Skip to content

How do I install RetroDECK on the Steam Deck?

Quickstart guide

  • Put the Steam Deck into Desktop Mode Steam button > Power > Switch to Desktop
  • Install RetroDECK from Discover
  • Start RetroDECK first time in Desktop Mode
  • Choose where RetroDECK should create the roms folders Internal or SDCard.
  • Put the BIOS inside ~/retrodeck/bios/.
  • Put the ROMS inside ~/retrodeck/roms/ or <sdcard>/retrodeck/roms/ or a custom location.
  • Choose to install The Official RetroDECK Steam Deck Controller Layout (recommended and if you missed to install it check Step 3: of the in depth guide bellow)
  • In Steam desktop go to the tab Games press Add non Steam game to My library and select RetroDECK to add it into your library. If that is not working you can Right Click on the RetroDECK desktop icon and press Add to Steam in the menu.
  • Optional way: Get RetroDECK Steam Grid art and add it to your Steam library with BoilR. Or add the art manually from SteamgridDB for the Steam Grid.
  • Switch over to game mode and go to RetroDECK on the Steam Grid under Library > Non-Steam
  • Add the Official Layout under Controller Settings -> Controller Layouts -> Templates in the Steam Deck called RetroDECK: Official Layout with a version number and apply
  • Launch RetroDECK and enjoy

Other quick tips

Full step by step guide

Step 1: Go to Desktop Mode

  • Put the Steam Deck into Desktop Mode Steam button > Power > Switch to Desktop

Step 2: Install from Discover

  • Open the Discover application.
  • NOTE: Depending on what language you have set in Desktop mode your Discover application can be named differently.
  • Inside Discover search for RetroDECK and press the install button.
  • After the installation is finished, launch RetroDECK from Discover or in the program menu under Games > RetroDECK.
  • Follow the first time setup instructions and choose where RetroDECK should create the roms folders Internal or SDCard.
  • You will get a choice during the Setup to Install The Official RetroDECK Steam Deck Controller Layout this is highly recommended.
  • Open Steam while still in desktop mode.
  • Inside Steam go to the tab Games press Add non Steam game to My library and select RetroDECK to add it into your library.
  • After this is done you can now see RetroDECK in Steam Deck's gamemode after you return to it from desktop mode.

Step 3: Configure the official controller layout (If you installed the controller layout)

This step is only needed if you installed the layout. If you missed installed the layout you can always reinstall it from the RetroDECK Configurator in Desktop Mode or within Game Mode from within RetroDECK from the Main Menu - RetroDECK Configurator
Then Tools - Install SD Controller Profile.

  • Go back into gamemode by pressing the return to gamemode icon on the desktop.
  • Go to RetroDECK on the Steam Grid under Library > Non-Steam
  • Press the Controller Icon
  • Go into Controller Layouts and press Templates
  • Add the layout for RetroDECK called RetroDECK: Official Layout with a version number.
  • You can now use RetroDECK and it's ready to populate with ROMS.
  • If you are unsure on how to add ROMS and BIOS to RetroDECK follow the Start using RetroDECK

Step 4 (Optional): Extras

How do I update RetroDECK on the Steam Deck?

From Desktop Mode

  • Put the Steam Deck into Desktop Mode Steam button > Power > Switch to Desktop
  • Open the Discover application.
  • Click on the updates tab.
  • If there are any updates available it will be shown here.
  • Click on the Update or Update all buttons.

Decky: AutoFlatpaks

If you have Decky installed and the AutoFlatpaks plugin. You can update RetroDECK from gamemode.
Read more here: Steam Deck - Software Recommendations.