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RimWorld updated with Steam Deck support

Antagonise your colonists while on the toilet

A new RimWorld patch has brought "full support" for Steam Deck, updating the interface for Valve's handheld gaming PC. The excellent sci-fi colony-building sandbox is the sort of game I would most like to potter around the house with, maybe play a few minutes on the pot, so that's nice. Not that I would take a Steam Deck to the toilet. But in theory. Look, I'm just pretending this is about me so I don't have to accuse you of anything.

"Today's update makes the Deck controls more intuitive, refines the touchscreen interface, improves the UI and keyboard, and adds an easy way to access the Deck's controller config options," the devs explain in the RimWorld v1.3.3326 patch notes. These changes include, along with updated tooltips and options and things, the following list:

  • Touch screen scrolling improvements on SteamDeck.
  • It's now possible to scroll through lists by dragging your finger on SteamDeck.
  • Make zooming faster on SteamDeck.
  • Holding a special "middle mouse button" button on SteamDeck, now translates left clicks into right clicks. This makes it possible to give goto orders to drafted pawns by using the touch screen.
  • Don't pan the camera if the middle mouse button is held and a colonist is selected on SteamDeck.
  • Allow more zoom on SteamDeck for better touch screen support and easier navigation.
  • Better time controls on SteamDeck, it's now possible to increase/decrease time speed with back buttons.
  • Accept key on a SteamDeck now activates the first command.

This should play nicely with mods, though player reports suggest potentially a few might have slipped through the cracks. The Steam Deck updates required a new version of Valve's Steamworks API, which would break compatibility with some mods, so developers Ludeon Studios ran a public beta to give modders time to update. They also say they "personally reached out to dozens of modders to help prevent mods from breaking." After that, "the known incompatibilities should be solved now - thanks to all modders who responded!"

RimWorld's Steam Deck support got held up by reality. Back at the handheld's Feruary launch, RimWorld lead Tynan Sylvester noted that the dev who was meant to be working on Deck changes lived in Ukraine. "After delays getting the Deck to him, the current situation there means he won't be making progress any time soon," he said. Yep. Last night's update shared the good news that "our developer who was living in Ukraine is now safe in Germany."

We've called RimWorld one of the best survival games and the best management games. It is. Even/especially when your attempt to run a nice hotel becomes a drug-fuelled nightmare.

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