Can I play Baldur's Gate 3 on Steam Deck?

Baldur's Gate 3
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Can I play Baldur's Gate 3 on Steam Deck?

Yes, Baldur's Gate 3 is playable on Steam Deck. However, there are a few tweaks you'll need to do in order to get everything running properly. Thankfully, they're pretty easy to do, and we'll go over the details below.

How to play Baldur's Gate 3 on Steam Deck

Why you can trust Windows Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

After several years of Early Access, the full version of Baldur's Gate 3 is officially here — and it's launched to widespread fanfare and universal critical acclaim. It's quickly become one of 2023's best games, and as a result, many hopeful fans are curious to know if they'll be able to play Larian Studios' gargantuan fantasy RPG on their Steam Deck.

If you're one of them, you'll be happy to know that Baldur's Gate 3 is fully playable on Valve's handheld gaming PC, though there are a few things you'll need to tweak before you jump in. We'll go over what you need to do below.

To get Baldur's Gate 3 running properly, you'll first need to enable the Proton compatibility layer. Here's how to do that:

  1. Select Baldur's Gate 3 in your Steam Library.
  2. Select the cog Settings icon.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Navigate to the Compatibility tab.
  5. Check the box that says 'Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool.'
  6. From the dropdown that appears, select Proton 8.0-3 or Proton Experimental

Secondly, you'll want to disable Larian's Baldur's Gate 3 launcher so that launching the game on Steam immediately starts it. Here's how:

  1. Select Baldur's Gate 3 in your Steam Library.
  2. Select the cog Settings icon.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Navigate to the General tab.
  5. Scroll down until you find Launch Options.
  6. Enter "--skip-launcher" into the text box without quotation marks.

And you're good to go! Note that doing this also defaults the game to run in DX11 instead of Vulkan, which is best for Steam Deck since Vulkan doesn't play nicely with SteamOS at all.

The best Baldur's Gate 3 Steam Deck settings

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

Baldur's Gate 3 runs pretty well on the Steam Deck, and luckily, you don't even have to turn the settings down to Low to get playable framerates like you often have to with other new games. Here's what we recommend using in order to achieve the best balance between visual quality and a consistently smooth framerates:

  • Graphics preset: Medium
  • Shadow quality: Low
  • Cloud quality: Low
  • Fog quality: Low
  • Frame rate cap: On
  • Maximum frame rate: 30
  • FSR: Ultra Quality

With these settings, you can expect a smooth 30 FPS experience through the vast majority of your playthrough, though things might dip a bit in large battles with lots of visual effects.

Something worth noting is that Baldur's Gate 3 doesn't currently support the newer version of AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaler, FSR 2.0. Instead, it's using the original version of the software, which doesn't look great on anything below Ultra Quality. However, Larian Studios says that FSR 2 support is coming "closer to September 6," so when it's added to the game, you can choose a more balanced FSR setting to get even more stable framerates without making the game look horrible.

Baldur's Gate 3 is available on PC now, with the PS5 version scheduled for Sept. 6. It stands tall as one of the best PC games of 2023, and is a must-play for fans of fantasy RPGs and the D&D universe.


Baldur's Gate 3 | See at GOG

Enter the Forgotten Realms while playing as a customized character of your own choosing. The decisions you make determine what you encounter as you discover more and more about the stories and world around you. 

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.