The Best RPGs Playable on Steam Deck
The Valve Steam Deck is a great place to play RPGs, but it might be hard for players both new and old to Valve's ecosystem to figure out exactly where to start. While the PC handheld offers official support for a wide variety of RPGs, there are a number of games that players have confirmed are playable, even before Valve has gotten around to verifying it themselves - some of them playable out-of-the-box, and some only requiring some minor tweaks to get working. If you've just picked up your own Steam Deck, or are trying to figure out which games you'll want to play on yours once it arrives, we've put together a list of recommended RPGs, based on their availability on other platforms, official compatibility, and more.
Valve Verified/Playable RPGs only available on PC
These Steam Deck Verified & Playable RPGs might only be available on PC, or simply unavailable on any modern platforms outside of it.
Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen, Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception and Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth are all Steam Deck verified, with the latter two releases currently only being available on PC as of Atlus delisting the games off of PSN. While we had our own issues with the PC ports for the series, the good news is that these issues don't impact the game on Steam Deck; when you'd be playing at 720p/30FPS on the handheld anyway, it doesn't matter that the ports themselves are incapable of running at anything higher. More than perhaps any other game on this list, Steam Deck is the best way to play the entire series. Perfect performance, 4 to 5 hours of battery life, and an excellent set of SRPGs.
Monochrome Mobius: Rights and Wrongs Forgotten
Continuing the Steam Deck's streak of being potentially the best place to play Utawarerumono, Aquaplus' JRPG spinoff of the series runs great on the platform. It's an easy recommendation, doubly so when series fans would likely have the rest of the franchise on their Steam Deck anyways.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (Trilogy)
With recent updates to Proton, Valve has re-evaluated Trails in the Sky, and it is now officially verified to run - or, at least Trails in the Sky: the 3rd is. Even if FC and SC still aren't officially given the badge, however, the rest of the series *does* work, so it well and truly is only a matter of time. Without any modern console ports of Trails in the Sky, PC is the only place to play the first arc of the series - and Steam Deck is arguably the best way to play them. Perfect performance, excellent battery life (in the range of 6+ hours), and even native 16:10 support. What else is there to hope for in a Steam Deck RPG?
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition
While CD Projekt's original foray in the Witcher series might not be as beloved as its sequels - there's still plenty to love about it. With the game stuck on PC, Steam Deck is an excellent way for fans to experience where the series began - without having to wait for a console port that might never come.
Legend of Grimrock 1/2
Ok, we're cheating. Technically Legend of Grimrock isn't Steam Deck Verified; however, it does have a native Linux version, and booted up and played perfectly alongside an excellent community layout that maps the keyboard and mouse controls to the Steam Deck's layout in a way that makes a lot of sense. Legend of Grimrock 2 is actually Verified, and both games are excellent DRPGs/Dungeon Crawlers that are exclusive to PC.
Disgaea 2 PC
While Disgaea 1, 4 and 5 have all seen wider releases on multiple platforms - including the Switch - Disgaea 2 and 3 have seen considerably less love. Thankfully, Disgaea 2 received a PC port in 2017, and shockingly enough the game is playable natively on Linux. Some of the other Disgaea titles are a bit hit or miss on the platform, but per Valve's own criteria Disgaea 2 should run well on Steam Deck.
Persona 4: Golden
What's there to say? While Persona 5 is also available on PC and is pretty damn excellent... to many, Persona 4 is unassailable. It's sort of an endless argument on which Persona is the best, and we shouldn't get into that here... But we can say that Persona 4: Golden is a flawless experience on Steam Deck. While the game is playable on Vita as well, you're likely to get much better battery life in addition to significantly better performance on Steam Deck. An easy recommendation for Persona fans, both new and old.
Fuga: Melodies of Steel
While Fuga has a Switch port that is competent, it also runs flawlessly on Deck at double the framerate out-of-the-box. Without Steam Cloud Saves support there's not too much reason to go for it on Steam Deck over Switch, but it's still a great way to play the game.
Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters
While none of the Pixel Remasters have been ported to consoles yet, all of them are listed as playable on Steam Deck. It's worth noting that the same tweaks we discovered that allow for players to swap out and fix the font in the Pixel Remasters will also work on Steam Deck, if you're ok with some tinkering.
Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy
While all Final Fantasy XIII titles are playable on current-generation Xbox consoles thanks to backward compatibility, the series deserves a special shout-out for all being playable out of the box on Steam Deck. Not only is this the only platform you'll be able to play the titles portably, but as the games all support Steam Cloud, you'll be able to hop between a Steam Deck and a desktop PC without any issues.
Ys: The Oath in Felghana
While the other Napishtim-engine Ys titles have yet to be verified, The Oath in Felghana - arguably the best of the bunch - sports a Steam Deck Playable tag, with the only major stipulation being that players will have to use the trackpads or the touch screen to interact with its configuration tool. The PC version of The Oath in Felghana is by and away the best way to play the game, especially after XSEED ported over the voice-acting from their original PSP release.
Ys I + II Chronicles
Ys I + II Chronicles work flawlessly out-of-the-box with the system default Proton compatibility layer. The games run fine, cutscenes play without issue, etc. Much like with Trails in the Sky and Ys: The Oath in Felghana, you'll need to set your resolution from the configuration tool first.
Zwei: The Arges Adventure
Owing to recent updates to Proton, the classic Nihon-Falcom RPG is now playable on Steam Deck without any major issues; this makes the platform a compelling option to experience the game, owing to it's bite-sized pacing.
Although a Switch release for Astlibra Revision was recently announced, as of right now Steam Deck is the only place to play the game portably, and the game as a whole is exclusive to the PC platform. See what Chao thought about the game in our review.
Deus Ex (Series)
Every game in the Deus Ex series available on Steam is Verified/Playable, with the sole exception of Human Revolution - which works out-of-the-box, but must be closed through SteamOS's interface, as the in-game option will hang. While Human Revolution and Mankind Divided are available on modern platforms outside of PC, PC - and by extension, Steam Deck - is the only platform where you can play every game in the series.
Independently Verified RPGs only available on PC
While Valve is hard at work testing games to see how they run on the Steam Deck, they still let players try and run games that they haven't vouched for - or even previously listed as "Unsupported" - on their own. As a result, players cataloging their experiences on forums such as r/SteamDeck or even listing a formal compatibility report on ProtonDB might have discovered games that already work out of the box, despite lacking Valve's seal of approval. These games will likely receive certification in the near future, but work all the same even today.
Ys: Ark of Napishtim
Yet another case of a Falcom PC-only release working out-of-the-box on Steam Deck, even if it hasn't already been tested. Everything stated about the other Falcom releases on the list stands true here, too; just remember to set the Steam Deck's resolution in the configuration tool, but otherwise you're good to go.
Much like the other Falcom games on this list, Xanadu Next works out of the box with no issues - however, the game has some slightly odd bindings for the face buttons, and the config tool doesn't fully work properly when it comes to changing your inputs. Thankfully they're easy enough to get used to - and if not, you can change them yourself using a custom layout through SteamOS itself. Cutscenes and gameplay work, no tinkering required, with only requiring players to set the resolution in the configuration tool (which works fine, unlike changing your inputs)
Non-Exclusive Verified/Playable titles suited for Steam Deck
Although these games aren't exclusive, we feel they're worth some special mention for how they run on Steam Deck - whether that's because there's no Switch version, or how they perform significantly better than any that exist.
Monster Hunter World & Monster Hunter Rise
Technically this is half cheating, as only Monster Hunter World sports a Playable Steam Deck rating from Valve; however, it's only a matter of time before Monster Hunter Rise gets the same treatment, if not a straight-up Verified tag. We've already sunk dozens of hours into the game on our own, up through the end of High Rank, and the game runs flawlessly with a mostly locked 60FPS at a mix of Average/High settings. Either way, both are well at home on the system.
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV had some issues running properly on Steam Deck around launch, but with those problems having been solved, the game has now been rated Playable by Valve; while I wouldn't exactly recommend raiding on a Steam Deck, you can do just about everything in the game on the system if you'd like.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
One of the greatest showcases for exactly how powerful the Steam Deck is, Horizon: Zero Dawn comes packed with a Steam Deck Verified tag. The open-world structure of the game lends itself well to the Steam Deck's pick-up-and-play nature, and should be a good fit for anyone looking to either play the game for the first time or explore a repeat playthrough.
Elden Ring is Steam Deck Verified, and thanks to Shader Pre-Caching on SteamOS - runs with fewer stutters than on Windows. Needless to say, it's an excellent way to play the game; not to mention the only surefire way to play it portably. What else is there to say?
Persona 5 Royal
While Persona 5 Royal is also on Switch at this point, Steam Deck runs the game much better than on Nintendo's handheld while also maintaining decent battery life. An easy recommendation for the platform.
Dark Souls Trilogy
Dark Souls: Remastered, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin and Dark Souls III all are Verified/Playable by Valve. While Dark Souls: Remastered is available on Switch, it goes without saying that Steam Deck offers a much better experience while playing the game, not to mention the only portable versions of Dark Souls II and III.
Marvel's Midnight Suns
Firaxis' latest tRPG has been officially listed as Steam Deck Playable by Valve, and in the absence of a Switch release, Steam Deck remains the only way to play the game portably without resorting to cloud streaming.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Technically, the only Yakuza titles on PC that aren't Verified or Playable are Yakuza 4, 5, and 6. The rest are all officially supported as per Valve. While you might want to cap your FPS to 30 for Kiwami 2/Like a Dragon, the rest of the supported games run at a near-flawless 60FPS with decent battery life; Like a Dragon is just the one that's best-suited for handheld play, being a turn-based RPG.
Like A Dragon: Ishin!
Much like the majority of SEGA's most recent releases, Like A Dragon: Ishin is playable day-1 on Steam Deck; take the role of Sakamoto Ryoma for the first time both in English, and on the go.
The recently released PC versions of Judgment and Lost Judgment were Steam Deck verified from the jump, and are an excellent way to play the games. While technically not as much of an RPG as Yakuza: Like a Dragon, it's still good to know that the sub-series itself is perfectly playable on the go.
Harvestella is an especially notable addition to this list, if only because the game itself seems to be Steam Deck aware - in the sense that it's the first title we've seen yet that is capable of bringing up the Steam Deck's software keyboard on its own. The game performs like a dream without any issues, and feels like an easy recommendation over the Switch version if Steam Deck is an option.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana & Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
While both of these games are available on Switch, neither are fantastic ports - especially Ys IX. Both games are Steam Deck Verified, and will run significantly better than their Switch counterparts.
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk & Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society
Much like the above; both of these titles are available on Switch, but in an odd twist these versions are capped at 30FPS - despite the Japan-only PlayStation Vita versions of the games targeting 60. While it doesn't matter all that much for a DRPG, this does make Steam Deck the best way to play these games in a handheld form factor.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Not only will Dragon Quest XI S look and run better than the Switch version, players that own the original Dragon Quest XI might be pleased to know that it's also Verified. While the Definitive Edition is easily the better version of the game, this does make Steam Deck the only way to experience the original Dragon Quest XI - original fidelity and all! - on a handheld. Assuming you bought it before it was delisted, of course.
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
While Disco Elysium has a Switch port, the original PC release runs much better on Steam Deck, with a smoother framerate and much faster loading times. You can't go wrong no matter where you choose to play Disco Elysium, but Steam Deck is definitely up there as one of the best options to explore Revachol.
A smaller title from Obsidian, Pentiment offers a compelling take on a narrative adventure, conveyed through the artstyle of historical European artwork. The game is fully Verified for Steam Deck, and offers the only truly portable method of playing the game.
The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim
All 3 of these Elder Scrolls titles are officially Verified or Playable for Steam Deck. Although Skyrim itself is playable on Switch - and is actually a rather solid port - it goes without saying that Steam Deck will vastly outperform the Switch release. Not to mention, you won't be getting mods on Switch. A set of easy recommendations for anyone picking up a Steam Deck.
Fallout: New Vegas
Exploring the NCR portably, like we only could've dreamed of. While there are some instability issues, it's no different from how the game performs on Windows; many of the same mods and loaders will work just fine under Proton, and the stock experience matches that of a stock Windows playthrough.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Same as with Skyrim; while you can play The Witcher 3 on Switch, Steam Deck will see the game look and play significantly better, and you'll be able to mod the game to your liking to boot. Not to mention you won't have to rebuy the game, just for the option of playing it on the go.
Nier Replicant / Nier Automata
Both games run great; both games are officially listed as Steam Deck Playable. Neither games have a Switch port, so Steam Deck is the only way to play them portably.
Independently Verified Non-Exclusive RPGs
For the sake of redundancy, we've also tested a number of non-exclusive RPGs that haven't yet received a Verified/Playable tag. Here's some games we've found that work, and are well worth recommending.
Star Ocean: The Divine Force
This one is first up on a bit of a technicality. If you play Star Ocean: The Divine Force right now on Steam Deck, you'll run into some rather nasty shader compilation stutters the first time you enter an area or fight a new enemy; however, once that's done, the game runs excellently on the platform. Besides issues with small text size - which is a problem regardless of the platform - Star Ocean will *eventually* be an easy recommendation for the platform. By the time you're reading this, the issues will more than likely be ironed out for players.
Final Fantasy XI
Ok, ok, this is definitely a bit of a reach; and it's not exactly easy to get working, but it's worth giving it a shout since it's not like the 2002 MMORPG is easy to get working on PC's at the best of times. Windower has an official guide for getting the game + the custom launcher working on the platform, which is how you'd be playing the game anyway. It looks and runs great once everything is set up!
Upcoming Steam Deck RPGs
With the Steam Deck finding itself to be a success, we've gotten to the point where we are starting to see games confirm compatibility before they've even launched. During this year's Tokyo Game Show, we got a number of RPGs which have pre-emptively have confirmed Steam Deck support.
Octopath Traveler II
The follow-up to 2018's Octopath Traveler is fast upon us, and in the lead up to launch Valve confirmed the title to be Steam Deck verified; Steam Deck owners will be able to enjoy the game on day-1 without issue.
Not every game will run on Steam Deck, but some might simply require some tweaks. For the purposes of this list we're specifically looking for games that won't require you to boot into Desktop Mode to get a game working, but plenty of titles with issues playing videos will work with installing custom versions of Proton with codecs pre-installed, like Proton-GE. Others might require some manual tinkering, but are ultimately fixable. If a game you're looking to play isn't listed as Verified/Playable by Valve, be sure to check out ProtonDB for a hint.