How Does Valve Steam Deck Run Windows Games on Linux? - ByteScout
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How Does Valve Steam Deck Run Windows Games on Linux?

How Does Valve Steam Deck Run Windows Games on Linux?

The Valve Steam Deck is the company’s next product after redefining gaming with their internet streaming engine Steam. The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming console that enables gamers to play their video games while they’re on the go. The Steam Deck varies from other portable game consoles in that it runs Linux instead of Windows, which opens up the issue of how it runs Windows programs. In this article, we’ll look at how Valve Steam Deck functions with Windows games on Linux.

The Secret to Running Windows Games on Linux is Proton

Proton, an open-source compatibility layer developed by Valve, is necessary to operate Windows games on Linux. Proton is developed on Wine, a prominent compatibility bridge that permits Windows applications to operate on Linux. Proton improves Wine by implementing new capabilities and capabilities for running Windows games on Linux.

One of the most difficult aspects of playing Windows games on Linux is the fact that the two operating systems employ separate APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). APIs are a group of techniques and methods that enable software programs to interact with one another. DirectX is employed by Windows games, while OpenGL and Vulkan are utilized in Linux games. Proton transforms DirectX commands to OpenGL and Vulkan calls, which enables Windows games to function on Linux.

Proton and Steam Deck: A Pairing

The Steam Deck is meant to operate in tandem with Proton. Valve has designed Proton to function on the Steam Deck’s architecture, which incorporates an AMD Processor with inbuilt RDNA 2 visuals. The Steam Deck also comes with an exclusive Linux version named SteamOS, which has all of the drivers and frameworks needed for operating Proton.

Proton effectively provides us with a collection of extremely fast graphics libraries as well as a revised version of Wine. When reinstalling Windows games on Linux using Proton, there is minimal to no loss in performance. Proton lets you play numerous games available at acceptable framerate drops.

Compatibility and Performance

Compatibility is one of the most significant problems when running Windows games on Linux. Though Proton has made great advancements over the years, not all Windows games will function smoothly on Linux. Even so, by integrating a compatibility component into the Steam store, Valve has made it simple for consumers to check how well their video games would function on Linux.

This compatibility layer informs customers about the extent to which their games will function on Linux, in addition to any reported flaws or workarounds.

In terms of speed, Steam Deck’s equipment can operate most Windows games at acceptable frames per second. Proton has been tuned by Valve to eliminate latency, and the AMD APU is robust enough to execute most games at 720p or 800p settings. With the Steam Deck, Valve has added an additional dock, which lets users connect the device to an external display and play games at high resolutions.

Step-by-step Instructions on How to Run Windows Games on Linux using the Valve Steam Deck

Install Proton and Steam on Linux

The first stage is to obtain Steam and Proton running on your Linux Workstation. Valve has made both deployments simple by including an installation guide on their webpage.

Add Games for Windows to the Steam Library

You must utilize the “Add a Non-Steam Game” function to add Windows games to your Steam library. This lets you add Windows games to your Steam library and play them with Proton.

Use Proton to launch Windows Games

You can install Windows games with Proton after importing them to your Steam library. Merely right-click on the games in your Steam library then choose “Properties.” Choose the “Compatibility” section and activate Proton for the game.

Change the Game Settings

Certain Windows games may require extensive configuration to function correctly on Linux. This might entail modifying the game’s file system or tweaking the graphical parameters. Further material on specific games and their interoperability with Proton can be read on Valve’s ProtonDB website.

Steam Deck and Windows Games

Once you’ve installed Proton and uploaded Windows games to your Steam library, you may use the Valve Steam Deck to start a game on Linux. The Steam Deck has a customized version of Linux titled SteamOS, which incorporates all of the ports and libraries needed to operate Proton. Just load your game via Steam and play it on the move!


The Valve Steam Deck is a fascinating new technology that allows players to play their video games. The Steam Deck can run Windows games on Linux thanks to Proton, Valve’s interoperability layer. Proton adapts DirectX instructions to OpenGL and Vulkan commands, which permits Windows games to execute on Linux. The equipment in the Steam Deck is sophisticated enough to execute most games at acceptable frames per second, and Valve has tuned Proton to decrease any performance degradation. Gamers can take their breakneck Speed library anywhere they go with the Steam Deck and Proton.


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