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 Trilogy

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.

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

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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 has yet to receive a PC port, though one is forthcoming, 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.

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.

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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.

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.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (Trilogy)

Despite Valve listing the games as "Unsupported", recent system updates have fixed the problems that the games faced out of the box without the use of 3rd-party tools like Proton-GE. RPG Site has verified that the games run and play great, and that the FMV cutscenes play without issue. It's very likely that Valve will revisit these games in the future, in which they'll almost assuredly receive their seal of approval. These are perfect titles for the Steam Deck, offering plenty of battery life - up to 6+ hours! - and offers players a method of playing Trails in the Sky: the 3rd on the go, despite the PSP release never seeing a localization back in the day. Much like with Ys: The Oath in Felghana, you'll need to interact with the games configuration tool to set the right resolution for the Steam Deck first.

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Ys I + II Chronicles

Ys I + II Chronicles are games that Valve has yet to formally test but 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.

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.

Xanadu Next

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

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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.

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

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?

Dark Souls Trilogy

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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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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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.

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.

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

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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.

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.

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.

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Final Fantasy XIV

While it hasn't yet found its way to the mainline branch for Proton, a recent update to Proton Experimental has fixed the issue that prevented the game's newest launcher from working on Steam Deck; so it should only be a matter of time until this is officially supported. If for whatever reason you have any issues getting the game working on your end, XIVLauncher from Desktop mode's Discovery package manager also offers a method for getting the game working on the platform.

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!

Everything Else

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.

 

 

 

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