How to play Fortnite on Steam Deck
Wondering how to play Fortnite on the Steam Deck? Well, here’s a guide for just that very purpose – but it’s a little bit more complicated than you might think.
Everyone should say thank you to the bus driver, because the road we’re traveling to get Fortnite working on the Steam Deck is fairly long. Needless to say, Valve and Epic certainly don’t play nice with each other and you can’t play the game on SteamOS natively.
Epic and Valve are at low-key odds with each other. Both are mega giants in the PC gaming business, with Tim Sweeney’s company consistently pointing out the monopoly that Valve has over the market. While Sweeney has had his issues in the past with Windows, Epic Games are yet to fully embrace Linux as an alternative.
The Steam Deck is a sticking point though. It’s a fairly open device, that can play all kinds of games from different stores through Proton. However, getting a game like Fortnite to work on Proton is a theoretically simple task. But, since corporate politics is complicated, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a native Steam Deck version any time soon. Tim Sweeny himself weighed in, stating that cheating would be an issue if they ported the game over to SteamOS.
All isn’t lost though. Thanks to the open nature of the Steam Deck, there are a few ways we can circumvent this choice by Epic. It fully depends on whether you’re willing to give up some fidelity to streaming, or, install Windows on your Steam Deck.
How to play Fortnite on Steam Deck using Windows
Fortnite – as of right now – can’t run natively on Linux. Proton, the translation layer to get Windows games running on Linux, requires more work to get it working with Epic’s anti-cheat solution. As Fortnite isn’t set up to hook into Proton, the game will not work.
Getting around this is simple, we just install Windows onto the Steam Deck. As we would with things like Modern Warfare 2, and Destiny 2.
On Windows, you’ll be playing the game at Low, but from our testing and observations, the game seems to run just fine at 60FPS.
How to stream Fortnite to the Steam Deck
The other methods are by using either Xbox Cloud Gaming with Game Pass, or Nvidia GeForce Now. These two will require you to use Microsoft Edge, which you can get from the app store in Desktop mode.
1. Download Microsoft Edge
To get to Desktop mode, on your home screen press the Steam button. Go to Power, and then go to Desktop mode in the menu that pops up.
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Once you’ve done this, go to the Discover Store and search for Microsoft Edge. It’s in beta, but it functions nearly flawlessly.
We have a guide for Xbox Cloud Gaming already, and setting up Nvida GeForce Now is a fairly similar process.
2. Add Edge to Steam & set up
Once you’ve installed Edge, find it in the taskbar menu, and right click. Choose “Add to Steam” and we can proceed with the rest of the set up. This allows us to play your chosen streaming service in Gaming mode.
- Open Konsole and use the following code to give the correct permissions to Edge to get over any security barriers
- flatpak –user override –filesystem=/run/udev:ro com.microsoft.Edge
- Press Enter and then close Konsole
- Head into Steam and right-click Microsoft Edge
- Choose Properties and locate Launch Options
- Type the following code:
- –window-size=1024,640 –force-device-scale-factor=1.25 –device-scale-factor=1.25 –kiosk “https://www.play.geforcenow.com”
Setting Edge to run in Kiosk mode when selected through our shortcut will force it into a demo like state.
If you want Xbox Cloud Gaming, rather than Nvidia GeForce Now, you’ll need to type in place:
Once you’re done, load into Gaming mode, and your streaming service of choice should load up, allowing you to play Fortnite on Steam Deck.
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