RetroArch, the very popular application front-end for emulators and more has a new release out and it includes better support for the Steam Deck. The improvements benefit all Steam users of course but, for the Steam Deck especially, it's awesome.
The devs mentioned they came up with a "shim" for SteamWorks that talks to the Steam API. What they've done is create a bridge between RetroArch Steam and their middleware tool called Mist that runs on a separate process. The result is that it remains compliant with the GPL license but allows more flexibility. As a result, these are now possible:
- You can now install and uninstall cores directly from inside RetroArch by going to ‘Manage Cores’ from inside the menu. No longer do you have to manually browse Steam with your webbrowser and download random core DLCs for RetroArch, you can do it from within the convenience of the app running itself.
- On Steam Deck, the native OSK (Onscreen Keyboard) will appear now instead of the RetroArch default OSK. This should give a more seamless experience. We have decided against enabling the Steam OSK with Big Picture since it seems partially broken and instantly dismisses itself (or at least those were our testing results on a Steam Deck).
All that and more can be seen in the release notes on Steam.
Emulation on Steam Deck just keeps getting better, and there's another great project I'll be highlighting shortly for those who want an easy setup of many emulation systems on the Steam Deck.