Run Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on Steam Deck

Dive into the magical ‘Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’ on the Steam Deck with ease. This guide provides tips, from mastering the device’s controls to fine-tuning gameplay settings. Whether you’re a seasoned Zelda player or a novice, the Steam Deck’s immersive display and adaptive controls will enhance your experience. Equip your Hylian Shield, grasp your Master Sword, and prepare to explore the mystical world of Hyrule. Navigating Zelda on the Steam Deck will be as simple as vanquishing Bokoblins. Let your adventure begin!

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” is an exclusive game for the Nintendo Switch platform, and it is meant to run on this device and nowhere else​​. Nintendo has a history of keeping its flagship games, including the Legend of Zelda series, exclusive to its own platforms​. This exclusivity is a key part of Nintendo’s business model, helping to validate the existence of the Switch in a market dominated by other major players such as Xbox and PlayStation​.

Despite this exclusivity, some players have managed to emulate “Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” on the Steam Deck. This has been achieved through Switch-focused emulators, although the performance of the game in this format appears to be in a rough state, with framerate issues and potential missing patches​. It’s worth noting that while the Steam Deck’s capabilities as a fully-functioning PC make this technically possible, it’s also legally contentious. Emulating a Nintendo Switch game on the Steam Deck is considered illegal, primarily because the game is meant to be played exclusively on Nintendo’s platform​.

How to Play Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on a Steam Deck?

Playing “Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” on a Steam Deck involves several steps and it’s important to know that this may be illegal and could result in subpar game performance. Here’s a simplified step-by-step guide:

  1. Turn on Expert Mode on Steam Deck Start by going to System Settings on your Steam Deck, then to Users, and change your password. This will let you use Expert Mode for EmuDeck.
  2. Download EmuDeck Open the web browser and visit EmuDeck’s website. Click on Download at the top of the page and get the app. Move the downloaded file to your desktop. Then close the browser.
  3. Start EmuDeck Setup Go back to your desktop and run “Install Emu Deck.” Press “Continue” and wait for the files to download, then click OK.
  4. Turn on Motion Controls in Expert Mode Select Expert Mode for the installation. This will let you change your emulator settings and use motion controls for some games.
  5. Install ROMs Choose a place for your ROMs. If possible, use an SD card that you’ve already formatted.
  6. Install Components Pick the components you want to install. Make sure to include YUZU.
  7. Enter Your Password Type in the password you made earlier using the keyboard.
  8. Install EmuDeck Wait for EmuDeck to finish installing. The time it takes will depend on your internet speed and storage space.
  9. Download Zelda ROM On your PC, find and download a Zelda ROM in .wua format from a trusted source. Make sure it works with YUZU and has the latest updates and DLCs.
  10. Download Winpinator Download Winpinator from its website on your PC. This tool will help you send files to your Steam Deck wirelessly.
  11. Install Warpinator Use the Discover app to find and install Warpinator on your Steam Deck. It will work with Winpinator to send files.
  12. Send Zelda File Open Winpinator on your PC and Warpinator on your Steam Deck. If they’re on the same network, you should see both devices. Connect them and use Winpinator to send the Zelda .wua file to your Deck.
  13. Open EmuDeck Start EmuDeck from your desktop and choose YUZU from the list. You might need to change settings like graphics, audio, and input based on your preferences.
  14. Play Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Load the Zelda .wua file and enjoy playing Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on your Steam Deck!

This process is complex and could lead to legal issues. Plus, the game may not perform as well or offer the same experience as on the Nintendo Switch. So, it’s recommended to play “Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” on its intended platform: the Nintendo Switch.


Playing “Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” on Steam Deck using EmuDeck and YUZU can be a workaround, but it’s not guaranteed to be smooth or legal. Always make sure to follow all copyright laws when using game ROMs.

Leave a Comment