Steam Deck Installation Guide

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A special thanks to MrMackdad, without his generousity in sending me, Taintedloki, a deck this quide would not be possible.


It's recommended, before installing BattleTech, to watch CryoByte33's video on how to get and use CryoUtilities as it will make playing games a bit better of an experience on the deck. The video is a bit long, but it explains using the utils and the benefits to performance it makes. Since the setup needs to be done in desktop mode return to desktop mode, after using CryoUtilities, and run steam from there. Note: Best to use either a usb hub or a dock for the deck to connect it to a external monitor and a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. This is to speed things up and simply the install process. Alternatively, use steam remote play to access the Steam Deck and do the set up from a PC. This gets around the issue of the app banner getting in the way.


We will start by making things less annoying to deal with for the installation of BTA and any other games you install on the deck. In either your home folder, if you have the freespace or on a microsd card make a new folder called SteamGames. After making the folder run steam from desktop mode then click steam, settings and select storage. On the right side you should see the default steam library with a + icon next to it. Click the + and browse to the location that you made the SteamGames folder and select it. Now that it has been added select the SteamGames folder and click the ... icon and select make default. You could also just select it when installing BattleTech so it is in the new unhidden libary folder.


It's almost time to install BattleTech. We need to install the native linux version of the game and not the windows version. By default the deck will install the windows version using proton. To force the linux version select the game in your steam library and click the gear icon, followed by properties. You should see the commatiblity tab select it, then click the force compatiblity and in the drop down choice scroll to the bottom choosing the steam linux runtime. Next close that popup and install BattleTech to the SteamGames library, steam will prompt you for the install location. You can either wait for the installtion of the game to complete or go to firefox, it may need to be installed via the discover app, and go to the BTA3062 wiki to download the BTA Launcher. With the zip file in your downloads, wait to extract it until you have created a BTA folder in either your Home folder or on the microsd card. Click the zip and open it with ark. Drag and drop the BTALauncher.exe from ark into that BTA folder you have made.

Running BTALauncher

Once the game has finshed installing launch it with steam once and close it after you have seen the vanilla games title screen. Next step will be adding the BTALauncher to steam as a non steam game. On the steam title bar click Games, then add non steam game. In the popup that appears click browse and go to the BTA folder, enter it then select the BTALauncher. It should show in your steam library, select it and click the gear icon, then properties, select the compatibilty tab, force compatibly checkbox and choose Proton 8.0-3 the close the popup. Run the BTALauncher with steam. Caution only run the launcher when in desktop mode, do not run it in game mode.

You should see the BTA Launcher open and with a popup, click ok the follow it by clicking the Set Perferences button. I recommend choosing BTA Light instead of classic just to deal with lighter experience. Also set the path for the BattleTech binary here. Click browse and go the the / that you see to find SteamGames folder and enter it following this path /home/deck/Steam Games/steamapps/common/BATTLETECH/ and select the BattleTech file that is there. With the path showing in the space for it close the preferences popup. Next click the Advanced Mode button, the checkout workspace will already be in the BTA folder with the BTALauncher itself so leave that alone. For the Install Target click the browse button and go to the /HOME/deck/Steam Games/steamapps/common/ and select the BATTLETECH folder. You should see Z:/home/deck/Steam Games/steamapps/common/BATTLETECH/Mods as your install target and Z:/home/deck/BTA/BtalCache for the Checkeout workspace. Finally what you've been waiting for installing BTA so click the Update/Install button and wait for it to download the cache once it does it will ask you to pick your installation options. It is important that you select LinuxFire option, it is required if you want the fire texture\shaders to work the other default fire will only result in broken pink fire. Once the launcher has completed installing BTA, close it and open steam, go to BattleTech and click the gear icon, then properties. Here the launch option needs to be added for for ModTek to work. In the space provided for it copy paste this command into it:

./ %command%

from the period to the last percent on the right. Then select the Installed Files tab and click browse. It will open the BATTLETECH folder, in here you need to find the script then right click it and choose properties, then the permissions tab. Here you will see an Is executable checkbox, check it and click OK. Launch the game in steam to make sure it works. There will be a bit of a delay, the BattleTech cursor should appear then the game will take over the screen. If you see ModTek in the middle of the screen with a green progress bar. Congradulations you have installed BTA on the steam deck. If you have issues refer the the troubleshooting section of the wiki which you found this guide or come to the BTA3062 Discord for support.

Closing notes

BattleTech is playable on the deck, but there are issue with text and the controls being unusual since the game was not made with controllers in mind. For the best experience is best played while the deck is docked connected to a montior, keyboard, and mouse (power also connected is recommended).