a black rectangular device
Black Steam Deck on White Background

There are multiple ways to play Call of Duty on a Steam Deck. The Steam Deck allows gaming enthusiasts to experience their favorite PC games even while on the go, and Call of Duty is no exception. However, some anti-cheat technologies employed in the game may require the installation of Windows 11. The performance of Call of Duty on the Steam Deck varies depending on the game’s optimization, but many players have reported satisfactory gameplay. The Steam Deck has become a valuable companion for gamers looking to enjoy action-packed gaming sessions whether at home or while traveling.

Methods For Playing COD On A Steam Deck

1. Streaming via GeForce NOW:

  • Compatibility: Recent COD titles like Modern Warfare II, Warzone 2.0, and Modern Warfare 3 are available on GeForce NOW.
  • Requirements: A strong internet connection and a GeForce NOW subscription (the Ultimate tier supports higher resolutions and frame rates).
  • How-to: Install the GeForce NOW app on your Steam Deck and stream the games.

2. Installing Windows on Steam Deck:

  • Compatibility: This opens up a wider range of COD titles, but compatibility can vary. Older games generally run better.
  • Caveats: Requires some technical proficiency in installing Windows. Storage space will be limited due to dual-booting.
  • Performance: Performance can be less than ideal compared to a dedicated Windows PC, especially for resource-demanding games.

3. SteamOS with Proton (Not Recommended):

  • Compatibility: Very limited. Some older COD titles might work through Proton, Steam’s compatibility layer, but the experience is often buggy and unoptimized.
  • Not ideal: This isn’t currently a recommended way to play COD on the Steam Deck.

Important Note: Some Call of Duty games utilize anti-cheat systems like Ricochet. This software might not function correctly on Linux-based systems like SteamOS, causing compatibility issues, even with Proton.

Best Option: For the most reliable and enjoyable experience, streaming Call of Duty through GeForce NOW is currently the best way to play COD on the Steam Deck.

Key Takeaways

  • The Steam Deck supports playing various Call of Duty titles.
  • Installation of Windows may be needed for certain Call of Duty games.
  • Adjusting in-game settings optimizes performance on the Steam Deck.

Playing Call of Duty on Steam Deck

The handheld Steam Deck breathes new life into the beloved Call of Duty franchise allowing gamers to engage in adrenaline-fueled action anytime, anywhere. With the right setup, players can enjoy an array of CoD titles on this portable powerhouse.

Compatibility and System Requirements

Call of Duty games are largely designed for play on desktop computers and consoles, with system requirements that can challenge handheld devices. However, the Steam Deck, outfitted with a version of SteamOS, can enable gameplay for these titles through tweaks. To run Call of Duty games that need anti-cheat software, like Modern Warfare 3 or the free-to-play Warzone, the device needs Windows 10 or 11. This is because the anti-cheat technology, such as Ricochet used in Modern Warfare and Warzone, requires the Windows environment to operate properly.

  • Operating System: Windows 10/11 for anti-cheat compatibility
  • Storage: A microSD may be needed for additional space, since CoD games have large file sizes
  • Performance: Adjustments in graphics settings will help improve FPS

Installation and Setup

Installing Call of Duty on a Steam Deck is not as straightforward as other Steam games. Players need to first install the Windows operating system, creating a dual-boot system with Linux. This lets you run Battle.net, the software needed to access CoD and many other Blizzard and Activision games.

Steps to Install CoD on Steam Deck:

  1. Install Windows: Create a dual-boot with Linux or use only the Windows OS.
  2. Download Battle.net: Access Battle.net on the Steam Deck in Desktop mode.
  3. Install Game: Through Battle.net, download and install Call of Duty.
  4. Verify Game Content: Ensure all game files are correctly downloaded.

Gaming Experience Enhancements

Once Call of Duty is up and running on the Steam Deck, optimizing the experience ensures smoother performance and sharper graphics. This helps make even the most intense multiplayer sessions enjoyable, with lower ping and consistent frame rates.

Optimization Tips:

  • Turn on Dynamic Resolution to balance performance and quality.
  • Update Steam Deck Drivers for improved hardware compatibility.
  • Use External Power for longer play sessions without battery limitations.
  • Tweak Graphics Settings to find the right mix of performance and visuals.

Optimizing Steam Deck for Call of Duty Playability

Playing Call of Duty on the Steam Deck requires tweaking the system and the game’s settings to ensure smooth gameplay. Knowing the right steps to optimize can make all the difference for a good gaming experience.

Tweaking Graphics Settings for Optimal Performance

To get the best performance while playing Call of Duty on the Steam Deck, it’s advisable to adjust the graphics settings in the game:

  • Resolution: Set it to match the Steam Deck’s native resolution for optimal clarity.
  • Dynamic Resolution: Turning this on could help maintain a stable frame rate.
  • Graphics Quality: Medium settings are usually a good balance between visuals and performance.
  • VRAM: Ensure the game is set to use an adequate amount of VRAM for better graphics handling.

The right configuration helps to maintain a high frame rate, for smoother graphics and less lag during intense moments.

Utilizing External Peripherals

For even better control and accuracy when playing Call of Duty, consider using external peripherals:

  • USB Keyboard and Mouse: Connect these through the USB-C port for improved precision.
  • High-Quality Headset: A headset with minimal lag can enhance audio cues and improve your reaction times.

Using these peripherals not only enhances your gaming experience but also can give you a competitive edge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the possibilities of playing Call of Duty on the Steam Deck? Here are the answers to the most common inquiries.

Is Call of Duty playable on the Steam Deck?

Yes, Call of Duty can be played on the Steam Deck. You might need to follow specific steps or use workarounds depending on the title.

What steps are required to install Call of Duty on Steam Deck?

To play Call of Duty on Steam Deck, you may need to install Windows due to certain titles requiring anti-cheat systems that only function properly on Windows.

Are there any compatibility issues with Call of Duty titles on Steam Deck?

Some Call of Duty games might face compatibility issues as the Steam Deck hardware may not support all features, particularly those that involve anti-cheat technology.

Which Call of Duty games are verified to work on the Steam Deck?

Not all Call of Duty games are verified for Steam Deck. For up-to-date information, check Valve’s list of Steam Deck-compatible games.

Can you play Call of Duty online multiplayer on the Steam Deck?

Yes, you can play Call of Duty online multiplayer on the Steam Deck, provided you’ve managed the installation properly and the game’s anti-cheat system is supported.

How does Call of Duty perform on the Steam Deck?

Call of Duty’s performance on the Steam Deck can vary by title and settings, but many games can run efficiently on medium settings, with options to optimize further for enhanced gameplay.

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