The Steam Deck is an exciting new handheld gaming device from Valve that runs a customized version of Linux. With Discord being one of the most popular chat and community platforms for gamers, it’s only natural to want Discord on your Steam Deck.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the different methods to get Discord running on your Steam Deck. Whether you prefer using the web app or want the full desktop experience, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and connect with your friends on Discord while gaming on the go with Steam Deck!
3 Ways to Put Discord on Steam Deck
Using the Discord Web App
The easiest way to use Discord on your Steam Deck is through the web app. Here are the steps:
- Open the Steam Deck web browser and go to discord.com or discordapp.com. Log in to your Discord account.
- The Discord web app will load up. You can now access all of your servers, channels, and direct messages.
- For convenience, consider bookmarking Discord in your browser so it’s easy to return to.
The major advantage of the web app is simplicity – just log in and start chatting or hanging out in voice channels. The drawback is you don’t get some of the more advanced Discord features like screen sharing or better notifications. But for basic text and voice chat, the web app works great on Steam Deck.
Installing the Linux Discord Client
To get the full Discord desktop experience on your Steam Deck, you’ll need to install the Linux Discord client. Here’s how:
- Open the Discover software store on your Steam Deck. Search for “Discord” and you should see the Discord Linux package.
- Select Install to download and install Discord. This may take a few minutes depending on your internet connection.
- Once installed, you’ll find Discord in your applications menu. Launch Discord and log in.
Now you have the complete desktop Discord app running natively on Steam Deck. This gives you access to screen sharing, better notifications and permissions, full Discord setting customization, and other power user features.
The only potential downside is that the Linux Discord client has higher system requirements than the web app. But on the Steam Deck’s capable hardware, it should run smoothly.
Tweaking Discord for Best Performance
If you notice any lag or performance issues with the Linux Discord client, try these tweaks:
- In User Settings > Appearance, disable hardware acceleration. This fixes compatibility issues on some Linux systems.
- Lower the video quality under Voice & Video to conserve resources.
- Close unused background processes with Steam + X to free up RAM.
- Plug your Steam Deck into power while running Discord to ensure peak CPU/GPU performance.
With a little optimization, you can get flawless Discord performance comparable to running it on Windows or macOS. It just takes some extra tuning for the best experience.
Using a Remote Desktop App
Another option is to run the Windows or macOS Discord app over a remote desktop connection. Here’s how:
- Install a remote desktop client such as Remmina on your Steam Deck.
- Set up a remote connection to your Windows or Mac computer.
- Once connected, open Discord and log in as normal. Voice, video, screen sharing etc will work.
The benefit here is you get the full-featured Windows or Mac Discord app. The drawback is dealing with the latency and compression from streaming over remote desktop. Quality depends heavily on your network connection.
Overall, native Linux Discord is preferable. But remote desktop is an alternative if you need specific Windows or Mac-only Discord features or plugins.
Here is a YouTube video to guide you thru
Final Tips for Running Discord on Steam Deck
Here are some final tips for using Discord effectively on your Steam Deck:
- Use a headset for better voice chat quality and privacy. The built-in mic picks up a lot of background noise.
- Adjust Discord’s sensitivity and noise suppression settings if your voice is cutting out or too quiet.
- Minimize Discord while in-game for better performance. The Deck’s hardware is capable but not bottomless.
- Use Discord on the Steam Deck touchscreen for text chat. Tap the on-screen keyboard when needed.
- Consider connecting an external monitor and peripherals for a more desktop-like Discord setup.
With either the web app or desktop client, Discord is ready to power your game communications and communities while on the go with Steam Deck. Don’t forget to tune performance and quality settings for the best experience.
Now get out there, chat with your fellow gamers, and carry your Discord server in your pocket wherever you go with help from this guide. The Steam Deck Discord possibilities are endless – enjoy!
Using Discord for Gaming Communities on Steam Deck
The Steam Deck opens up new opportunities for building gaming communities through Discord while on the go. Here are some tips on using Discord effectively for your gaming server or group:
Create Specific Steam Deck Channels
Make text and voice channels specifically for Steam Deck users in your server. This gives them an area to discuss Deck-specific topics and get help with any issues.
Organize Game Channels for Deck-Friendly Titles
Not all games work flawlessly on the Steam Deck yet. Create channels for confirmed Deck-compatible games so users know what MP titles are fully playable.
Use Steam Deck Lobbies When Gaming
Discord’s new Lobby feature is perfect for Steam Deck gamers. Start a Lobby when you want to play with your server’s members for quick voice chat.
Enable Push-to-Talk By Default
With the Deck’s noisy built-in mic, push-to-talk saves you from open mic problems. Make it the default in Server Settings.
Remind Members About Headset Use
Headphones make a big difference in voice quality. Gently remind your members to use a headset when chatting from their Deck.
Share Deck Tips and Tricks
Let members share Steam Deck optimization settings, control schemes, and tips in a dedicated channel. Help each other get the most out of the Deck.
Plan Meetups Around Steam Deck Games
Is your community excited for a Deck-compatible multiplayer title? Organize meetups in your city for members to play together in person with their Decks.
Host Giveaways for Discord Nitro and Deck Accessories
Give back to your community by doing Nitro or Steam Deck swag giveaways. This builds engagement and goodwill.
Discord is the perfect platform for building a thriving cross-platform gaming community. With a few Deck-focused touches, you can make your members’ experience even better.
Optimizing Discord Settings on Steam Deck
To get the best performance out of Discord on the Steam Deck, you may need to tweak some settings. Here are some recommendations:
Disable Hardware Acceleration
As mentioned earlier, turning this off under User Settings > Appearance solves many performance issues. Keep it off unless you experience problems.
Lower Video Quality
Under Voice & Video Settings, lower the Video Quality to save on bandwidth and resources. Mobile will look pixelated but work well.
Adjust Volume Normalization
normalization can cause audio glitches. Turn it Off or set it lower under Voice & Video > Advanced
Enable Data Saver Mode
Limits bandwidth usage which conserves data and battery life. Enable this under User Settings > Privacy & Safety.
Pause Software Rendering
If using screen sharing, you can Pause Software Rendering under Go Live to conserve resources when idle. Resume when needed.
Close Unused Apps and Processes
Suspend or close any apps you aren’t using to devote more RAM to Discord. Free up resources.
Use Do Not Disturb Mode
Enable during gaming sessions or when temporarily away. Prevents constant notifications from disrupting your experience.
Turn Off Unneeded Discord Modules
Under User Settings > Privacy & Safety, disable any Activity and Connection visibility options you don’t need.
Optimizing Discord settings goes a long way on the Steam Deck. Prioritize performance and battery life, then enjoy Discord’s great features without compromise.
Troubleshooting Discord Issues on Steam Deck
Discord generally runs well on Steam Deck, but you may encounter occasional issues. Here are some potential solutions:
Can’t Hear Other Users
- Double check your Voice & Video Settings are configured correctly.
- Enable the “Use Legacy Audio Subsystem” setting under Voice & Video > Advanced.
- Make sure your headset or audio device is properly recognized by SteamOS.
Discord Crashes or Doesn’t Launch
- If crashing on launch, try reinstalling Discord entirely. Backup settings if possible.
- Check for corrupt Discord files – a fresh install should fix crashes.
- Update your Steam Deck and check for new stable SteamOS builds.
Microphone Not Working
- Verify mic permissions in Discord settings and Steam OS.
- Test your microphone in Steam Deck audio settings to confirm functionality.
- Use mic troubleshooting tools in Voice & Video settings to fix issues.
- Avoid Bluetooth headsets which often have spotty mic support on Linux.
Battery Drains Too Fast
- Lower Discord video call quality and disable unnecessary features like screen share.
- Enable all available power saving and data saver options in Discord and SteamOS.
- Avoid intensive Discord voice channels when battery is low. Text channels use less power.
With some targeted troubleshooting and Linux-fu, you can resolve almost any Discord-related issue on the Steam Deck. The Deck community is also great for help if you get really stuck!
Discord is the perfect companion app for the gaming and social-focused Steam Deck. With the handy tips in this guide, you can get great Discord performance through the web, desktop, or remote apps. Optimize settings to save battery life and enhance quality. Most importantly, enjoy building communities and connecting with friends on Discord while untethered with your Steam Deck.
The Steam Deck opens up Discord gaming communities to be on-the-go hubs for chatting, collaborating, and playing together – even in person with meetups. For both single-player titles and Deck-verified multiplayer games, Discord supercharges your Steam Deck experience.
So grab your Deck, tweak your settings, and join your Discord servers. Valve’s handheld wonder and Discord’s communication superpowers are now fully mobile. Game on and chat away!
How do I get the best audio quality for voice chat on Discord?
Use a wired headset or earbuds plugged into the 3.5mm audio jack on top of the Steam Deck. This gives the best quality and avoids Bluetooth issues. You can also fine-tune settings like voice normalization and noise suppression.
Should I use the Discord web app or install the Linux desktop client?
The desktop client is recommended for the full feature set, but the web app is simpler and may perform better on Deck. Try both to see which you prefer. The Linux desktop app takes more optimization but offers greater control.
Is Discord safe to use and free on Steam Deck?
Yes, Discord is 100% free and safe to use on Steam Deck. There are no hidden charges or privacy concerns. Optional paid Nitro subscriptions offer cosmetic extras, but are not at all required to use Discord.
How can I screen share on Discord from my Steam Deck?
To screen share your Steam Deck display or games, use the Linux desktop Discord client and enable screen share in your User Settings. You may need to lower graphics settings for smooth performance while sharing.
Does remote desktop Discord on Steam Deck work well?
It can work alright, but the web and Linux apps are better choices. Remote desktop Discord depends heavily on your network connection quality for good performance. Native options have much lower latency.
How do I get notifications from Discord when gaming on my Steam Deck?
In the Linux desktop client, enable Discord notifications in the system tray pulldown menu. You can also set notification sounds in User Settings. For fewer distractions, consider Do Not Disturb mode while gaming.
Should I mute my mic when not talking to reduce background noise?
Absolutely. The built-in Steam Deck mic picks up a lot of ambient sound. Use push-to-talk or toggle mute when not speaking to keep voice channels clear for others. A headset mic also reduces background noise.
What’s the best way to type in Discord on the Steam Deck?
For shorter messages, use the Steam Deck’s on-screen keyboard. For longer form chatting, connect a wireless keyboard and mouse to your Steam Deck via Bluetooth for a more natural typing experience.