Europa Universalis IV – How to Run the Game on a Steam Deck

You might have noticed that EU4 is listed as an unsupported game for the Steam Deck. Well, I am here to tell you that it’s not entirely true.

You might have also seen a handful of people on the Internet have it running on their Steam Decks but those bastards won’t tell you how they did it or their methods don’t work. I am a bastard who will tell you how to get it running so here’s a guide on how to take your map painting addiction on a trip.

The Problem

So what you’re encountering is most likely getting into the launcher and then the game hanging on a black screen. It would appear that the problem with launching the game is a missing folder in /home/.local/share/Paradox Interactive (to my understanding that’s like the equivalent of the AppData folder from Windows).

This folder get created on the first launch of the game but for some reason it doesn’t work like that out of the box. So let’s fix that.

The Solution

  1. Go into properties of EU4>compatibility>force the use of a specific compatibility tool and set it to Steam Linux Runtime. This should actually get your game running, but more importantly that Europa Universalis 4 folder in /home/.local/share/Paradox Interactive gets created. You can close the game when it gets to main menu, we’re done with this compatibility tool. The performance with this tool is less than ideal.
  2. In properties, turn off the compatibility setting we just used so just untick the “force the use of a specific compatibility tool” (this will make the Steam Deck return to its default compatibility tool which presently is Proton 7.0.3).
  3. Now launch the game again and in the launcher tick the fullscreen option (though it should be on by default) since fullscreen seems to give the best performance.
  4. Set every video setting to low or off.
  5. Go into Steam Input through Steam button, controls, configure and work out your settings because the default ones are pretty abyssmal. I might just publish mine and link it here but I can’t guarantee you’ll like mine.

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