How to Install Epic Games on Steam Deck

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Platform exclusivity is a modern practice in video game publishing, with specific titles being moved to the Epic Games Store away from Steam, but that doesn’t mean they’re entirely out of reach for the Steam Deck. Unfortunately, Epic still doesn’t offer an official Linux installer for its platform, which makes it a little tricky. Nevertheless, we have a simple guide you can follow for two methods of installing Epic games on Steam Deck.

Before you begin, you should know that any apps or games installed outside of the official Steam Deck store will be on the console’s internal storage, not your microSD card or other external drives. Check that you have enough free space on the Steam Deck SSD, the size of which depends on the Steam Deck model you have chosen (64 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB).

How to Install Epic Games with Heroic

The fastest way to access the Epic Games Store is through the community-created open-source game launcher, Heroic. Designed for Linux, it is compatible with Steam Deck and also includes support for GOG Galaxy games. For now, we will focus on using it to install Epic Games in a few very simple steps.

How to install Heroic Games Launcher

Heroic Games Launcher

(Image credit: heroic)

Heroic can be downloaded as a Flatpak archive on Flathub from any Linux PC. Luckily, it’s easier to find and install using the Steam Deck, skipping a lot of manual work and going directly to the games.

  1. Hit the left side STEAM button to open the quick menu.
  2. Navigate down the list to highlight and select Power.
  3. In the power menu, navigate to and select Go to the office.

Alternatively, you can hold down the power button briefly to get to the power menu a little faster. A Going to the office… notification will appear whichever method you choose. After a short wait, the Steam Deck will boot into its Linux desktop environment, as you’d expect on any regular PC.

  1. Locate and open the Discover app, which is usually pinned to your taskbar with an icon that looks like a blue shopping bag. Otherwise, you can find it in System applications menu tab.
  2. By using the search function at the top left of Discoverlook for Heroic Games Launcher.
  3. To find Heroic Games Launcher in the list of results and press Install.

Heroic is great for launching games through Epic, but booting into desktop mode whenever you want to play it isn’t too efficient. You can take a few extra steps to have them appear in your Steam Deck’s library alongside your regular purchases.

  1. Return to Steam in desktop mode. Navigate in the top menu to Games tab and select Adding a non-Steam game to my library…
  2. A new window titled Add game will appear with a list of your software. Go through this list until you find Heroic Games Launcher.
  3. Check the box to the left of its title, then press Add selected programs.
  4. Close the Steam the application and launch the Return to game mode shortcut from the desktop or applications menu.

Back in the SteamOS Deck UI, you can find Heroic Games Launcher under the non-Steam games category and use it to install any Epic Games Store title from your account as usual. The downside of using Heroic is that you won’t get any compatibility information like the list of games verified by Steam Deck, so be prepared to troubleshoot any issues yourself. This is without a doubt the easiest way to access your Epic games purchased on the Steam Deck until perhaps they return to the Steam platform one day.

How to manually install Epic games

Let’s say you want complete control over everything that happens on your Steam Deck. In this case, you can manually install the Epic Games Store using the Proton compatibility layer and treating it as a non-Steam game. It’s easier than it looks, and I’m going to break it all down for you in easy-to-follow steps.

How to Install Epic Games Store

  1. Press the left Steam button to open the quick menu.
  2. Navigate down the list to highlight and select Power.
  3. In the power menu, navigate to and select Switch to office.

Alternatively, you can hold down the power button briefly to get to the power menu a little faster. A Going to the office… notification will appear whichever method you choose. After a short wait, the Steam Deck will boot into its Linux desktop environment, as you’d expect on any regular PC.

  1. Open Firefox (or your favorite web browser) from the taskbar or apps menu and navigate to the official Epic Games Store website.
  2. hit the blue To download to grab the Windows installer .msi file, usually located in the upper right corner of the page.

Alternatively, you can download the EpicInstaller on a separate desktop computer and transfer the file to your Steam Deck via microSD or other methods. Note where the .msi file is located, usually in the default file Downloads folder if you used Firefox.

  1. Launch the Steam app from your desktop or the apps menu while still in desktop mode.
  2. Navigate in the top menu to Games tab and select Adding a non-Steam game to my library…
  3. A new window titled Add game will appear with your list of software. Ignore the apps listed; instead, press the Browse … bottom button.
  4. Navigate to the folder containing the “EpicInstaller” file you downloaded earlier and edit the File type filter from Apps at All the files; otherwise, it will remain invisible.
  5. Select the installation file, then press Open so that it appears with a tick in Add game window, then press Add selected programs.

If you can’t see the EpicInstaller .msi in its folder, make sure you have changed the File type filter for All the files. By default, Steam Deck is *.desktop extensions, so SteamOS won’t recognize Windows installers unless you change this filter.

Epic Games Store is reviewing the promotion

(Image credit: Epic Games)
  1. Highlight and right-click (left touchpad) on EpicInstaller in your library in Steam desktop mode and press Properties.
  2. From the left menu, select Compatibility and check Force user of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool.
  3. From the drop-down list, select the most recent stable version of Protonrather than Experimental Protonto reduce the risk of bugs and crashes.
  4. Launch EpicInstaller from the non-Steam games category in the desktop version of Steam and follow the instructions to install the software to its default location. The installer will disappear when finished.

Setup Setup

So far, you have successfully installed the Epic Games Store in your Steam Deck’s file system. However, it won’t open without an extra step to locate and launch it with the Proton compatibility layer. The file we just ran is designed for Windows, and the brain behind your console runs on Linux, so we need to tell Steam where to find the installation directory.

Open the Dolphin file manager from the taskbar or applications menu and navigate to the following directory: Home/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata

Here you will see a collection of folders named as strings of numbers. These folders are the apps and games installed on your Steam Deck, so you need to figure out which one is the Epic Games Store we just installed. Luckily this shouldn’t be too hard to find as non-Steam apps have a much higher number official games, so start with the folder with the longest number and find the following directory:

…/pfx/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Epic Games/Launcher/Portal/Binaries/Win32

Once you find it, you should see that it contains the EpicGamesLauncher.exe file we need to complete our installation.

  1. In the Dolphin file manager, right-click (left touchpad) on EpicGamesLauncher.exe drop and hit Copy location.
  2. Back in the desktop version of Steam, right-click EpicInstaller and knock Properties.
  3. Delete the Target field and paste (STEAM+X opens an on-screen keyboard) the location we just copied. This shows Steam where the .exe file is.
  4. Delete the start in field and paste the same, but this time wipe off the EpicGamesLauncher.exe text from the end, so it ends with /Win32. This shows Steam where the Epic Games Store directory is.

These last steps may seem difficult, but they explain to Proton where the Windows installation of Epic Games Store is located in your Steam Deck. Luckily, you’re done with the hardest part. If you want to make things a little prettier, you can rename the EpicInstaller to something cleaner like Epic Games Store in the same right click Properties menu you used on the Steam desktop version.

How to install games

Epic Games Store is reviewing the promotion

(Image credit: Epic Games)

We’re at the easiest part of this manual install method now that the Epic Games Store is fully installed. Restart your Steam Deck in the usual SteamOS Deck UI, find the Epic Games Store in the non-Steam game category, and launch it as you would any normal game. Pop-up notifications mentioning free games and special offers can cause issues with screen resolution, so consider disabling those under the Desktop Notifications section in the Epic Games Store settings menu.

And that’s all you need to do. Unfortunately, this does not bypass the anti-cheat system games within the Epic Games ecosystem, so you won’t be able to play multiplayer games that Steam Deck doesn’t officially support. It’s a fantastic method to access more single-player games on your Steam Deck, although some will need some of the best Steam Deck accessories to fully enjoy due to a lack of official joypad support.

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