Baldur’s Gate 3 is easily one of the best Steam Deck games you can play today, but it’s unfortunately lacking the split screen feature available on desktop PCs. However, try as Larian might to keep this feature off the Steam Deck, this hasn’t stopped Baldur’s Gate 3 fans from finding a way to restore this functionality on the handheld.
As our Baldur’s Gate 3 review attests, the RPG game has proven itself to be the kind of phenomenal experience that even those with the highest perception rolls couldn’t have foreseen. While it makes for a tremendous single-player experience, it’s a great time with friends too, making the lack of split screen co-op on Deck all the more frustrating.
When pressed about the lack of Baldur’s Gate 3 Steam Deck split screen functionality, Michael Douse, director of publishing at Larian Studios, stated that, “split-screen co-op is disabled on the Steam Deck, because it’s… the Steam Deck.”
While this response may not be entirely helpful to those looking to play the D&D game on the sofa with their friends, it is an understandable one. In my experience, the game can be very demanding on the handheld, both in terms of performance and battery life. Naturally, I can only imagine running a co-op game in split screen would only exacerbate these demands, but there is a workaround for those brave enough to give it a go anyway.
Here’s how to enable Baldur’s Gate 3 split screen on Steam Deck:
- Connect a second controller to your Steam Deck via Bluetooth
- Go to Baldur’s Gate 3 in your Steam library
- Select ‘Properties’
- Scroll down to ‘Launch Options’
- Enter the text: SteamDeck=0 %command%
- Run Baldur’s Gate 3 via Vulkan
- Press ‘Start’ on second controller when in-game
While I’m thankful for Steam Deck HQ‘s efforts, I wouldn’t recommend playing Baldur’s Gate 3 like this for the reasons mentioned previously. I’d sooner recommend opting for a desktop PC and Steam Deck combo, as my partner and I do. Regardless, it’s nice to have the option available to Steam Deck users now should they want it.
Whatever your preferred way to play, check out the best microSD for Steam Deck to make sure your PC gaming handheld is equipped to explore the world of Faerûn. Check out our best SSDs for gaming if you want to give your Steam Deck an extra ability point to take on the even the more challenging of skill checks.