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Oct 5, 2022 3 min read

How to play Overwatch 2 on Steam Deck

Overwatch 2 on Steam Dec

Overwatch 2 is out now, but how do you play it on your Steam Deck. Let's look at your options.

Update: Thanks to a recently released update to GE-Proton, it's now much easier to get Overwatch 2 running on Steam Deck. All you have to do is to add Battle.net as a Non-Steam-Game to Steam, and install Overwatch 2 through there. Afterwards, choose GE-Proton 7-39 as a compatibility layer. Our tutorial is, however, still a valid option.

Overwatch 2 was released yesterday, and it's safe to say the queues to get into the games were crazy on launch day — so crazy our editor-in-chief didn't make it into the game:

Fortunately, the servers have calmed down a little — as such, we can now figure out the best way to get Overwatch 2 up and running on the Steam Deck.

Unfortunately, the trusted method of installing the previous game on the Deck doesn't seem to work yet for Overwatch 2. This may just be a momentary issue, but for now, the process to play Overwatch 2 on Steam Deck is a bit more evolved.

Right now, if we try to install Overwatch 2 by adding Battle.net as a non-Steam game, it crashes on us. So what's the alternative? Here's what we've found:

We tested the guide below and ran Overwatch 2 successfully (as long as the servers are working, which still seems to be an issue).

How to install Overwatch 2 on Steam Deck

  1. On your Steam Deck, go to desktop mode. Click the Steam button, go down to Power, and then Switch to Desktop. Wait for your Deck to reboot.
  2. In desktop mode, open up Discover. You find it by clicking on the menu button.
  3. Search for Bottles. (If the keyboard doesn't pop up, click the Steam Button + the X-button.) Install the app. Bottles is a popular tool to run Windows software and games on Linux.
  4. Next, search for Flatseal. We need to give some extra permissions to Bottles and this is the fastest way.
  5. Open up Flatseal, click on Bottles in the sidebar and add, under Filesystem, Other files the following path:  /var/home/deck/.local/share/applications.
  6. Open up Bottles. Here, we need to create an environment, a so-called bottle. Click on the plus sign, give it a nice name and choose Gaming as environment. This might take a while.
  7. Next, we need to switch to a different runner (similar to Proton-versions in the Steam Deck game UI). In the sidebar, go to Preferences, scroll down to System and click on the little cog-icon. Under Runners, install caffe-7.18. To select it, exit this screen again, and under System, open up the Components option. Choose caffe-7.18. (A little note from the community: some people see two versions of caffe-7.18. I, however, didn't. You want to choose caffe 7.18x86_64.)
  8. Now to install Battle.net. In the sidebar, under Installers you'll find the Blizzard Battle.net launcher. Pick that and wait for the installation.
  9. Finally, we want to install the game. Open up Battle.net in the start menu, log into the launcher, navigate to Overwatch 2 and install the game. It should now run properly.
  10. If you care, you can add Battle.net to the Steam Library. In Bottles under Programs, click on the three dots next to the Battle.net name. Here, pick Add to Steam and you're done. Another way is to install Boilr from Discover and let it do its job, this is the method I used. But that's a guide for another time.

Unfortunately, the game is currently hard to test right now, as it'll take ages to get a connection to a server. We had the game running in the practice range for a while and had no crashes. However, as usual with the Steam Deck, the game might be extremely laggy while the shaders are caching. Just keep the game open in the menus for a (long) while.

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This is the current best way we found for installing Overwatch 2 on Steam Deck. Ping us on Twitter if you have any questions or find a different solution, and we will update this post accordingly.

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