Steam Deck and Linux Gaming

It is. It’s come a long way from the days of Wine.

hbi2k wrote:

Oh, also, what's the storage situation like? I guess it's got an SD card slot, but I'm leery of using SD for actually running games instead of bulk media storage

The only thing you will find is that allocating storage for a game before it begins downloading takes noticeably longer because of the write speeds. Running games off of a card isn't a problem at all.

FYI one issue with SD cards is that the shader cache is written to the local SSD instead of where the game is stored, which can cause your storage to fill up. Even after deleting the game, I'm pretty sure the cache still stays around.

The only solution I've seen so far is making symbolic links to force that stuff onto the SD card. Which is kind of manual but hey, what Deck user doesn't like to tinker?

I think there is a cache clear button somewhere in settings to deal with that bloat. Also, as long as you get the right form factor (2230) you can buy a larger drive and slot it in pretty easily. Then you can download the install media from valve and reinstall steamos.

hbi2k wrote:

All right, pulled the trigger on the cheapest Steam Deck model and a 512GB Samsung Pro Plus SD card, which seems to be the current price / GB sweet spot. Thanks everyone!

Swapping in a bigger drive is quite easy. Took me about 15 minutes to do. There's a bunch of guides on youtube. The trickiest part was getting the right drive (though I think they're much more available now). If you've done any work with fixing laptops, phones, or any other electronics the deck is pretty straight forward. All screws and not much to mess up. I'd put it at the same level as replacing the silicone pads on a Playstation controller.

Just to put this out there:

My friend bought God of War during the epic game sale and it was stuttering like crazy. I found this Reddit thread about it and the solution is the in the comment quoted below.

""To enable DXVK_ASYNC on Proton GE always when its supported add 'export DXVK_ASYNC=1' to .bash_profile in your home folder. (View hidden files, btw)"

Then it ran great so it might help with other non steam games as well.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

I'd put [swapping out the hard drive] at the same level as replacing the silicone pads on a Playstation controller.

Something else that I'm sure I'm physically capable of doing, but would stress me out, only on a device roughly ten times as expensive, got it. (:

Another one of those "in case you run into the same issue as me" posts. This one about cloud save sync.

I play a lot on Steam Deck these days but when I'm really into a game I often also install it on my desktop and play there as well. Since I flip back and forth I rely on cloud save syncing.

Most of the time on Steam this just works but there are plenty of games that still don't have those and I have to stick to one platform or use some other solution to transfer saves between machines.

Heroic supposedly supports cloud saves but most games don't seem to support that feature. If I open game settings it usually says "unsupported". I've yet to find a single GoG game that supports cloud sync in Heroic. I've bought a lot of games on GoG over the years and many of those are the longer campaign games I want to play on Deck.

When I ran into this issue syncing between Windows PCs (usually with Steam games) previously I'd just soft link each game's save folder to a OneDrive sub-folder on both machines and let OneDrive do all the syncing for me. Nice and automatic with the side benefit I have a cloud backup of the saves just in case.

Looking around for a solution for GoG save sync on Linux I noticed that some people were deciding to run the full GoG Galaxy instead of Heroic and that it seems to support all the usual features including cloud sync. I followed this guide to get it working on my Deck:
https://www.reddit.com/r/SteamDeck/c...

I've now tried a few games through Galaxy this way and the saves from my Windows desktop synced properly. These are all games I'd previously tried in Heroic and saves didn't sync.

One step in this guide requires getting the GoG Galaxy Windows installer on the Deck and they hide the download on the webpage if you are on Linux. You could download the file on Windows and transfer it to your Deck but the easier way is to skip all that and just go directly to the download URL on Deck. This is the URL I used:
https://webinstallers.gog-statics.co...

Another step in the guide involves trying to figure out the steamid of the installed GoG Galaxy client. Just use search in the file manager to find this a lot easier. Search for gog in your home folder.

A few things I've run into along the way:
- the GoG Galaxy interface can sometimes seem unresponsive in desktop mode on the Deck. it almost seems like it just ignores inputs. i had a bluetooth keyboard connected at the time and found that if i just hit the Windows key then navigate back to the Galaxy interface with my mouse it recovered fine. my real solution: use the interface in Game mode only. i haven't seen this unresponsiveness issue in Game mode. Setup a controller config that is Gamepad + Mouse (with left/right click mapped to something) and it seems to work great. I already had a controller config like this made for Heroic Launcher.
- the games install to the internal drive by default. no biggie. you can browse to your SD card and install to there. it was D drive for me. i've only put one game there so far but it seems to work well.
- the games don't show up as separate items in Steam. you run Galaxy from Steam then the games from Galaxy. this means you can't set different control configs or gamescope settings per game (the Deck feature that lets you limit framerate and so on). you also can't set compatibility (Proton) settings per game. you can likely add the games individually to Steam directly to get around this but i haven't tried it. i'll edit this post if i dig into that in the future. i had mixed results getting GoG games I installed through Heroic to work directly linked to Steam. games that supposedly were supported would just fail to launch. my solution previously was to download the offline installer for those games from GoG but then you don't get cloud sync that way. Edit: after adding games directly to Steam they did launch properly and got their own proton/gamescope/control settings but none of my saves were there. I suspect that adding the game separately to Steam means it has its own steamid and proton folders on disk which means it doesn’t see the save game files Galaxy has synced. This defeats the purpose of using Galaxy so I’m avoiding it for now. Edit for clarity: by “avoiding it” here I mean avoiding adding individual GoG games to Steam. I’m still using Galaxy from Steam. At the moment I care more about cloud sync than individual game Steam settings.

I might eventually end up looking for a platform/vendor agnostic save sync solution to just sidestep this whole mess.

pandasuit wrote:

I suspect that adding the game separately to Steam means it has its own steamid and proton folders on disk which means it doesn’t see the save game files Galaxy has synced. This defeats the purpose of using Galaxy so I’m avoiding it for now.

I might eventually end up looking for a platform/vendor agnostic save sync solution to just sidestep this whole mess.

I was wondering about this part, thanks for sharing what you tried.

I was thinking maybe Syncthing could sync the save game folders, but you'd have to setup each game's save folder and that seems annoying.

If CDPR finally released a Linux version of Galaxy, that would be excellent.

Maybe they don't see it as a direct source of profit but... you could also view it as a precaution against losing Steam Deck customers who are now motivated to just buy Steam versions for convenience's sake.

ccoates wrote:

If CDPR finally released a Linux version of Galaxy, that would be excellent.

Maybe they don't see it as a direct source of profit but... you could also view it as a precaution against losing Steam Deck customers who are now motivated to just buy Steam versions for convenience's sake.

Convenience can be a strong motivator. I've been less inclined to buy games on GoG since I got the Deck and couldn't get save sync to work in Heroic.

GoG Galaxy seems to work well through Proton. Feels about the same as on Windows. Makes me think I should try installing the Epic Games Launcher through Proton and see how that goes too.

64GB model came in yesterday. Loving the hand feel, with reservations. I find that the L1 and R1 bumpers don't feel great; they're just a little too far away from where my fingers naturally sit on the triggers, especially on my left hand where I need to make constant thumb contact with the thumbstick or d-pad. Finding the size doesn't bother me too much, it's definitely a big chonky boi but the upside to that is that it's got big comfy grips and the screen feels huge.

After banging my head against flashing firmware or setting up Android apps on various Chinese emulation handhelds, I love how quick and painless initial setup is. Log into my Steam account, download and install a very lightweight OS update, insert my 512GB SD card and hit one button to format it, and from there everything just works. I'm sure there is advanced stuff to dig into when I start wanting to cajole non-Verified games to run acceptably, add non-Steam games, sideload retro emulation programs and frontends, etc., and I'll cross those bridges when I come to them, but I love that I was able to take it out of the box and have basic functionality right away.

I've got a little wish list of AAA games I've been wanting to try but haven't had a good way to do it, but all of them are at full price right now so I'm going to try to wait for the spring sale. Instead, booted up a couple of indie titles, Rogue Legacy 2 and Crystal Project, the former of which I already had in my library, the latter of which was only thirteen bucks at full price, both of which are flagged Deck Verified.

They both look and play great, no hassles, no fiddling, and they're lightweight enough that battery drain was a non-issue after a couple hours of playing. Started downloading some beefier titles to test out, Doom 2016 and Batman Arkham City. The latter is only marked Playable instead of Verified, I guess it can be a little fiddly to get past the launcher and into the game, so we'll see how that goes.

Very happy so far!

No directly Steam Deck related but I found this fun.

Steam Wishlist Calculator

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/dF5Avb9.png)

With an incoming financial windfall (very welcome after a few months of nail-biting while energy prices kept soaring) I'm looking at a Steam Deck as a gift to myself. I've gone through the last pages in this thread, bookmarking the tutorials

What type of games work best in your experience on the Deck? These are the types I look to playing:

- Backlog of Indie games, mostly through Game Pass, like Norco, Pentiment, Return to Monkey Island
- Some 4X gaming, like Old World
- Backlog of CRPG's I never got around to, like Pillars of Eternity, Original Sin 2, ...

Really curious about your experience with these types of games, I understand that through Heroic or via other workarounds all the major launchers work fine (Epic, Xbox, GOG), with the caveat of manual configuration, button remapping and sometimes small fonts?

I'm leaning towards getting the cheapest version and a SD card, for now. Commercial availability of M2 small factor drives should increase in the midterm, they're hard to find from Belgium right now.

I need to retry Old World. I was in contact with Soren in the summer, he was experimenting with some control layout for it. Not sure if there is an official one now.

Balthezor wrote:

I need to retry Old World. I was in contact with Soren in the summer, he was experimenting with some control layout for it. Not sure if there is an official one now.

It's not relevant to the control scheme, and I bought it on Epic Game Store (so no access directly to Steam control schemes as I understand), but this was in today's patch notes:

Fixed missing event sounds on Linux / Steam Deck

So they do care about the platform at least!

dejanzie wrote:

What type of games work best in your experience on the Deck? These are the types I look to playing:

- Backlog of Indie games, mostly through Game Pass, like Norco, Pentiment, Return to Monkey Island
- Some 4X gaming, like Old World
- Backlog of CRPG's I never got around to, like Pillars of Eternity, Original Sin 2, ...

Really curious about your experience with these types of games, I understand that through Heroic or via other workarounds all the major launchers work fine (Epic, Xbox, GOG), with the caveat of manual configuration, button remapping and sometimes small fonts?

Are you playing it in handheld or through a monitor?

I have played Pillars of Eternity and Original Sin 2 and they both play brilliantly but the are rather small in hand held mode - on my TV it is fine.

In handheld I have found Final Fantasy 7 remake is great and I am loving Marvel's Midnight Suns in both handheld and docked.

farley3k wrote:
dejanzie wrote:

What type of games work best in your experience on the Deck? These are the types I look to playing:

- Backlog of Indie games, mostly through Game Pass, like Norco, Pentiment, Return to Monkey Island
- Some 4X gaming, like Old World
- Backlog of CRPG's I never got around to, like Pillars of Eternity, Original Sin 2, ...

Really curious about your experience with these types of games, I understand that through Heroic or via other workarounds all the major launchers work fine (Epic, Xbox, GOG), with the caveat of manual configuration, button remapping and sometimes small fonts?

Are you playing it in handheld or through a monitor?

I have played Pillars of Eternity and Original Sin 2 and they both play brilliantly but the are rather small in hand held mode - on my TV it is fine.

In handheld I have found Final Fantasy 7 remake is great and I am loving Marvel's Midnight Suns in both handheld and docked.

How does Midnight Suns run on Deck? I heard it was chugging in December so I never tried...

Balthezor wrote:

How does Midnight Suns run on Deck? I heard it was chugging in December so I never tried...

I think it runs great. However I don't have another PC to test against (and don't have it on the PS5 or Xbox).

I would only play in handheld mode, or at least that's the current plan...

I have no idea how you’ll pay a 4x on the deck screen. The text will be soooo tiny. The magnifier works, but, I feel like it’s not optimal.

You can’t run Xbox game pass on the device (natively) without dual booting windows.

I have installed games from Epic, EA, GoG, Humble, and Itch without any real issues. I don’t use heroic, I just use the native launchers.

I have gotten Xbox Game Pass work work well on the Deck using these instructions https://www.dexerto.com/tech/game-pa...
It is isn't native but it works.

PWAlessi wrote:

I have no idea how you’ll pay a 4x on the deck screen. The text will be soooo tiny. The magnifier works, but, I feel like it’s not optimal.

Yeah, I agree. For me, whether the game has gamepad support and lots of text are two biggies to consider.

Like, the touchpads are functional and you can square peg/round hole games designed for a mouse like Inscryption into working on the Deck. But a 4x that didn't have gamepad support...

I'd also say that the Steam OS zoom function helps but it's clunky. Sometimes I had a hard time maneuvering it onto the exact text I wanted to read. I recently replayed Shadowrun Returns, and the PC version doesn't have any gamepad support (which I found baffling since there's console versions on PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch). It was a frustrating enough experience that I gave up on the PC version and ended up replaying it by streaming it to my Deck from my Xbox.

The text isn't resizable in Shadowrun Returns (I don't know if it ever is in any Harebrained game) so I did a lot of squinting and fumbling around with the zoom button. It made me yearn for that Gameboy magnifying glass peripheral.

I still enjoyed replaying it, but it wasn't the optimal experience.

Right now I'm playing Chaos Gate by streaming it from my PC, and the controls are fine (it has gamepad support) but there's a lot to read and I admit that means I end up skimming a lot of the text because it's so small. Fortunately a lot of the dialogue is voiced.

I've played almost all the way through Disco Elysium, but even though that game has mountains of text, the majority of it is voiced.

tl;dr if a game has a ton of text, it isn't formatted for smaller screens, and it isn't voiced... I might not choose the Deck for my first playthrough.

By all means give those types of games a try! But I'd keep my expectations low and work my way up.

For graphics, if you don't mind putting your game into potato mode or at least in the starch food group, you can get even stereotypically demanding games running. I played through Control entirely on the Deck and thought it looked decent (there is one boss that crashes the Deck 100% of the time that you need to skip or turn on cheats to beat). And you can even play Cyberpunk if you lower all of the most graphically demanding settings. I put dozens of hours into a run and had a blast, even if the graphics can't compare to my PC.

I knew I should have never stuck my nose in this thread. But a few days, 41 pages, and a whole bunch of youtube videos later, and I've now clicked the button to join the fun. I went with the base 64gb model and already have some beafy microSD cards laying about. Added the official dock as well. I understand the potential limitations of the smallest drive, but I'm very much a tinkerer so I figure no matter which I purchased it's only a matter of time before I open it up and replace the drive anyway, just because I can.

Anyway, I've found lots of good info in this thread, so thanks to all for that. I'm excited for a new toy.

I'm amused that, as with anything so open to tinkering/modding, I've already stumbled on a lot of 'DIYWHY' stuff... like this water cooled mod which is probably not real

It sure looks real. Hella impractical, though.

The hack that feels like it would have the most practical use would be if they somehow supported an eGPU at some point.

DSGamer wrote:

The hack that feels like it would have the most practical use would be if they somehow supported an eGPU at some point.

Technically possibly using an eGPU to M.2 setup. Some people have demoed it. It isn’t very practical but it worked.

I'm kinda curious about getting one of these things, but the battery life issues I've heard about are a bit of a putoff.

Also, I'd get it and end up primarily using it to try and play stuff like Out Of The Park Baseball on my commute these days and little else.

Like, I have zilch desire to play God of War or CP2077 on this thing, and would unquestionably use it the way I use my Switch: For smaller titles that I feel like I can enjoy in 40-50 minute increments on my commute to and from work every day (and occasionally during incredibly boring weekends in the office), like Hi-Fi Rush and stuff.

For someone in that position, would this thing be at all worth a tax return splurge?

It is big and bulky. I don't know what your commute is like, but I can't imagine trying to play it on public transit. Maybe on an airplane, and I'd be watching my elbows really closely to make sure I wasn't being rude to my seatmate.

The battery life is not a problem for me because I've been playing it on the bed or couch, plugged in.

I'd think of it more like a medium-sized gaming laptop than a Switch. Portable, but not, like, portable portable.

Ah, okay. Yeah, maybe this isn't for me quite yet then.

I don’t have a commute anymore, so I can’t vouch for taking it on a bus or train, but I’ve enjoyed taking it on the plane and it works fine. It’s a little bulky, but it can fit in a backpack just fine. It’s definitely much bigger than a Switch.

When I fly I pack a Switch Lite and a Steam Deck with me, which barely works, but not just does.