A lot of reports were made by people that are having difficulties installing the Epic Games Launcher on their new Steam Deck. Some of them aren’t even sure that Steam allows the installation of an external launcher while others don’t know how to do it. This article is here to tell you that you can and that there are actually multiple ways to do it.
Note: The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming computer developed by Valve released at the beginning of 2022. The system uses the SteamOS 3.0 operating system, which is a Linux distribution based on the Arch Linux distribution with a KDE Plasma 5 desktop.
You might expect this already, but the Steam Deck works exactly like a PC. You can connect and use your mouse and keyboard, and even connect it to your monitor.
But another thing that the Steam Deck lets you do (due to community pressure) is play non-Steam games. Exactly like the Steam application, the Steam Deck allows players to add games from other sources to their library.
That’s a neat feature and something that is really appreciated by the community – and most likely, one of the biggest selling points of this handheld console.
Can you install the Epic Games Launcher on the Steam Deck?
But the question of many people is if they can install the Epic Games Launcher on the Steam Deck or not.
Fortunately, you can install the launcher and play your favorite games with good performance (as long as you don’t go overboard with the graphic settings).
Even with the fact that the official Epic Games client does not have a native Linux client, you can install and use the Epic Games Launcher. But to get a better performance players recommend using the Heroic Games Launcher.
The Heroic Games Launcher is an alternative version of the Epic Games Launcher.
The difference between the two is that the Heroic Games Launcher is built for Linux, so it has scripts and internal processes that will help you set up these non-Steam games properly and improve the performance.
PRO TIP: This launcher also allows you to change the configurations for every specific Epic game, while the Epic Launcher has only one configuration for every game. So you can configure your game to work at the best possible performance, while in the other case some of the games might not work at all.
In case you are looking for the steps to install the non-optimized Epic Games Launcher, we got you covered too.
Below, you’ll find two sub-guides:
- One sub-guide for installing Epic Games Launcher on Steam Deck
- One sub-guide for installing a worthy (arguably better) alternative – Heroic Games Launcher.
Feel free to follow whichever guide you feel most comfortable with since both of them will essentially allow you to do the same thing – play games from the Epic Games Store on your Steam Deck.
1. How to Install the Epic Games Store on Steam Deck
In case you want to use the Epic Games Launcher, the installation of it is a bit harder to follow.
IMPORTANT: Going this route will means that you will likely run into some performance issues as the Epic Games launcher is not actually optimized to run on a Linux-based system. In case you’re looking to get the best performance out of your Steam handheld, follow the second sub-guide where we show you how to use an alternative (Heroic Games Launcher) that will allow you to launch games published on the Epic Games platform.
If for some reason, you want to use the standard Epic Games Store executable, you can do that too.
Here are the steps that will help you install and run the Epic Games Launcher on your Steam Deck handheld:
- Start by pressing the Steam button on your Steam Deck to open the menu.
- After that, navigate and select Power, then select Switch to Desktop to exit the main screen interface.
- Once the desktop appears on your screen, open any browser you want to use (Firefox is already installed) and go to the download page of Epic Games launcher.
- Download the installer of the launcher and remember where you have downloaded it.
- When you are done with that, open the Steam app and click on Games located on the top right side. Then click on Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library.
- Click on the Browse button and select the All Files as the File type. Now you can search for the launcher and select it, then click on Add selected programs.
- After that, you should be able to find the Epic Installer inside the installer. Right-click on it and open the Properties.
- Once you are inside the Properties, go to the Compatibility section and check the box associated with the Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool.
- After you’ve done that, you can close the Properties. Now launch the installer and proceed with the installation of the launcher.
- Once the installation is complete, open the Dolphin file manager and click on the three-line icon located in the top-right corner to select the Show Hidden Files. After that, you need to go to the following location:
Home > .local > share > Steam > steamapps > compatdata
- The folder you need to access now is named with a bigger number of digits than the others. Access the folder and navigate to the next location:
pfx > drive_c > Program Files(x86) > Launcher > Portal > Binaries > Win32
- Now you have to find the EpicGamesLauncher.exe file and right-click on it, then select Copy Location.
- After that, go back to the Steam app and access the library, then open the Properties of the Epic Installer again.
- When you are inside the Properties, delete the Target address that you see there and paste the new one inside the quote marks. Do the same for the Start In field, but for this, you first have to delete the ‘EpicGamesLauncher.exe‘ from the end of the address.
- Now you can close the tab and open the installer of the launcher. You can now log in with your account credentials and install games.
- Once the launcher is completely installed, go to the Properties again, and at the Start in path, change ‘Win32‘ to ‘Win64‘.
- Now that the Epic Games Launcher is good to go, you can freely download and install whatever game you want.
2. How to Install an Epic Games Store Alternative on Steam Deck (Heroic Games Launcher)
If you took our advice and decided that you want to use the Heroic Games Launcher, we’ve prepared a guide that will help you install it in order to play Epic Games Launcher games properly (at maximum performance on your Steam Deck.
Note: The Heroic Games Launcher is a community-made open source app specifically made for running the Epic Games Store at peak performance on Linux-based devices like the Steam Deck. The app has been receiving numerous updates and is now pretty reliable and dependable.
Here’s what you need to do in order to install the Epic Games Store alternative (Heroic Games Launcher) on you Steam Deck handheld:
- The first thing you need to do is to press the Steam button on your Steam Deck.
- Once you’ve done that, navigate to where it says Power, then you need to press on Switch to Desktop to be able to download the launcher.
Note: Before your Steam Deck enters the Desktop mode, make sure to connect your keyboard and mouse to be able to control it easily.
- After the desktop appears on your screen, open the Discover Store that can be found on the bottom left side of your screen.
- Now that you are inside the Discover Store, you need to use the search bar to search for the Heroic Games Launcher. Once you find it, make sure to download it.
- Wait for the launcher to install. When the installation is done, open the Heroic Games Launcher.
- After you are inside the launcher, you need to log in with your Epic Games account credentials.
- Now you have the Epic Games Launcher completely available for you, you can download every game you want from your library. You can even use the store to buy any games you want.
Note: In addition, we will show you how to make the Epic Games Launcher available in your Steam library to be able to use it from the main Steam interface (the first interface that the Steam Deck shows before going to the Desktop mode). This way you will be able to access it easier, without needing to go to the Desktop mode every time.
- From the desktop of your Steam Deck, open the Steam application.
- Inside the Steam app, click on Games located in the top left corner, then click on Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library.
- After that, you need to find the shortcut for the Heroic Games Launcher and add it to the library.
- Once you’ve done that, you can go back to the main interface.
- To be able to access the Epic Games Launcher, you have to go to the Non-Steam category located in your library.
- To launch it, all you have to do is to select it and press the Play button.
Now you can play every Epic game that you want on your Steam Deck PC.