Ubisoft's launcher broke Steam games on Linux and Steam Deck

The Spartan Kick
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

The Steam Deck has been a huge hit for Valve, opening up the world to PC gaming on a portable console style PC. They're great little machines that make wonderful travelling companions. Whether you're headed to a bar or 2,500 ft above the surface of the Earth, the Steam Deck is ready to go. That is, unless you wanted to play some Ubisoft titles.

A new update for the Ubisoft Connect launcher completely stuffed launching Steam games on Linux platforms. According to GamingOnLinux, trying to launch any Ubi titles on desktop Linux or Steam Deck resulted in an unrecoverable error popup from Ubisoft Connect. From there all you could do is click OK and accept you're not getting on for that Division raid tonight.

Thankfully now there is a bit of a fix, using Proton Experimental. This is the testing version of Proton, the compatibility layer that allows Linux to run Steam games made for Windows. Here you get access to some upcoming features before they're necessarily stable. 

First, Proton developers implemented a fix into the downloadable "bleeding-edge" beta for Proton Experimental, and now Valve has released a Proton Experimental fix that does not require opting into the beta. 

Steam in your hands

Steam Deck with an image from Elden Ring overlayed on the screen

(Image credit: Future, FromSoftware)

Steam Deck review: Our verdict on Valve's handheld PC.
Accessories for the Steam Deck: Get decked out
Steam Deck availability: How to get one.

While it is being dealt with, this is yet another example of frustrating third-party launchers only making everyone's lives more difficult. I don't even want to know Ubisoft Connect exists, let alone have it flash up in my face and not be able to play my games because it's not working properly. I understand these companies want my data but you're supposed to be sneakier and better at getting it than this by now.

For now, at least there's a workaround and every Ubisoft game I've tested on Windows is working just fine. Hopefully any further third-party launcher issues will only strengthen the argument to do away with them completely. One more thing to add for what we would like to see in a Steam Deck 2

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here. No, she’s not kidding.