Steamworks Documentation
Steam Deck and Proton
Proton is the compatibility layer that allows Windows games to run on Linux by using a modified version of Wine and a collection of high-performance graphics API implementations. The team has been working on and improving Proton for a while now, and it has a large amount of coverage. Most APIs are already supported by Proton, and most games work out of the box. We're continuing to improve Proton compatibility, and our goal is to get as close to full coverage as possible.

To test your game’s Proton compatibility, you will need a Linux environment. You can install Linux and Steam on a machine to test, or request a developer kit once they are available (limited quantities). Once you are set up in your Linux environment / developer kit, you will be able to use the provided debugging tools to run game builds through a remote debugger and profile performance. Access to the tools is still a work-in-progress and this page will be updated with more information in the coming days.

Proton Anti-Cheat Support

Proton supports some common anti-cheat middleware, including Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye.
  • Easy Anti-Cheat

    Proton supports Easy Anti-Cheat without requiring any recompilation, but it does require you to manually enable support for your build. For the Epic Online Services version of EAC, see instructions here. For the Kamu version of EAC, follow these steps in order:
    1. Go into the SDK Configuration settings menu on the EAC partner site and enable Linux as a client platform.
    2. Go into the Client Module Releases menu on the EAC partner site, choose the Unix platform, and activate a module. If you cannot find the Linux module in the status dashboards, please contact EAC support.
    3. Once that's done, download the EAC SDK and find the Linux library (\Client\Assets\Plugins\x86_64\libeasyanticheat.so) for the SDK version integrated with your game, rename it to easyanticheat_x64.so, and add it to your depot next to the Windows library (EasyAntiCheat_x64.dll).
    4. Lastly, on the Steamworks site, publish a new build of your game containing the new depot contents. (You don't have to make any changes to the game executable, just include the new files in the depot contents.)
  • BattlEye

    Proton supports BattlEye and BattlEye-enabled games. Each title requires a manual configuration step, so please email your Valve or BattlEye technical contact for details.

If your title's functionality was previously blocked or limited by anti-cheat, but you've since completed the above steps to enable Proton/Steam Deck support, you can resubmit your game for a follow-up review. Please see the Steam Deck Compatibility Review documentation for more details.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your Valve technical contact, or post on the Steam Deck Steamworks Development forum at https://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamworks/discussions/27/ .

Known Proton Issues

Below are a few recommendations around areas that have been known to be Proton compatibility issues and likely to induce delays in Proton fully supporting a given title after it launches on Steam:
  • .NET / WPF: Our recommendation is to use standalone technologies like Qt for launchers instead of OS-dependent frameworks like .NET / WPF. For best results, skip separate launchers altogether and integrate their functionality into the game client UI instead, where controller support is likely better.
  • Media Foundation: To save additional bandwidth and disk use, we recommend using standalone codecs like VP9.
  • Anti-cheat: We recommend using user-space anti-cheat components for best results, as they can typically run in the Wine environment and provide the same level of functionality. Kernel-space solutions are not currently supported and are not recommended. Note: we have been working with most anti-cheat technology providers to provide Proton compatibility. If your solution currently isn't working, please reach out to both your vendor and Valve for support.
  • Anti-tamper / DRM: In general we don't recommend use of such solutions across any PC platforms, as they may impact disk usage and overall performance. Getting them fully functional in the Wine environment can take some time and add significant latency to getting your title supported.

Reporting Issues

If you see any issues with your game on Proton not mentioned above, please report them to the Steamworks Forum, GitHub tracker, or through your Valve contact. We are constantly working on and improving Proton support, and your reports are incredibly helpful.

Setting up a Linux Test Environment

You can test your game on Proton now, by setting up a Linux test environment. It's free--all you need is a PC. For the full instructions, see Developing for Steam Deck without a Dev-Kit.