Valve built the Steam Deck for players seeking extended play sessions on-to-go and easy access to the ever-growing store page. You could shop around during the often seasonal discount periods to purchase Red Dead Redemption 2 for a bargain or dive into Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion while cozy in bed.
Having a wide selection of options on the storefront is nice, but there's also the reality of missing out on specific games that hit PC but aren't available on Steam. Its competitor, the Epic Games Store, has its fair share of exclusive premiere titles that Steam Deck enjoyers naturally wouldn't be able to play.
However, with some workaround and clear guidance, anyone with a Steam Deck can get access to the non-Steam game library. First, you'll need to install ProtonUp, an emulator that makes Windows programs run on SteamOS since the Deck is Linux-based.
How to install ProtonUp on Steam Deck
You'll first select the "Switch to Desktop Mode" option. You can do this by hitting your "Steam" key on the device and going down to the "Power" tab. Once switched over, you can use the right trackpad as your virtual mouse to navigate the screen.
Next, click on "Discover," the shopping bag icon on the left side of your taskbar. Hitting the "Steam" and "X" key together will pull up the keyboard, which you'll need to type "ProtonUp" into the search.
Install the software, press the application launcher in the corner of your taskbar, navigate to "Utilities," and launch ProtonUp from this page. The last step is to choose "Add Version" when loading Proton, which allows you to select the most recent version. Now, relaunch your Steam Deck.
How to get the Epic Games launcher on Steam Deck
Once you're back, you need to open Steam via a browser like Firefox. At this time, you need to also go to the official Epic Games Store page and download the launcher.
Navigate to the upper right "Steam" tab on the store page once you're ready and click on "Add Game > Add a Non-Steam Game." Browse and locate where the launcher was downloaded and select it. Now, within your Steam library, scroll down to the new "EpicInstaller" entry and right-click it with the left trigger to go from "Properties > Compatibility."
You'll check the box for "Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool" and then hit "Play" from the EpicInstaller entry sitting in your library to install. If there are no hiccups, you can swap back over to the Gaming Mode and find the Epic Games launcher within the Non-Steam Games folder of your library. At this point, you can adjust the commands with the different trackpads and other keys.
The Epic Games launcher won't fit the Steam Deck screen entirely and can be a bit wonky to mess around with, alongside issues with closing and restarting the app. Though, once you have things going and start testing out games on the Deck, you'll get the hang of it in no time.