Fortnite, even almost five years after its release, is still one of the most popular games in the entire world. Millions of players still log on every week to take part in the ever-changing battle royale landscape from Epic Games. At the time of its release, Fortnite was a truly game-changing experience that completely altered the gaming landscape for years to come. Well, five years later, there’s something else on the market that could accomplish that same thing: Steam Deck.
Valve’s new device is essentially a portable PC that users can utilize to play their games on the go. During the time leading up to Steam Deck’s launch, it was thought that Fortnite wouldn’t be a part of the slate of games players could download. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney stated that Epic didn’t trust Valve’s Easy Anti-Cheat software to stop cheaters when using custom kernels on the Linux platform. As such, Epic Games said it wouldn’t update Fortnite to be able to run for Steam Deck after it launched.
However, there is one simple workaround for users to play Fortnite right from their Steam Deck.
How to play Fortnite on Steam Deck
After Steam Deck’s initial launch, Microsoft announced that Fortnite would be launching on Xbox Cloud Gaming. This cloud-based service is usually a free commodity for subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. However, for Steam Deck users, there’s no subscription needed in order to access the service. According to Microsoft themselves, all players need is a legitimate Microsoft account and their Steam Deck. However, there are also some complicated steps for players to actually sign into their account and access the Xbox Cloud.
The steps to begin playing Fortnite on Steam Deck are laid out below.
- Start up the Steam Deck and go into Desktop Mode by holding down the power button
- Click the blue shopping bag at the bottom of the screen, which launches the Discover Software Center
- Click on the icon with three lines at the top left of the center and then press Applications > Internet > Web Browsers
- Find the Microsoft Edge Beta box and click the download button on the right hand side
- After the app is installed, go back to Desktop Mode and click the Applications Launcher icon (the two dots with an arrow)
- Find Microsoft Edge, right-click it, and then press “Add to Steam”
- Go to the “Add a game” window in Steam and select Microsoft Edge
- Go back to the Applications menu and find System > Konsole
- Enter the following command in the Konsole: flatpak –user override –filesystem=/run/udev:ro com.microsoft.Edge
- Launch Steam from Desktop Mode
- Go to your Library and find Microsoft Edge
- Right-click it and then select “Properties”
- Go to “Launch Options” and add this text: –window-size=1024,640 –force-device-scale-factor=1.25 –device-scale-factor=1.25 –kiosk “https://www.xbox.com/play”
- Exit out of “Properties” and right-click Microsoft Edge in Steam again
- Press “Manage,” then “Controller Layout,” and finally “Browse Configs”
- In this menu, you can change your controls to “Gamepad with Mouse Trackpad” to use external controls
Once all of this is done, players should be able to click on the Microsoft Edge app in their Steam Library to launch the browser. From here, players can go to Xbox.com/play, sign in to their Microsoft account, and browse the Xbox Cloud Gaming selections. Among these selections, players can find Fortnite and launch it from right there in the browser. Players don’t need a Game Pass subscription in order to play Fortnite on the cloud, as it’s a free-to-play title. Although, they will need an external controller of some kind in order to play. This is why Microsoft insists players change their controller configurations for the Edge application within Steam.
With all of this setup, players now have a fully-functioning Xbox Cloud Gaming application on their Steam Deck through the Edge browser, which they can also use to play any cloud-ready Game Pass titles. Of course, to do this, players will need to be a subscriber to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Perhaps more free-to-play titles like Fortnite will eventually arrive on Game Pass so non-subscribers can enjoy those as well.
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