EA adds another game to its own anti-cheat system, which is bad news for Steam Deck owners

Steam Deck Steam button.

The Steam button is on the bottom left of the Steam Deck screen. 

(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Centarl)

What you need to know

  • In a classic EA move, gamers are being left short as the company moves to using its own first-party anti-cheat. 
  • Many EA games that were playable on Steam Deck are no longer compatible because EA's new software doesn't support Linux. 
  • Battlefield V is the latest to join the list, which also includes recent FIFA/EA FC releases, and Madden. 

Oh, EA, why do you do this to us. Anti-cheat is a pain at the best of times, not least because it doesn't seem to actually work. But EA's new, first-party software is taking its games away from Steam Deck players one by one. 

As highlighted by GamingOnLinux, Battlefield V has now been updated to include the new EA anti-cheat software. The byproduct is that it no longer works on the Steam Deck. EA is actively avoiding software that is Steam Deck compatible, such as EAC (Easy Anti Cheat) that's currently found in Apex Legends, and going with software that is not. 

“EA anti-cheat is a kernel-mode anti-cheat and anti-tamper solution developed in-house at Electronic Arts. PC cheat developers have increasingly moved into the kernel, so we need to have kernel-mode protections to ensure fair play and tackle PC cheat developers on an even playing field. “

Battlefield V

It's bye bye Battlefield V for Steam Deck owners.  (Image credit: EA)

It's perhaps not as big of a deal with Battlefield V, a more than 5-year-old game, but it's still taking away the choice of folks who've bought it over how they play. And I'm never on the side of that. The Steam Deck is probably only a small drop in the bucket, too, but it doesn't make it any better for those who own and play EA games on the handheld. 

Of course, the real problem is the cheaters and the cheat makers. If those people didn't exist, we wouldn't have to worry about crap like this. EA has said it isn't blanket adding its new anti-cheat to all of its games, but competitive multiplayer titles do seem to be in the crosshairs. So I wouldn't get too cozy playing Apex Legends on your Deck. Considering the recent shenanigans at a pro-tournament with cheats being given to competitors from an outside party, I'd wager it won't be long before it makes the jump. 

I'm not smart enough to understand the tech that makes these systems tick, but for now it's all she wrote for an increasing list of EA titles on the Steam Deck. Hopefully down the line, Valve and EA can work something out, but this cynical old man won't hold his breath. 

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

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

  • fdruid
    The reason we can't have nice things are cheaters, not EA.

    PC is a platform that's getting damned and neglected by developers precisely because of cheaters and hackers. We can't really blame publishers for trying to fight that crap however they can, because an online game that has cheater hackers is basically awful to play, and makes a company lose money.