How to install an app to Steam Deck? How to add application to Gaming Mode on Steam Deck?

On example of Firefox browser we will see how to add application to Steam Deck in Desktop Mode, and how to make that application available in Gamin Mode.

For a start, few important links if you are new to Steam Deck

How to switch to Desktop Mode on Steam Deck

How to get on-screen keyboard on Steam Deck

How to navigate Desktop Mode on Steam Deck (buttons explained)

How to uninstall Steam and non-Steam game from Steam Deck

How to navigate Steam Deck File Manager – where is what on Steam Deck

Disk Management on Steam Deck

First of all – our Steam Deck is running Linux – that means that not every app will be available for us, at least not the easy way, by just using store and installing it.

In this example we will be installing Firefox, and adding it to Gaming mode, so that it is also available to us in Gaming Mode.

Find an app and install it

In Desktop mode (see above on link how to get to it) open Discover Store app (on bottom right part of the taskbar) – in search type in Firefox, if we have result, and in this case we have, select the app and press Install

Start an App

After app is installed, we will find it if we press Steam Orb (right bottom part of the screen) select Internet menu and select Firefox Web Browser – depending on app type it will be in some other menu.

The app works

Add Application to Gaming Mode on Steam Deck

Start Steam Client in Desktop Mode, it doesn’t matter on which menu you are inside Steam Client, on the right bottom part of the screen there is ADD A GAME button – select it, and press “Add a Non-Steam Game…”

Select Firefox Web Browser (or app you wish to add) and press ADD SELECTED PROGRAMS

Now we have Firefox Web Browser inside Steam Client.

To make our Firefox prettier in Steam Client and in Gaming Mode – see this guide here

Gaming Mode

Our app will now show in Gaming Mode – if you haven’t followed this guide you won’t have this nice beautiful Firefox icon, instead you will only have text which will say – Firefox

You will have Firefox now in nice full screen – mouse works

And you can get keyboard by pressing Steam button + X button

When you wish to exit app, you will press Steam button, select Firefox Web browser and press Exit game


Apps in Gaming Mode won’t let you exit gracefully – they will freeze – I wrote a guide on how you can exit in that situation…

Uninstall the app

If you wish to uninstall the app, you go back to Desktop Mode, open Discover Store app, go to Installed, find the app you wish to uninstall (Firefox in my case) and press Remove


We now learned how to install application to our Steam Deck through Discover Store – we also learned the procedure to add this app to the Gaming Mode, and that is also very important.

There are different ways to install something on Linux – it can be through Discover Store, Terminal or by downloading installers. In this guide, we learned the simplest way – through Discover app.