How to Install Non-Steam Games on Steam Deck

Almost every video game player is aware that Steam is a very popular platform for playing and purchasing games. Steam offers multiple games to download and play, but it offers something more. You might not be aware that the Steam platform also allows you to install non-Steam games on your Steam Deck. The non-Steam games you download are added automatically to the Steam library but in most cases, you have to do it manually.

Installing non-Steam games is also fairly simple on the Steam platform. Installing non-Steam games in your Steam library will eventually open up new gaming possibilities. Currently, many players are wondering how to install non-Steam games on their Steam deck. This guide will review several methods and techniques that have assisted many players in installing non-Steam games on their Steam deck.

How to Install Non-Steam Games on Steam Deck

How to Install Non-Steam Games on Steam Deck

Before heading to the procedure, please note that the games that will be installed outside of the Steam platform will be stored on the internal storage and not on the microSD card. So, please make sure that your Steam deck has enough internal storage to install non-Steam games. The internal storage of your steam deck may vary depending on the variant you choose. (64GB, 256GB, or 512GB). Regardless, the procedure is as follows:

  • Press the left-side button on your Steam deck to open the sidebar menu.

  • When the sidebar menu appears, select the option “Power.”
  • A new box will pop up; now finally select “Switch to Desktop.”

You can also quickly access the power menu by holding down the power button for a few seconds. When the power menu appears, just select “Switch to Desktop.”

After selecting “Switch to Desktop,”¬† Steam will now boot up into the full KDE Linux OS/Environment. You will witness the same Linux OS on a normal PC running Linux.

  • Navigate, and now click on the Discover icon on the taskbar.
  • When the Discover app is launched, navigate to the sidebar menu and select applications.

How to Install Non-Steam Games on Steam Deck

  • After selecting the applications option, now select games and wait for the screen to load.

  • Now select any game from your Steam library and click the instal button to install it.

Now that you have installed the game, you can easily launch and play it, but we do recommend adding it to your Steam library so that your gameplay experience will be enhanced to the fullest.

Adding Non-Steam game to Steam Deck library

After installing your preferred game, you are good to launch it and play. However, there are some drawbacks, such as switching to desktop mode whenever you want to play non-Steam games. Well, do not worry; we do have a solution for that. Just follow the additional steps for smooth and hassle-free gameplay on your Steam deck.

  • While in desktop mode, launch the Steam application.
  • Navigate to the games section on the title bar and click on it.

How to Install Non-Steam Games on Steam Deck

  • A small pop-up will appear below the Games section; now select “Add a non-Steam game to My Library”.
  • A new window will open; now browse the installed games on your Steam library. (You can do it easily by just scrolling to the bottom, as there are chances that they will be listed there.)
  • Finally, select the game and click on “Add selected programs.”
  • Ultimately, close the Steam application, and on the desktop, click on “Return to gaming mode.”

Now you will be returned to the default Steam OS, where you generally find your installed Steam games.

Fetching Non-Steam game in Steam Deck library

After you have added the installed games to the Steam library, It’s time to fetch them in the Steam Deck library, so that you can play the game easily with zero inconveniences.

  • Again, press the left-side button on your Steam deck to open the sidebar menu.
  • When the menu appears, select the “Library” option.

  • As the Steam library launches, head over to the “Non-Steam Games Section.” All of the newly added non-steam games are listed here.

Now you can easily play non-Steam games on your Steam library without switching to desktop mode.


It is seen in some cases when you head to the “non-steam” games section. You see that the games have no description or any sort of picture or logo. It is quite obvious as you have installed it from an outside (third-party) source. Also, be cautious when installing games from third parties, as they may cause your Steam deck to malfunction. Games installed from sources other than the Steam library may also fail to function properly, unlike official Steam games.

You may find lags or some input issues that can be solved by connecting a keyboard, joypad, or mouse. However, all the stuff is experimental, and if you follow all the steps carefully, there will be no issue and you will end up enjoying the non-Steam games on your Steam deck.

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