Do Steam’s ‘Verified’ Game Ratings Actually Mean Anything? Recent Fallout 4 Incident

fallout4 on steam-deck

Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic RPG Fallout 4 recently received Valve’s coveted “Verified” rating for Steam Deck compatibility after the game’s new next-gen updates.

But for many players, the game is now borderline unplayable on the handheld, sparking questions about what Valve’s verification process truly ensures.

What’s Wrong with Fallout 4 on Deck?

  • The latest Fallout 4 update removed the game’s old launcher menu, which previously allowed graphics customization on Steam Deck. Now there’s no way to adjust any visual settings.
  • Performance has tanked, with Valve’s frame rate overlay reporting incorrect numbers – showing 90fps when the actual frame rate is only 45fps on the Steam Deck’s OLED model.
  • Random crashes to the home screen are frequent, sometimes happening during basic exploration with no triggers.

Essentially, a “Verified” stamp has made one of Steam Deck’s best games significantly worse.

Why Are Verified Games Experiencing Issues?

This isn’t the first time a newly verified game has developed problems on the Steam Deck.

It raises concerns that Valve’s rating system is nothing more than a simple checklist rather than a true measure of optimization and polish.

For example, the popular game Horizon Forbidden West runs well on the Deck OLED after changing settings manually. Yet it shows “Unsupported” according to Valve.

Recently Steam released a list of its top 100 most-played games, but out of it, 27 % of games were not officially verified by Steam.

As an open platform, the Deck has obvious advantages over closed systems.

But console-like verification standards are clearly still a work in progress two years after launch.

The company may need to reevaluate its testing process and standards or find a way to allow user input on game performance. Otherwise, the “Verified” badge could become effectively meaningless.

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