With Diablo 4 creeping up on us, what better time to prep and ready your Steam Deck for some looting good fun?
Blizzard’s Battle.net launcher is home to games like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and some of the Call of Duty titles from the last few years. Diablo 4 is set to release this year and after hours spent with Path of Exile and Diablo 2 on the Steam Deck, we can confirm it’s how we intend to play.
Instead of having to use another PC or laptop, why not take them on the go properly with the Steam Deck?
There’s a method with ‘Bottles’, a piece of Linux software that does a similar thing to Valve’s Proton. It’s an intermediary layer that will handle the installation of a piece of software and silo it away. The problem with this is that its extra steps that you might not need to take. As long as you get the Battle.net launcher on Proton, it can pretty much function as you’d expect – both in Gaming mode and Desktop mode.
This originally was just Blizzard’s online service, before evolving into what it is today. While you won’t get to play games like Modern Warfare 2 due to the anti-cheat, Blizzard seems to be a little more relaxed.
The only problem is, as much as these games all work like a charm on Valve’s handheld, installing them is your own issue. Blizzard doesn’t technically support Linux, even down to the Battle.net launcher not even coming in a Linux flavor.
How to download and launch Battle.net on Steam Deck
Wondering how to download and launch Battle.net on Steam Deck? It’s a bit od a process. First things first, we need to head to Blizzard’s download page for Battle.net. This will give you the .exe file for Windows, but we’re going to embed it into Proton to get it functioning.
Go into the Desktop mode by pressing the Steam Button, then ‘Power’ and ‘Desktop mode’.
Head to Battle.net, download the launcher, and leave it wherever you see fit.
Now load up Steam, and in the left-hand corner, hit the + symbol and then ‘Add non-Steam game’. You’ll be greeted by a file browser, and you’ll have to alter what you can see. Where it says ‘Applications’, choose the dropdown list and ‘All files’. Go to where you save the .exe file and then add it.
Locate it in your Steam Library and then press the gear symbol. Go to Properties and then in the next window, choose ‘Compatability’. This will give you the choice of what version of Proton you want to use. We went with 7.0.5, but it functioned on Experimental as well.
From here, press launch, and you’ll be greeted by the Battle.net installation process. Let it do its thing and just be warned, when you come to type things in, Proton is still a little glitchy. The onscreen keyboard might freak out, so we recommend doing this with a mouse and keyboard if possible.
Tap in your details, then choose the games you want to install. World of Warcraft, Diablo 2, and Overwatch 2 will all recognize the controls built into the Steam Deck, so don’t fret there.
However, to get either a specific game or just regular Battle.net into Gaming Mode, we’ll need to add these as shortcuts. There’s no point keeping the installer in, it’ll just confuse everything.
How to add Battle.net games to Steam Deck in Gaming Mode
To add Battle.net games on Steam Deck, repeat the ‘Add non-Steam game’ step, choosing All Files. We need to go into where Proton has installed your games and Battle.net, as it emulates the Windows file system. It also, however, hides it away to avoid confusion for regular users.
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If you installed it to your Steam Deck directly, it’ll be in the following location:
Now, the numbers might vary between us, but if you click ‘Date modified’ you’ll be able to see which file you installed it to, as it’ll have today’s date.
In our case, we found it in:
/home/deck/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/2426010261/pfx/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Battle.net
If you just want Steam to list the specific game, be sure to include the specific launcher for that game. This will just ensure the game remains updated, and also verifying your login to Battle.net.
/home/deck/.local/share/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/2426010261/pfx/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Diablo II Resurrected/Diablo II Resurrected Launcher.exe
For those that have it installed on your microSD card, replace the start with:
/run/media/mmcblk0p1/steamapps/compatdata/2426010261/pfx/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Battle.net
Now, when you load back into Gaming Mode, you’ll start to see the apps littering your library in the ‘Non-Steam’ section.
From testing, almost everything works as expected. You’ll probably need to use the touch screen to load up your game from the Battle.net launcher, but it’s not a hardship.
If your copy of Overwatch 2 doesn’t work, you can follow these alternate steps.