How to Optimize Battery Life on Steam Deck

How to Add Non-Steam Games to Steam Deck

Here's how to make your Steam Deck more complicated than it should be

Obviously, the primary use of a Steam Deck is to play games on, you know, Steam. It’s the whole ecosystem of access and convenience thing. But at the end of the day, a Steam Deck is a handheld PC. It’s a handheld PC with a limited operating system, but a handheld PC nonetheless. So it’s possible in many cases to play games on a Steam Deck without them being tied to Steam. It’s even possible to access those games through your Steam library without relying on Desktop Mode. So here’s how to add non-Steam games to Steam Deck.

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How to Add Non-Steam Games to Steam Deck

The part that isn’t easy is getting your non-Steam game installed. That’s going to depend on how you need to access the game on a case-by-case basis. Do you need another launcher for it such as Ubisoft or Epic Games? Or do you just have the raw files for one reason or another? This is gonna be a big factor to get past to determine if it’s even feasible to install your game or not. But generally speaking, you end up using the “Add a non-Steam game to your library” function. So here’s how to find that.

The guideworthy part here is that if you’re playing your Steam Deck in its default “Gaming Mode,” you can’t access that function. If you aren’t familiar with Desktop Mode, this is your introduction because it’s necessary. There are two ways to get there. One, you hold the power button to bring up the menu for power options directly. Two, press the Steam button to bring up the bigger menu, then find the power option to get to the same choice. It’s called “Switch to Desktop.”

Related: This Steam Deck Mod Changed My (Gaming) Life

Once you’re in Desktop Mode, you can open Steam up and it’ll look a lot more like normal, desktop Steam. So while you’re here, you can put your cursor over the Games tab and click on the “Add a non-Steam game to my library” option. If you can get a game to run in Desktop Mode, this is how you’ll set it up to play in Gaming Mode.


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Lucas White
Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favs include Dragon Quest, SaGa and Mystery Dungeon. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas. Wanna send an email? Shoot it to [email protected].