With the release of Steam Deck Drawing closer, players were delighted to hear about Easy Anti-Cheat Software going free. It will soon be available in most games. Epic’s Easy Anti-Cheat service (EAC) detects unfair play in games. It is well known amongst PC gamers. Valve wants to make as many games compatible with Steam Deck as possible. With EAC going free, it’s about to be implemented in more games than ever before.
Implementation of Anti-Cheat software was one of the crucial obstacles Steam Deck faced. Steam Deck applies a Proton compatibility layer that allows Windows games to run on the Linux platform. Epic had stated that the Easy Anti-Cheat would be compatible with Proton a few months ago. Developers could enable it with just a few clicks, which was good news considering its need. It would only mean fewer exploiters for games on Steam Deck anyways. However, the truth is not as naive as it seemed.
Hurdles Faced By Steam Deck In Implementing Easy Anti-Cheat
In the original announcement, Epic mentioned how it could be enabled with “a few clicks in the Epic Online Services Developer Portal” sadly, that is far from true. A developer of Warhammer: Vermintide 2 has stated that there are two versions of EAC.
There’s the original and the newer version used via Epic Online Services. Most games are still integrated with the old version since the newer one needs SDK upgrades and more unique integrations.
Here’s what they stated:
So we have looked in to this. It’s far more complex than first suspected — EAC has two versions. Non-EOS and EOS (Epic Online Services). Most games historically use Non-EOS EAC. It’s the one Vermintide 2 uses as well. Epic only added Proton support for the EOS version of EAC. Therefore in order to implement proton support for Vermintide 2, a huge amount of reworking of the EAC implementation would be required, which may also require all players to authenticate with Epic Online Services as well — perhaps even logging in to the Epic environment (to be confirmed, however).
So the “just a few clicks” statement made in the original announcement wasn’t entirely accurate, and would only apply to titles using the EOS version of EAC, which simply hasn’t been many games aside from either pretty new ones, and likely predominantly Epic exclusive titles.
We are still looking at what is or isn’t going to be possible, but it’s not as easy as it was made out to be — far from it in fact.
There may be other solutions or workarounds, but ripping out the old EAC and rewriting everything to implement “NuEAC” and potentially asking our entire playerbase to connect through and sign through EOS for an honestly tiny market share that was (and would remain) unsupported from the get go might be a deal breaker.
Time will tell.
They evaluate there’d be a lot of work in converting a non-EOS version to an EOS and thus receive Proton support and run on Steam Deck, but they are looking into whether or not it’s a feasible move. Tripwire Interactive and other developers have specified that Epic’s Anti-Cheat could cause compatibility issues. Nevertheless, it’s not the only service that could be problematic.
DayZ developers have expressed that it is improbable that they will be bringing their game on Steam Deck, and many believe this to be because of BattleEye’s anti-cheat software.
On the whole, the number of games that these types of issues can affect, Steam Deck seems to have a problem. It is speculated that if enough people take advantage of the platform, it will gain support. Steam Deck could be very successful with the things we know so far. It’s a device many are eager to get their hands on.
However, this is a central blockade in front of Steam Deck. With its release on February 2022, things need to be sorted out soon before it results in a loss for Valve. Let us know what your thoughts are regarding this development. We would love to know your thoughts in the comment section below.