Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney explains why Fortnite won’t be on Steam Deck any time soon

Sayem Ahmed
Fortnite art with Steam Deck held in hands

Looking to play Fortnite easily on your Steam Deck? Well, don’t hold your breath, as Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney explains that it’s unlikely until “tens of millions” of Steam Decks have been sold.

The Steam Deck can play just about every game you can think of. Thanks to tech like Proton under the hood, you can play almost any PC game on Valve’s humble handheld. However, there are several notable exceptions to this rule. One of the games that will not work natively on Steam Deck is Fortnite.

With players clamoring to play on the go, and several complex workarounds available, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeny explained why players should not expect Fortnite to run natively on the Steam Deck any time soon, in an interview with The Verge. When quizzed on why you still can’t play, the CEO answered:

“If we only had a few more programmers. It’s the Linux problem. I love the Steam Deck hardware. Valve has done an amazing job there; I wish they would get to tens of millions of users, at which point it would actually make sense to support it.”

Why Fortnite isn’t natively playable on Steam Deck

Fortnite Chapter 5 NPCs weapon mods

When it comes down to the root of the problem, the reason why you can’t play Fortnite on Steam Deck is due to Easy Anti Cheat, alongside other systems that work alongside Fortnite to detect cheating. On PC, this is done on a kernel level, meaning that it will monitor your system alongside the OS. Epic would require a robust anti-cheat solution for users on Linux, which is slightly more complex, due to the number of versions (named Distros) available for the OS.

Effectively, creating a Steam Deck version of the title would require Epic to create a native Linux port of the game, which is difficult to do without the justification of standing to gain more users from the decision.

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About The Author

Dexerto's Hardware Editor. Sayem is an expert in all things Nvidia, AMD, Intel, and PC components. He has 10 years of experience, having written for the likes of Eurogamer, IGN, Trusted Reviews, Kotaku, and many more. Get in touch via email at sayem.ahmed@dexerto.com.