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Can I play Honkai: Star Rail on Steam Deck?

You'll need to jump through a few hoops, but it's possible.
By
December 28, 2023
Playing Honkai Star Rail on TCL 40 XE 5G
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Honkai: Star Rail is the latest gacha title from Genshin Impact developer miHoYo. It’s available as a mobile game on Android and iOS, and on Windows desktops. The developer’s also releasing the title on the PS4 and PS5 later this year. But can Steam Deck owners play it? Find out below.

QUICK ANSWER

No, you cannot officially play Honkai: Star Rail on Steam Deck out of the box. However, you can install Windows on the Steam Deck and run the title without major issues.


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Can you play Honkai: Star Rail on Steam Deck?

Steam Deck controls
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

Honkai: Star Rail is not available to play on Linux-based systems, which includes the Steam Deck. This is due to the anti-cheat system miHoYo employs in its games. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though.

The Steam Deck is remarkably versatile and allows for multiple operating systems. If you really want to run Honkai: Star Rail on the Steam Deck, you can install Windows 11 alongside SteamOS in a dual-boot configuration. You don’t need to run SteamOS or Windows 11; you can install both side-by-side and boot into whichever you choose. This means you can keep your entire Steam library available on the SteamOS side but boot into Windows 11 when you want to run Honkai: Star Rail. This method is quite complicated and multi-stepped, though, as it involves partitioning the Steam Deck’s drive. You’ll also need a Steam Deck with more than 64GB of storage.

Alternatively, you can install Windows 11 on a microSD card and boot from it. This is the simpler option but does have its downsides. The constant reads/writes to the microSD card will diminish its lifespan. There’s also more risk of losing the card. However, as you don’t need to tinker with the Steam Deck’s internal storage, it’s an easier workaround.

Of course, if you don’t care about Steam, you can wipe the entire machine and run Windows 11 as the standalone OS. This is the easiest solution for those who only want to play Honkai: Star Rail. You will need to install the Steam Deck drivers after installation.

Is Honkai: Star Rail coming to Steam Deck?

Considering that Genshin Impact still isn’t officially supported on Steam Deck, it seems unlikely that miHoYo will change its stance regarding Honkai: Star Rail on Linux systems and the Steam Deck. Nevertheless, the workaround likely won’t be frowned upon by the developer.