The Steam Deck has access to hundreds of games through Valve’s own storefront, but there are more ways to get titles in the portable powerhouse.
While the console has become an emulator’s best friend, it’s remarkably easy to add game libraries from GOG (Good Old Games) and the Epic Games store through an app called Heroic Games Launcher.
Both stores exist and count on Heroic, but this same process is already working for more players too, including the likes of Battle.net and Ubisoft Connect – though your mileage will vary based on how good of a steam deck you’re playing (if any). ).
Here’s how to install the Heroic launcher to play Epic and GOG titles on the Steam Deck.
before we start
It’s important to set expectations, and not all games through GOG or EGS will launch through the Heroic Launcher or the Steam Deck. That’s because performance (and translation through the proton layer) is still dealt with in every game. As a result, just because one of your Epic Game Store titles works doesn’t mean they all will. On the plus side, many games include cloud save functionality that works perfectly on multiple computers and the Steam Deck.
However, the biggest absentee is Fortnite – the Battle Royale title that took Epic’s place in the world was, as of this writing, still unplayable on the Steam Deck, which means you might be better served when you play it on Switch for Victory Mobile Royale.
Finally, one more note – this process is much easier with a mouse and keyboard, especially the latter. The Steam Deck supports Bluetooth accessories, but for others, you’ll need to connect it to a USB hub or dock.
What is Heroic Launcher?
The Heroic launcher is a skin of sorts that allows the Epic Games Store and GOG Store to run on the Steam Deck, and can open titles from both where compatibility allows.
They have their limitations, of course — each’s actual storefront is essentially a browser window, but they offer the same compatibility options through Proton as Steam.
How to install Heroic Launcher
Enter desktop mode Press and hold the power button on the Steam Deck and select “Switch to desktop” to open the Linux desktop.
Install Heroic Games Launcher Once you are in desktop mode, click on the shopping bag icon at the bottom left. This will open the Discover Store, where you will search for Heroic Games Launcher in the search bar.
Once you find it, click install, wait for it to finish, and then enter the store page. Click Run in the upper right corner.
Add the Heroic Games Launcher to Steam – While you can open the Heroic Games Launcher in desktop mode, we recommend making it accessible on the main Steam interface first.
Open Steam (within desktop mode) and click on “Add a gameIn the lower left corner, then Add a non-Steam game.
Choose Heroic Games Launcherthen close Steam and double-click a file Return to play mode on the desktop.
Open heroic launcher Now that you’re back in the Steam interface, head to File library and move to “non-steam” tab. Here you will find the Heroic Games Launcher, which you can open.
You will be asked to add your login information for both GOG and EGS here, so make sure you have the passwords handy.
Your library should fill up automatically, and if you regularly take advantage of the free games included in both stores, you might be surprised at just how much you have available.
From here, it’s a matter of installing the titles you want to play, before clicking the green “Play” button.
If you have compatibility issues with any game, clicking the yellow “gear” below the library icon will allow you to choose different versions of Proton GE that may help fix audio or visual issues. From this menu, you can also enable Esync and Fsync as well.