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Minecraft on Steam Deck Guide with Prism Launcher (and gamepad support)

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Prism Launcher has been released for Minecraft, rising from the ashes of the controversy with PolyMC (that you should no longer use). Here's all the info on it, plus a fresh Steam Deck Guide. I won't reiterate what happened with PolyMC, see the previous article on that, and please keep the comments focused on Prism and the Guide.

What is it:

Prism Launcher is a custom launcher for Minecraft that was forked from MultiMC. It allows the creation, and management of multiple installations of the game, or "instances" rather, each having their own separate mods, resource packs, settings, and more. While originally being forked over packaging/redistribution concerns, Prism Launcher brings new and exciting features developed by the community for the community. Furthermore, Prism Launcher is still just as true to its roots as ever in providing a project that vows to never bring hostility to those looking to fork, redistribute, or repackage, so long as the terms of our license are respected.

Basically, it gives you lots of features the official launcher doesn't have, along with really easy modding and it's great to use on Linux / Steam Deck too!

Here's a little guide video showing a fresh install, along with how to get gamepad controls thanks to Controllable and some extra tips:

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Text Guide:

  • In Steam Deck Desktop Mode -> Open Discover and search for Prism Launcher, then install it.
  • From the KDE Plasma Menu, find Prism, right click and select Add to Steam.
  • Open Prism, select Manage Profiles and go through the process to add your Microsoft Account.
  • Then you can select Add Instance, and pick whatever Minecraft you want to install.

For Gamepad Support:

  • Hit the Edit button with an Instance selected.
  • Go to Mods on the left panel, select Download Mods.
  • Select CurseForge on the left, then search for and install Controllable.

That's the basic setup done.

However, if you wish to have Prism load a single instance, you can add this to the end of your Steam Launch Option in the Properties window of Prism: -l *instance name*

Additionally, if you still wish to show the launcher, say you wish to pick from multiple instances, you may want to have it close automatically once you're playing Minecraft. Find those in the main Settings, select Minecraft on the left and down the bottom are two tickboxes to control this behaviour.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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17 comments
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PixelDrop 21 Oct, 2022
Quoting: PixelDropStill seems like it has a ways to go. Trying to move my PolyMC setups over to Prism has just an endless mess of errors for everything except my rarely used Vanilla instance and my super lightly modded hardcore instance.

Everything with a lot of mods is a nightmare of errors thus far. Which is confusing because it's the same version of Minecraft, same mod launcher version, same mod versions, and same java version.

Tried something kind of stupid and it fixed all my issues.

I took my PolyMC folder and copied everything in it.
Pasted it all in the Prism folder, chooshing not to override anything eg skip all conflicts which was 90% of the files, and now everything works with no errors.

So I'm guessing the current prism release is missing an important dependency file, seeing as nothing was overridden but clearly there was something Poly had in the folder that Prism needed to work properly but didn't come with.
ShinyaOsen 21 Oct, 2022
Quoting: PixelDrop
Quoting: PixelDropStill seems like it has a ways to go. Trying to move my PolyMC setups over to Prism has just an endless mess of errors for everything except my rarely used Vanilla instance and my super lightly modded hardcore instance.

Everything with a lot of mods is a nightmare of errors thus far. Which is confusing because it's the same version of Minecraft, same mod launcher version, same mod versions, and same java version.

Tried something kind of stupid and it fixed all my issues.

I took my PolyMC folder and copied everything in it.
Pasted it all in the Prism folder, chooshing not to override anything eg skip all conflicts which was 90% of the files, and now everything works with no errors.

So I'm guessing the current prism release is missing an important dependency file, seeing as nothing was overridden but clearly there was something Poly had in the folder that Prism needed to work properly but didn't come with.

Everything worked for me just copying the instance folder and setting the ram usage correctly. That's all they say to do https://prismlauncher.org/wiki/getting-started/migrating-multimc/
TheRiddick 22 Oct, 2022
I thought Valve had some sort of internal thing going on called Prism... but was for VR maybe?
ElectricPrism 22 Oct, 2022
Prism huh?
PixelDrop 22 Oct, 2022
Quoting: ShinyaOsen
Quoting: PixelDrop
Quoting: PixelDropStill seems like it has a ways to go. Trying to move my PolyMC setups over to Prism has just an endless mess of errors for everything except my rarely used Vanilla instance and my super lightly modded hardcore instance.

Everything with a lot of mods is a nightmare of errors thus far. Which is confusing because it's the same version of Minecraft, same mod launcher version, same mod versions, and same java version.

Tried something kind of stupid and it fixed all my issues.

I took my PolyMC folder and copied everything in it.
Pasted it all in the Prism folder, chooshing not to override anything eg skip all conflicts which was 90% of the files, and now everything works with no errors.

So I'm guessing the current prism release is missing an important dependency file, seeing as nothing was overridden but clearly there was something Poly had in the folder that Prism needed to work properly but didn't come with.

Everything worked for me just copying the instance folder and setting the ram usage correctly. That's all they say to do https://prismlauncher.org/wiki/getting-started/migrating-multimc/

Tried that, didn't work.
Then I tried a fresh install and reset of everything except copying the mods over, didn't work.
Then I tried re-downloading fresh copies of all the mods for one instance and it didn't work.
There is clearly something missing, now a PS on this one I have windows on my steam deck and am using the windows version and not the Linux version.

Because of the parental control issues / family view not working properly on the steamdeck I've opt to dual boot where I use Windows for kids stuff and steamOS purely for things that are not kid friendly.
MadWolf 23 Oct, 2022
Quoting: drlamb
Quoting: kudlaty

Correct, as far as I'm aware this is still the only way to play the bedrock edition on Linux, with some caveats.

there is a way to play both the Java edition and bedrock edition on Linux there is a launcher that uses the android Minecraft bedrock edition .APK but you need to own the game on google play

edit
Prism Launcher uses a newer version of the QT platform that will only run on windows 10 and newer


Last edited by MadWolf on 23 October 2022 at 11:53 am UTC
JimiWindmills 29 Oct, 2022
Can anyone else join LAN games? I have a Debian machine with GDlauncher with a plain Forge instance installed. When I open the game to LAN, the one windows machine in the house (also with GDLauncher) can join the game. I should mention that the game address that windows sees is an IPv6 address.

I have tried GDLauncher with Forge on another Debian machine, an Arch machine, a Fedora machine and my steam deck and none of them can see the game. Weirdly, all of them work fine with a vanilla install. I have also now tried the prism launcher and I'm having the same problem there.

In an attempt to fix the problem, I have disabled all firewalls so all ports should be open. If anyone knows the trick or has somehow got a recent version of forge running I would love to hear about it
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