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How to Use Discord on a Steam Deck (while in Steam OS)

The Steam Deck is the latest handheld gaming device and works as a portable desktop PC. If you’re familiar with the popular voice, video, and messaging app, Discord, then you might be curious if it’s possible to install it on your Steam Deck.

There isn’t an official Discord App in the Steam store, but you can still use it on a Steam Deck. You can download Discord in Desktop Mode, then add it to your Steam library under “Non-Steam Games.” This lets you use Discord in the background while playing games in Steam OS, just like a normal PC.

While there isn’t a Discord app available on the Steam store, you can still make the most out of your portable PC experience using an easy workaround. Here’s everything you need to know about using Discord on your Steam Deck.

How to Use Discord on a Steam Deck

Discord Logo on Steam Deck

As we’ve mentioned, you won’t find an official Discord app in the Steam store. Fortunately, there are two different ways to use Discord on the Steam Deck, but there are some things to keep in mind because not everything is going to work perfectly out the gate.

Install Discord while in Desktop Mode

First, you’ll need to install Discord while in Desktop Mode. Here are steps for doing this:

  1. Hold down the power button and select “Switch to Desktop”
  2. Tap/click the bottom left and open the Discover app.
  3. Search for Discord (to open the keyboard, press STEAM + X).
  4. Tap Install.

It shouldn’t take long for Discord to fully install. Once it’s installed, open it and sign in as you normally would.

Now you can stop here if you want. Discord will work exactly as it would on your laptop or Desktop computer. But, you won’t be able to use it while in “Gaming Mode.” Fortunately, there’s an easy workaround!

Using Discord while in Gaming Mode (Steam OS)

As we’ve mentioned, you won’t find an official Discord app in the Steam store. Even with it installed in Desktop Mode, it won’t appear in your Steam library by default, which makes sense because it’s not a game.

You’ll need to add Discord as a Non-Steam Game in order to access it while in Gaming Mode.

  1. While in Desktop Mode, open Steam.
  2. In the top left menu, select Games > Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library…
  3. A menu should appear showing the different applications installed on the Steam Deck. Select the checkbox next to Discord.
  4. Click “Add Selected Programs.”
  5. On the Desktop, select “Return to Gaming Mode.”
  6. Press the Steam button and select Library.
  7. Scroll over to “NON-STEAM”
  8. Now select Discord to press “Play.”

You are now able to use Discord while in Steam OS (Gaming Mode)! By default, Steam thinks this is a game, and you basically have no control over anything except with the touchscreen.

Here’s how to change the controller layout for the Discord app:

  1. With the Discord app open in Gaming Mode, press the “STEAM” button.
  2. Using the d-pad or left thumbstick, press right two times and select “Controller settings.”
  3. At the very top, it will display the current template being used. Select it to change to another template.
  4. Scroll down to the very bottom and select the Web Browser template.

After you’ve finished all the steps above, you should be able to open Discord while playing games and use it the same way would on a standard PC. To switch between a game and Discord, simply press the Steam button, and all of the open apps/games will appear at the top.

You can also follow the steps above for other apps like Spotify, web browsers, etc.

What is Discord?

Discord is a popular, free communication platform that allows users to share voice, video, and text chat with their friends, communities, and developers. Users can create both public and invite-only servers where they can organize channels by topic, interests, or other categories.

The secure platform has millions of users, making it incredibly useful for connecting with people online. You can use Discord on nearly every platform and device, including Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, and through web browsers.

What are the Features of Discord?

Discord is one of the most used, if not the most used, online communication platforms for gamers and online communities. Discord provides users with a free, secure, and straightforward way to chat or connect with each other. Here are a few standout features:

Create invite-only servers: Discord users can create public or invite-only servers, allowing them to talk privately or meet new communities.

Topic-based channel organization: Discord servers can be organized into topic-based channels, allowing users to connect, share media, and collaborate without overcrowding group chats.

Server moderation: Discord provides users with server-based moderation tools and personalized member settings. Communities can create unique roles, private channels, different identifiers, and more.

Add Steam games to Discord: Discord allows users to connect their Steam accounts to their Discord accounts. This will enable users to show off their game libraries and let their friends know what games they’re currently playing.

Share videos, GIFs, and media: Discord allows users to share videos, GIFs, pictures, and other forms of media through the straightforward channel-based communication system.

Screen sharing: Discord users can easily hop in calls with each other and share their PC screens or gameplay, allowing even more fun and connections.