2024-03-08 Update: added Chiaki, how cool is that?

I finally caved and got myself a Steam Deck (one of the shiny new OLED ones even!) and being pathologically unable to just leave things as-is, it took about a day before I started to wonder what else you can do with one beyond just playing Steam games. Quite a bit actually!

  • Get a dock/USB-C hub and Use It As a Portable Desktop Computer
    • Obviously not the most convenient operation here, but Desktop mode works as advertised if that’s your jam.
  • Install Discord and Chat While you Play
    • Grab it from the Discovery Store, right click and add to Steam and you’re good to go!
  • Install Emulators and Play ROMs With EmuDeck
    • It’s amazing how slick this script is. It will even add your ROMs to your steam library so you can search for and launch them just like any other game.
  • Install All Sorts of Crazy Plugins with Decky
    • Too many plugins to list here, but I particularly like SteamGridDB which lets you update the images for your games – particularly useful to add images to non-steam games.
  • Install Other, Non-Steam Game Launchers & Games
  • Install Proton-GE for Extra Compatibility
    • Proton-GE is a community developed fork that contains extra fixes that may make some games run better. You can get it from the Non-SteamLaunchers script as well.
  • Even Install Freaking Android Apps On It?!? Yeah sure, why not, go crazy!
    • If you really want to, Waydroid has you covered.
  • Install Minecraft Java Edition with Steam Deck Controller Support
    • There’s a lovely Linux Minecraft launcher called Prism which contains a mod pack aptly titled “Fabulously Optimized mod pack” with great Steam Deck controller support.
  • Install Linux Native Fan Ports of Classic Games
    • I am constantly amazed by all of the reverse-engineered (or reconstructed from scratch!) fan ports of games. If they have a Linux version then there’s a good chance they should work on your steam deck. Install them in desktop mode, and right click on the executable and select “Add to Steam” and you should be good to go!
    • Some of my favorites include Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Jedi Academy, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, and DOOM.
  • Install Mods!
    • Obviously the steps to do so will vary per game, but here’s some instructions for Stardew Valley.
  • Install Chiaki4Deck and Stream your PS4/PS5 to Your Deck
    • Chiaki is an open source re-implementation of Sony’s remote play software that works on Linux. Someone made a special version just for the Steam Deck and it works great!

That’s everything I’ve found. Is there anything cool I’ve missed? Let me know!

Join the Conversation


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *