How to install and configure EmuDeck 2 on Steam Deck?

First emulator we will try on our Steam Deck in EmuDeck 2. Let’s dive into it.

First of all – please be aware that I cannot be responsible for any type of damage you do by following this guide – be sure you understand everything and that you have backup of your data before you start

Ok, there is installation guide on EmuDeck site that we will follow –

Also, they have a huge FAQ, so be sure that you go through it before you start

There are some general and important things (like legality!!) you should be aware before starting with emulators – so check my guide here before you start.


We will be installing in Desktop Mode on Steam Deck – so few thing you should if you are new to Steam Deck

How to switch to Desktop Mode on Steam Deck

How to bring pop-up keyboard in Desktop Mode

How to use Steam Deck physical buttons in Desktop Mode

Which MicroSD card to use? (You should go with SDXC I , U3, v30, A1 or even better A2)

Format MicroSD card on Steam Deck

Share files/folders between PC and Steam Deck (external disk, network share method…)

It would be also easier in this guide to use external mouse and keyboard – with USB dock or bluetooth options…

Once again, here is installation link for EmuDeck –

Click on “Download installer”


After downloader is installed we will move it to desktop and double click on it.

In my case EmuDeck.desktop is in Downloads folder – right click on it and select Copy

Click on Desktop folder in left sidebar under Places and select Paste One File

Double click on it on Desktop

You will be asked if trust this program – click on Continue

New installer window will appear in a second

For this situation we will select Custom Mode – so we can configure our installation optimally – click on Custom Mode and select Continue

In my case, MicroSD card is not recognized – I’m doing this on test system, so I’m not bothered a lot with this. You can select MicroSD as installation path, I will install on internal storage | Continue

Steam Deck | Continue

Next screen will be the list of emulators we want to install, you can always ere-run this if you wish to add something later!

Here is a list for some of these emulators – what do these emulate – full list with all explanations can be found here

Primehack (Metroid Prime Trilogy)
Dolphin (Gamecube and Wii)
Citra (3DS)
Cemu (Wii U)
Yuzu (Switch)
Ryujinx (Switch)
Vita3K (PS Vita)
Duckstation (PSX)
Xemu (OG Xbox)

I will leave all as it is and click on Continue

On next screen you should select emulators which EmuDeck will configure – if you have custom configuration for some of the emulators, here is the place to unselect it, so that EmuDeck does not overwrite it. Continue

Now, more or less all the following settings will be up to you – do you wish to configure Auto Save – select your preference and select Continue

If you have RetroAchievements account and that is something you care about, you will login here – I will Skip this.

Game bezels – again one thing that is purely your personal preference – do you like side of your screen to be black or emulate a console. Continues

Aspect ration for Classic Sega Systems… Again, up to you… Continue

Aspect Ratio for SNES… Again, up to you | Continue

More Aspect Ratio settings, and you already know that it is all up to your personal preference… | Continue

Aspect Ratio for GameCube… | Continue

Configure LCD Shader for LCD Matrix screens… Again, your preference | Continue

CRT Shader for Classic 2D Games… Continue

CRT Shader for Classic 3D Games… Continue

Select Theme for your Frontend – I will select Modern (your personal taste again) Next

I won’t install any games in this guide – so NO for me | Next

Here is list of all my installs, configurations, customizations and install path… Finish

Installation is underway…

Installation is done! We will EXIT to learn more about the system, and after that start Steam Rom Manager


Important folders location

If you installed on internal storage you path to important folders should be:


If you installed on MicroSD your path should be (replace mmcblk0p1 for you MicroSD card name):


I explained topic or roms and bios already here.

By installing EmuDeck we now only have a shell of a console – to start and boot console that you wish to play, we need BIOS (bios files should be in bios folder) and to play games we need to put game ROMs inside roms folder.

The thing is – as I already explained in the link I put above – BIOS files and game ROMs are proprietary – and I cannot share any details about that here.

So, I cannot write about BIOS or ROM files here, because I would be in a problem.

But what I can tell you is that EmuDeck wiki has list of supported ROM types and BIOS file names in its wiki . That should be a good start for you to look what you need to emulate a console.

Also, a lot of sites from what I can see are taken down, especially with BIOS files – sometimes Internet Archive can help you learn about some things that are not available anymore.

ROMs that you own, you can put in /roms folder, under specific folder for the console you are trying to emulate.

I know all of this is not extremely helpful, I’m sorry – as I already said in my previous article, emulation is double edged sword, and very grey area, more illegal than legal – which I cannot support. I’m doing this guide because emulator software I’m covering is not illegal, and there is homebrew software you can use for some of the old platforms.

Steam ROM Manager

Ok, after we added bios files and roms to appropriate folders – we will now start Steam ROM Manager to integrate everything we have into our Steam Experience.

For this occasion I copied homebrew software for Gameboy – so it should be fine to run, because it is not commercial software.

To start Steam ROM Manager – click on EmuDeck – shortcut should now be on your Steam Deck Desktop | on the window that opens select Tools & stuff

Select Steam ROM Manager

We need to exit Steam to start Steam Rom Manager – Yes

Be careful – after we exit Steam Client – our controls on Steam Deck will change – so best is to have bluetooth or usb (with hub) mouse and keyboard at hand.

First screen looks overwhelming. Steam ROM Manager will go through all of listed emulators and search for ROMs, and list all that it finds inside you Steam Client.

I turned everything off for a start.

Then I selected following

EmulationStationDE, Emulators and Gameboy

You will select here as you like – if you wish to have access to something directly from Steam interface – it need to be selected here.

After you are done – click on Preview and select Generate app list

In my case, system found only one homebrew game – Dangan –

This is also place where you would add artwork if it isn’t downloaded automatically – I wrote about that topic here , so you can use that as a reference. For Dangan there is no artwork, and I won’t bother to find it.

There is a little image icon with + from which you can select image you like as your artwork. Depicted below is what I call “grid” image

If you press on select type at the top right part of the screen, you can select to preview as a Poster (also one of the types of the game preview artworks). If system haven’t found image what you like, you can always change it yourself. SteamGrid DB is a place where you will get artwork.

After you are done, press on Save app list

When it is done, little pop-up will appear

If you have a lot of items, it my take a few (or tens) of minutes.

Close everything and start Steam Client again

Now, I have Dangan in my Steam Client.

When you have a lot of games, all will be now listed here. You will manually remove ones you don’t want to see in your Library by right clicking on them, an selecting Manage – Remove non-Steam game from your library.

If you add more games to your ROMs folder, you will have to go through the entire process again – Steam ROM Manager and then cleanup again.

You can also ignore this and use only Emulation Station only to access your games. So, you have two ways to manage your games.

Starting a game

Moment of truth – we will go back to our Gaming Mode and try and start a game

You will find the game by going to View more in your Library

and then finding your games under NON-STEAM section

Let’s try and start mine

It works!!!

By pressing enter on keyboard I entered the menu, and by pressing S on keyboard I started the game


Ok, so the emulation works definitely.

Updates and Maintenance

To uninstall a game – simply remove ROM from ROMs directory – and then run refresh with Steam ROM Manager

To update EmuDeck – go to Desktop Mode and select EmuDeck from Desktop – then I would advise to select Custom Update – so you can can keep all the modifications you did during initial install

Tools & stuff

I will quickly go through the Tools and plugins described here…

Power Tools – I already covered that here – and I would rather install that through Decky Loader

GyroDSU – enables you to use Gyroscope in Dolphin, Citra, CEMU, Yuzu, and Ryujinx emulators

Decky Controls – enables you to see EmuDecks controls and hotkeys while gaming

EmuDeck Compression tool – useful tool that looks through some of the ROM folders and compresses the game up to 70% of the size.

Update Emulators & Tools – will update your emulators and tools installed. Also very useful.

Quick settings – all that we went through the setup process (aspect ratio, bezels…) can be set here

BIOS checker – checks if your BIOS files are correct, so you can run certain emulators

Save Backup – you can login to some of the cloud storage providers, and EmuDeck will save your games there. In beta currently.

We already went through Steam ROM Manager…

This is already too long, and I will end here. I understand if this was a bit frustrating, or not entirely useful, but it is what it is – I hope you managed to learn and do something with this guide.