This tool will make playing Epic Games on Steam Deck much easier

The EPic GAmes Tore logo on a black background with neon lines
(Image credit: Epic Games)

We’re less than one month away from the launch of the Steam Deck, and it looks like players might now find it easier to take more than just their Steam library out on the go.

The main selling point of the handheld PC is its portability - at the expense of performance (compared to a powerful gaming PC), players can enjoy their Steam library no matter where they are. However, PC game libraries aren’t confined to just one platform; what if you want to play all those free Epic Games Store games you’ve collected?

This is where Heroic comes in. It’s an open-source, Linux-compatible game launcher that can boot up Epic Games Store titles. Because the Steam Deck is a Linux-based PC (albeit in a handheld form), Heroic’s Linux compatibility means it should be fairly easy to install on the system. 

This means that you won’t need to muck around with trying to install a new operating system on your Steam Deck to run your Epic Games library - and (as noted by Forbes) the new 2.1.0. Heroic update (nicknamed “Rayleigh”) has added several Steam Deck-friendly features.

First up is the newly added support for gamepads. While it’s unlikely the Steam Deck's controllers will be compatible right away, we suspect it won’t take long to make them work in Heroic now that the UI is already compatible with Xbox and PlayStation controllers.

Secondly, the Rayleigh update has added the new Wine Downloader feature; this will allow users to download the latest Wine-GE and Proton-GE versions. The latter is especially interesting for the Proton-reliant Steam Deck

Proton and Wine are both tools used to allow Linux machines to run Windows-compatible programs, and the GE (or GloriousEggroll) versions are community-built versions of these tools. The GE builds are typically more experimental (read less stable) but will often add support for games more quickly than the base versions.

It’s a trade-off that not everyone will appreciate, but for those that do it will make playing on the Steam Deck even more like using their home PC.

Heroic is free to download and use (though you can support the creators through Patreon), and the tool will also run on more traditional Windows and Linux PCs. 

We suspect in the run-up to the launch of the Steam Deck we’ll see Heroic and other Linux-based programs receive updates that make them more compatible with the hardware. As we find out about more must-have tools Steam Deck owners need to install we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.