How to Play Black Desert Online on Steam Deck & Best Settings
Playing BDO on the Steam Deck is sadly not the easiest process, but until it's officially supported there are some good workarounds!
Black Desert Online shows as “Unsupported” on the Steam Deck, and sadly this is the actual case. If you install and try to launch BDO with Steam Deck’s Proton framework, you will crash to the desktop as soon as the game tries to load. This is sadly the case with a lot of MMOs and games that use separate launchers, but since the Deck is a mini-PC, there are many things we can try to make BDO playable!
The Quick & Dirty Way – Stream BDO to Your Steam Deck
With Steam’s Remote Play technology, many games are eligible to be streamed from one device to another, and BDO is one of them!
If you simply want to carry out a few remote lifeskilling actions, then Remote Play is a great solution, since you can just “jump in” your PC from work, and quickly get back to business.
To make this work, follow these steps:
- Launch BDO on your PC normally, and login to your character.
- Go to Settings -> Display Settings -> Game Window, and choose 1280×800 as your Screen Resolution, in order to match Steam Deck’s native resolution. Ideally, leave the game on the “Game Window” mode, so that it’s easier for your PC to handle (it will still show up full screen on your Steam Deck):
- While still in Settings, go to Interface Settings -> Gamepad, and activate the following 3 options: Use Gamepad, Use Gamepad UI & Activate Gamepad Vibration (last one is optional). If you don’t do this step, no inputs from your Steam Deck will be recognized, apart from the touch screen. Technically, you could carry a few actions with just the touchscreen (mouse input), but messing up is just too easy – but hey, you can still activate these settings with the touchscreen and save yourself!
- Don’t forget to hit “Apply” after you are done with your Settings (or you could also choose to save them in one of the two custom save slots on the bottom left of the Settings window, so that you can load all of them with one click, then revert back to your PC settings once you’re home!).
- At any point, you can just go to Black Desert on your Steam Deck, and instead of “Play” choose the dropdown next to it, choose the device that’s currently running the game, and click “Connect”.
That’s all you need in order to stream BDO from your PC to your Deck, but keep the following tips in mind too:
- If you are using 2-factor authentication with your account, you won’t be able to see the launcher notification and input the code from your Deck. You need to do this on your PC beforehand, and that’s why you need to launch the game, then connect to it, instead of launching it from your Deck with the “Stream” option. You can still get rid of the 2FA for this annoying fact, but what about the extra 5% drop rate may I ask?
- In order for BDO to show up full screen on your Steam Deck, you will have to keep the game window selected on your PC, otherwise you will see your whole desktop in the stream, where you can still select BDO’s window and make it full screen.
- You can technically minimize BDO to the tray and still make this work, but it will be a bit painful to navigate on your desktop and bring it up when you need it. You can use Steam + L1 in order to zoom on your Steam Deck and make it easier, but personally, I find this too tedious.
- If you also setup the game to run in low graphics, u can have a much quicker & responsive stream experience, that’s also going to save you some battery, as well as remove any strain from your PC.
The Lengthy & Proper Way – Install Windows on Steam Deck & Run BDO Natively
If you want to do more than carry out some simple lifeskilling actions remotely, or grind an easy area for awhile, but you actually want to enjoy the game in its full glory (at least the one the Deck will allow), then your only option is to install Windows on your Steam Deck. This is not a 1-minute process, so make sure to follow our linked guide if you don’t know how to do so.
Depending on the quality you can stream the game at, you can have a much better experience playing natively with Windows on the Steam Deck, so if BDO is your go-to for everywhere, you might want to consider going through this process.