Three Ways You Can Play Diablo IV On Your Steam Deck

Three Ways You Can Play Diablo IV On Your Steam Deck
Contributor: Jordan Garcia

If you’ve been scratching your head, trying to figure out how to get Diablo IV running on your Steam Deck, look no further. Below, you’ll find three easy ways to get Blizzard’s latest action RPG running on Valve’s handheld.

The problem, in a nutshell: Diablo IV, obviously, is not on Steam, and there’s no native Steam Deck compatibility for Blizzard’s launcher either. The Steam Deck uses SteamOS version 3, which is based on the Arch Linux operating system, and Blizzard doesn’t typically support Linux-based operating systems. There are, however, several workarounds for getting Diablo IV running on a Steam Deck, and we are going to walk you through them.

Solution 1: Installing The Game Locally (Without Windows)

This is my preferred method of playing Diablo IV on the Steam Deck, as it introduces no outside variables. This method requires you to install and Diablo IV in Desktop Mode in order to have the game files accessible.

  • Step 1: Enter Desktop Mode by holding the power button until the power menu shows and select Desktop Mode.
  • Step 2: Open the Discover Store then search and install “Lutris”. This will be the platform that you use to download and run your .exes from that aren’t already found within your Steam Library. If you don’t have a keyboard plugged in, pressing the X button will bring up the on-screen keyboard.
  • Step 3: Click (or touch) the + on the top left of the screen, then select the “Search the Lutris website for installers” option. From there search “” and wait for “Blizzard” to show up and select that.
  • Step 4: Run from within Lutris, sign in and install Diablo IV. Despite you not likely ever using them in this method, I’d recommend installing the High-Resolution Texture pack as it seems to contain quite a few optimisations that will make your experience much better.
  • Step 5: Once Diablo IV has finished installing, go back to Lutris and add the game to the launcher by selecting the + on the top left again and then select “Add locally installed game”.
  • Step 6: In the “Add new game” window click the “Game options” tab to select the directory. The executable path at the top of this tab is what you want to modify to choose the install path. By standard, the game’s install directory should be /home/deck/Games/battlenet/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Diablo IV/Diablo IV Launcher.exe. From there you can go back to the “Game info” tab and put the name of the game in and then click “save” on the top right of that window.
  • Step 7: With Diablo IV added to Lutris, you can now right-click the game inside (or press the left trigger) to bring up a context menu, click “create Steam shortcut” to add it to your Steam Library.
  • Step 8: Run the “Return to Gaming Mode” shortcut that should be on your Steam Deck’s Desktop.
  • Step 9: Enjoy!

Pros and cons:

You are running Diablo IV on the Steam Deck itself. One thing I really like about this method is how you can use Lutris for more than just Blizzard games. If you are used to the normal heat output and noise from the Steam Deck, then you know what this entails. The tradeoff for that isn’t too much. Gameplay while running on the Steam Deck is perfectly smooth, and I would argue it is one of the best ways to play this game. The system can get quite warm, but given the incredibly well-designed ergonomics of the Steam Deck, the likelihood of this being an issue is quite small.

Solution 2: Streaming Diablo IV To Your Steam Deck

This solution assumes that you already have a PC that can run Diablo IV just fine and just wish to stream it to your Steam Deck so you can play in the comfort of your couch, bed, or even while on the shitter go.

  • Step 1: Install Diablo IV on whatever PC you would like to use to host the game stream.
  • Step 2: Once installed, open Steam and click the “Add a game on Steam” followed by the “Add a non-Steam game” option.
  • Step 3: Navigate to Diablo IV’s install directory and make sure you add the Diablo IV Launcher.exe. If you are unsure where this is, you can open, then click the settings icon next to the “Play” button then click “Show in Explorer”. This will show you exactly where the game is installed. You can choose to rename the game within Steam to “Diablo IV”, but it is not required.
  • Step 4: Leave the computer in question on and boot up the Steam Deck.
  • Step 5: Select Diablo IV and its associated “Stream” button.
  • Step 6: Enjoy.

Pros and cons:

If you care more about the battery life of your Steam Deck, then this is a pretty good option for you. Speaking from experience, streaming the game stretches the battery life on the Steam Deck a little further which means you can have a longer session of the game in an uninterrupted manner, mostly. This experience is relying on either your in-home network or your internet being fast and stable, two things that definitely cannot be used to describe a majority of Australia’s internet (thanks, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull). The in-home network shouldn’t be an issue and should offer an almost latency-free experience, however. I use this option quite a lot to run more demanding games at higher settings but still play with the comfort afforded to me by the Steam Deck.

Solution 3: Installing Windows

This is what I would argue to be the worst option of the three. Windows is incredibly power inefficient, which is a problem for devices like the Steam Deck. Hell, we have seen how Microsoft’s operating system can be a big issue for its competitors like the ASUS ROG Ally. However, what you do with your Steam Deck is your choice and if you feel like you want Windows on it, here is how you can do it. This method will teach you how to dual-boot, as I really do not recommend overwriting the SteamOS or clogging up the Steam Deck’s limited storage space with Windows – this means it is assumed you have access to a computer, a microSD card reader or appropriate slot on your PC, and a microSD card that has at least 32GB of storage capacity, the bigger the better.

  • Step 1: Downloading the Steam Deck Drivers
    • On a PC, visit Valve’s Steam Deck – Windows Resource page and download all the drivers linked/provided there.
    • Create a folder on your desktop for these drivers, I recommend naming the folder “Steam Deck Drivers”.
    • Extract the contents of all the newly downloaded .zip folders into the Steam Deck Drivers folder.
    • With the microSD card connected to the PC, copy and paste the Steam Deck Drivers folder into said microSD card.
  • Step 2: Creating the Windows installation Media
    • Download Windows 11 from Microsoft’s downloads page.
    • Select the “Create Windows 11 Installation Media.
    • Launch and accept the terms in the Media Creation Tool.
    • Choose whichever edition and language of Windows 11 applies to you.
    • Select “ISO file” as the preferred form of installation media.
    • Save the ISO file to your desktop for ease of access and wait for the download to complete and click “finish”.
  • Step 3: Installing Windows to your SD Card
    • Download the latest version of Rufus, a tool for creating alternate boot media.
    • With the microSD card inserted into either the slot or the reader, launch Rufus.
    • Click the “Boot selection” tab and then load/choose the Windows ISO file you created.
    • With the Windows ISO selected, change the image option to “Windows To Go”.
    • Name your SD card something that makes sense to you under the Volume Label option then press Start.
    • Choose your Windows edition and then enable all the following options
      • Prevent Windows To Go from accessing internal disks.
      • Remove requirement for an online Microsoft account (this can be left unchecked if you wish to use your Microsoft account).
      • Create a local account with username <insert whatever username you wish here>.
      • Disable data collection (Skip privacy questions).
    • Once those options are selected you may press “OK” to begin the installation process.
  • Step 4: Boot Windows from the SD card on your Steam Deck
    • With the microSD card inserted into your Steam Deck, turn the system on and hold the volume down and power buttons together until you heard a sound playing to enter the boot selection menu.
    • Select the microSD card as your boot media and wait for Windows to boot
    • Don’t freak out when Windows boots in portrait mode on the Steam Deck, this is normal.
    • Follow the instructions on-screen to install Windows as you normally would. You can skip the Wi-Fi connectivity step because, until you install the official drivers, the download speeds can be quite slow.
    • Once you are at the desktop, go to Settings > Display to change the display orientation to “landscape”.
    • Use the File Explorer to navigate to the Steam Deck Drivers folder you created earlier and install the drivers you downloaded at the beginning of this process
      • APU and SD card reader – setup.exe
      • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi – installdriver.cmd and installer.bat, respectively
      • Both audio drivers – right-click cs35l41.inf and NAU88L21.inf and select the “Install” option
  • Step 5: Open Edge and download, you can also use this opportunity to download your preferred browser, though I’d recommend Firefox as it is less RAM-hungry than Chrome.
  • Step 6: Install and, subsequently Diablo IV
  • Step 7: Enjoy!

There are a lot of drawbacks to this, but let’s go over the benefits first. For starters, you will have far fewer compatibility issues running games this way, as almost all games run on Windows. You can run Game Pass games if you really feel like going through the trouble of using the PC Xbox App, though I hate it and wouldn’t see this as a positive. Now to the negatives – your battery life will go down the toilet, for starters. Any issues you have cannot and will not be resolved by Valve. Windows 11 kind of sucks and isn’t particularly designed for a use case like this. You will still probably end up predominantly running in Steam’s Big Picture Mode, which is effectively the same thing but now in a much worse manner.

Whatever method you choose, you can now enjoy Diablo IV on your Steam Deck. You’ll more than likely need to set most of your settings to low, but the game still looks great and runs incredibly well. With options like AMD’s FSR technology included too, you can try to push it just a little further while maintaining great performance!

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