How To Use the Proton Compatibility Features on Steam Deck A guide on Using the Proton Compatibility Features on Steam Deck

Handheld gaming has reached new heights with the introduction of the Steam Deck. This innovative device offers a visual and gaming experience that sets a new standard for portable gaming. Yet, even with its expanding library of verified games, some titles may encounter issues related to controller compatibility and performance. However, there’s a game-changing feature at your disposal – Proton Compatibility.

Credits – IGNIndia

Proton Compatibility is a powerful feature integrated into the Steam Deck that opens doors for users to enjoy even unverified games with minimal issues. If you’re eager to optimize your gaming experience or tackle non-verified titles that struggle to run smoothly, this guide is your go-to resource.

Understanding Proton Compatibility

Proton Compatibility acts as a game savior, addressing common issues like controller glitches and performance hiccups. Taking the example of the Medieval open-world RPG, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, which often stumbles without compatibility aids, Proton Compatibility transforms the gaming experience. On the Steam Deck, Kingdom Come: Deliverance runs seamlessly with high settings and a near-locked 40 FPS.

To activate Proton Compatibility, follow these simple steps:

  1. Power On: Switch on your Steam Deck.
  2. Game Selection: Choose the game facing potential issues.
  3. Cog Wheel Magic: Instead of launching the game, click on the cog wheel icon on the right side.
  4. Compatibility Mode: Highlight and select the Compatibility option.
  5. Properties: In the new menu, opt for Properties.
  6. Proton Power: Check the ‘Force The Use of a specific Steam Play Compatibility Tool’ option.
  7. Tool Selection: From the dropdown menu, choose the latest Proton version or Proton Experimental.

Managing Text Readability Challenges

While Proton Compatibility handles most compatibility issues, it faces a formidable obstacle, text readability. Some games, designed for larger screens, might display tiny text on the Steam deck. A simple solution exists: press the Steam and L1 buttons simultaneously to activate the Magnifier Tool and enhance text visibility.

Installing Decky Loader

Decky Loader is a side program with invaluable plugins. Among these, the ProtonDB Badges plugin stands out, providing insights into Proton versions and optimal settings. Follow these steps to install Decky Loader:

  1. Desktop Dive: Press the Steam Button, switch to Desktop Mode under Power.
  2. Connectivity Boost: For ease, connect a keyboard and mouse.
  3. Download Decky Loader: Visit the provided link, download, and install Decky Loader.
  4. Gaming Mode: Return to Gaming Mode after the installation.

Making Use of ProtonDB Badges 

You can now enhance your gaming experience by adding ProtonDB badges. This plugin allows you to access recommended tools directly from game pages. Here’s how to do it:

  1. QAM Quickness: Press the QAM button with three dots under the right trackpad.
  2. Plugin Pursuit: Select the plug icon, navigate to settings, and Install Update.
  3. Store Seek: Scroll down to find ProtonDB Badges in the store and click Install.

Visit a game page, and a new icon will appear in the top left, redirecting you to the ProtonDB website for user-suggested settings and bug reports.

Fine-Tuning Your Gaming Setup with DeckSettings

Complementing ProtonDB Badges, DeckSettings is another potent plugin for refining your gaming experience. Follow these steps to install DeckSettings on your Steam Deck:

  1. QAM Exploration: Press the QAM button.
  2. Decky Plugin Dive: Highlight and select the Decky Plug icon.
  3. Store Search: Click on the Store icon and search for DeckSettings.
  4. Install Mastery: Select Install, and open Decky Loader to locate the DeckSetting plugin.
  5. Optimal Configuration: Select the game and apply the recommended settings.

With Proton Compatibility and essential plugins like Decky Loader, ProtonDB Badges, and DeckSettings, you can elevate your Steam Deck gaming experience. Overcome compatibility issues, improve text readability, and optimize game settings for an unparalleled handheld gaming adventure.