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How to install and use Discord on Steam Deck

Just don't use your Deck's built-in mic.
By
February 21, 2024

Valve’s Steam Deck might be a viable alternative to some gaming PCs or the Nintendo Switch, but if you want to keep the social aspect of PC gaming, you’re probably going to want to install Discord. Since the app is missing from the Steam Store, you’ll need to follow the workaround process in this guide.

QUICK ANSWER

To install Discord on a Steam Deck:

  1. Install the Discord Linux app via the Deck's Desktop mode and sign into it.
  2. Still in Desktop mode, open Steam and add Discord as a non-Steam game.
  3. Switch back to Gaming mode and launch Discord via Non-Steam > Discord.
  4. Press the Steam button and choose Controller settings to assign controls to the app.

JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to install Discord on Steam Deck

The process isn’t too complicated, but is a bit of a hassle considering there aren’t any (technical) limitations blocking Discord at the Steam Store.

  • Press and hold the power button, then choose Switch to Desktop.
  • Select Discover and search for Discord.
  • Within the Discord app listing, pick Install.
  • Use the Application Launcher to open Discord.
  • Follow prompts to log in or create a new account.

How to add Discord to your SteamOS library

steam deck
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

Naturally, to make Discord convenient on a Steam Deck, you’ll want it in your Steam library so you can open it like any native app in Gaming mode.

  • Once Discord is installed (using the instructions above), stay in the Steam Deck’s Desktop mode.
  • Open the Steam app.
  • Select the Games tab, then choose Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library.
  • Tick the checkbox next to Discord, then Add Selected Programs.
  • Close all your open windows before using Return to Gaming Mode.
  • To launch Discord, open your Library, then select Non-Steam > Discord. You can switch between Discord and games using the Deck’s Steam button.

How to use Discord on Steam Deck

Before you can actually use Discord you’ll need to assign controls to the app, since it’s not a native Steam title.

  • Launch Discord via Gaming mode.
  • Press the Steam button and select Controller settings.
  • Choose Controller settings again at the bottom of the screen, then Current Layout.
  • Use R1 to go to the Community Layouts tab, then download and apply one that seems appealing.

You can alternately edit inputs yourself in the Controller settings view, but it’s worth experimenting with community layouts first to test what works and what doesn’t. You can always go back and adjust inputs to your preferences.

Once you’ve got a layout in place, you don’t have to be in Discord to use the app — voice chats will continue running in the background when you switch to a game. You should only use voice chat in tandem with mic-equipped earbuds or headphones, however, since the Steam Deck’s built-in mic tends to pick up button presses.