Stardew Valley: the player stood in front of the community center with mayor Lewis.
Image via Medium.

Stardew Valley was the most-played game on Steam Deck for March, but Balatro was right behind it

Relaxing farm sim beats out roguelike poker game.

After more than eight years, Stardew Valley is still a shining beacon in what many would otherwise consider a pretty dismal time for the gaming industry. The fact that the long-awaited update 1.6 was recently pushed out for the game accounts for a sudden boost in popularity. It’s even doing well on the Steam Deck.

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As noted by the official Deck account on Twitter/X (admittedly on April 1, but we’ve been assured this isn’t a joke), Stardew Valley tops the list of games on the portable PC in terms of playtime.

There doesn’t appear to be any specifics about how well it’s bested the competition, but it’s beaten out LocalThunk’s highly praised poker game Balatro. Perhaps it’s just me, but I haven’t heard of this game until now, it must be doing something right to come second on the list. It’s also showing as Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam, so what do I know?

Balatro: a purple desk with a series of playing cards at the top.
Image via LocalThunk/Steam.

What else made it on the list for most-played Steam Deck games for March?

Despite how popular the game has been – and continues to be – Stardew Valley still had some stiff competition. According to the post, there were some other notable games that made it on the Steam Deck list for March. Many of them are the ones you’d expect.

For example: The number four spot is Baldur’s Gate 3. Now, I’d wager most of you reading this could easily see that coming a mile off. Maybe a few of you expected it to be higher. It was released last August and it hasn’t had any major updates since February, so it’s fair to say being number four is impressive all the same.

Then there’s Helldivers 2, which is sitting pretty at the number three spot. Again, this will not be a huge shock. However, given that it hasn’t been verified for the Deck, it is quite surprising to see it so high on the list. For those who don’t know, a “Verified” game (as opposed to one that’s labeled as “Playable”) is one that will run on the device but could be lacking certain functionality or have stability issues.

We’re also seeing the likes of Grand Theft Auto 5, Skyrim, and Red Dead Redemption 2 at numbers 11, 14, and 15, respectively. These are games that have been out for a very long time, and in fact have pretty much been left behind by their respective developers, aside from a few patches here and there. Still, they’re pretty much staples at this point. Skyrim in particular is one game that just does not seem to want to let go.

We can also see Palworld doing pretty well at number seven. There’s a name I’d wager many of you probably got sick of hearing at one point. It’s still going strong, especially as it’s still in Early Access, but it’s fair to say it’s definitely lost some steam these past few weeks.

Will Stardew Valley still reign supreme on the Steam Deck chart for April? Only (play)time will tell.


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Author
Andrew Heaton
Andrew has been a gamer since the 17th century Restoration period. He now writes for a number of online publications, contributing news and other articles. He does not own a powdered wig.