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How to play The Elder Scrolls Online on Steam Deck

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The Elder Scrolls Online is currently noted as Unsupported on Steam Deck but don't let that stop you. Getting it running is actually pretty simple.

I'm not surprised it's noted as Unsupported though, considering how quirky the initial install actually is. You're not just downloading from Steam, you're also using their launcher to install an update and that is the main cause of the problems. A launcher being a nuisance — where have we all heard that before?

First up a video example, below that is the text guide:

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How to do it:

  1. Find the game in your Steam Library, hit the little Cog icon on the right and go to Properties
  2. In the launch options text field, add this: PROTON_SET_GAME_DRIVE=1 %command%
    This basically sets up a fake drive in Proton for the game in your Steam Library that the launcher can read correctly
  3. Now set Steam Input to Mouse and Keyboard to make it easier for now with the updater and launcher
  4. Load it up, and when you get a black screen, simply press the A button. Proton currently doesn't render it properly, but it's just an accept button to continue on the installer
    You may find it dumps you back to the Steam Library, just reload and it eventually works. Mine only took one extra attempt
  5. Load the game
  6. Create / load into your character using the right trackpad as the mouse. Once in-game head to the Options menu in Settings > Gameplay > Gamepad > Enable Gamepad
  7. Open Steam Input again, set to Gamepad but edit the right trackpad to be a mouse with a left mouse click. This enables you to properly interact with the main menu and get proper gamepad controls in-game
  8. Enjoy.

Play on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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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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6 comments

Isn't ESO also on Stadia? Seems like an MMO is a good candidate for a game to play through streaming.
arrjayzor 10 Jun
Quoting: RandomizedKirbyTree47Isn't ESO also on Stadia? Seems like an MMO is a good candidate for a game to play through streaming.

ESO is on Stadia. It runs well and supports cross play but it is limited in that you can't use add-ons and the fps is capped.
Kimyrielle 10 Jun
Quoting: arrjayzor
Quoting: RandomizedKirbyTree47Isn't ESO also on Stadia? Seems like an MMO is a good candidate for a game to play through streaming.

ESO is on Stadia. It runs well and supports cross play but it is limited in that you can't use add-ons and the fps is capped.

Which is quite a dealbreaker, IMHO. ESO is borderline unplayable without mods. Their default UI is -really- that bad, and their trading system is industry worst. Mods are quite needed to remedy some of the pain from that. The PC/NA server is getting a lot of console refugees, a lot of them state the lack of mods being the central reason for switching...
Thanks for the explanation, that makes a lot of sense. I'm surprised to learn that an MMO allows mods at all.

Also, that means I can take ESO off my list of games to potentially buy in the future. I'm one of those people who is willing to either
a)Pay for a proprietary game, OR
b)Use fan-made third-party mods,
but not both. So while I will happily use mods in Minetest, a paid proprietary MMO that needs mods to have a decent UI is probably not for me.


Last edited by RandomizedKirbyTree47 on 10 June 2022 at 8:11 pm UTC
Spl-it 11 Jun
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Quoting: RandomizedKirbyTree47Thanks for the explanation, that makes a lot of sense. I'm surprised to learn that an MMO allows mods at all.

Also, that means I can take ESO off my list of games to potentially buy in the future. I'm one of those people who is willing to either
a)Pay for a proprietary game, OR
b)Use fan-made third-party mods,
but not both. So while I will happily use mods in Minetest, a paid proprietary MMO that needs mods to have a decent UI is probably not for me.

Don't worry, the game isn't borderline unplayable without mods at all, it's just a personal preference.
I've been playing ESO for a long time, without any mods, I don't have any issues.

The game runs great on the Deck too, binding grip buttons for weapon set swapping etc makes the experience better (for me) than on consoles, where the weapon swap is done with the dpad, forcing your hands off the analog sticks.
Been using this for mod support on ESO. Works like a treat and no more faffing with Minion

https://github.com/Trojan295/eso-addons
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