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Aug 16, 2022 2 min read

What is GE-Proton, and how to install it on the Steam Deck

What is GE-Proton, and how to install it on the Steam Deck

The Steam Deck is a Linux PC and probably your first foray into the world of this operating system.

Since many games — for now, I believe the Steam Deck will change this — are developed for Windows PCs first, you sometimes come across a game that doesn’t have a native Linux build. In these cases, the Steam Deck uses something called Proton.

Proton is a compatibility layer built into the Steam Deck that makes Windows-only games run on Linux. It tells your game, “hey, this is a Windows PC” and fakes whatever is necessary to make the games run. Valve, with the help of Codeweavers, can even make specific tweaks to Proton to make games sometimes run better on Linux than natively on Windows.

But sometimes, Valve can’t touch certain parts of a game due to licensing agreements. This is where GE-Proton (GE stands for Glorious Eggroll) comes into play.

GE-Proton (also known as Proton-GE, its old name) is basically the cutting edge of Proton development, and using the fixes mentioned above Valve might not be able to include. Using GE-Proton might fix this if a game doesn’t run with any of the official Proton versions.

Here’s how you install it (you can find the official guide here):

How to install GE-Proton

  1. On your Steam Deck, go to desktop mode. Click the Steam button, go down to Power, and then Switch to Desktop. Wait for the Deck to reboot.
  2. In the desktop mode, open up Discover. You find it by clicking on the menu button.
  3. Search for an app called ProtonUp Qt. (If the keyboard doesn’t pop up, click the Steam Button + the X-button.) Install the app.
  4. Open up ProtonUp Qt. Here, click Add version and choose the latest version of Proton-GE. Hit install.
  5. Go back to gaming mode.
  6. Here look for the game you have issues with. Click on the little cog-icon, navigate to Properties..., then Compatibility.
  7. Check Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool, and choose GE-Proton.

And that’s it.

Switch back occasionally to desktop mode to install newer versions of GE-Proton through ProtonUp QT. Five new versions were released from the last time I installed it to writing this tutorial.

Kevin Wammer
Gamer since the age of 3. Fell in love with tech while hacking PSPs for fun. I have a tri-force on my forearm.
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