Xbox Game Pass is a very popular subscription service that allows anyone with a Microsoft account and an extra $15 each month to access a huge set of games. What makes Game Pass so appealing to many fans is that they can play dozens of high-quality titles on console, PC, or mobile. A recent question that has come up regarding this list of supported devices is whether Valve’s new Steam Deck handheld PC will be able to run Game Pass titles. The short answer is yes, but not in the way players might think. For that, you’ll need to access the game library on Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Microsoft recently announced that it discovered a workaround for Game Pass to run on the Steam Deck. However, since the app itself is so intertwined with the Windows operating system, which is tricky on the Steam Deck at the moment, players will need to find another way to access their Game Pass titles. Fortunately, Microsoft’s method does exactly that by making Game Pass run directly from a browser on the Steam Deck. This is done by accessing Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is a service offered to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. By using the cloud, gamers can run their games through a browser, which Xbox Cloud Gaming requires in order to work, and still save their progress. Although this method is quite complicated at the moment, the programmers at Microsoft they have guaranteed fans that the process will be simplified over time.
The big advantage of accessing Game Pass titles on the Steam Deck is that players don’t need to have every game in their Steam library to play them on the handheld. This also allows players to forego installing a giant operating system, like Windows 10, on the Steam Deck. Instead, they can simply open a browser, go to the Xbox website, and start playing from there.
The steps to get this working on the Steam Deck are outlined below.
How to play Xbox Cloud Gaming on Steam Deck
These steps come directly from the Microsoft programming team on Reddit. When players finish following the steps, they will use a beta version of the Microsoft Edge browser to access and play Xbox Game Pass titles directly from their Steam library. Microsoft recommends using an external mouse and keyboard to make this process easier. However, for external controls to work, players will need to purchase a USB-C hub so they can connect both devices directly.
- Launch the Steam Deck and enter desktop mode by holding down the power button or selecting it from the Steam Deck power settings menu.
- Click the blue shopping bag at the bottom of the screen, which launches the Discover Software Center
- Click the icon with three lines in the center top left, and then select Apps > Internet > Web Browsers
- Find the Microsoft Edge Beta box and click the download button on the right side
- After installing the app, go back to desktop mode and click the App Launcher icon (the colon with an arrow)
- Search for Microsoft Edge, right click on it and then press “Add to Steam”
- Go to the “Add a game” window in Steam and select Microsoft Edge
- Go back to the Applications menu and find System > Konsole
- Enter the following command in Konsole: flatpak –user override –filesystem=/run/udev:ro com.microsoft.Edge
- Launch Steam from desktop mode
- Go to your library and search for Microsoft Edge
- Right click and then select “Properties”
- Go to “Launch Options” and add this text: –window-size=1024,640 –force-device-scale-factor=1.25 –device-scale-factor=1.25 –kiosk “https://www .xbox.com/play”
- Exit “Properties” and right click on Microsoft Edge in Steam again
- Hit “Manage” then “Controller Layout” and finally “Browse Settings”
- In this menu, you can change your controls to “Gamepad with Mouse Trackpad” to use external controls in the game
Once everything is done, players can stay in desktop mode or return to the default Steam Deck game mode. Either way, gamers can load up their Steam Library, click into the Microsoft Edge app, and launch directly into Xbox Cloud Gaming through the browser.
From here, gamers can sign in to their Microsoft account that is set up with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and access their entire suite of games. It is important to remember that users must be subscribed to the Ultimate version of Game Pass or else they will not be able to stream games. The regular $10/month subscription does not allow cloud access for streaming via a browser.
Although, if players don’t want to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, they can run a single game using this method: Fortnite. Microsoft has partnered with Epic Games to bring Fortnite to Xbox Cloud Gaming as its first free-to-play title. So even if users are not a Game Pass subscriber, they can still follow the steps above and run Fortnite on their Steam Deck. You can check out our individual guide to running Fortnite on the Steam Deck for more information.
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