Can You Play CSGO On Steam Deck? An Overview

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Can you play CSGO on Steam Deck?

Is it possible to score a good KDR playing on a portable console? Let’s see what we can say about playing CSGO on Steam Deck!

Steam Deck is a fairly new portable console from the developers of Half-Life franchise (and a ton of spinoff games you love so much). It is actually more of a portable gaming computer. It promises compatibility of most of the Valve catalog available, eventually at least. While it would come off more as an arcade gaming device, it’s open to all sorts of games, including shooters like CS:GO.

Wait a minute, but how are you supposed to play a highly technical shooter like this? There’s always been the division of PC-only shooting games that have a different gameplay than those FPS titles designed for gamepads. Turns out the wall dividing the two worlds is actually a thin veil. Read on to learn more!

How Is A Steam Deck CSGO Game Possible?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been ported to the new Valve console among other titles. If you have a Steam account, either a premium or non-premium CSGO in your library and a Steam Deck, you’re good to go. The core mechanics of the game haven’t changed at all. The only difference is that an alternative control method had to be introduced.

When it was first released, the game had a pretty janky and uneven control scheme. However, in just a couple of months it has been updated to make playing CSGO easier. Some of the keys have double function and can be used with a flick to do one thing or pressed for longer to do the other. While it might sound impractical, this is something you can surely get a grip of.

CSGO Steam Deck Gameplay

The totality of CS:GO gameplay remains the same. It’s no use going into details – mechanically it’s the same game with the same behavior. You might notice some menu layout differences that come from increased accessibility, but that’s it.  

You might wonder – are Steam Deck players playing with PC players? Yes, because nominally Steam Deck is a hand-held computer running on a custom desktop operating system. Cross-play was a worry since the announcement of the console. There are more detailed analyses if you want to dig in.

Notably, you also don’t have to worry about fidelity and roughness. Since Steam Deck was updated to work at a 40Hz refresh rate, Steam Deck CSGO fps rate can get to a stable 60 frames per second. Users online were also spotted to get it up to 90 fps.

Steam Deck CSGO Controls

Community’s favorite skin-trading-millionare-to-be 3clicksphillip did a thorough review of CSGO on Steam Deck. Below we post his follow-up video, because it is just more up-to-date with what you get currently.

The thing that changed the portable variant of the game is the new gyro control. While a joystick is good for general and assisted aiming, Valve really listened to people complaining about the lack of precision. They’ve updated the game with an additional aiming mode. By keeping your thumb on top of the joystick, the touch sensor engages the gyroscope. With it you aim with more definition by just leaning the whole console to its sides. Skeptics still think it’s subpar to traditional mouse aiming. Optimists say this might be the new meta, at least for the console gameplay.

Connecting External Devices To Steam Deck

Steam Deck prides itself with a lot of compatibility features as compared to competition’s hand-held consoles. If you are feeling adventurous, you could try to make the portable Counter-Strike gameplay this closer to a PC routine. Here’s a short video on connecting a bluetooth keyboard and a mouse to the Deck.

A recent CS:GO update has increased support for external controllers within the game. Now you have more options to customize your experience by external devices.

Is There Any Reason To Play CSGO On Steam Deck?

No doubt! While it is a highly competitive and undoubtedly technical game, it is still a game – it’s meant to be enjoyed.

The upsides of playing CSGO on Steam Deck include taking your favorite game with you when you travel, not getting out of the routines, and having a popular multiplayer title a click away. Also, this might make you look at the game from a different perspective and learn something new. (Not to mention that you can keep an eye on your skin trades while you travel).

The biggest downside would be the control challenge. You might not want to play ranked matchmaking games this way, unless you have a specific reason to hinder your progress. Or, you get so good at gyroing headshots that no one notices you’re playing from the back seat of the car.


In short, can you play CSGO on Steam Deck? Yes, the game is there, you just operate it differently. Once you obtain the console, you just need to get used to joystick+gyro controls and you’re good to go. It remains to be seen if we’ll get a whole Deck CSGO scene out of it.

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