Reviews Tux on Deck

Can I play Space Engineers on my Steam Deck?

It’s complicated.

4.8/10 – Nothing shocks me. I’m a scientist.

Indiana Jones

Space Engineers is the amazing space construction simulation game from Keen Software House. I personally enjoy this title a lot, and the abundant mods add a ton of content and depth on top of the already enjoyable base game. Space Engineers is a game I would recommend to anyone, but on the Steam Deck it’s complicated.

Valve lets you know their opinion right away, but that’s not the whole story. I installed Space Engineers onto my Deck, and was pleasantly surprised. The game started, and I could toggle on controller support in the settings.

Everything looked perfect. I was excited to test it in depth and see how it went. With controller support enabled I started a new custom game, and off I went.

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When the map finished loading I was so excited. I flew around my space station with my jet pack and prepared to get down to some serious engineering, but alas this is when I realized we had a problem. Every button on the controller was working with Space Engineers except two. For some strange reason neither trigger was registering with Space Engineers. This meant you couldn’t actually interact with anything. “But dizlexic” I hear you ask “why not just rebind those actions and play it with 2 less buttons?” Great question, you’d have to ask Keen Software House why we can’t rebind controller actions. Sadly you aren’t able to remap the controller in Space Engineers.

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My drill won’t turn.

Like I said at the start it’s complicated. Space Engineers performs perfectly on the Deck, and when I docked it and used a mouse and keyboard Space Engineers played perfectly, but with how cumbersome the keyboard and mouse controls are I can’t recommend playing this game undocked and handheld. Which is sad. Space Engineers would be an amazing game to play on the go, but until this is fixed it’s very much bound to the keyboard. I’m hopeful this will be addressed at some time soon, and I’ll update you as soon as it is. For right now however, I have to scrub the launch of Space Engineers on the Steam Deck.

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