How to use Plex on Steam Deck

Plex logo over Steam DeckPlex

Need to access your hefty Plex library on your Steam Deck? Well, here’s the guide for you and your custom Netflix.

Plex is great. It runs on anything and the server stuff is really well-fleshed out. While it does require a subscription, going against some ethos of Linux, it’s a solid piece of software.

While Plex is great, accessing it from any device is even better – especially without restrictions. On Steam Deck, installing it is ridiculously easy, and adding it into the gaming mode is even easier.

We’ll be using the Desktop mode and adding it into gaming mode, so you can watch things in comfort when docked.

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This is not how to set up a Plex server on your Steam Deck. If you have no media or a Plex Server, you’ll still be able to access the free movies accompanied by ads on the Steam Deck.

Install Plex on Steam Deck

We need to head out of the gaming environment into the desktop one. Press Steam, then Power, and then in the options that pop up, choose Desktop mode.

After you’re on the desktop, go into the Discover app and we’re searching for Plex. It’ll come up, and you can install the Flatpack version from here. Rather than heading to the official Plex site, this will handle the updates for you.

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There are two versions for you to try out, with Plex being for your desktop environment, and HTPC better for when we slot it into the gaming mode.

Grab both and either sign up or log in with your Plex account.

The Linux version actually has a weird issue where it won’t sign you in, as it’s blocking the Firefox window to initiate the link. If this happens to you, type in the following into Konsole/terminal:

systemctl restart –user xdg-desktop-portal

Press enter, and restart the Plex app. This should hopefully fix the issue.

While the Steam Deck is great for watching stuff on, it wouldn’t make for a great Plex server. The constant need to be on, as well as preferably connected over Ethernet, makes it a little hard for the Steam Deck to be that center point.

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Add Plex to Steam Deck gaming mode

Now load up Steam and in the corner, press the little plus button. Add a non-Steam application, and then choose Plex HTPC. It should be in the default list of programs as it’s a native Linux client. If you installed it anywhere else, head there instead via Browse and choose ‘All Files’ where it says ‘.desktop’.

Plex HTPC has full access to keyboard and controller support, which should make browsing a heck of a lot easier.

Head back into gaming mode and you should now be able to load up Plex HTPC as normal.

If you want to add an image to it, you can always follow our guide for getting SteamGridDB in gaming mode via Decky.

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