How to Add a Non-Steam Game on the Steam Deck

In this quick guide, we will be showing you how to add a non-steam game on your Steam Deck.

Steam Deck Add Non-Steam Game

One of the significant advantages of a handheld gaming device like the Steam Deck is that it comes with a fully accessible operating system under the hood.

By switching from gaming to desktop mode, you can install games and software that are not available through the Steam store.

However, installing an application outside of Steam Deck gaming mode means it won’t be available until you add it as a non-steam game.

This tutorial will walk you through each step you must follow to add any application to your Steam Deck library.

This process is incredibly straightforward and one you will have seen if you have followed one of our many guides.

For example, if you wanted, you can install the Ubisoft Connect launcher and then run it in gaming mode by adding it as a non-steam game.

Adding a Non-Steam Game on your Steam Deck

The following sections will show you every step you need to follow to add a non-steam game to your Steam Deck.

If you are trying to add a game built for Windows, you must enable Proton compatibility. Proton is the translation layer between SteamOS and a Windows game.

Changing to Desktop Mode

1. To add a non-steam game on your Steam Deck, you must change to desktop mode.

Desktop mode allows you access to the underlying operating system and the standard Steam client.

To swap to desktop mode, first open the Steam menu. You can open this menu by tapping “STEAM Menu” in the bottom-left corner or pressing the STEAM button.

Open the Steam menu

2. Now that you have the Steam menu open, navigate and select the “Power” option.

Open the Power Menu

3. On this next screen, you will want to select the “Switch to desktop” option.

Switch to desktop mode

Add Non-Steam on the Steam Deck

4. With your Steam Deck now in desktop mode, you must double-click the icon labeled “Steam“.

This desktop icon will open the desktop version of the Steam client.

Open the Steam desktop client

5. Once the Steam client is open, you can bring up the add non-steam game dialog by clickingAdd a game” (1.) in the bottom-left corner.

Clicking this button will bring up some additional options, clickAdd a Non-Steam Game...” (2.) to bring up the dialog.

Open the Steam Deck Add non-steam game dialog

6. Using this dialog, you can add a non-steam game to your Steam Deck.

  1. If you installed a game or application to your Steam Deck through a Debian package or the Discover application, you will find it in the application list.
  2. However, if you want to add a non-steam game that was built for Windows, you must click the “Browse...” button.

    You will then have to use the file browser box to find and select the executable you want to add.
Find the game you want to add

7. After selecting a non-steam game/application (1.), you must now click the “ADD SELECTED PROGRAMS” button (2.).

Add a non-steam game on your Steam Deck

8. You will find your newly added application is now available through your Steam library, whether that be in desktop or gaming mode.

Return to Gaming Mode

9. After adding your application/game to your Steam Deck, you will want to return to gaming mode.

This can be done easily by returning to the desktop and double-clicking the “Return to Gaming Mode” icon.

Return to gaming mode

Finding your Non-Steam Game on the Steam Deck

10. Back in gaming mode, you will want to find the non-steam game you just added to your Steam Deck.

Start by opening up your Steam Deck library.

Open up the Steam Deck Library

11. Once in your library, you will find that any non-steam game is separated into its own tab.

Change to the “Non-Steam” tab (1.) to find all the games/applications that you have added (2.).

Non-steam game in Steam Deck library.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have a good idea of how to add a non-steam game on your Steam Deck.

This process is relatively simple and something you will quickly get used to.

By knowing how to add non-steam games, you gain access to a wealth of extra functionality for your device.

Please comment below if you have any questions about this process.

If you found this tutorial helpful, be sure to check out our many other Steam Deck guides.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar for Bryan
    Bryan on

    If I add a non steam game to my computer’s steam account how can I get that game onto my steam deck?

    1. Avatar for Emmet
      Emmet on
      Editor

      Hi Bryan,

      You will need to install the game directly to your Steam Deck and add it as a non-steam game on the Deck itself.

      Adding it to your computer will only add it locally to that specific Steam library.

      Kind regards,
      Emmet

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