My Steam Deck Arrived Yesterday, and Games Are Unplayable

My Valve Steam Deck 521 GB model arrived yesterday. I preordered it on day one, which feels like it was probably a year ago now. At that time, I had a lot of hopes and dreams and spoke highly of the potential of the Steam Deck in this post here. Upon receiving it, my initial excitement turned to disappointment – however; that has since changed, at least a little, as I’ve spent time getting to play with it. So my Steamdeck arrived today… Not sure how to feel now… I ordered a 1tb card for expansion (and have the 521gb model so that part will be sorta kjnda fixed… but most my games are not compatible with it. I haven’t actually tried playing anything because im working and because it came dead and has to charge. I paid almost $700 for this and expected it to play wvery steam game… hmm 🫤🤔😐#steamdeck #fail #epicfail #happysad #wtf #computer #error #upset #doesntwork #wontwork #expensive #notwhatiexpected #unexpected #disappointment #unboxing #game #gaming #gamer #steam #steamdeckerrors #steamdeckfails #tech #technology #techunboxing #techreview #earlyadopter ♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

What went wrong, you ask? First, it was not fully charged upon arrival. Not a huge deal but a minor detail. I plug it in and the process to begin setup begins. It goes smoothly and everything is setup. And then the very first screen is an error about a missing library file. I restart and the error persists… After several more restarts that error goes away…

Also let me say that 521 GB fills up FAST!!!!!! I ordered a 1TB Microsdxc card on Amazon yesterday that’s supposed to arrive tomorrow. It’s on sale almost 50% off. If you’re like me and want as many games shoved onto the Steam Deck as humanly possible, pick this card up before the sale is over. These babies are expensive. You’ll thank me later.

Next, it lost internet connectivity a few times – I can’t blame this on the Steam Deck, maybe it was picking up interference from other wireless devices… but those other wireless devices, my smartphone, smart tv, game consoles, and laptops, were all running internet and not having any drop offs – so there’s a little red flag in my mind here…

But the biggest, hugest, most heinous of problems is that many of my games in my steam library are not supported and not compatible with the Steam Deck. These fall under a few different categories:

  • Green Checkmark = these games are verified to run on Steam Deck – Good To Go. No Problems
  • Question Mark = these games are not popular enough so Valve does not have enough data to know if these games are compatible or not. – Most of my games fall under this category – trial and error to see which will work and which will not
  • Yellow Exclamation Point = These games are playable, but might have some slight issues. Each one will list out the different problems, some more severe than others, but most still fairly minor
  • White “NO” symbol = These games “supposedly” are so broken that they will not run on Steam Deck at all. A fair few of my games have this indicator – but oddly… a lot of them still appeared to run – granted I only attempted them each for a few minutes to experiment and see what worked and what didn’t. It’s totally possible that later in the game, after I’ve invested hundreds of hours (you know how JRPG and visual novels are, right?) that only then do I find the game suddenly crashes or stops working at some future point. Not looking forward to (possibly) discovering that later. – But those are the “lucky” ones – The rest with the “NO” symbol literally are unplayable. The screen flickers, they open and close back down, black screen of death upon startup, or they keep freezing/crashing etc. I’ve not found many of these in my tests yet, under 20 or so of the 100+ I have installed so far (out of over 1,000 in my steam library) – I’m estimating somewhere around 200 games I own might be unplayable on Steam Deck. Steamdeck not as bad as I initially thought #steamdeck #gaming #tech #technology #willitwork #whattoexpect #game #games #videogame #videogames #gamer #gamers #gamergirl #girlgamer #visualnovel #otomegame #jrpg #retrogames #otome #animegame ♬ original sound – GeekySweetie

I shared this revelation in some online communities and got roasted and shat upon for not fangirling and worshiping the ground Steam Deck walks upon. I mean god forbid anyone say anything negative or critical about a $700 game console that doesn’t support and play the games actually made for the damn console, right? God forbid anyone plays different games than you, has a different opinion, or different expectations. God forbid someone didn’t spend 20 hours reading reviews and news – which by the way was only recently made available 4 months ago, meanwhile, I preordered this on day 1, which was like 8 months ago – and god forbid I understand and know and acknowledge more support will be added for more games – and god forbid I didn’t want to give up my spot in the already almost year long wait I had to withstand for this console – and god forbid I spend my god damn money however I god damn please – because you know those rabid fanboys and girls will be ripping me a new asshole. Quite clearly.

But let’s say you’re like me, which I assume you are if you’re a long-time reader of my blog here. You’re a CASUAL gamer. You might LOVE games – You might have started, like myself, gaming back in the 80s and still buy every new console on preorder before it comes out and have thousands of PC games too – but you have a million other things to do – I have hundreds of games I haven’t even played yet – so yeah god forbid I don’t gobble up every single new article or review or news tidbit that Valve and Game Reviewers And Tech Enthusiasts throw around. I have shit to do – and like I said, I didn’t want to lose my place in line – and I know damn well that support for more games will be added in the future…

But I can still be upset / angry / disappointed etc – I mean I buy a Nintendo Switch and it runs EVERY Nintendo Switch game – not just 80% of Nintendo Switch Games. I bought a PS5 and it runs EVERY PS5 game – not just 80% of PS5 games – Do you see where I’m going with this?

All I expected was to be able to play my Steam Games on Steam Deck. That’s all. Is that asking so much? Apparently to these fanboys it sure the hell is. Part two of testing some games on my new Steam Deck. #steamdeck #videogames #game #gamer #gamergirl #tech #technology #willitwork #jrpg #visualnovel #otome #otomegame #gaming #retro #retrogames #retrogaming #retrogame #retrogamer #animegame ♬ original sound – GeekySweetie

But back to the Deck… Is it that bad? Nope. Will I be selling it? Nope. Do I regret buying it? Nope.

Here’s Why:

80% of the games I own do run – I’ll take that for now – with an understanding that hopefully in the future more support is added for more games.

My Steam Library is over 1,000 games – and growing – as my Steam library grows – 1,200, 1,500, etc etc – even without retroactively fixing the current broken games – that percent lessens because my total number of games has grown. So what’s 20% unplayable, drops to 10%, 5%, etc…. and becomes less of an issue

Still plenty of things to play – I have so many steam games and always buying more that it really doesn’t matter THAT much if those games don’t work. I can still be upset that they don’t work – I mean I would expect all steam games to work – maybe I’m just a Karen though, who the hell knows. Shrugs.

Ok So aside from my games not running what other remarks do I have. I have a few more critical or negative remarks and here we go:

  1. It’s extremely heavy. Not much larger than my switch, but 5 times heavier… It hurts my wrists. Maybe because I’m a female and have smaller hands and wrists. After an hour or two it hurts them.
  2. It’s extremely loud. It needs those fans to dissipate the heat, I understand. But still slightly annoying.
  3. It is slow – first time booting up games takes forever, 2-3 minutes, or more.
  4. It has other errors too besides the not supporting some games “issue”
  5. The battery life is shorter than I expected

But all in all, it’s still a pretty cool little handheld. I’m sure you’ll love yours once your preorder comes in. For those who didn’t preorder, you might be in for a long wait – and maybe by then, more support for more games will be added and some of the other kinks worked out.

Leave a comment and let me know how you’re enjoying your Steam Deck so far, or what games you most look forward to playing on the console.

One thought on “My Steam Deck Arrived Yesterday, and Games Are Unplayable

  1. Thanks for the Article, Basically I Also have Steam Deck and it gets hanged up when playing any game. Can you please give me any suggestions how to get set it up or reboot, please?

    1. Some games sadly just don’t work because steam deck uses Linux instead of windows. Recently also EA updated their launcher and it doesn’t work on Steam Deck anymore even for games that say they’re verified to be compatible on the deck. It’s kinda a hot mess to be honest and one of my least favorite things about this console. Any other console I’ve ever bought the games for that console just work. That’s not the case for steam deck. And games might work one week and then an update come out and not work anymore.

  2. I’ve experienced disappointment and shelf life more than play time with mine. Online games seem to not work for me, it has terrible lag where in games sometimes after climbing 3 sets of stairs, ill appear back on the first floor… 512gb day-1 pre-order (owned for 4+ months) It feels like a cute arcade amazon device sadly.

  3. I don’t think you are a Karen, but I think you are misunderstanding Steam a bit. Nintendo is not a library of switch games. Sony is not a library of PlayStation games. They are AAA game companies that first and foremost make consoles, and otherwise also make videogames for their own consoles. You could consider PC a sort of customizable console (that also does a million other things). Steam is a library of PC games (Valve is not a AAA game company). There are many other ways to play PC games too. Depending on your PC specs, a particular game may or may not work on your PC. Steam Deck is just another PC, though it’s going to have slimmer specs and most importantly I think, a small and odd resolution display. Those games were made for PC generically with big HD monitors. They were not made specifically for Steam and certainly not Stream Deck, so it’s pretty natural that they won’t “just work”.

  4. i think people should know what they’re buying before making a large purchase, but maybe thats just me. perhaps it’s just not the right device for you

    1. As mentioned, I purchased it on day one preorder before any reviews or anything were available so there was no way I could have anticipated that it would not play several of my games. Others pointed out I could have canceled my preorder after reviews started coming out, but honestly I didn’t read the reviews. But I will say since I’ve had it for several months, the compatibility is increasing more and more, and as new games come out, and my steam library grows, it’s less of an issue.

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