Steam Deck supports Discord and background music apps


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While the consoles have limited or no support for Discord, Valve’s handheld Steam Deck PC has a full version of the app. This allows you to participate in the same voice channels and text chats as on desktop or mobile Discord. Of course, you won’t find Discord in the Steam store, but you can install the Linux version in desktop mode. You can then run Discord in the background of SteamOS while playing games.

This works with Discord as well as music or podcasting apps. So far I have tried Discord, Spotify and a YouTube Music player in the background while playing Elden Ring. Both programs ran simultaneously without any problems. Much of that comes down to the optimizations Valve has made to its SteamOS environment.

Here’s how to run Discord or other apps in the background while you’re gaming:

Press and hold the power button until the menu appears. Select ‘Switch to desktop’. In desktop mode, click the Discover Store icon on the taskbar. Search for Discord, Spotify, and/or whatever other app you want to use on SteamOS (download “core keyboard” under the Accessibility tab if you need a virtual keyboard). Install the programs. Find them in the start menu and then log in while in desktop mode. Open Steam, click the “+” button at the bottom left and select “add non-steam game”. Select Discord and the other apps and add them.

Now switch back to game mode and navigate to the non-steam tab in your library. You can open Discord or Spotify and then you can jump into a game. And even if you’re in a game, your Discord group will still hear you coming through the two microphones built into the face of the Steam Deck.

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