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Cutting corners: As Valve’s Steam Deck nears release, many hope it to be a turning point for handheld PCs. However it seems one of the most popular games won’t run on it – at least not at first – due to compatibility issues that could be solved in the future.
This week Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney confirmed that Fortnite won’t support the Steam Deck. While responding to questions on Twitter, Sweeney said Epic isn’t confident in the current level of compatibility between its anti-cheat solution and the Steam Deck.
Fortnite no, but there's a big effort underway to maximize Easy Anti Cheat compatibility with Steam Deck.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) February 7, 2022
Simply running the game on the device isn't the problem. The Steam Deck uses the Linux-based Steam OS, while Fortnite runs on Windows (it used to have a Mac version). But Steam Deck users will be able to run many games that are not Linux native through compatibility layers. Third party tools like the Heroic Game Launcher were built for things like this.
While Sweeney said work is being done to get Easy Anti-Cheat, which Epic uses, to be compatible with the Steam Deck, there is concern over the large number of Linux configurations, of which Steam OS is one. If everything else fails, users can also simply install Windows on a Steam Deck and play the Windows version of Fortnite.
We don’t have confidence that we’d be able to combat cheating at scale under a wide array of kernel configurations including custom ones.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) February 7, 2022
The first reviews of the Steam Deck are already out, pouring over its performance, battery life, screen quality, and more. It will be interesting to see how Fortnite runs on one (if users get it working) compared to the Nintendo Switch version, Android version, or the GeForce Now version which can be played on iOS now.