Steam Deck

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Steam Deck
Steam Deck cover
XInput support
Predecessor
Steam Controller
Steam Deck on Wikipedia

Steam Deck is a handheld gaming computer developed by Valve and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), released on February 25, 2022. Steam Deck can be played as a handheld or connected to a monitor. It is an x86-64 device with integrated gaming inputs designed to play the full Steam library, including Windows PC games via the Linux-based Proton compatibility layer. Users can modify the device's software to run non-Steam applications and games from other sources. It uses SteamOS 3.0, but is also capable of running Windows (currently restricted to Windows 10).

Getting started[edit]

Useful resources[edit]

Steam Deck shortcuts[edit]

Steam Deck key shortcuts
Steam Deck key shortcuts
  • Steam+B = Force game shutdown
  • Steam+X = Show keyboard
  • Steam+L1 = Toggle magnifier
  • Steam+R1 = Take screenshot
  • Steam+L2 (Soft pull) = Right mouse click
  • Steam+R2 (Soft pull) = Left mouse click
  • Steam+Right joystick = Joystick mouse
  • Steam+Right trackpad = As mouse
  • Steam+Right trackpad+Click = Left mouse click
  • Steam+Left joystick+ = Screen brightness up
  • Steam+Left joystick+ = Screen brightness down
  • Steam+D-pad+ = Enter key
  • Steam+D-pad+ = Tab key
  • Steam+D-pad+ = Escape key

Performance tips[edit]

Games should be run in Gaming Mode wherever possible. This is because only 4 out of 8 CPU threads are available in Desktop Mode, whereas all 8 CPU cores are available in Steam UI (Gaming Mode).[1] One can launch Steam in Desktop Mode, and then go to Library, Games and Add a non-Steam game to My Library - once this is done it'll be available in Gaming Mode under Non-Steam Games.

Game launchers[edit]

The Steam Deck runs SteamOS, which allows games from one's Steam Library to be run. The compatibility of games depends on whether there is a native Linux version of a game, or whether the Windows version is compatible with the compatibility layer called Proton. You can also check the compatibility of games on Steam Deck by checking whether it contains a Steam Deck Verified check mark on the Steam Store page, or using the website ProtonDB. By default, games will launch the Linux version of a game, or if that is not available it will launch the Windows version through Proton. Games on third party launchers or individual games can be installed manually through the Desktop Mode. Below are several launchers which can be installed, and then added to Steam's 'Gaming Mode'.

Battle.net[edit]

Install Battle.net games through Steam[2]
  1. Press Steam and then Power, then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Firefox or any browser.
  3. Download Battle.net Windows installer Battle.net-Setup.exe from the Battle.net.
  4. In Steam, click Games and Add the installer as a non-Steam game.
  5. Navigate to /home/deck/Downloads/.
  6. Change File type to All Files and select Battle.net-Setup.exe and Add to programs.
  7. In the Library, right click on the installer and click Properties.
  8. In Compatibility check Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool and check latest Proton version.
  9. Launch the Battle.net Client from Steam in the Non-Steam tab.

Epic Games Store[edit]

Epic Games Store is not supported on SteamOS, but can be manually installed.

Install Epic Games Store games through Heroic[3]
  1. Press Steam and then Power, then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Discover.
  3. Search for and install Heroic Games Launcher.
  4. Open Heroic and login to Epic Games Store account.
  5. Install games.
  6. Enable Minimize Heroic After Game Launch in Settings.
  7. Click Return to Gaming Mode, click Games and Add the installer as a non-Steam game.
  8. Heroic can launched from SteamOS in the Non-Steam tab.
Heroic Games Launcher is an open-source, native GOG and Epic Games Launcher that supports Linux, Windows and macOS.
Install Epic Games Store games through Steam[4]
  1. Press Steam and then Power, then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Firefox or any browser.
  3. Download Epic Games Launcher Windows installer EpicInstaller-13.0.0.msi from the Epic website.
  4. In Steam, click Games and Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library.
  5. Click Browse
  6. Change File type to All Files
  7. Navigate to /home/deck/Downloads/ and select EpicInstaller-13.0.0.msiand Add selected programs.
  8. In the Library, right click on the installer and click Properties.
  9. Select Compatibility, and check Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool and check latest Proton version.
  10. Within Gaming Mode, you can now launch Origin from Steam in the Non-Steam tab.

GOG.com[edit]

GOG Galaxy, the Windows client for GOG.com does not support Linux.

Install GOG.com games through Heroic[5]
  1. Press Steam and then Power, then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Discover.
  3. Search for and install Heroic Games Launcher
  4. Open Heroic and login to GOG.com account.
  5. Install games.
  6. Enable Minimize Heroic After Game Launch in Settings.
  7. Click Return to Gaming Mode, click Games and Add the installer as a non-Steam game.
  8. Heroic can launched from SteamOS in the Non-Steam tab.
Heroic Games Launcher is an open-source, native GOG and Epic Games Launcher that supports Linux, Windows and macOS.
Install GOG.com games through Steam manually
  1. Press Steam and then Power, then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Firefox or any browser.
  3. Visit GOG.com
  4. Log in to GOG.com account and download games backup installers manually.
  5. Navigate to /home/deck/Downloads/.
  6. Change File type to All Files and select the game installer, and Add to programs.
  7. In the Library, right click on the installer and click Properties.
  8. In Compatibility check Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool and check latest Proton version.
  9. Launch the game from Steam in the Non-Steam tab.

itch.io[edit]

Install itch.io games through Steam[6]
  1. Press Steam and then Power, then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Firefox or any browser.
  3. Visit itch.io.
  4. Start Download and download Linux client.
  5. Run the installer itch-setup.
itch.io app isn't launchable in Game Mode, but individual games can be added in the /Home/.config/itch/apps folder - view hidden folders by pressing Ctrl+H.

Microsoft Store[edit]

Microsoft Store and Xbox app versions of games are not currently playable on SteamOS, but can be played by installing Windows on to the Steam Deck. See the Steam Deck#Windows article for further instructions.

Install Windows 10 using Windows USB creation media[7]
  1. Create a Windows 10 USB key and connect to Steam Deck to USB-C port.
  2. Power off Steam Deck.
  3. Hold Volume down and press Power.
  4. Screen will rotate to portrait mode, use the trackpad and R2 as a left mouse click.
  5. Complete the install process as normal.
  6. Switch Windows to landscape mode once complete.
  7. Download drivers from the Steam Deck - Windows Resources page, these include the GPU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and SD card reader. Audio drivers have not been released yet, but audio can be played through Bluetooth.

Origin[edit]

Install Origin games through Steam[8]
  1. Press Steam and then Power, then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Firefox or any browser.
  3. Download Origin installer OriginThinSetup.exe from the Origin website.
  4. In Steam, click Games and Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library.
  5. Click Browse
  6. Change File type to All Files
  7. Navigate to /home/deck/Downloads/ and select OriginThinSetup.exeand Add selected programs.
  8. In the Library, right click on the installer and click Properties.
  9. Select Compatibility, and check Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool and check latest Proton version.
  10. Within Gaming Mode, you can now launch Origin from Steam in the Non-Steam tab.

Rockstar Games Launcher[edit]

Install Rockstar Games Launcher games through Steam[9]
  1. Press Steam and then Power, then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Firefox or any browser.
  3. Download Epic Games Launcher Windows installer Rockstar-Games-Launcher.exe from the Rockstar website.
  4. In Steam, click Games and Add the installer as a non-Steam game.
  5. Navigate to /home/deck/Downloads/.
  6. Change File type to All Files and select Rockstar-Games-Launcher.exe and Add to programs.
  7. In the Library, right click on the installer and click Properties.
  8. In Compatibility check Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool and check latest Proton version.
  9. Launch Rockstar Games Launcher from Steam in the Non-Steam tab.

Ubisoft Connect[edit]

Install Ubisoft Connect games through Steam[10]
  1. Press Steam and then Power, then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Firefox or any browser.
  3. Visit Ubisoft website and click Download for PC.
  4. In Steam, click Games and Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library.
  5. Click Browse
  6. Change File type to All Files
  7. Navigate to /home/deck/Downloads/ and select UbisoftConnectInstaller.exeand Add selected programs.
  8. In the Library, right click on the installer and click Properties.
  9. Select Compatibility, and check Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool and check latest Proton version.
  10. Within Gaming Mode, you can now launch Ubisoft Connect from Steam in the Non-Steam tab.

Software[edit]

Discord[edit]

Install Discord using Flatpak[11]
  1. Press Power then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Discover.
  3. Search for and install Discord.
  4. Launch Discord from Steam in the Non-Steam tab.

Windows[edit]

Steam Deck is a fully operational x86 PC,and operating systems like Windows can be installed and can be used as long as the correct hardware drivers are provided. Windows drivers were officially released by Valve on March 10, 2022.[12] and can be downloaded from Steam Deck - Windows Resources page, these include the GPU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and SD card reader. Audio drivers have not been released yet, but audio can be played through Bluetooth.

As of March 15, 2022, Windows 11 is not supported due to an issue with fTPM, however Windows 10 can be installed. Also, dual-booting SteamOS and another operating system is possible[13], but not yet officially supported and "will be released alongside SteamOS 3 once it's complete".[14]

The main advantage of using Windows as opposed to the built-in SteamOS 3 is the ability to run games that are incompatible with SteamOS 3. For example Destiny 2 explicitly does not support Steam Deck unless Windows is being run as the operating system.[15] Similarly PC Game Pass can only be played on Windows and not on SteamOS.

Install Windows on Steam Deck[edit]

Install Windows 10 using Windows USB creation media[16]
  1. Create a Windows 10 USB key and connect to Steam Deck to USB-C port.
  2. Power off Steam Deck.
  3. Hold Volume down and press Power.
  4. Screen will rotate to portrait mode, use the trackpad and R2 as a left mouse click.
  5. Complete the install process as normal.
  6. Switch Windows to landscape mode once complete.
  7. Download drivers from the Steam Deck - Windows Resources page, these include the GPU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and SD card reader. Audio drivers have not been released yet, but audio can be played through Bluetooth.

Storage[edit]

SD card[edit]

Steam Deck uses a MicroSD slot which is limited to UHS-I, with a read speed of 100MB/s. It is possible to install games and software onto the SD card. If you install games from third party launchers such as Epic Games Store or Heroic, then you will need to grant permissions for those applications to write to the SD card.

Grant permission for games and software to install onto SD card[17]
  1. Press Power then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Discover.
  3. Search for and install Flatseal.
  4. Open Flatseal and select target application.
  5. Scroll down and click new folder icon (next to Other files) and select SD card.

SSD[edit]

Steam Deck makes use of an internal storage drive in an uncommon 2230 size M.2 SSD. Popular models include the Western Digital SN530 and the Samsung PM991, there are not many other similar devices in the same size. There is a detailed SSD swap guide written by u/CyrexArtwork.

Other fixes[edit]

Steam Deck recovery and reset[edit]

Steam Deck recovery using USB key[18]
  1. Download recovery image from Steam website.
  2. Prepare a USB key at least 8GB in size.
  3. On Windows use Rufus, or on Linux use Balena Etcher
  4. Attach USB key to Steam Deck using USB-C adapter.
  5. Shut down Steam Deck.
  6. Hold Volume down and then click Power button, when you hear the chime let go of Volume down and go into Boot Manager.
  7. In Boot Manager, select the EFI USB Device (the USB key that has been prepared).
  8. Navigate using trackpad and trigger.

There are 4 options:

  1. Re-image Steam Deck - this performs a full factory reset - all user info, installed games, applications, or operating systems will be wiped and replaced with stock SteamOS.
  2. Clear local user data - this reformats the home partitions on your Steam Deck, which will remove downloaded games and all personal content stored on this Deck, including system configuration.
  3. Reinstall Steam OS - this will reinstall SteamOS on the Steam Deck, while attempting to preserve your games and personal content.
  4. Recovery tools - this opens a prompt with the ability to make changes to the Steam Deck boot partition.

Share files with Steam Deck[edit]

There are multiple ways to share files with other computers or operating systems, including setting up SteamOS to connect via SFTP/FTP.

Windows and SteamOS file sharing using Warpinator/Winpinator[19]
  1. Press Power then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Discover.
  3. Search for and install Warpinator.
  4. On Windows PC, install Winpinator.
  5. With both devices on the same network, open Warpinator or Winpinator and connect to the other device.
Windows and SteamOS file sharing without installing an app
  1. Press Power then select Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open Firefox.
  3. Go to ShareDrop.
  4. On Windows PC, open a browser ShareDrop.
  5. With both devices on the same network, click on the other user in the browser page and select the file you wish to send.

Note: files are sent locally and directly as a P2P transfer using WebRTC.

Subpages[edit]

References

  1. Steam Deck Review: Console Quality Handheld Gaming - Believe It! - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-03-16
  2. STEAM DECK - How to Install Rockstar Launcher - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-03-08
  3. Epic Games Store on the Steam Deck - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-02-25
  4. Epic Games on a Steam Deck gets WAY easier with Heroic Flatpak - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-03-11
  5. Epic Games on a Steam Deck gets WAY easier with Heroic Flatpak - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-03-11
  6. itch.io app on Steam Deck guide, showing off Celeste - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-03-16
  7. Steam Deck - How To Install Windows (Part 1) - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-03-10
  8. STEAM DECK - How to install ORIGIN LAUNCHER - Will Battlefield 2042 work on the DECK ? - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-03-06
  9. STEAM DECK - How to Install Rockstar Launcher - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-03-08
  10. STEAM DECK - How to install UBISOFT LAUNCHER - Assassins Creed VALHALLA ,my first game on the deck ! - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-03-03
  11. Installing Discord on the Steam Deck - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-02-25
  12. Steam Deck - Steam Deck Windows drivers are now available - Steam News - last accessed on 2022-03-15
  13. Steam Deck : Setting up Dual Boot with Windows and SteamOS! - last accessed on 2022-03-15
  14. Steam Support :: Steam Deck - Windows Resources - last accessed on 2022-03-15
  15. Destiny 2 Steam Guide – Bungie Help - last accessed on 2022-03-15
    "Destiny 2 is not supported for play on the Steam Deck or on any system utilizing Steam Play's Proton unless Windows is installed and running. Players who attempt to launch Destiny 2 on the Steam Deck through SteamOS or Proton will be unable to enter the game and will be returned to their game library after a short time. Players who are not accessing Destiny 2 through Windows and attempt to bypass the SteamOS/Proton incompatibility will be met with a game ban."
  16. Steam Deck - How To Install Windows (Part 1) - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-03-10
  17. Epic Games on a Steam Deck gets WAY easier with Heroic Flatpak - YouTube - last accessed on 2022-02-25
  18. Steam Support :: Steam Deck Recovery Instructions - last accessed on 2022-03-16
  19. Here's how to transfer files from your PC to a Steam Deck - GamingOnLinux - last accessed on 2022-03-06