EA’s Steam Deck breaking anti-cheat is going to hit more games

Joel Loynds
Steam Deck with EA logo smashing into it

EA’s latest anti-cheat solution has blocked Steam Deck users from playing titles like EA FC 2024, and that is just the beginning, as the company seeks to bring the anti-cheat to more of its titles.

The latest EA multiplayer games are utilizing the company’s own anti-cheat software to protect players. However, the way the anti-cheat works is very similar to Call of Duty’s, and has the unfortunate side-effect of breaking Steam Deck compatibility.

Right now, EA FC 2024, the latest game to feature EA’s anti-cheat, has resulted in the sports game being totally blocked on the Linux platform. This is due to a requirement for kernel-level access on Windows, which, of course, doesn’t exist on Linux.

Now, EA plans to bring the system to Battlefield 2042, meaning that you will not be able to play the FPS title on Valve’s Steam Deck. It currently uses Easy Anti-Cheat, but EA never flipped whatever switch is required to get the game running on Linux.

Concerns have been raised that EA could bring it to their massive FPS game, Apex Legends in the future. The battle royale currently uses Easy Anti-Cheat, but it has been implemented to function on the Steam Deck. If EA brings its newer custom anti-cheat to Apex Legends, it could cull a portion of the player base.

Not every game uses anti-cheat though, as EA’s single-player output has notably not included any security measures outside of typical DRM to prevent piracy. However, if the rumored third Star Wars Jedi game includes some multiplayer component, Steam Deck users could be out of luck.

EA anti-cheat looks to break even more games on Steam Deck

wirtz ea fc 24 young player

Outside of EA FC, Madden 24 also includes the anti-cheat and as such, the game is labeled as not compatible across Linux systems. The concern is that EA could eventually decide to include its anti-cheat in more than just competitive titles as well. Games like It Takes Two, a co-op game with online play, would be rendered useless on the device.

EA has already come under fire previously, along with Ubisoft, for regularly breaking Steam Deck and Linux compatibility. The Steam Deck relies on Proton, a translation layer to let Windows games run on Linux. Updates to the company’s launcher seem to regularly break things for those even wanting to play single-player games.

Indie FPS darling, Battlebit Remastered, recently reversed a decision to implement a Steam Deck-breaking anti-cheat.

Despite the Steam Deck’s massive success, and also its needle-moving effect on the number of Linux players on Steam, it’s still a tiny portion of players. EA might see these people as collateral damage in its renewed push for online security in its games.

About The Author

E-Commerce Editor. You can get in touch with him over email: joel.loynds@dexerto.com. He's written extensively about video games and tech for over a decade for various sites. Previously seen on Scan, WePC, PCGuide, Eurogamer, Digital Foundry and Metro.co.uk. A deep love for old tech, bad games and even jankier MTG decks.