How to set up Nvidia GeForce Now on Steam Deck

Looking to stream games to Valve's portable gaming PC? Here's how to set up Nvidia GeForce Now on Steam Deck and use the cloud gaming service on the go

Steam Deck with Nvidia GeForce Now listing for Cyberpunk 2077

Wondering how to set up Nvidia GeForce Now on Steam Deck? It’s easier than you’d think, and you won’t have to mess much with the handheld gaming PC. Sure, you can’t download an app using Valve’s storefront, but you can still connect to the green team’s service using simple workarounds.

Using Nvidia GeForce Now on Steam Deck will help expand your on-the-go library, as you won’t have to stick with playing the best Steam Deck games. If you’ve got a subscription, you can stream more than 400 releases to your portable powerhouse, and using the cloud means you won’t have to tweak settings to boost fps.

To use the cloud service on Valve’s portable, you’re going to need a decent internet connection and a pre-existing library of games. While you can create an account for free, upgrading to a Priority or RTX 3080 account will let you play for more than an hour. Once you’ve sussed out your subscription requirements, our handy guide will help you set up Nvidia GeForce Now on Steam Deck.

How to set up Nvidia GeForce Now on Steam Deck:

To set up Nvidia GeForce Now on Steam Deck, you’ll need to use the handheld’s desktop mode. Before you get started, we’d recommend pairing the portable with a mouse and keyboard using the best Steam Deck dock or a compatible USB-C hub. Doing so will simplify some of the steps involved, especially when it comes to typing in text and navigating through SteamOS.

Of course, if you’ve already looked at how to get Xbox Game Pass on Steam Deck, you’ll be somewhat familiar with the following process. Rather than downloading a Steam app, you’ll need to install a web browser onto your device. While Microsoft’s cloud service requires Edge, we can use Google’s browser as a makeshift portal this time around. So, here’s how to install Google Chrome on Steam Deck:

  • Press and hold the Steam Deck power button.
    Select the ‘Switch to Desktop’ option.
  • Click the Discover Software Center on your SteamOS taskbar.
  • Select Applications > Internet > Web Browsers in the lefthand Discover menu.
  • Scroll down the list and install Google Chrome.

Now that you have Google Chrome on SteamOS, you’ll need to add it to your Steam library. This will enable you to launch the browser outside of Desktop mode, which in turn helps it feel like an actual app.

  • Open Steam using your desktop shortcut.
  • Click ‘Add a Game’ on the bottom left.
  • Select ‘Add a Non-Steam Game…’.
  • Scroll down your Steam Deck program list and click Google Chrome.
  • Click the ‘Add selected programs’ button.

Nvidia GeForce Now page on Steam Deck screen

Once you’ve added Google Chrome to your Steam library, you’ll need to make some tweaks to turn it into a GeForce Now shortcut. This step requires a keyboard, so if you don’t have a physical accessory to hand, you can press ‘Steam + X’ to activate a virtual pop-up.

  • Right-click Google Chrome within your Steam library
  • Select ‘Properties’.
  • Change the shortcut name to ‘GeForce Now’ (optional).
  • Key the following string into the ‘Launch options’ box after existing text: 
    --window-size=1024,640 --force-device-scale-factor=1.25 --device-scale-factor=1.25
     --kiosk “https://play.geforcenow.com".
  • Close the window and right-click your library shortcut.
    Select Manage > Controller Layout.
  • Click the box under ‘Current Layout’ and switch to ‘Gamepad with Joystick Trackpad’.

You should now have a functioning Nvidia GeForce Now shortcut dwelling in your library, but we’re not quite finished. Before you dive in, you’ll want to carry out the following steps and enable Steam Deck controls on Google Chrome:

  • In Steam Deck desktop mode, head to the start menu and select System > Konsole.
  • Type the following text into the Konsole window and hit enter:
    flatpak --user override --filesystem=/run/udev:ro com.google.chrome.
  • Key the word ‘exit’ and press enter to close the window.

Boom! You should be able to access Nvidia’s streaming service on Steam Deck. While cloud gaming isn’t for everyone, the company’s GeForce RTX 3080 membership could save you from splashing out on the best graphics card for your gaming PC.