Steam Deck's most played games in April included, surprise surprise, a heap of Fallout and 2024's best new game

Xbox Cloud Gaming on the Steam Deck
(Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Valve likes to release infographics every month on what Steam Deck players have been enjoying, and April is, shock horror, full of Fallout. 
  • Sorted by playtime, Fallout 4 was the second most played game on Steam Deck for the month, with New Vegas, Fallout 76 and Fallout 3 all making the cut. 
  • All games in the Fallout franchise continue to ride the enormous wave of popularity flowing since the debut of the Prime Video TV show. 

Hey look, it's another tale of success for the Fallout franchise! The Microsoft-owned franchise has been going gangbusters ever since Fallout Season 1 debuted on Amazon Prime Video, and we can toss the Steam Deck into that mix as well.

Valve likes to tell us what gamers have been playing on one of the best gaming handhelds money can buy every month, and April's report contains a whole lot of Fallout.  

Sorted by playtime, Fallout 4 claims the number two spot for Steam Deck players last month, behind only the ever popular (and perfect on handhelds) Stardew Valley. Other franchise entries, Fallout 76, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 3 also made the charts. 

When Fallout 4 first came out almost 9 years ago, did any of us think we'd be able to play it, and play it well, on something you can hold in your hands and take on the bus to work with you? I've tried both Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas on my Steam Deck recently, and they hold up pretty well, if, in the case of the latter in particular, the controls aren't exactly built for such a device. 

Perhaps the only real surprise in this month's list is Helldivers 2, which, in our experience, isn't great on the Steam Deck at all. But, democracy persists. 

Balatro is the best new game this year, it's not even a question.  (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

I need to give a shout-out to the game occupying third on the list, too, Balatro. 2024's best new game is absolutely perfect on the Steam Deck, it even respects touch inputs. As in, you can completely play the game by only touching the screen. It's so light it doesn't chew up your battery life, and the gameplay loop is so addictive you may well lose your entire life to it. 

I recently wrote about how life-changing releasing Balatro has been for its solo developer, and that success is fully deserved. In fact, I'm sure the Windows Central team alone could have got it onto the Steam Deck's most played. Yes, we're addicts. 

We'll be sharing more later this week on what we've been playing ourselves on our handheld gaming PCs, and hint, it'll probably include Fallout and Balatro!

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