How to Install EmuDeck on Steam Deck (2024)

Valve’s Steam Deck is one of the most powerful handheld gaming consoles on the market, giving you the power of a gaming PC in a portable format. But what if you crave the nostalgic charm of classic titles from yesteryear? That’s where EmuDeck comes in. You can install EmuDeck on your Steam Deck to run emulators to play retro games easily.

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But what exactly is EmuDeck, and how does it work? And how do you install it on your Steam Deck? Fret not; we’ll answer all your queries in this guide. We’ll walk you through every step of installing and setting up EmuDeck so you can start playing your favorite retro games on your Steam Deck in no time. Let’s get to it.

What Is EmuDeck

EmuDeck is a powerful emulator frontend explicitly designed for the Steam Deck. It’s worth noting that EmuDeck itself isn’t an emulator. Instead, it downloads and installs emulators using the same sources you would use if you were to install them manually. This includes popular emulators for various consoles like PlayStation, Nintendo, and Sega.

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EmuDeck also pre-configures these emulators with optimal settings for the Steam Deck’s hardware. This ensures smooth gameplay and seamless integration with the Steam Deck interface. Plus, it handles tedious tasks like downloading BIOS files and setting up controller mappings, saving you precious time and effort.

How to Install EmuDeck on Steam Deck

Now that we clearly understand what EmuDeck is, let’s start by installing EmuDeck on your Steam Deck. The process is simple.

Step 1: Press and hold the power button on your Steam Deck. In the Power options that pop up, select ‘Switch to Desktop’.

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Step 2: Now, open the web browser of your choice. Navigate to EmuDeck’s official website. Alternatively, if you have this guide open inside your Steam Deck, tap on the button below.

Install EmuDeck

Step 3: Here, tap on Download at the top.

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Step 4: Now, tap on SteamOS.

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Step 5: This should download the EmuDeck.desktop.download file to your Steam Deck. From the downloads panel, tap on ‘Show in folder’. Alternatively, you can use Dolphin File Manager to navigate to the Downloads folder location.

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Step 6: Here, right-click on the downloaded file and select Rename.

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Step 7: Finally, remove the .download part from the name. The file name should be EmuDeck.desktop.

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How to Configure and Set Up EmuDeck for Steam Deck

Now that you have downloaded the EmuDeck file onto your Steam Deck, launch it and configure the installation of various emulators. Here’s how to do that.

Part 1: Set Up Emulators Using EmuDeck

Step 1: Drag and drop the EmuDeck.desktop file to your Desktop. Alternatively, use the Dolphin Explorer app. Once done, double-click on it to execute it.

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Step 2: The installation will begin, and the welcome screen should appear. Here, select Easy Mode or Custom Mode, followed by Continue.

If you wish to install all mainstream emulators, tap on Easy Mode. We recommend using Custom Mode for a more personalized experience. For this guide, we’ll use the same.

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Step 3: Inside Custom Mode, select the install location. You can select Internal Storage or SD card. Once done, click on Next.

Note: If you use a microSD card on your Steam Deck, set that as the install location. Alternatively, tap on Internal Storage to use your Deck’s built-in storage.

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Step 4: Next, select your device. By default, it should be set to Steam Deck. Leave it as it is and click on Next.

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Step 5: Now, choose which emulators you want to install. You can do this by simply toggling them on or off. Once done, click on Continue.

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Part 2: Configure Your Emulators Using EmuDeck

Step 1: Now, there will be a page for Emulator Configurations. Ideally, it’s best to let EmuDeck optimize the emulators for you. Alternatively, you can de-select any specific emulator to download and install BIOS configuration for it manually. Once you’ve made your choice, tap on Continue.

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Step 2: EmuDeck also offers the option to use pre-configured bezels for specific emulators. Since the aspect ratio of the emulator and the Steam Deck will be different, these custom bezels will fill up the black bars on either side of the game. You can choose to enable or disable them as per your liking. Once done, tap on Continue.

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Step 3: Once done, configure the aspect ratio of the various emulators you wish to install on your Steam Deck. Feel free to choose as per your liking and tap on Continue.

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Part 3: Finalize Installation

Step 1: Finally, EmuDeck will summarize everything the installer will do. You can go back and make some changes if needed or tap on Finish to finalize the installation.

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Step 2: Once done, EmuDeck will install all the emulators and apply the set configurations to them.

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And that’s it. Once the installation is complete, you should launch and use the emulators of your choice. You can copy your ROMs to your storage under the Emulation/ROMs folder.

How to Use Steam ROM Manager

While adding games to the emulator of your choice is one thing, it’s essential to add the emulators to your Steam library, too, so you can access them easily. That’s where the Steam Rom Manager comes in. It should already be installed on your Deck as part of EmuDeck. Here’s how to use the Steam ROM Manager.

Step 1: Inside the Desktop mode, open the launcher. Here, select Steam ROM Manager.

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Step 2: This should take you to the Parsers screen. Don’t worry, you don’t have to change anything. Tap on Preview.

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Step 3: You should now see the ‘Add your games to Steam’ page. Here, click on ‘Parse’ left.

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Step 4: Once the list has been generated, you should get a screen showing all the installed emulators. Now, click on ‘Save to Steam’.

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Step 5: And that’s it. You can now return to the Gaming Mode on your Steam Deck. You will find your installed emulators inside your Steam Library. Launch the emulator to launch the game of your choice.

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Enjoy Retro Gaming on Steam Deck

And there you have it – a complete guide to installing EmuDeck on your Steam Deck and turning it into a retro gaming paradise. With these emulators installed, you can enjoy the nostalgia as you play classic games from your favorite consoles. However, note that emulation has legal gray areas. As such, ensure that you own physical copies of games before acquiring ROMs. Happy gaming!

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How to Install EmuDeck on Steam Deck (2024)
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