but for fans of deep RPG experiences, it’s exactly what you’re probably looking for. The latitude for true role-playing is vast and the story goes places that are both smart and unpredictable. The painterly art style also looks great in handheld mode and may have fellow train passengers looking over to see what it is you’re doing, which admittedly is a little awkward when you start the game hungover in your underpants.


A video game with a side of Eldritch horror, Dredge has you fishing the shores of Greater Marrow to reel in big catches, upgrade your boat, buy better supplies, and deal with panicked hallucinations. You know, normal fishing stuff! As the story unfolds you discover more about the horrific sea monsters that lurk below the surface, giving the whole thing a touch of lightly creeping spookiness.

Dwarf Fortress

After nearly two decades of development, Dwarf Fortress is available on Steam (and playable on Steam Deck). The elaborate simulation game tasks you with growing a small settlement of dwarves into a thriving metropolis. There’s a ridiculous level of depth to the game, as you’ll need to gather resources, craft new gear, engage in combat, build structures, and contend with a dynamic weather system that can impact your city. It’s not for the faint of heart, but Dwarf Fortress is an intricate game that should please anyone itching for a comprehensive sim.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Our favorite game of 2022 recently got even better with the release of a massive expansion. Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree gives Tarnished a new set of tough-as-nails combat obstacles to overcome in an entirely new area, with a smart balancing system that recreates the feeling of progression without doing away with all your hard work in the main campaign. And it expands on the rich and layered Elden Ring lore in new and surprising ways. Best of all it works great on Steam Deck, so you can take The Lands Between with you wherever you go.

Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters

The classic Final Fantasy series has gotten lovingly restored with the Pixel Remaster, and these classic RPGs feel readymade for portable. Thanks to mods, Steam Deck the best place to play. Not only can you grind levels while binge-watching a show, but it looks and plays great, and you can even install mods to (for example) fix the font. If you can only get one, Final Fantasy 6 is an absolute masterpiece.

Gravity Circuit

There’s no shortage of Mega Man homages on Steam, but Gravity Circuit is one of the best for how it riffs on the concept and finds its own identity. This is definitely Mega Man inspired–the robot designs and story are very analogous to the Mega Man X series in particular–but it exchanges the long-range shooting of that classic series for close-up melee fighting. The result is the marriage of Mega Man and Shinobi we never knew we wanted, creating frantic fighting-like mechanics interspersed with white-knuckled platforming challenges.

God of War

Some games fit Steam Deck because their genre or gameplay elements just feel right at home in a handheld device. Others, Like God of War, are just proof of how powerful the Steam Deck is. God of War is a game that once seemed unlikely to ever come to PC, but not only is it available on the platform, it’s fully verified and ready to go on Steam Deck.

Hades 2

Just like the original Hades, Supergiant’s anticipated follow-up is already a highly polished nail-biting action game on Steam Deck, even in early access. As Zagreus’ sister, Melinoe, you cut your way through the underworld in a quest to defeat the Titan Chronos, the mythical figure behind the concept of time. While the trappings are familiar, Melinoe has a feel all her own, and new weapons and abilities make this feel noticeably different than its predecessor. If you’d rather have a game that’s fully baked, the original Hades is still available and great on Deck as well.

Hitman: World of Assassination

Hitman 3, now rebranded as the World of Assassination with all of the content from the trilogy in tow, is the culmination of a half-decade of hard work from IO Interactive. But also, on Steam Deck, it’s a diverse world tour of portable murder playgrounds, and that’s pretty neat too. If you happen to have access to the earlier games in the Hitman reboot series, this third game houses every level, weapon, and ridiculous costume into one central hub, giving Hitman fans the totality of the franchise’s best entries all in the palms of their hands. Plus the addition of the roguelike Freelancer mode gives the entire World of Assassination trilogy a new lease on life.

Into The Breach

Into the Breach is one of the best-designed games in recent memory, and it’s perfectly at home on Deck, thanks to its turn-based nature and bite-sized missions. As the previous Switch release demonstrated, the controls work perfectly well with a gamepad, and the screen here is well up to the task of displaying all of the information you need. Performance is great (it’s not terribly demanding from a hardware perspective), and it’s a terrific game that you can sink hours into at a time or occasionally glance at while watching something on TV.

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes

The mind-bending puzzle game Lorelei and the Laser Eyes will stick with you even while you aren’t playing, so why not take it wherever you go? The game’s many mysteries and secrets unfold with meticulous, interlocking detail, to the point where the game opens by encouraging you to keep a notebook in real life to help keep it all straight. The puzzles are challenging and rewarding, and will keep tickling your brain even when you put it down. But you won’t want to.

Minishoot’ Adventures

One of our favorite surprises of 2024, Minishoot Adventures blends retro Zelda-like exploration and adventuring with bullet hell shoot-em-up combat and movement mechanics. The combination may seem strange, right up until the moment you try it for yourself and find that it all gels together beautifully. Discovering the world and finding hidden secrets while also upgrading your arsenal to take on increasingly difficult swarms of enemies means there’s always something interesting to see and do, whether you’re exploring a tricky dungeon or just taking on a giant boss roaming the landscape. And if you miss playing Zelda games on handhelds like Game Boy, this is a perfect fit for the Steam Deck, letting you adventure on the go and soak in its colorful world.

Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter Rise is another Switch game that eventually found a home on PC, making it well-suited for Steam Deck. The latest game in the franchise does quite a bit to move the series forward, with the Wirebug adding a new verticality to its maps and Rampage quests offering a chaotic break from your usual hunts. Beyond those changes, everything else that made Monster Hunter so popular is here in spades. Whether you enjoy heading out on hunts with a group of friends, meticulously crafting every piece of gear, or trying to slay beasts solo, Monster Hunter Rise is bound to impress.

Monster Train

Much like Slay the Spire, which clearly inspired it, Monster Train is a game well-suited to quick bursts of gameplay. Because it’s already available on Xbox, it features controller support, so controlling it on Deck is easy. But just as importantly, the action is readable on the screen, and its turn-based nature lends itself to the type of portable/toilet gaming that Deck enables. However you play it, the gameplay remains some of the very best in the roguelike deckbuilder genre, giving you a great deal of freedom in how you assemble your deck and combine cards from different factions to make each run feel distinct.

Octopath Traveler 2

Most of the JRPG homages are riffing on classics from Square Enix, so it only makes sense that Square would make one of the best ones itself. Octopath Traveler 2 is the sequel to its experimental first game featuring eight heroes with their own backstories, and that core idea is still intact here. But OT2 is a vast improvement in every way. The repetitive process of gathering all eight party members has been streamlined, and the roles and abilities are more differentiated. Characters also now have differing daytime and nighttime skills, as well as Latent Abilities to use in combat. It may be a little slow to get started, but when all the mechanics and systems come together, it sings.

Ori and the Blind Forest

The Metroidvania genre fits like a glove on Steam Deck, and among those, one of the absolute best is the Ori series. The two games as a duology remain an immaculate and tightly-designed genre standout, arguably the best of the past decade. Taking that on the go is already possible on Switch and even Xbox Cloud Gaming, so you’ve maybe had opportunities to play it in handheld mode before, but if you missed it until now, the Steam Deck is the best of those handhelds thanks to it not requiring an internet connection like Xbox and its larger, nicer screen than Switch.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

The metroidvania genre is popular for a reason, but it plays especially well on handheld platforms where you can alternate between focusing your attention and idly exploring while catching up with a bake-off. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is no exception, and it’s a great fit on Steam Deck for that reason. While it’s not on Steam and therefore takes a little extra setup, it’s worth the work.

And this is a particularly spectacular metroidvania. The combat is tight and responsive with an emphasis on counters and parries, and it uses an equipment system that lets you cater the action to your own play style. Exploration is vast and varied, thanks to a compelling world and white-knuckle platforming challenges. Every part of it harmonizes with the others, creating one of the best metroidvanias in recent years.

Rogue Legacy 2

This anticipated sequel to the retro action game Rogue Legacy and it might just be the ideal use-case for Steam Deck. The rogue-lite action game has you once again battling through a castle as a cascading series of hiers, each with their own powers, making incremental progress all the way as you inherit new traits and buy permanent upgrades. The new 2D/3D hybrid art style looks fantastic on the Steam Deck screen, and it’s the perfect type of easy-to-pick-up, hard-to-put-down experience that thrives on a handheld.


If Switch players get Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, at least Steam Deck users get to have Sable. This clearly BOTW-inspired open-world puzzler foregoes combat of any kind in favor of a chilled-out coming-of-age story set in a unique fantasy world full of quests, characters, and secrets. The open-ended game lets you see its credits in as little as three hours or as many as 20+. It’s up to you to decide when your ride is over, be that when your flight ends or perhaps months down the line. The music is done entirely by Japanese Breakfast too, giving the entire game a meditative quality that is perfect for a long trip you may not otherwise be looking forward to.

Sea of Thieves

While you do need an internet connection to play Sea of Thieves, it’s still worthwhile to play when you aren’t out and about. Past iterations of Rare’s pirate sandbox have been less short session-friendly, but the team has taken strides to improve the game in that area, offering short and sweet daily challenges for all players and introducing new Sea Forts, which are meant to be challenged and won in as little as 15-20 minutes including the time it takes to sell all your loot. Sea of Thieves, like God of War listed earlier in this feature, is the kind of game that you once could only dream about playing on a handheld. But today the future has arrived by boat.

Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance

Shin Megami Tensei V has come to PC, and it’s a great fit on Steam Deck–which makes sense for an RPG that originated on the handheld-hybrid Nintendo Switch. The enhanced port, Shin Megami Tensei V Vengeance, adds loads of new story content and surprises for returning veterans, enhancing your relationships with human and demon characters, along with better navigation tools to find your way around. SMTV was already a deep and engrossing RPG, and it shines on Steam Deck.

Spider-Man Remastered

Like God of War, Spider-Man Remastered is a game that shows just how well Steam Deck can handle a big-budget, AAA experience. Marvel’s Spider-Man came out in 2018, but its remastered version helped push the power of the PS5. The PC conversion can run even better with a significantly beefy PC, but the Steam Deck version runs impressively well with the right settings. That means you can pack the great-looking visuals and all the web-swinging action into a portable package.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley might be the most popular farming game on the planet. Created almost entirely by a single developer (Eric Barone), the amount of content packed into its adorable, pixelated world is staggering. What starts as a simple quest to rebuild your grandpa’s farm quickly turns into something more. You’ll chat with the locals and form relationships, head out on dangerous mining expeditions, and watch as the quaint Pelican Town transforms through the seasons. Its laidback pace makes it a perfect fit for Steam Deck, giving you a chance to stick your hands in the dirt no matter where life takes you.

Vampire Survivors

An early access game you can grab on the cheap, Vampire Survivors is very simple but shockingly fun. The single-stick shooter has you navigate around hordes of enemies while your weapons fire off automatically, building up experience to buy new weapon upgrades. The deceptively simple premise gets increasingly fiendish and chaotic as more enemies join the fray, and your weapon upgrades get ever-more destructive. It’s enough to tempt you to play just one more round until you realize, oh whoops, it’s 3 AM.

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