How to setup VPN on Steam Deck?

Maybe not all streaming or gaming services won’t be available at the place you travel – you pay for them but, you are not able to consume them – VPN services can change that.

In enterprise world VPN is mainly used to access company resources from outside locations in secure manner.

I also use VPN when I have no other option but use Wi-Fi at unknown locations (like hotels) – this gives me extra layer of security.

But many people use VPN to access services that have geo-restrictions for the place they are currently at.

Whatever your use case is – VPN is a good thing for privacy and security (if you se good and reputable VPN provider).

Today, I’m going to show you how to enable VPN on your Steam Deck.

This can be complicated guide – please have that in mind – do not start if you do not understand Linux or Terminal very well

Before connecting to VPN it would be smart to go to Offline mode with Steam, just in case – better be safe than sorry – you can get banned!!!

This isn’t really novice level guide, so please, if you don’t understand what I’m writing and talking about here, let someone who has knowledge help you. I cannot be responsible for any type of damage you do.

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


For this you will need a VPN provider that has OpenVPN configuration files available. I’m using NordVPN –

They are not sponsoring this, link above is not affiliate link – I have subscription with them for few years now, and that is what I happen to have at hand, and I will use that here.

Use whatever VPN provider you find good, as long as the provider has OpenVPN configuration files you can use.

This part is done in Desktop Mode.

Now, for this tutorial I’m going to download one OpenVPN configuration from the link above that my VPN provider – provides.

Configuration files are sorted by country – US representing United States….

Since I’m in Europe, let me impersonate US for this guide

I will click on Download TCP for connection named “”

File is inside my Home folder – in Downloads folder I now have

In next step we are going to go to terminal, we need one installation

Click on Steam orb in bottom left part of taskbar – select System | Konsole

Before you continue – chances are that SteamOS updates will/can overwrite this – maybe you will need to run this again after update – I’m not sure, since I still haven’t had huge update of my Steam Deck.

In console you need to type in following, and after that press enter

You will be then asked for your SteamOS password – type it in and press enter.

If you don’t have password defined, you can create it by typing in passwd in terminal – then type in twice password you wish – and you can return to this command.

sudo pacman -Syu

sudo steamos-readonly disable

sudo pacman -S networkmanager-openvpn

Run following only if you get error “required key missing from keyring”

If you are “lucky” like I am, you may encounter error like this after running installation – “required key missing from keyring”

You will need following commands to repair this

sudo pacman-key --refresh-keys

sudo pacman-key --init

sudo pacman-key --populate

After you run these three commands, reboot your Steam Deck and try again networkmanager install commands.

Importing OpenVPN configuration file

We need to still stay in terminal – we now need to import our file. To do this we will enter following command.

Two commands below assume you are in your /home directory already. If you are not, type in first cd /home/deck and press enter, then proceed typing two commands that are below.

cd Downloads

nmcli connection import type openvpn file yourvpnfilename.ovpn


Now, we can close the terminal, we don’t need anything from terminal anymore.

Configuring Imported OpenVPN connection

We are still in Desktop Mode – press Steam orb | select Settings | click on System Settings

With my VPN provider I now just need to enter Username and Password for the account I have with them – and after that press Apply

You can now close the window.

Connecting to VPN

Before connecting to VPN it would be smart to go to Offline mode with Steam, just in case – better be safe than sorry – you can get banned!!!

While in Desktop mode – in right bottom part of the screen, in system tray next to the clock, there should be little WiFi sign, or Computer icon if you are connected to ethernet like I am.

Click on it, you will get list of connections – among them, there will be your VPN connection. Press Connect

If you done everything correctly, you should now be connected to VPN!!!

If I go to the web browser, to the site like I can see that my public IP now is pointing to Buffalo, NY in USA.

I’m aware you can check to which public IP I was connected in this case, I have a habit or redacting identifiable data, and that is all that is.

What about Gaming Mode?

In theory – and in practice – your VPN should stay up even after you switch to Gaming Mode. And that what works for me most of the time. I connect to VPN in Desktop Mode, and then transfer to Gaming Mode.

Add Terminal to Desktop Mode and start VPN through Terminal

Second way is to add Konsole (terminal app, we used above) as an app to Desktop Mode – check here to check how to add application to Gaming Mode

Start Konsole and type in following command


If this is something interesting – I can make additional writeup, I won’t go in details about terminal in this guide, I’m trying to make it beginner friendly.

Use Plugins

I went through Decky Loader in this guide, and I covered process of installing plugins in this guide so I will just mention this here – there is plugin named TunnelDeck which will enable you to use VPN in Gaming mode also.

Here is Github link –

Here is link to Youtube video from creator of the plugin, with step by step guide –

You can check that out if plugins are you way… TunnelDeck will do for you what we done already, although you need to import your VPN file.

I borrowed screenshot from here –

Hope you found your way around all this info, and are enjoying your Steam Deck.