Free Games You Can Play Right Now On The Steam Deck

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The magic of Steam Deck is that it gives you the entire Steam library of games on the go. Depending on compatibility, you have a whole world of free games to jump into whenever you want.


Related: Everything You Need to Know About Setting Up Your Steam Deck

Launched on February 25, 2022, the Steam Deck is already giving the Nintendo Switch a run for its money by becoming the first handheld multi-player gaming device. From FPS, MMOs and simulation games, these are the best – and free – games to play on Steam Deck.

Updated by Jack Webb on June 18, 2023: Steam Deck has been available for over a year now, and more and more games are becoming compatible with PDAs. This list has been updated to add newer games and correct the order of the list.

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13 The Sims 4

studying artifacts using the archeology table in Sims 4

Starting in 2022, the entire Sims 4 base game is available for free. Even better, you no longer need an EA Origin account to get the game since it’s available on Steam.

With full compatibility on Steam Deck, you can now play The Sims 4 entirely from your PDA. The Sims has been an ongoing series and now you can get several paid expansions for the base game. Even without all the DLC, the base Sims 4 is still extremely good.

12 Marvel Snap

marvel snap battle mode loading screen

This Hearthstone-like card game is set in the Marvel universe. This is a free-to-play model, so it includes some gacha mechanics, but no loot boxes. Although the game is in early access, Marvel Snap receives dedicated updates, and each one comes with a new season that introduces new limited-time cards.

You get a free starter set when you start the game, and Marvel Snap allows you to earn most, if not all, cards without spending money on them. If you play enough, you can buy a Battle Pass and earn more rewards, but you don’t have to enjoy it. Download it to Steam and start playing it on your deck whenever you want.

11 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter Strike Global Offensive for Steam Deck-1

Players have been fighting terrorists in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive since 2012, and they don’t plan to tire of it anytime soon. Constantly updated with new maps, characters, weapons (completed by community artists!) and game modes, CS:GO brings together large teams to complete complex objectives and earn service medals that they can proudly display on their Steam profiles.

Related: The Best Platform Games on Steam Deck

Co-developed with Hidden Path Entertainment, this timeless Valve classic is free to play on Steam Deck. All you have to do is get used to the alternative controls and you’re good to go. Not one to change your ways? No problem, you can always connect your console to your PC and enjoy the game as you always have.

10 DOTA 2 and Dota Underlords

DOTA 2 and Dota Underlords for Steam Deck

It wouldn’t be the same without this trend-setting MOBA. Fortunately, both DOTA 2 and Dota Underlords are available to play for free on Steam Deck. Defend your base with a variety of uniquely decked characters in 5v5 teams, or use your strategy and enjoy watching an automated warrior do the work for you.

Either way, hours are guaranteed to be invested in this series, which fits the console’s control layout so closely – it feels like it was made for it. And just like on PC, you can easily team up with friends via Steam to make your name in pixelated history.

9 Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 players pose

Dubbed the highest-rated free-to-play game of all time, Team Fortress 2 splits you into two teams, RED and BLUE, and gives you a choice of nine characters, each known for a specific play style, to compete in games like capture the flag and king of the hill.

Critically acclaimed for its art direction, gameplay, and humor, Team Fortress 2 also dominates the ancient halls of YouTube in the form of meme videos.

8 Fortnite

Fortnite loading screen from the game

It’s hard not to like Fortnite, a game where 100 players are thrown into a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies and forced to fight to the last. Fortnite, at one point one of the most played games in the world, attracted more than 125 million players in less than a year, and became a cultural phenomenon in the year of its release. That’s the combined popularity of Gen Z gamers, who make up 60 percent of its player base.

Related: How to set up a mouse and keyboard on Steam Deck

Although it’s now a free-to-play game on Steam Deck, players are still shelling out big bucks for its seasonal skins, which are released when new updates and seasons are released.

7 War framework

Warframe characters stand with weapons

Warframe combines the best of many worlds as an open-world role-playing game, a third-person action shooter, and an online multiplayer game. However, it is perhaps the most popular because of its extremely balanced trade-off between premium and free-to-play. It allows players to earn valuable in-game items by grinding and also by purchasing from the online store.

Each player controls a few members of the Tenmo, an ancient warrior race once suspended in animation to fight other alien races and warring factions in an intergalactic all-out war.

6 The path of exile

Characters using abilities in Path of Exile

It’s one thing to be banished to a deserted island by your evil government, it’s quite another to be banished to an ancient island where you must fight for your life against the ancient gods. Path Of Exile has been famously compared to the Diablo series in terms of gameplay and gives you the option to play as one of seven character classes: Marauder, Duelist, Ranger, Shadow, Witch, Templar and Scion.

Whether you’re exploring caves, raiding dungeons, battling gods, or going on quests, the isometric gameplay fits comfortably with the Steam Deck’s control setup. Path of Exile is also highly replayable, relying heavily on procedurally generated content. Thank heavens for AI, right?

5 Brawlhalla

Rayman goes to battle in Brawlhalla

Brawlhalla is another one of those games that turned into an overnight sensation, especially among streamers and casual gamers who are looking for a relaxing game to play online with friends, with 80 million players worldwide.

Related: Best Relaxing Games on Steam Deck

Similar to Super Smash Bros, Brawlhalla players win by blasting their enemies off the map with a limited set of simple controls. The gameplay is not that simple, however, and Brawlhalla is played both competitively and casually, with players using unique strategies and playstyles to achieve their goal.

4 Aperture Desk Job

Watching the robot in Aperture Desk Job

While it was mainly released to showcase the platform’s controller features, this short, 30-minute tech demo is definitely worth a watch or ten. A product of the Portal series, Aperture Desk Job lets you inspect the product with the help of Grady, a rather friendly — and certainly far less vindictive — AI core that guides you through the controls using several different scenarios.

The game has received overwhelmingly positive reviews since its launch on March 1, 2022, one month after the console’s release, and continues to dominate online forums as a highly recommended Steam Deck game.

3 Hello infinite

Two Spartans stand back to back in Halo Infinite

Introduced as the sixth main entry in the Halo franchise, Halo Infinite is the story of the human super soldier Master Chief as he tries to defeat his nemesis, the Banished, on the ring world of Forerunner Zeta Halo, also known as Installation 07. The game excels in terms of gameplay, open world design , soundtrack and story, and is wonderfully free to play in multiplayer mode.

Halo Infinite is rich in different game modes that include Campaign Mode, Death Match, Capture the Flag and other game modes in standard 4-on-4 and Big Team Battle for up to 24 players.

2 Apex Legends

Mirage and other legends perform during the trailer in Apex Legends

Fight for glory, fame and fortune in teams of two or three and earn the title of Apex Legend in this free-to-play Battle Royale game. Set in the same universe as Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall series, the most played video game of all time Apex Legends by number of players in the same year of release for Nintendo Switch.

Related: The Best Retro Games to Play on Steam Deck

In 2022, it was dethroned by none other than PUBG Mobile. Apex Legends is just as fun — and free — to play on Steam Deck as it is on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, Windows, Android and iOS. In fact, if you need to play this handheld, Steam Deck is the way to go.

1 Star Wars: The Old Republic

Revan, the final boss from Foundry Flashpoint, in Star Wars: The Old Republic

EA’s MMO Star Wars the Old Republic has been free-to-play for years. The entire base game can be played for free via two expansions. If you want to play the newer expansions, you can buy them separately. While the game has some annoying limitations on party sizes and other gameplay mechanics, the core experience and stories for each class are engaging and thoroughly enjoyable.

Playing with friends enhances the experience, but you can more or less enjoy the entire game on a solo adventure. Steam itself says you need to take a few extra steps to make this game work on Steam Deck, but once you do, you can enjoy it on the go without needing a bulky laptop or PC.

Next: The best games on Steam under $10

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