The state of the Steam Deck's anti-cheat software    

The state of the Steam Deck’s anti-cheat software

August 22, 2023 By Admin

Online games have been plagued by cheaters for a long time. Game makers utilize anti-cheat software to stop them, and there are several varieties of anti-cheat services available.

The issue is that not many anti-cheat programs work with Linux, which is the operating system that Steam Deck employs. Has something changed?

How to Bypass Anti-Cheat Software on Steam Deck

The Importance of Anti-Cheat Software

Online games need anti-cheat software because it maintains the game’s fairness for all players. Cheaters can utilize aim or wall hacks in esports games to make themselves unstoppable. Use of hacks involves no expertise at all.

Because it’s unpleasant to play against a cheater, cheats may quickly destroy the game for casual players if they aren’t stopped. Even worse, there have been several instances where esports competitors were exposed as cheaters.

The “Forsaken” player, who was exposed employing an aim-bot at a 2018 CS GO event, is a well-known example of a cheater in an esports contest.

Is the Steam Deck Supported for Anti-Cheat?

Yes. Both Battleye and Easy Anti Cheat (EAC) support Proton and work with the Steam Deck.

Many players believed the Steam Deck would not work with multiplayer games that employ anti-cheat systems when it was first revealed. That was the situation for a while. The problem is because most anti-cheat systems cannot function on Proton, the operating system used by Steam Deck, which is a customized version of Linux.

A compatibility layer called Proton was created by Valve and is based on Wine. On the Linux-based Steam OS, Proton enables the use of Windows games. To run games that were originally created for Windows, Proton essentially emulates Windows utilizing a variety of libraries, dependencies, APIs, and other strategies. 90% of the Steam Library is playable because to this technology, which is used by Steam Deck.

The issue is that because Proton has a completely different architecture than Windows, the majority of anti-cheat software does not support it. Most anti-cheat vendors have not created Linux or Proton-compatible versions of their anti-cheat software because the bulk of players use Windows.

What is Kernel Level?

The majority of anti-cheats scan your system for suspicious applications or alterations using kernel-level drivers. You must be aware of the kernel level in order to comprehend why various anti-cheat services won’t operate with Proton (Steam Deck).

The kernel level is the lowest level of a Windows system and is in charge of controlling your system’s hardware and processes. It is also referred to as Root level, Ring 0, and Kernel Mode. It loads immediately following the boot process, ahead of system files and drivers. The kernel level may be compared to your system’s software’s fundamental building block, upon which everything else depends.

A kernel-level anti-cheat is present in games like Valorant’s Vanguard, which can only be launched after a complete system reboot. Kernel-level anti-cheats have drawn considerable criticism since they have complete control over your hardware and may brick your system if the kernel is damaged.

There is a kernel in Linux as well, but it differs from the one in Windows and calls for different rights. The kernel level that Windows emulates cannot be emulated by Steam’s Proton. The majority of kernel-level anti-cheats are incompatible with the Steam Deck.

Proton Now Works with BattlEye and Easy Anti-Cheat

The good news is that Proton has been made compatible with anti-cheat software by Steam. Easy Anti Cheat and BattleEye, the two most popular anti-cheat services, are now Proton compatible. It is still up to the game developers to upgrade their game builds to incorporate Proton support even though the fundamental services are compatible.

For developers that want to make their games compatible with supported anti-cheat systems, Steam has created an easy tutorial. There is no need to recompile the game files; it is quite easy to do and simply involves turning on Linux and adding one file to the game directory.

The makers of some games, such as Destiny 2, which use BattleEye and should be compatible with the Steam Deck, have decided not to enable Linux compatibility, therefore such titles are not supported. On Steam Deck’s Proton, Destiny 2 is not supported unless you make a Win 11 bootable SD card for Steam Deck and play games through Windows, according to their help website.