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Your Steam Deck will run loads more games if you grab this free update

Proton 9.0 boosts performance in The Finals, while adding improved support for older games like Far Cry 2 on Valve's handheld gaming PC.

A Steam Deck with the Proton icon on the screen against an orange background

Proton 9.0 is now available to download on Steam Deck, and it brings some considerable improvements with it, not just for portable gaming, but also for gaming on Linux systems in general. Downloading this free update will bring new life to your Steam Deck as it adds loads more playable games to Valve’s pocket powerhouse.

The Steam Deck sits in a class of its own when it comes to Linux gaming because no other major handheld manufacturer actively uses the operating system. Competitors such as the ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go use Windows instead, and the debate is neverending as to which is the best to use for a handheld gaming PC.

One disadvantage of Linux is its compatibility with anti-cheat software, as well as games delivered via apps that aren’t currently available on Linux, such as Xbox Game Pass.

Over time, Valve has worked tirelessly on the Proton compatibility tool to correct this situation, while also focusing on older titles, bringing their compatibility up to modern standards, and breaking down any accessibility issues that have arisen.

With the full release Proton 9.0, this new update again adds a swath of games previously only compatible with Proton in its ‘Experimental’ state. These new Steam Deck games include:

  • Dinogen Online
  • Photography Simulator Demo
  • George McGeehan Gamer Hero
  • The Finals
  • True Reporter. Mystery of Mistwood
  • Road to Vostok Demo
  • Witch on the Holy Night
  • Lord of the Rings: Gollum
  • Sonic Colors: Ultimate
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and Yuri’s Revenge
  • Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun and Firestorm
  • Aisling and the Tavern of Elves
  • Snares of Ruin 2
  • Insanity’s Blade
  • Bloody Walls

A notable title in this update fix is The Finals, which may have seen its popularity cool off somewhat since its initial release, but is still a game that plenty of Steam Deck and Linux users are keen to play.

With global low settings and AMD FSR 2.0 set to balanced, the game runs at a fairly consistent 60fps on Steam Deck. The Finals first became playable using Proton Experimental in January 2024, and with the full release of Proton 9.0, this compatibility has only improved. Valve may now end up retesting The Finals and upgrade it from the current ‘Unsupported’ rating it is branded with.

Additionally, some older games that were not playable due to the number of cores on modern processors are now playable due to this update, making them ignore the higher core count. These games include:

  • Far Cry 2
  • Far Cry 4
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution
  • Outcast – Second Contact
  • Prototype

If you were already using the beta version of Proton 9.0, the full release will install automatically when you next load up your Steam Deck. If not, you can head to the store, search for Proton 9.0, and download it free of charge.

If you need some inspiration for what to play next, check out our list of the best Steam Deck games, all hand-picked and tested by us so you know they work great on Valve’s handheld.