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5 Best Roguelike Games on Steam Deck (March 2023)

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Best Roguelike Games on Steam Deck

Are you looking for the ultimate gaming challenge? Roguelikes are a type of video game with randomly generated dungeons and permadeath, offering gamers an ever-changing and unique experience. If you're one of those who crave unpredictable gameplay but aren't sure which roguelikes to try, our list of the best roguelike games on Steam Deck is here to rescue you! So buckle up because we've got everything you need to know about these classic journeys through procedurally generated levels – plus helpful tips that'll help make your next roguelike run even more enjoyable!

5. Vampire Survivors

Launch Trailer - Vampire Survivors

Vampire Survivors is an action roguelike you can easily write off at first sight. For starters, the game looks deceptively simple, with the indieness of it making things worse. However, many gamers who wouldn’t normally go for this kind of title are sinking hours into the gameplay thanks to an addictive, perfectly executed roguelike DNA.

The premise is simple: to slay hoards of monsters (not vampires, surprisingly) as you can to attempt to stay alive for as long as possible. The momentum starts slow, then picks up the pace to the point of being overrun by an all-out assault. Perhaps the outrageousness of the power imbalance is what’s drawn gamers to the game like a charm. Or the all-consuming feeling of chaos and fun that fills you up mere minutes into the game.

The scales don’t entirely shift away from you as you level up easily and gain more power as you go. You also get access to several weapon and character builds, enough to feel an impressive depth to an otherwise minimalist setup. For the surprisingly low price the game goes for, Vampire Survivors is a roguelike every Steam Deck owner should make the time for.

4. Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire - Official Launch Trailer

The roguelike genre feels overrun by action titles. So, why not switch things up by checking out the deck-builder roguelike called Slay the Spire instead? Players gamble through a hectic journey to slay the spire, picking safe routes across randomly generated paths or risking going up against enemies and ruthless bosses for better loot.

The starting decks you get depend on the character class you choose to play. Thereafter, stronger cards are randomly won the more battles you successfully get by. Slay the Spire grips you by the heartstrings in no time, thanks to the insatiable excitement of finally slaying that damn spire and all through a polished, charming design to boost.

3. Hades

Hades - Official Animated Trailer

On to Hades, the game that feels like the roguelike initiation title for new Steam Deck owners. All you do is whip out your Steam Deck and enjoy a quick run of Hades on your commute to work. Plus, the developers are making a second one already, so you’d better get started with the first before the sequel comes out. 

Hades is a dungeon crawler that follows Zagreus, the son of the Greek God of the Underworld, Hades. Zagreus wants to escape the Underworld to search for his mother, but Hades won’t let him. So, Zagreus decides to go against his father, who throws the full weight of the Underworld at his son. 

As you can imagine, escaping the Underworld isn’t a piece of cake. What’s worse? When you die, you get set back to the start of the game. Fortunately, the dialogue, areas, bosses, and overall gameplay adapt with every respawn, either growing more difficult or introducing new concepts, so the game never loses value in replayability.

2. The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac: Trailer

You won’t need hours to take The Binding of Isaac for a spin. A few short bursts are enough. However, chances are you’ll find it too enticing to want to put in more hours without giving it a second thought. 

The story follows Isaac, who escapes into the basement to avoid his mother sacrificing him to God. Unfortunately, Isaac runs into droves of mysterious creatures and secrets that force him to face his fears. How ready will you be for the final face-off with Isaac’s mother?

Whether you go for the 15-minute blasts or all-day sessions, The Binding of Isaac will run beautifully, featuring randomly generated dungeons, 50+ enemy types, and over 20 bosses enough, so it never feels like you’re playing the same game twice.

1. Dead Cells

Dead Cells - Animated Trailer

Dead Cells is undoubtedly the best roguelike game on Steam Deck. It’s a Metroidvania that takes a leaf from Dark Souls and strives to make you sweat, even for a relatively short time per run. It’s quite similar to Hades, where players take on the role of a ball of slime in human form called the Prisoner, fighting to escape randomly generated dungeons and biomes crawling with monsters that want you dead. 

There are multiple gruesome challenges along the way, some platforming and others combat. With each successful win comes the wildest loot and gear, from swords to turrets to bows capable of freezing enemies in place. Dead Cells looks finely polished on the Steam Deck, too. The game runs without glaring issues, leaving you to focus fully on the game itself. 

Despite being released in 2017, Dead Cells still feels like a worthy contender for all roguelikes on Steam. New content and features constantly make their way to Dead Cells. Even today, Dead Cells’ developers still keep the game fresh and alive, even if you’ll likely die a tad too many times. As long as it’s fun, right?

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our best roguelike games on Steam Deck (March 2023)? Are there more roguelike games on Steam Deck we should know about? Let us know down in the comments or over on our socials here.

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.