How to get the Steam Deck UI on your gaming PC

Main points

  • Want to use Steam Deck’s custom interface on your Windows desktop computer?
  • First, you need to access the Steam beta. Then, adjust the properties by adding -gamepadui to the shortcut.
  • That’s it. You can now enjoy Steam Deck UI on your desktop.

Valve has created an elegant solution when it comes to adapting PC games to the Steam Deck by developing a custom user interface. This turns a rather clunky interface on handheld devices into an intuitive, smooth way to organize and play games on small devices without keyboards and mice. After all, the last thing you want to do when using a handheld device is fumble for menus.

Now that I’ve experienced how clean and streamlined the Steam user interface is, I wish it were everywhere. Its simplicity and ease of use make going back to the regular Steam interface feel like a chore to me. If you’re like me, then rejoice because Valve has heard our pleas and will allow anyone to use the Steam Deck UI on PC. Set up in just a few simple steps.


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1 Access the Steam Beta

still under testing

Steam Beta
Steam Beta

To use the Steam Deck UI on your desktop, you first need to sign up for the Steam Beta. This is open to everyone, so it only takes a few minutes. This gives you access to new features and updates to the Steam client. It’s free, and if you don’t like the experience and want to opt out, you can reverse the process at any time. The feature may eventually exit beta, but for now this is the only way to access it.

To access the Steam beta, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on steam
  2. click steam menu In the upper left corner
  3. click set up Options
  4. Under the Account section look for “Beta participation
  5. Click Change
  6. Participate in the beta via the drop-down menu by selecting “Steam Beta Update
  7. Click OK.
  8. Steam will then restart and update


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2 Adjust Steam properties

tinker with it a bit

steam client.jpg(1)

You’re not quite there yet. There is one more step you need to complete to display the Steam Deck UI on your desktop. This involves editing the Steam launch shortcut to add extra parameters to it. This may sound a little daunting, but don’t worry. We’re only making a small change that doesn’t pose any risk to your computer. need to be able to do this:

  1. Right click on your Steam shortcut (either on the desktop or taskbar)
  2. Click characteristic
  3. click shortcut tab in the pop-up window
  4. Then add-gamepadui to the end of the target, so it reads “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steam.exe” -gamepadui
  5. Click OK.
  6. Close Steam (make sure to close it completely via the taskbar
  7. Reopen Steam
  8. enjoy.


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Steam Deck Tips and Tricks Photo 10


Q: What is Steam Deck UI? Should you try it on a Windows PC?

Steam Deck UI, named after Valve’s handheld gaming device, is an upgraded version of Steam Big Picture UI that adjusts the handheld device’s user-friendly interface for Windows PC. It enhances the controller-based gaming experience with features like a redesigned home screen, a universal search bar, a controller configurator, and a store optimized for controller navigation.

Q: Can you stream games to your Steam Deck?

Yes, you can download or stream games from your Steam library to the Steam Deck. By using Steam Remote Play, you can stream any game from your PC to your platform. This is very convenient for playing large games that you don’t have enough space to fully download to your Steam Deck.

Q: Can you play non-Steam games on the Steam Deck?

If you’re willing to do some technical legwork, you can play almost any Windows game on the Steam platform through Proton. If you’re really determined, you can even install the Windows operating system itself to download any game launcher, although not all games will work.Both require you to enter desktop mode, which is done via Press and hold the power button for three seconds and select switch to desktop. Your Steam Deck will restart, kicking you to the desktop on startup.

Q: Can you connect the Steam Deck to a PC or TV?

Yes, but only if you purchase additional bases. It works almost exactly like the Nintendo Switch dock, which allows you to connect it to a monitor of your choice, place the Steam Deck into it, and project whatever’s on the handheld screen onto the monitor.

Q: Can Steam Deck play all Steam games?

Unfortunately, this won’t work. Every Steam game is ranked as Verified, Playable, or Unsupported. You can view the full list of verified games on Steam here.

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