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How To Play On Steam Deck – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

How To Play On Steam Deck



While Diablo 4 was not originally intended for Valve’s portable gaming system, it surprisingly runs well on the Steam Deck. However, players need to install Blizzard’s ARPG and run it on Linux without any issues. Fortunately, this is entirely possible and not as difficult as one might think.

To begin, let’s discuss how to install Diablo 4 on the Steam Deck and how to run it smoothly without any problems. Updated by Brandon Morgan on June 12th, 2023, Diablo 4 runs relatively smoothly at medium settings on the Steam Deck, especially when using third-party software like Lutris to download and install both the client and the game. However, some players may struggle with running Lutris successfully or may not want to use another third-party app on their handheld device. Not to worry, there is another method to install Diablo 4 on Steam Deck manually, which is a straightforward process.

The biggest challenge of running non-Steam games on the Steam Deck is dealing with Linux, especially when it comes to games that use a third-party launcher like Battle.net. Luckily, there is a simple method called Otter, designed by someone with extensive Linux experience, that allows players to install Battle.net and other clients effortlessly.

To install Lutris, players need to enter Desktop Mode on the Steam Deck. It’s recommended to have a mouse and keyboard for navigation, but it’s not necessary. Launch the Steam Deck and open Desktop Mode by clicking the Steam button, navigating to Power, and selecting Desktop Mode. Find the Discover icon on the taskbar or locate it within All Apps if it was previously removed. Under the Games tab on the left-hand side, search for Lutris and initiate the installation process with a single click. Lutris will work in the background and be accessible through Desktop Mode once the installation is complete.

But that’s not all. After the installation, players need to run Lutris and click the plus icon in the top left corner of the program. From there, they can search for Battle.net and install the launcher with another click. Follow the instructions during the Battle.net installation process. The Steam Deck may be missing some dependencies, but the launcher will prompt players to install them beforehand. Install any required files and finally, launch Battle.net and log in to download Diablo 4. It’s recommended to add Lutris to Steam as a non-Steam game for easier access. In the Steam application, players can launch the game using the Steam Deck UI instead of switching to Desktop Mode.

Now let’s discuss the best settings for Diablo 4 on the Steam Deck. Diablo 4 is a demanding game, and while the Steam Deck is powerful, its GPU may not be up to the task. To ensure smooth gameplay, players should adjust a few settings. With the recommended settings below, players can expect a relatively stable frame rate of 40 FPS. It’s normal for the frame rate to fluctuate slightly, but there should be no major drops or lag.

– Cap the Steam Deck settings at 40Hz.
– Cap the FPS at 40 in Steam Deck settings.
– In-game, set the overall graphics to the Medium Preset.
– Adjust the sharpness to 30-60 based on personal preference.
– Set AMD FSR 2.0 to Quality.
– Turn off distortion.
– Set the font size to Large.
– Set the cursor size to Medium.
– Turn off low FX.

These settings should provide a stable gaming experience, but keep in mind that battery life may be affected. Players can expect up to two hours of gameplay on the Steam Deck, which is quite impressive.

If installing and running Lutris proves challenging, there is an alternative method to install and play Diablo 4 on the Steam Deck manually. This involves adding the Battle.net client and game as non-Steam Games via the launcher. To do this, enter Desktop Mode by holding down the Steam button on the lower left-hand side of the Steam Deck. Open the web browser (Firefox is installed by default) and search for Battle.net. Download the application but do not install it yet. Open Steam via Desktop Mode and add a non-Steam Game to the launcher by locating the Battle.net installation file (.exe). Open Steam and ensure that the properties of the installation file are set to Proton Experimental. Run the installation file through Steam and complete the client installation. Once installed, add the Battle.net launcher to Steam as a non-Steam Game using the same method as before. Run the launcher and log in. Players can then manually install Diablo 4 using the touchscreen. After completing these steps, switching back to the usual Steam Mode and running the launcher from there is acceptable. However, players will need to launch and sign in to the Battle.net launcher each time they want to play Diablo 4, although it becomes easier with practice.

In conclusion, it is indeed possible to play Diablo 4, the granddaddy of the ARPG genre, on the Steam Deck with a little setup. Whether using Lutris or manually installing the game, players can enjoy the latest release from Blizzard on Valve’s handheld gaming system.

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While it was never designed to run on Valve’s portable gaming system, Diablo 4 does run surprisingly well on Steam Deck. That is, if players can install Blizzard’s ARPG and run it on Linux without any issues. Thankfully, it’s entirely possible and not as painful as most may imagine.



Related: How Long Does It Take To Beat Diablo 4?

To think, it’s possible to play what is considered the granddaddy of the ARPG genre on a handheld system anywhere in the world, and all it takes is a little setup. Let’s go over how exactly to install Diablo 4 on the Steam Deck, how to run it without issues, and get the most from Valve’s handheld and Blizzard’s latest release.


Updated by Brandon Morgan on June 12th, 2023: Diablo 4 runs relatively smoothly at medium settings on the Steam Deck, especially when utilizing third-party software such as Lutris to download and install both the client and the game. However, some players find it difficult to run Lutris successfully, or they don’t want yet another third-party app on their handheld, and that’s fine. There is another method to install Diablo 4 on Steam Deck, and it’s completely manual without much room for error in the process.


Installing Battle.net Using Lutris

Diablo 4 Running on Steam Deck

The most significant challenge of running any non-Steam game on the Steam Deck is dealing with Linux. This especially reigns true regarding games that utilize a third-party launcher, like Battle.net. Thankfully, someone with more experience working with Linux than most designed a simple method to install and run third-party games on the handheld. The tool is known as Ottersand it allows players to install Battle.net, and other clients, without much hassle.

To properly install Lutris, players must enter Desktop Mode on the Steam Deck. It’s recommended to have a mouse and keyboard to navigate this section, though not a requirement.

  1. Launch the Steam Deck and open Desktop Mode (You can enter Desktop Mode by clicking the Steam button, navigating to Power, then selecting Desktop Mode).
  2. Navigate to the Discover icon on the taskbar, or locate it within All Apps if previously removed.
  3. Search up Lutris under the Games tab on the left-hand side.
  4. Begin the installation process with a single click.

With a single click of the installation button, Lutris will begin working in the background and be accessible via Desktop Mode. But that’s not the end of the equation. Players will have to run Lutris once the installation is complete, and then open the software and click the plus icon in the top left corner of the program. From here, it’s possible to search for Battle.net and then install the launcher with yet another click.

From there, follow the instructions during the Battle.net installation process. The Steam Deck is likely missing various dependencies, but the launcher will ask to install these beforehand. Go ahead and install any required files.

Lastly, once the installation is complete, launch Battle.net and log in. It’s then possible to download Diablo 4. Adding Lutris to Steam is recommended as a non-Steam game for ease of use. Then, when in the Steam application, players can launch the game using the Steam Deck UI instead of switching to Desktop Mode.

Related: Diablo 4: How To Refund Skill Points

Best Settings on Steam Deck

Diablo 4 Tavern Screenshot

Diablo 4 is a beefy game, and, despite its overall power, the Steam Deck is somewhat lacking in the GPU department. It’s important to tweak a few settings to ensure Diablo 4 runs well on the Steam Deck.

For the most part, with the recommended settings that we’ve detailed below, players can run Diablo 4 on Steam Deck at a relatively stable frame rate of 40 FPS, for the most part. It will fluctuate, and that’s okay. Players should not experience any significant frame drops or lag.

  • 40Hz Cap the Steam Deck Settings.
  • 40 FPS Cap in Steam Deck Settings.
  • In-game, change the overall graphics to the Medium Preset.
  • Set the sharpness to 30-60, based on personal preference.
  • AMD FSR 2.0 set to Quality.
  • Distortion set to Off.
  • Font Size set to Large.
  • Cursor Size set to Medium.
  • Low FX set to Off.

These settings should produce a stable game, though the battery life is as expected. Players should expect, at most, two hours of game time on the Steam Deck, which is honestly quite an achievement.

Installing Diablo 4 On Steam Deck Manually

Diablo 4 Battle.net Launcher and Installation

Suppose the player finds it difficult to install and run Lutris. In that case, the other option is to install and play Diablo 4 on Steam Deck by manually installing the Battle.net client and game by adding both programs as non-Steam Games via the launcher.

  • Hold down the Steam button on the lower left-hand side of the Steam Deck, then enter Desktop Mode.
  • Open the web browser—Firefox is installed by default—and search for Battle.net, then download the application but do not install it yet.
  • Once the Battle.net installation exe is downloaded, open Steam via Desktop Mode, then in the lower left-hand side, add a non-Steam Game to the launcher. From here, locate the Battle.net installation file, specifically the .exe, and add it to Steam.
  • Next, open Steam and check the properties of the installation file to ensure it’s set to Proton Experimental. If so, go ahead and run the installation file through Steam and finish the client installation.
  • Once installation is complete, add the newly-installed Battle.net launcher to Steam as a non-Steam Game using the same method as before for the installation file. Then, run the launcher. It will ask players to log in, which can be cumbersome if 2FA is installed (it should be!), and from there, it’s possible to install Diablo 4 using the touchscreen manually.

Once this step-by-step process is complete, switching back to the usual Steam Mode and running the launcher from there is okay. The player will need to launch and sign in to the Battle.net launcher each time they want to run Diablo 4, though it becomes easier with time to quickly get in-game using the touchscreen.

Next: Diablo 4: Which Class Should You Pick?

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