Categories
Tutorials Tux on Deck

How do I install a custom Proton Build on a Steam Deck

If you’re like me and want to tinker with all aspects of your Steam Deck experience or just want to get a game to run better, it’s very likely at some point you’ll want to install a custom version of Proton. You can either build one from source yourself or you can download one from a trusted source. If you don’t want to go through all the effort and time of patching a custom wine build and then bundling that together into a custom proton build, I’d recommend looking into the releases on GloriousEggroll’s GitHub.

So how do you install a custom version of proton? It’s pretty straight forward once you have a custom version of proton handy. I’m going to use GE-Proton7-29 by GloriousEggroll, but the steps are going to be the same regardless of the custom proton version you have.

READ MORE:  Easy Anti-Cheat is not the problem

Once you have it downloaded you’re going to need to create a compatibilitytools.d directory in your steam install root directory. On the Steam Deck that will be located at

/home/deck/.steam/root

You’ll need to enable viewing hidden folders to see the .steam directory, but once you’re there just right-click and create a new directory. You’ll need to name the directory

compatibilitytools.d
Screenshot of creating a folder called compatibilitytools.d on the steam deck
Create compatabilitytools.d folder

With that done, you only have to move the custom proton folder into it. Since I’m using GE-Proton7-29 and it comes compressed as a .tar.gz so I just need to right click on the compressed file and extract it into the compatibilitytools.d directory we just created.

Screen shot extracting a .tar.gz file on the steam deck
Extract your custom proton install into the compatibilitytools.d folder
screenshot of a custom proton install on the steam deck
Custom proton install in the compatabilitytools.d folder

All that’s left is to restart steam, and either enable the custom proton globally (which I wouldn’t recommend) or for a specific game. To enable for a specific game, you just need to open the Game Properties. Navigate to the Compatibility subsection.

READ MORE:  How To Enable Developer Mode on Steam Deck
screenshot of planetside 2 game properties compatibility tab on the steam deck
Navigate to the Compatibility Settings

Check the box for “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool”, and select the version you wish to use from the drop down menu that appears.

Check “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool”
Select the custom proton version you want to use

That’s all there is to it. You’re now running a custom proton install, and if it doesn’t work well or Valve releases a fix for your game bundled in a official proton, all you need to do is uncheck the box for “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool” and it’s reverted. You may want to delete the proton prefix for that game, but that isn’t always required.

2 replies on “How do I install a custom Proton Build on a Steam Deck”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *