Destiny 2, Apex Legends, and PUBG may not work on Steam Deck

By Steven Rondina


Jul 19, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

People around the world are smitten with the Steam Deck but the platform may not be as perfect as fans are hoping.

According to a number of reports including one from PC Gamer, anti-cheat software that works alongside Valve’s VAC system might be incompatible with the SteamOS that the Steam Deck will run on. This is worrisome as a number of the most popular games on Steam use additional anti-cheat engines including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Destiny 2, Rainbow 6 Siege, and Apex Legends.

The sticking point is due to ProtonDB, a compatibility layer that helps games run on the Steam Deck’s Linux-based operating system. Though the games themselves may work on the Steam Deck, a lack of anti-cheat compatibility with SteamOS means players won’t be able to actually get into live servers.

The big question is whether Valve or the people behind ProtonDB will be able to remedy this. While it’s possible that the developers behind PUBG, Destiny 2, and Apex Legends could update their anti-cheat software to work with the Steam Deck, they’ll likely be reluctant to dedicate much energy to updating it for a fledgling platform that could get abandoned at any time. They’ll also likely be unwilling to give a pass on anti-cheat protection on the Steam Deck, as this would allow a tidal wave of cheaters into the game.

That puts the responsibility on Valve and ProtonDB to get things working before the Steam Deck launches.

Destiny 2, Rainbow 6 anti-cheat issues not a huge hit to Steam Deck

The good news when it comes to these multiplayer shooters is that even if they don’t run at all on the Steam Deck, that this doesn’t radically shift the value proposition of the platform. Though the Steam Deck can be docked and used as a regular PC, its appeal largely revolves around its ability to be used as a handheld device.

The thought of using analog sticks for the PC versions of Rainbow 6 Siege, PUBG, and Apex Legends is likely a terrifying concept for those who are already active in the games. And of course, if these people are already actively playing those games on PC they likely don’t need the Steam deck for this.

The potential inability to play Destiny 2 is the most worrisome. The FPS-MMO hybrid is better suited to the Steam Deck than most online shooters and the ability to grind challenges anytime, anywhere has some appeal. Still, with thousands of games available on Steam right now there’s plenty of value to be had even if Destiny 2 is taken out of the equation.

Ultimately, the issues with SteamOS and anti-cheat software could be remedied before the first Steam Deck ships. That said, if a potential lack of compatibility with these games is a deal-breaker for anyone, they ought to hold off on paying for a Steam Deck until a resolution is found.