Adding alternative game launchers to the Steam Deck is no easy task in a lot of cases. Generally, the process requires or a whole lot of faffing around in desktop mode, as we found trying to install Epic launcher on the Steam Deck.
Thankfully, coming in with an open source solution, the Lutris games manager's latest update makes it possible to launch a bunch of top game platforms straight from your Steam Deck, under a simple, unified UI.
Computer Base reports, the app makes it possible to get runtime environments and compatibility layers such as Wine working via a subsystem, using proprietary scripts. These scripts—also known as runners—allow support for the Epic Games Store, Humble Bundle, Dolphins emulator, GOG launcher, and of course Steam. It even works with Steam for Windows, as well as Steam for Linux.
Lutris allows local installations from loads of sources to be integrated into your game collection, too. As long as you have the client installed in the background, Origin, Ubisoft Connect and Bethesda launcher should also work fine. Not that there's much point installing the latter right now, considering Bethesda is dropping its launcher come May.
Coming with the 0.5.10 version of Lutris, a dedicated shader cache for Nvidia GPUs will also be available for anyone not on the Steam Deck, but on a green team machine instead. And if you're looking to play anything that requires BattlEye, or Easy Anti-Cheat, you'll be happy to hear that the latest update allows the use of those, too.
TheLinuxExperiment goes into a lot more detail in their Lutris explainer video, but that's the general gist. The release notes explain that all you have to do before you install is disable the read-only flag on the Steam Deck's system drive; once Lutris is installed, you can simply re-enable it.
Sounds simple, maybe too simple. We'll have to give it a go when we get a chance, and we'll let you know how that goes.