Steam Deck compatibility set to expand with new software option

Steam Deck OLED
(Image credit: Future)

Steam Deck has been an outstanding option for those who want to play their favorite PC games on the go. But a new game launcher could expand the number of titles that will play well on the hardware.

The folks over at software house Glorious Eggroll, along with developers Litrus, Bottles, and Heroic, are working on a new game launcher that will dramatically expand the number of marketplaces on which Steam Deck owners will be able to find and play games, PCGamesN is reporting. The tool, called Unified Linux Wine Game Launcher (ULWGL), would use the Steam Linux runtime tools to allow games from other marketplaces to easily run on the Steam Deck.

Steam Deck has taken the mobile gaming world by storm, thanks to its impressive and streamlined performance. However, for most PC gamers, the experience has been most reliable when they buy Windows-based games from the Steam Marketplace and run them on the Steam Deck.

The new ULWGL tool would allow for Steam Deck owners to find games on a range of marketplaces running not just on Windows but across Linux and elsewhere. It would then ensure the games run as well as Windows games do that were downloaded from the Steam Marketplace, effectively creating a much broader base of marketplaces to find games that will run well on the Steam Deck.

In order to do that, ULWGL will activate when you launch a game. It will then analyze which game you want to play, how it would run best on your device, and deploy the correct tools and scripts to ensure it's optimized enough to minimize lag or other problems as you play.

There are similar tools available to the Steam Deck that allow you to play games from other marketplaces, like Epic or GOG, including the Heroic launcher. But the developers behind ULWGL told PCGamesN that its launcher will be far more intuitive and more effectively streamline the process of getting a game from elsewhere and running it on the device.

That said, it’s unclear when ULWGL will be ready for prime time. The developers say that ULWGL is currently in a “proof-of-concept” phase. And considering how long it can take to get some launchers right, the developers stopped short of providing a timetable for when we may see ULWGL on the Steam Deck.

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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.

  • Jimmy Chou
    And this is why you shouldn't let developers do marketing "ULWGL" what great potential and you would call it that. Hopefully this is a code name and it's something cool like "Phoenix" or "Titan" or anything memorable rather than an unpronounceable acronym that you'll forget.