How to play Pokémon Violet on Steam Deck 2024

Pokémon Violet Steam Deck - can you play Pokémon Violet on Steam Deck?
Credit: Game Freak/Nintendo

Pokémon Violet Steam Deck - can you play Pokémon Violet on Steam Deck?
Credit: Game Freak/Nintendo

If you are wondering whether you can play Pokémon Violet on Steam Deck, we have good news.

While the Steam Deck cannot run Pokémon Violet straight out of the box, you can use the best Steam Deck emulators to achieve this feat. Apparently, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is immeasurably better on an emulator, so you are going to have a great gaming experience.

In this article, we'll explain the process of installing Pokémon Violet on Steam Deck. But, before that, you might want to explore our Steam Deck EmulationStation installation guide.

How to play Pokémon Violet on Steam Deck

To play Pokémon Violet on Steam Deck, you need Nintendo Switch emulators like Yuzu or Ryujinx. Out of the two, we recommend using Ryujinx, as it offers more stable gameplay and better FPS than Yuzu.

So, here is how to play Pokémon Violet on Steam Deck using Ryujinx:

  • First, install Ryujinx. Open up Discover, search for Ryujinx and install it. Alternatively, use this terminal command: flatpak install org.ryujinx.Ryujinx
  • Open Ryujinx, in the menu, select File, then Open Ryujunx Folder. It will open a file manager window. You can place the prod.keys file in the system folder.
  • Once you have your game as an XCI file, put it in your Steam Deck, in a folder where you would ideally collect all of your Switch games.
  • Again, open Ryujinx, in the top menu, click Options, then Settings. Press the Add button in the Game Directories section, then select the folder you’ve put your XCI files into.
  • Press Apply and then Save.

At this point, you should see Pokémon Violet in the main Ryujinx window. Double-click on it; a dialog window will pop up, asking you to install the firmware from the game you’ve dumped. Go ahead and press Yes to confirm the installation.

The final step is to configure the controls. To do that, select Options from the menu, then Settings. Select the Input tab on top and press Configure for Player 1. In this new window, select your preferred Input Device and Controller Type.

Configure all of the button bindings to your preference and enjoy Pokémon Violet on Steam Deck. You may find the performance sub-par on Steam Deck, so we recommend you tweak the settings to achieve the best result.

Pokémon Violet best Steam Deck settings

By default, you can get only a stable 15 FPS out of the game on a Steam Deck. However, with a 1.5x FPS cheat and PowerTools, you can bump it up a little and achieve a nice 20 - 25 FPS. At the moment, 30 FPS seems unattainable.

To use PowerTools, get the Decky Load extension first. It is a rather easy installation, just follow the instructions. With it, you get a new tab in your "..." Options menu that looks like an AC plug. Click on the shop icon in the top right and install PowerTools.

With PowerTools, you can turn SMT off and set the number of threads to 4. Disabling SMT will improve single-threaded performance, resulting in an improved frame rate. The other relevant settings are handheld mode, bilineal, No VSync, and No AA.

Also, put the resolution at 1 and enable the 1.5x FPS cheat to turn your 25-ish FPS into a more playable “30-like” experience. Another thing we recommend is disabling Fast GPU Time. This setting forces 1080p even in handheld mode, which offers a slight improvement.

With that, we are wrapping up our guide on how to play Pokémon Violet on Steam Deck. If you are encountering crashing issues and the connection failed error once you are in the game, come back here as we have effective solutions for these common issues.

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