What you need to know
- Respawn's popular battle royale, Apex Legends, now works on Steam Deck.
- This means that the game's anti-cheat has been updated to work on Linux and Valve's Proton.
- Meanwhile, Bungie says a big fat no and threatens to ban players who try and get around it.
The Steam Deck is a monumental moment for handheld and PC gaming alike and benefits from virtually unanimous praise from early users and the press. Our own Steam Deck review was glowing, and so it's natural that developers putting their games on Steam will start looking at the Deck with interest.
Today is certainly a good news/bad news kind of day for Steam Deck owners and those, myself included, who are still waiting for their golden ticket to arrive.
First the good news, and that's that EA/Respawn's incredibly popular battle royale, Apex Legends, now works on the Steam Deck. Issues had previously been linked to its use of Easy Anti Cheat, but the necessary boxes seem to have been ticked to enable its Linux support, and as such, Steam Deck.
There hasn't been an official announcement yet, but the folks at Gaming On Linux have taken it out for a test drive on their own Steam Deck, which you can also see in action in the video above. I haven't played Apex Legends in a long time, and not at all on the PC, but with this coupled with crossplay support now, I could be persuaded to join some friends while I lay on the couch.
Of course, without official word from Respawn this could also stop working at any time, but considering it didn't work at all a couple of days ago, all the signs are good. Especially since the recent sighting of a Steam Deck testing branch for Apex Legends.
Then we get to Bungie which instead of embracing the Steam Deck is actually tossing out the old "you must use Windows" line and threatening players with bans if they attempt to mess with the anti-cheat.
OK, so you won't get banned for trying but if you do attempt to mess with the anti-cheat in any way then you're gone. Which is pretty standard. Destiny 2 uses Battleye anti-cheat software which also has full support for Linux and Proton, but for reasons known only to Bungie, they're being particularly hostile about enabling it.
It's even more perplexing given that Destiny 2 is such a massive game with full cross-play, cross-save and a Linux-based version already in the world on Google Stadia. Enabling Destiny 2 on Steam Deck wouldn't need anything as drastic as a port, though, it's apparently only an email to Battleye away.
Fortunately, if you're waiting on your Steam Deck, there are plenty of other great games you can play on it. Elden Ring, anyone?
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine