The Best Fighting Games for Steam Deck OLED in 2024 – From Tekken 8 and Street Fighter 6 to Guilty Gear Strive and UNI2 – TouchArcade

A lot has changed in the world of fighting games since I wrote about it and the best fighting games to play on Steam Deck back in early 2022. We’ve seen many of those fighting game franchises get new entries, DLC, the release of the Steam Deck OLED, me getting into arcade sticks and controllers, and also some classic games getting updated for modern online play with rollback netcode. I regularly use my Steam Decks for fighting games at home wired against friends online and also on the go. The genre is truly incredible on Steam Deck barring a few exceptions, and I want to highlight the best of it here.

While the last time I only noted a fighting game’s Steam Deck rating for Verified and Playable, I wanted to make this article even more useful so I’ve specific the netcode, crossplay, HDR support, and will also detail if anything needs fixing to play a specific game online on Steam Deck. The HDR support is for games that potentially have native HDR support on Steam for the new Steam Deck OLED. It was difficult narrowing this selection to just 10, but I have included some bonus games that I recommend checking out for various reasons. Hopefully this helps you find some great fighters to play on your Steam Deck OLED and Steam Deck LCD models.

Note: I tested every single game in this feature myself over the last few weeks to verify the online play works on Steam Deck. In cases of crossplay with consoles, I tested those as well with friends and randoms. I also used my Razer Kitsune and Hori Fighting Stick Alpha to test the games on both Steam Decks.

Tekken 8 ($69.99)

While I didn’t enjoy Tekken 7 much, Tekken 8 is superb. Having now spent loads of time online and offline with Tekken 8 across Steam Deck and both consoles both pre-release and daily till today, I can safely say that Bandai Namco Studios hit it out of the park with this one. It is a universal improvement over the last game and delivers a superb package right from day one. Tekken 8 gets my highest possible recommendation, and I hope the few online quirks can be resolved in updates. It feels great to have a Tekken game actually push visuals once again. Tekken 8 has great gameplay, awesome music, superb visuals, a brilliant replay system, and one of the best story modes in a modern fighter. It is an essential on Steam Deck and even has HDR support.

  • Tekken 8 Steam Deck Rating: Playable
  • Tekken 8 Online Netcode: Rollback and crossplay with PS5 and Xbox Series X
  • Tekken 8 Steam Deck HDR support: Available natively

Street Fighter 6 ($59.99)

Street Fighter 6 is gorgeous, chock full of single player content including a full story mode that I keep going back to, superb online netcode, and more. Give the Street Fighter 6 demo a shot if you aren’t sure it is for you. I even came around to the music after being mixed on it. Street Fighter 6 is Capcom’s best fighting game since Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and it is absolutely worth your time. The story mode doesn’t run perfectly on Steam Deck, but barring that it is a joy to play on the go. I can’t wait to see how much it evolves in 2024 and beyond. I play this one on PS5 and Steam Deck often. Hopefully we see more interesting characters in the next character pass because we need more Third Strike representation.

  • Street Fighter 6 Steam Deck Rating: Verified
  • Street Fighter 6 Online Netcode: Rollback and crossplay with PS5, PS4, and Xbox Series X
  • Street Fighter 6 Steam Deck HDR support: No HDR.

Guilty Gear Strive ($39.99)

Arc System Works’ Guilty Gear Strive remains one of my favorite fighting games in years with its stunning character designs, superb music, and great updates to gameplay since launch. I was shocked at how well it ran day one on Steam Deck, and I’ve been dipping in and out of it often on the system over the last few weeks. The online play holds up well out of the box with cross play working as it should. It is easily one of the best looking fighting games ever, and is excellent on Steam Deck. I’m surprised that it isn’t verified on Steam Deck already given it was used in some promotion for the system by Valve when the Deck was launching. If you’ve not played this one in a while, the newer updates and DLC like Elphelt make it worth revisiting.

  • Guilty Gear Strive Steam Deck Rating: Playable
  • Guilty Gear Strive Online Netcode: Rollback and crossplay with PS5, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X
  • Guilty Gear Strive Steam Deck HDR support: Not available

The King of Fighters XV ($59.99)

The King of Fighters XV was a huge upgrade over The King of Fighters XIV. Following its launch, KOFXV has gotten loads of content and balance adjustments in addition to DLC and more importantly, cross platform online play. I was very excited for it, and I’m glad that KOFXV nailed the visuals, music, gameplay, and online all together. The story mode is a bit lacking, and that’s my only real complaint with it. I’ve enjoyed revisiting it on Steam Deck after playing it a lot on PS5 initially. I hope we see more DLC come to it in the future, but it is a superb experience in its current state on Steam Deck.

  • The King of Fighters XV Steam Deck Rating: Verified
  • The King of Fighters XV Online Netcode: Rollback and crossplay with PS5, PS4, and Xbox Series X
  • The King of Fighters XV Steam Deck HDR support: Not available

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising ($49.99)

Back when Granblue Fantasy Versus had just come out, I loved everything about it barring the online experience. Instead of doing a rollback update, Cygames and Arc System Works gave us so much more with Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. This new fighter is chock full of amazing gameplay, characters, music, and robust online play. It feels like the complete package right from the get go, and is a great new option for any newcomer to fighting games with its low barrier of entry. If you aren’t sure if Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is for you, give the free version a shot. Cygames and Arc System Worked nailed everything I had hoped for here, and delivered one of the best fighting game day one releases in years.

  • Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising Steam Deck Rating: Unsupported. It works perfectly online and offline barring some story cut-scenes.
  • Granblue Fantasy Versus Rising Online Netcode: Rollback and crossplay with PS5 and PS4
  • Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising Steam Deck HDR support: Not available

Melty Blood Type Lumina ($49.99)

When Melty Blood Type Lumina was announced, it felt like a fever dream of a release given the platforms and release timing. You see, Melty Blood always felt like this game that a few people spoke highly of and played, but never got the respect or release it deserved. For Melty Blood Type Lumina, the newest entry in the series based on Type Moon’s Tsukihime, we saw a day one multi-platform worldwide release on PC and consoles with rollback netcode. French Bread delivered a super fun fighting game with a ton of characters and regular free DLC. Despite owning it on Xbox, Switch, and PC, I play Melty Blood Type Lumina on Steam Deck the most, and it has been a joy throughout. It may not the be the most balanced game, but how can you say no to playing a fighting game with Hisui, Neco Arc, and Saber included that has rollback netcode?

  • Melty Blood Type Lumina Steam Deck Rating: Verified
  • Melty Blood Type Lumina Online Netcode: Rollback
  • Melty Blood Type Lumina Steam Deck HDR support: Not available

Skullgirls 2nd Encore ($24.99)

Skullgirls 2nd Encore is a game I discovered I owned on Steam but can’t remember when or how I got it years ago. The fast-faced 2D fighter with great art, music, and gameplay feels superb on Steam Deck both online and offline. Skullgirls 2nd Encore is still being supported alongside Skullgirls Mobile, and out of all the versions, I play it the most on Steam Deck. It is a surprisingly good fighting game in every way, and it also does a great job with its introduction for newcomers. If you don’t like the aesthetic, at least give the music a shot. I hope it gets supported for many years to come. Skullgirls 2nd Encore remains a special fighting game.

  • Skullgirls 2nd Encore Steam Deck Rating: Verified
  • Skullgirls 2nd Encore Netcode: Rollback
  • Skullgirls 2nd Encore Steam Deck HDR support: Not available

Killer Instinct Anniversary Edition (Free / $29.99)

I won’t lie. When I wrote about the best fighting games on Steam Deck back in 2022, I completely forgot Killer Instinct existed despite having enjoyed it for years on Xbox following the Definitive Edition release. I didn’t spend too much time with it in recent years, but always listened to the music and appreciated how good it was online. Recently Iron Galaxy pushed out a huge anniversary update for the game and released a free to play version on Steam. Killer Instinct Anniversary Edition has been awesome on both Xbox Series X and Steam Deck. It supports cross platform online and plays brilliantly on Steam Deck even today. If you’ve never played Killer Instinct, the new free edition is worth trying out on Steam as well. Killer Instinct Anniversary Edition is the ultimate version with all updates and content since the game’s 2013 Xbox debut. It also happens to be worth checking out for Mick Gordon’s amazing score.

  • Killer Instinct Anniversary Edition Steam Deck Rating: Verified
  • Killer Instinct Anniversary Edition Netcode: Rollback and crossplay with Xbox One and Xbox Series X
  • Killer Instinct Anniversary Edition Steam Deck HDR support: Not available

Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes ($49.99)

Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes is the reason this article is going up now instead of a few weeks ago. You see I love Under Night In-Birth, and was very excited for Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes and Tekken 8 releasing this year and to play them both on Steam Deck assuming they worked fine. Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes debuted and was amazing from day one on PS5 and Switch, but the PC version was lacking. As of this writing, all my issues with the PC version have been fixed, and it runs fine online and offline. I’ve tested it regularly over the last week online on Steam Deck with no trouble. It is the ultimate version of Under Night In-Birth, and just a joy to play. The aesthetic doesn’t scale too well at high resolutions on my monitor, but Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes looks sublime on the Steam Deck display. If you held off getting the PC version for the issues it had at launch, they have all been fixed, at least for me.

  • Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes Steam Deck Rating: Unsupported. In my testing it works fine barring some cut-scenes and plays well online as of the latest update.
  • Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes Netcode: Rollback
  • Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes Steam Deck HDR support: Not available

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax ($29.99)

Originally released on PS3 and Xbox 360 years ago, Sega and Arc System Works brought an enhanced version of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax to PS4, Switch, and Steam back in 2022 including a balance update that had never been released outside Japan before. While the game ran and felt great on Steam Deck offline initially, it recently is unplayable without a specific version of Proton. With that sorted, it works great online and offline. I tested it as recently as this week to make sure the online play holds up on Steam Deck. If you like Persona and fighting games, this one is a no-brainer that I hope Valve manages to fix for the current version of Proton on Steam Deck. I initially considered not including Persona 4 Arena Ultimax because of the Proton issue, but it is an easy fix for a great fighting game and is worth your time as a great fighter for anime fighting game and Persona fans. Hopefully we get a Persona 5 Arena in the future as well.

  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Steam Deck Rating: Unsupported. This one requires Proton 7.0-6 which you can install to play on Steam Deck online and offline.
  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Netcode: Rollback
  • Persona 4 Arena Ultimax Steam Deck HDR support: Not available

Bonus games

Classic SNK Fighters

The King of Fighters 98 Ultimate Match Final Edition and The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match on PC are fantastic versions of the classic games and both are Steam Deck Verified as well. I enjoy playing them online and offline on Steam Deck where they run without issues. Garou: Mark of the Wolves is not Steam Deck Verified, but Steam Deck Playable. It also works flawlessly online and offline on Steam Deck. I wanted to highlight these as bonus games because they are worth playing, but I’d rather recommend KOFXV to newcomers. All three games here have rollback netcode.

Classic Arc System Works Fighters

A second, albeit slightly weirder group, of bonus recommendations comes in the form of a set of older Arc System Works games that I recommend. While I recommend playing Guilty Gear Strive above them, I urge you to also try Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R because they are both awesome. Guilty Gear Xrd Sign (an older version of the game) is actually the reason I love Arc System Works and was my first taste of fighting games by the developer. In addition to those two older Guilty Gear games, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle with all updates and DLC is a fun fighting game that shines if you love the franchises featured. It isn’t as deep as BlazBlue Central Fiction, but it is always a fun time. All three games have rollback netcode through updates.

Hopefully this helps you find a great fighting game for your Steam Deck OLED. It is going to be interesting to see how different this list is in about a year or two with potentially more games, updates, DLC, and maybe even new fighting game franchises hitting the scene. The future for fighting games feels brighter than it has been in many years, and just about every game plays great on Steam Deck online and offline. What do you think? Do you have any fighting games you’d like to add to this list? Feel free to comment below with your favorite fighters on Steam that you’ve been playing on Steam Deck or any you have in mind for when you get your Deck. You can read all our past and future Steam Deck coverage here covering game reviews, features, interviews, news, and more. Thanks for reading.

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