Steam Deck Stacks Anti-Cheat Support For Games Aplenty

As we inch ever closer to the release of the Steam Deck, prospective buyers are looking for any update they can get about the handheld. The latest update came just as the weekend was getting underway, with Valve issuing a brief note to Steam Deck developers. Don't let that scare you off, though, because while this update may have been aimed at PC developers, it's good news for us regular consumers as well.

Steam Deck bolsters anti-cheat efforts

In a brief post to the Steamworks Development blog, Valve revealed that Steam Deck – or, more specifically, Proton – now supports Epic's Easy Anti-Cheat. This isn't the first time we've heard about anti-cheat support for the Steam Deck, as Valve added support for BattlEye back in November.

Essentially, this means that Steam Deck will ship with support for the two biggest anti-cheat programs out of the box. This also means that developers who have existing Easy Anti-Cheat games can update those titles to support Steam Deck without first having to update things like game binaries or SDK versions. In short, it sounds like Easy Anti-Cheat integration won't be a roadblock toward enabling Steam Deck support in games that use it, and that's probably an encouraging thing for developers to hear.

Why does this matter to PC gamers?

While Valve's blog post was primarily directed at developers (and indeed, much of it includes instructions on getting Easy Anti-Cheat games certified for Steam Deck), this is still big news for PC gamers in general. If you've ever played a competitive game on PC, you've probably encountered cheaters at one point or another, especially if the game in question is free-to-play. That's just one of the realities of gaming on a more open platform like PC, instead of a locked-down machine like a console.

Even though anti-cheat software won't catch everyone, it does help the problem of cheating in PC games quite a bit. With this announcement, Valve has confirmed that Steam Deck will support the two biggest anti-cheat programs out there, and there's no doubt that BattlEye and Easy Anti-Cheat cover a ton of games between the two of them.

In addition, this is good news for gamers because baked-in support for Easy Anti-Cheat means there's one less hurdle to adding Steam Deck support in games that rely on the software. A huge number of popular games use Easy Anti-Cheat, including Apex Legends, Rust, Hunt: Showdown, Dead By Daylight, Squad, Fall Guys, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Star Wars Squadrons (among many others), and now we know those games will be able to run on Steam Deck without the anti-cheat complicating things.

After a longer-than-expected wait, we're finally closing in on the Steam Deck's expected release date. While there isn't a single, concrete ship date yet, Valve has confirmed that the first Steam Decks will begin shipping out to early buyers in February 2022.

Originally, the Steam Deck was expected to launch in December 2021, but the components shortage driven by the COVID-19 pandemic forced Valve to delay the launch by a couple of months. We haven't heard anything else about potential delays, so hopefully, those two extra months were all Valve needed and the Steam Deck will be able to stick to that February release window.