Playing Xbox Games on Steam Deck: How to, Compatibility, and More! 

Playing Xbox Games on Steam Deck: How to, Compatibility, and More! 

Several months after its release, the Steam Deck has proved to be a major contender to the likes of the Nintendo Switch. It’s a powerful device that basically works like a portable computer.  

The console is made to help you play modern titles that require high-end specifications without heating up, making it comfortable for you to play. The Steam Deck is able to run most AAA games smoothly without any issues.  

Additionally, a YouTuber, Modern Vintage Gamer, found out that you can play nostalgic Xbox titles from the 2000s on Valve’s portable console. This means you can play classics like Halo: Combat Evolved and Ninja Gaiden Black, wherever you want to play it. 

You can play original Xbox games on the Steam Deck by using the Xemu emulator. It’s a free application that emulates the Xbox game console, allowing you to play old-school games on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.  

This means that you can play original Xbox games on your Steam Deck just by following a few simple steps. In this article, I’ll guide you through how you can download and use the Xemu emulator to play prominent Xbox titles on your Steam Deck. 

How to install the Xemu Xbox emulator on the Steam Deck? 

Playing Xbox Games on Stream Deck: How to, Compatibility, and More!
Xemu Original Xbox Emulator

You can download the Xemu emulator from the game packages on the store offered by Steam Deck. Search for Xemu and press install to be able to access Xbox games on your portable console. However, you will have to install the ROMs of the Xbox games to play them on the emulator. 

It should be noted that the Xemu emulator can only run 80% of the Xbox games properly. But, it’s one of the best Xbox emulators you can find on the internet, and the developers continue to work and make sure that it can run more games on the application.  

Another great method to download the Xemu emulator is by using the EmulationStation application, which gives you a clean user interface. In other words, you will have a much easier time while accessing your Xbox games on the SteamDeck.  

How to download EmulationStation on the Steam Deck? 

Playing Xbox Games on Stream Deck: How to, Compatibility, and More!
EmulationStation

You can download EmulationStation by searching it on the store or from the EmulationStation website. While searching, you need to look for “EmulationStation Desktop Edition” on the Steam Deck to find the application.  

After downloading both EmulationStation and Xemu on the Steam Deck, you don’t need to make any additional configurations to sync the applications. This means once you start an Xbox game on Xemu, EmulationStation will automatically save the game, making it easier for you to play again later.  

It’s highly recommended to use EmulationStation if you are planning to play multiple Xbox games on the Steam Deck. The application will allow you to navigate through your ROMs efficiently, saving you the time and headache of launching your games on the emulator.  

Can Xbox games run on 60 FPS on the Steam Deck? 

Playing Xbox Games on Stream Deck: How to, Compatibility, and More!
Xbox Games on Steam Deck

Steam Deck can run well-renowned Xbox games like Halo Combat Evolved flawlessly on 60 FPS. However, you may face frame drops during different actions like smoke and fog effects. From this, I don’t recommend increasing the resolution or graphics settings as it may cause massive frame rate drops.  

Ninja Gaiden Black also ran at 60 FPS, providing a smooth gameplay experience. Additionally, Jet Set Radio Future also ran smoothly but had a few frame drops while using the boost in-game. Although, it’s a recognized issue by the Xemu emulator, which means the frame rate issues don’t happen because of the Steam Deck.  

Unfortunately, every game won’t run well on the Xemu emulator like Conker: Live and Reloaded, Outrun 2, and Modern Kombat Shaolin Monks. It’s mainly due to the application and not the Steam Deck, and developers continue to work to optimize the emulator to try and run this game smoothly.