Steam Deck EmulationStation Installation Guide

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Steam Deck EmulationStation Installation Guide

Installing EmulationStation could be confusing, so here is an easy-to-follow Steam Deck EmulationStation installation guide.

Best Steam Deck Emulators such as EmuDeck allow you to put all your simulated retro games directly onto your Steam Library. But if you have a large number ofemulated games, it could potentially clutter your Library, which will be very annoying when you are trying to find a specific game.

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It would be more efficient if you could create a separate folder in the Steam Library itself where you can store all your simulated games, and that's where EmulationStation comes in. It keeps things organized.

So here is a step-by-step guide to help you install and configure EmulationStation on your Steam Deck.

Steam Deck EmulationStation Installation Guide

EmulationStation is a graphical frontend application that allows you to access all your favourite multi-platform in one place. It is not an emulator, rather it is a polished game launcher.

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Assuming that you have already installed emulators via EmuDeck, let's get into the installation part of EmulationStation.

How To Install EmulationStation

  1. Install EmulationStation for Steam Deck from here.
  2. Once downloaded, add EmulationStation to your Steam client. To do that, open Steam and click ADD A GAME in the bottom left corner.
  3. Select Add a Non-Steam Game and browse & select the EmulationStation file you just downloaded. If you don't see it in the downloaded folder, set the File Type to All Files.
  4. Click Open and then click Add Selected Programs to finalize.

The installation is all done and if you scroll down through your Steam's game list, you would find EmulationStation. You can choose to rename it since the name is not refined. To do that, right-click on it and select Properties. Under Shortcut, you can change the name to your liking.

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How To Setup EmulationStation

Now that EmulationStation is installed on your Steam Deck, it's time to open the application and guide it to the place where all your simulated games are stored. As this is your first time opening the app, you cannot do so via Steam Library. Here is what you need to do.

  1. Go back to your downloaded folder and open the EmulationStation from there.
  2. Once you launch the application, it will ask you where your ROM directories are. Select Change ROM Directory and copy-paste the path to your EmuDeck ROM directory in the text box.
  3. It will prompt you to restart the app. Click OK and then select QUIT to restart the app. The setup is almost finished.
  4. Now go to your Steam Library, find and select EmulationStation and then press the PLAY button.
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There you have it! It might take a few minutes to load the configuration but soon the app will recognize all the systems and games installed on your device and will organize them based on the system.

If the interface is not as refined as you like, you can change the UI settings within the app itself. You can change things like theme, transition, and even add box images using a tool called Scaper. We recommend you watch this YouTube video to find out how to configure the EmulationStation UI.

Before you leave, have a look at how to change the Steam Deck controller order and how to get the keyboard in Desktop Mode.