Warzone 2 has launched, and we’ve worked out how to get the game running on Steam Deck. There’s some good news, bad news, and a workaround.
Call of Duty releases doesn’t stop at Modern Warfare 2 this year, as the sequel to Warzone releases today. While the full game has done absolute gangbusters, the appetite for the battle royale chaos lingers. However, will it run on the Steam Deck, Valve’s handheld?
Warzone 2 is launching on Steam for the first time, but it won’t work natively with SteamOS, the Linux variation that runs on the Steam Deck. While the supported games list grows exponentially and Proton, the compatibility layer to get Windows games running on Linux improves with each update, Call of Duty isn’t supported at this moment.
The reason is the game’s inclusion of Richochet anti-cheat. While a requirement for the type of online play that Warzone entails, it requires latching onto core parts of Windows that don’t exist on Linux – even in the emulated environment of Proton.
With such a small player base on Linux, it currently makes no sense for Activision to port the game natively.. For now, the only way to play Warzone (and Modern Warfare 2) on the Steam Deck is via dual booting.
If you follow our full guide for how to install Windows onto the Steam Deck, as well as how to upgrade your SSD (Warzone is going to be an additional 150GB after everything), you should be able to play Warzone on the go with your Deck.
As the game is tied with the current Modern Warfare 2 engine, running this on the Steam Deck is actually relatively smooth. You’ll be locked to 800p, and probably medium settings, but for the most part, it’ll run smoothly at 60FPS. It also looks great on the smaller screen. We found it best to run the game under its ‘performance’ mode.
The main game does have a tendency to hitch during intense moments, but so far we’ve not experienced anything wrong with the Steam Deck and Warzone 2.
If you’re playing via Battle.net, you must download a controller driver. We recommend SWICD. It’s not an ideal option but manages to get the job done. If you’re playing via Steam, the game will recognize the Steam Deck as a Steam Controller.