In this tutorial, we will show you how to install the official EA Desktop App on your Steam Deck.
Installing the EA Desktop App (Formerly called Origin) to your Steam Deck gives you access to all of the games you bought from that platform.
While the EA Desktop App doesn’t natively support the Steam Deck’s operating system, we can use Proton to get it to run.
Proton is a compatibility layer that allows us to install and run Windows-based applications on Steam OS.
Over the following sections, we will show you how to install the EA Desktop App to your device and run it within gaming mode.
Running EA Desktop App on the Steam Deck
By the end of the following few sections, you will have the EA Desktop App up and running on your Steam Deck.
These steps show you where to download the app and how to set it up to run properly through the Proton compatibility layer.
Swapping to Desktop Mode
1. To be able to install software that isn’t available through the Steam store, such as the EA Desktop App, you must swap to desktop mode.
You can begin changing to desktop mode by opening the STEAM menu. You can open this menu by tapping “
STEAM menu” in the bottom-left corner or pressing the “STEAM” button on your Steam Deck.
2. With the STEAM menu open, navigate down to the “
Power” option and select it.
3. With the Power menu open, your next step is to select the “
Switch to Desktop” option.
Downloading the EA Desktop App to your Steam Deck
4. Once you are in desktop mode, you want to open your web browser. Any web browser will work, but we will be using Google Chrome.
5. With the web browser open, you will want to go to the following URL (1.). This URL is where you can download the EA Desktop App to your Steam Deck.
Once on the page, click the “
Download the EA app” button (2.). If you are asked to select a place to save the installer, we recommend the “
Downloads” folde,r as it is easily accessible.
Add the EA Desktop APP Install to your Steam Library
6. Since the EA Desktop App isn’t natively available for the Steam Deck, we must run it through Proton.
To run the installer through Proton, we must add the EA App Installer as a non-steam game to your library. We can begin this process by opening the Steam desktop client on your device.
7. With the Steam desktop client open, click the “
Add a game” button (1.) in the bottom-left corner of the window.
In the context menu that appears, you must click the “
Add a non-steam game” option (2.).
8. You will now see a list of programs you can easily add.
Since the EA Desktop App installer won’t be listed here, we must click the “
Browse...” button to find it.
9. With the file browser open, you will want to change to the “
Downloads” directory (1.).
Within this directory, look for and select the EA App installer on your Steam Deck. It should be labeled “
Once the installer is selected, click the “
Open” button (3.).
10. You should now have the EA App installer within the list, and it should have a ticked checkbox (1.).
Once you have ensured that you have the EA App installer, click the “
Add Selected Programs” button (2.) to add it to your Steam Deck library.
Set the Compatibility Mode for EA Desktop on your Steam Deck
11. Now that we have added the EA App Installer to your Steam Deck library, you must find it. The easiest way to find the installer is to type “
eaappinstaller” into the search bar (1.).
Once the entry “
EAappInstaller.exe” appears, click it to open its Steam library entry (2.).
12. With the EA App Installer selected within the Steam library, click the cog on the left-hand side (1.).
In the context menu that appears, click the “
Properties” option (2.).
13. With the properties screen option, change to the “
Compatibility” tab (1.).
Next, ensure that the “
Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool” option is ticked (2.).
Once ticked, set the Proton version to “
Proton Experimental” (3.).
Installing the EA Desktop App to your Steam Deck
14. Now that we have set the EA App Installer to run under Proton, we can launch it.
You can launch the EA Desktop App installer on your Steam Deck by clicking the “
15. To install the EA App to your Steam Deck, you only need to click the “
LET'S GO” button. You will not see any more prompts as the game client is installed.
16. While you can now log in to EA App on your Steam Deck, we need to complete a few additional tasks.
You can close out of the client by clicking the “
X” button in the top-right corner.
Updating the Launch Target for EA Desktop App
17. Even though we installed EA App to our Steam Deck, the shortcut we created still points to the installer.
Bring up the settings context menu by clicking the cog icon (1.).
In the context menu, you will then want to click the “
Properties” option (2.).
Updating the Shortcut Name
18. With the properties panel open, you will first want to rename the EA App Installer to something more relevant.
For example, you can rename this shortcut to “
EA App” or “
You can type in this field by clicking it and pressing the STEAM + X buttons to bring up the on-screen keyboard.
Changing the Launch Target
19. We now need to change the launch target so that this shortcut will launch EA App on the Steam Deck.
To set the launch target, click the “
Browse” button next to the “
TARGET” text field.
20. To find where the EA App was installedon your Steam Deck, you must enable hidden files.
To enable this option, bring up the browser options panel by clicking the icon in the top-right corner (1.).
Next, enable hidden files by clicking the “
Show Hidden Files” option (2.).
21. Start setting the launch target by opening the “
22. Next, navigate to the “
23. We can now move into the “
24. The next folder you must change to is labeled “
25. You will now want to move to the “
compatdata” directory. This directory is where any game or program running under Proton is installed on your Steam Deck, including EA App.
26. Ensure that the files are sorted by newest to oldest by clicking the “
Date” column (1.) and ensuring the arrow is pointing down.
Once sorted, the folder you are after should be at the top (2.). Note the folder name, as you will need to know this later.
27. Now that we are in the Proton directory for EA App on our Steam Deck, we can change to the “
28. Next, change to the “
drive_c” directory. This directory is where the file system is simulated for EA App as it runs on your Steam Deck.
29. Now, change to the “
Program Files” directory.
30. Now, find the directory named “
Electronic Arts” and open it.
31. You will now find the first of two folders named “
EA Desktop“. Navigate into this folder to continue.
32. Here is the second folder named “
EA Desktop“. Open the folder to continue.
33. Within this directory, scroll down and select the executable named “
Now, click the “
Open” button (2.) to change the launch target to the EA Desktop App.
Changing the Start In Target
34. If the “
START IN” hasn’t been automatically set, you will need to set it by clicking the “
35. You will now need to show hidden folders within this dialog. To do this, bring up the context menu by right-clicking. You can right-click by pressing the L2 trigger on your Steam Deck.
In the context menu that appears, click the “
Show Hidden Folders” option.
36. Now, navigate into the “
You can navigate these folders easily by using the D-PAD on your Steam Deck.
37. The next directory you must open is called “
38. Scroll down and navigate into the “
39. Find and open the directory labeled “
40. Finally, navigate into your Steam Decks “
compatdata” folder. This folder is where you will find your EA App proton directory.
41. Scroll down and look for the Steam Deck proton directory belonging to EA App. You should know the name of this folder from earlier on in this guide.
42. Change into the “
43. Open the “
drive_c” folder to continue.
44. Change to the “
Program Files” folder.
45. Now find and open the folder named “
46. Now open the first directory named “
47. Finally, select the second folder named “
EA Desktop” (1.).
Once selected, click the “
OK” button (2.) to set the START IN Target.
Ensure Double Quotes are set
48. Before you finish up in the properties screen, ensure that the “
TARGET” and “
START IN” fields start and end with a double quote (
Some versions of Steam on the Steam Deck won’t automatically add these, causing apps like EA App not to launch.
Making a Folder to Store your EA Desktop App Games
49. Let us create a folder on your Steam Deck to store your EA Desktop App games.
While you could install all of these within the Proton directory, they will get deleted if you ever need to re-install just EA App.
Begin this process by clicking the folder icon in your taskbar.
50. With the Dolphin file explorer open, right-click in the window to bring up the context menu. You can right-click by using the L2 trigger on your Steam Deck.
With the context menu open, select the “
Create New” option (1.). With the list that appears, click the “
Folder” option (2.).
51. In the dialog that pops up, type in a new name for this folder (1.). For us, we will be naming this folder “
EA Games“. You can type in this dialog by bringing up the virtual keyboard by pressing the STEAM + X buttons.
To create the folder, click the “OK” button (2.).
52. With the folder created, we must create a symbolic link between it and our EA Apps proton directory.
To simplify this process, split the Dolphin file browser by clicking the “
53. With the file browser now split, bring up the options by clicking the icon in the top-right (1.).
In the context menu, click the “
Show Hidden Files” option (2.).
54. Now that you can see hidden folders, navigate to the “
55. Next, change to the folder named “
56. You will now want to open the “
Steam” folder within the Dolphin file explorer.
57. We now need to change to the “
58. For the next step, we need to open the “
59. Once in the “
compatdata” folder, you must open the file browser settings by clicking the settings icon in the top-right corner (1.).
Next, highlight the “
Sort By” option (2.). Now ensure that the sort by is set to “
Modified” (3.), and that the “
Newest First” (4.) option is set.
60. The first Proton directory should be the one where the EA desktop App is installed on your Steam Deck.
Open this directory to continue with this guide.
61. Next, you must swap to the “
62. Finally, you will want to swap to the “
63. Now that we are in the right place, click and drag the “
EA Games” folder from the left to the right (1.).
You will see a context menu appear with a few different options. You can click the “
Link Here” (2.) option to create a symbolic link between the home directory and the simulated C drive.
64. You should now have the “EA Games” folder on the right-side with a little link icon.
Launching the EA App in Steam Deck Desktop Mode
65. We can now launch the EA App on the Steam Deck. Since we are still in desktop mode, launch the Steam app and click the “
66. You can now log in to the EA App by typing in your username and password (1.).
Remember, you can bring up the keyboard by pressing the STEAM + X buttons. If the mouse isn’t working, hold the STEAM button on your Steam Deck.
We recommend ticking the “
Keep me signed in” checkbox (2.) so you don’t have to type in your username and password continually.
Once you are all set, click the “
SIGN IN” button (3.) to continue.
67. You should hopefully have EA App successfully running on your Steam Deck while you are in gaming mode.
Changing the Default Install Location for EA App on your Steam Deck
68. EA App allows you to easily change the default install location for the games on your Steam Deck.
To change this, bring up the menu by clicking the icon in the top-left corner (1.).
Now, click the “
Settings” (2.) option to open the settings panel.
69. With the EA App settings open on your Steam Deck change, to the “
Download ” tab (1.).
Once on this tab, you can change the default install location by clicking the “
EDIT” button (2.).
70. In the dialog that pops up, click the “
EA Games” folder you created earlier (1.).
Once selected, click the “OK” button (2.).
71. The install location should now be updated to the directory you selected.
Returning to Gaming Mode
72. At this point, you can return your Steam Deck to gaming mode by clicking the “Return to Gaming Mode” icon.
Finding EA Desktop App on your Steam Deck
73. Now that you are back in gaming mode, let us go and open the EA Desktop App on your Steam Deck.
Open the STEAM menu and select the “
Library” option to continue.
74. In your Steam Deck library, change to the “
NON-STEAM” tab (1.).
You should now find EA App within your Steam Deck Library (2.). Select the entry to continue.
75. Now, all you need to do to launch EA App on your Steam Deck while in gaming mode is to click the “
76. Below, you can see EA Play running on our Steam Deck while we are in gaming mode.
Hopefully, at this point, you will now have the EA Desktop App running on your Steam Deck.
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any issues with getting EA App to run on your device.
If you found this guide useful, be sure to check out our many other Steam Deck guides.