Skip to main content

How to get Xbox Game Pass on Steam Deck

The Steam Deck easily grants access to your library of Steam titles, and can handle all but the most demanding games — but sometimes that’s just not enough. Enter Xbox Game Pass, the subscription service packed with games offered by Microsoft, most of which are available to play on both Xbox and PC.

Difficulty

Moderate

Duration

30 minutes

What You Need

  • Steam Deck

  • Xbox Game Pass subscription

That compatibility also means that there’s a way you can play the latest hits on Game Pass like Halo Infinite or the upcoming Starfield on your Steam Deck, wherever you're at. All it takes is the right setup. We’ll show you exactly what you need and what to do.

How to enable Xbox Game Pass games on your Steam Deck

While it may be obvious, please remember that you need to be signed up for Steam and have an active Xbox Game Pass or Game Pass Ultimate subscription for these steps to work.

Step 1: This is a lot easier when you have the time to hook your Steam Deck to a mouse and keyboard before you begin. We recommend sitting at your desktop to make this step effortless.

Step 2: With your Steam Deck turned on, press the central Steam button. When the menu opens, select Power, then choose Switch to desktop. This will switch to a desktop Linux mode that allows for more direct control over a wide variety of settings (you don’t need to connect the Deck to an actual desktop monitor for this to work).

Steam Deck Desktop Mode Example.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Look at the taskbar on the button and select the icon that looks like a blue shopping bag. This will open the Discover Software Center. In the Software Center, find the three-line “hamburger” button and select it, then choose Applications, then go to the Internet section, then find Web Browsers.

Step 4: In the list of available web browsers, look for Microsoft Edge (it’s currently in a beta version on the Deck, but don’t let that stop you). Select or right-click it and choose to Install.

Step 5: Now return to the Steam desktop. Choose the Application Launcher from the taskbar this time. Select Internet, then find Microsoft Edge (beta). Right-click it, and choose Add to Steam. Now in the Add a Game window, locate Microsoft Edge once again, and choose the Add Selected Programs button at the bottom.

Steam Deck settings page.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 6: Go back to the desktop and choose Application Launch again. This time, choose System, and then choose Konsole to open the terminal window. It’s time to type some commands! Enter this command and press the Enter key afterward:

flatpak --user override --filesystem=/run/udev:ro com.microsoft.Edge

To leave the Konsole, type "exit" and select the Enter key.

Step 7: Back in the desktop, select the Steam icon to open up Steam. Go to your Library, then find Microsoft Edge (beta) here. Right-click it, and choose Properties. You’re going to make a couple of important changes here.

First, select the name Microsoft Edge next to its icon, and change it to Xbox Cloud Gaming. You may want to add a (beta) at the end to remember that this is still a work in progress, although the Edge icon has a beta label of its own to help.

Go to Launch Options, where you’ll see a command line. You will want keep the section that says “e @@u @” but replace everything that comes after it with a new command:

--window-size=1024,640 --force-device-scale-factor=1.25 --device-scale-factor=1.25 --kiosk "https://www.xbox.com/play"

This essentially turns Edge into Xbox Cloud Gaming, a somewhat messy workaround that Microsoft is planning to improve in the future, but it will work for now. Just remember that the Edge icon is actually your Xbox games access. Technically, you can switch out the icon for another image, but it’s a lot of work for a feature that will hopefully be replaced at some point in the future, so we’re fine with leaving it.

Steam settings page.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 8: You can also choose to manage the controller layout of your new Xbox Cloud Gaming app in your Steam Library, so make sure you set it to a layout you like to play Xbox games with by right-clicking, then choosing Manage and Controller layout.

Step 9: That should be it! Switch back to your Gaming Mode, and you should be able to select the Xbox Cloud Gaming icon and sign in with your Microsoft account to get started.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Lacoma
Former Digital Trends Contributor
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
Best video game deals: PlayStation 5, Xbox S and X, Nintendo Switch

While gaming PCs can be pretty great, a lot of folks don't want to spend the money, or time and hassle to get involved with PC gaming, which is why consoles like the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch are perfect. Not only are they relatively budget-friendly, but they also offer a quick and user-friendly way of playing games that don't involve having a lot of PC knowledge. So, if you've already bought one of these, then be sure to check out our roundup of some of our favorite game deals, including some of our lists of PS5 games, best Xbox Series X games, or best Nintendo Switch games.
On the other hand, if you're just doing a bit of window shopping, then check out some of our other favorite PS5 game deals, Xbox game pass deals and Nintendo Switch deals for more specific offers.

Best PS5 game deals
Deathloop -- $25, was $60

Read more
Best Xbox Series X and Series S deals: discounts and bundles
Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S game consoles.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have really come a long way from when they first came out, especially with a lot of support from Microsoft and excellent Xbox Game Pass deals for folks to enjoy. Of course, if you want to pick one up now, it's a lot easier, and there are some good sales and bundles that are worth grabbing, and the same goes for various accessories. On the other hand, if you already have one, then you may want to check out these video game deals, and if you're more of a PS fan, then these PlayStation deals may be more up your alley.
Xbox Core Wireless Controller -- $55, was $65

Whichever Xbox you buy, you get a standard controller but how about having one that shows off some of your personality? Or one that means you can play games on the couch with your buddies or family. That's where the Xbox Core Wireless Controller is so useful. Available in many different colors, you get all the benefits of an ergonomic design with sculpted surfaces and refined geometry for enhanced comfort. Up to 40 hours of battery life is convenient while it connects via Xbox Wireless and Bluetooth so you can use it with your PC, phone or tablet too.

Read more
6 free indie game demos you should play during the Steam Next Fest
Key art for Bo: Path of the Teal Lotus.

In the wake of several awesome video game showcases, the latest Steam Next Fest has arrived. Running from June 10 until June 17, this event on PC gaming storefront and launcher Steam gives indie developers and publishers a chance to share limited-time demos of their upcoming games so players can discover all the neat titles on the way in the indie space. It’s a reminder of the creativity of this industry in a year where companies are prioritizing profits over passion.

There are hundreds of demos in this year’s Steam Next Fest, so it can be a bit hard to sift through everything and discover the most entertaining titles. I had the opportunity to try many of them out ahead of Steam Next Fest over the past couple of weeks. From idle sandbox games to pretty Metroidvanias, these are the indie games from June 2024’s Steam Next Fest that stuck out to me the most and are worth trying for free sometime this week.
Claws & Chaos

Read more