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MMOs On The Go: Would You Buy A Steam Deck Or Other Handheld PC for Your Favorite MMO?

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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When I first saw the Steam Deck last year, I knew I was buying one. The idea of taking my whole Steam library on the go with me is an intriguing prospect. 

Yes, I know this is already possible with the right laptop, but I've not had good luck with gaming laptops in the past (my Zephyrus came close...till it got destroyed). However, the idea of a handheld device that was purpose-built to play my favorite games spoke to me.

Mostly, I wanted to be able to hop into The Lord of the Rings Online and do some questing at a moment's notice. I wanted to be able to mine asteroids in EVE Online when traveling on a plane, or pick up a few new crafting materials in RuneScape.


Having gone hands-on with the Steam Deck for the last week, the results have, unfortunately, been rather middling. Compatibility is a major issue, as is controlling titles that aren't really built with a gamepad in mind. Getting games to launch like The Elder Scrolls Online hasn't been easy, and apparently, a title that worked before, namely Final Fantasy XIV, is no longer able to launch without major tweaking in Linux. Thankfully, IGN posted a video showing it was playable before (and hopefully will be again).

Even Steam-exclusive MMOs like New World don't quite work on the device. I can select my character in Amazon's MMO, but it won't actually let me connect to a server. It was a pity, I was really looking forward to checking out the latest update while lounging in bed last night, but alas, maybe someday.

One title that surprised me by working next to flawlessly has been Swords of Legends Online. Sitting at a coffee shop the other day, sipping an expertly made Americano while running through Cloudrise was divine. It reminded me of why I wanted one of these: the full PC MMO experience in the palm of my hands effectively.

Warframe is another title that, while not Steam Deck Verified by Valve, runs outrageously well. The Classic graphics settings, Warframe never drops from its 60fps target, giving the fast and flashy experience I've come to love since starting the looter MMO in earnest last year.

It got me thinking, though: how many people out there are like me? Who else saw the Steam Deck and thought portable MMO device? Sure, I'll play other games on the Steam Deck. My daughter and I have started a playthrough of Omori on the device last week, and I've tinkered with my mountain cabin in Valheim yesterday. Other titles like Horizon: Zero Dawn are better on my main PC, but if I get the urge to down some metal dinos on the road, I'll be able to now.

What are your thoughts on the Steam Deck? Is it something you'd be interested in, and if so, are there any MMOs specifically you want to see work flawlessly on the device? Let us know in the comments below.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore