27/09/2022

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Fortnite won’t run natively on Steam Deck

You’ll have to get creative if you want to play Fortnite on Steam Deck.

On social media, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney set about answering questions regarding whether Epic has any plans to update Fortnite so that it’s compatible with Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) and BattlEye anti-cheat on Linux. 

The answer Sweeney provided is no for Fortnite specifically. However, there is an effort currently underway to maximize Easy Anti-Cheat compatibility for other games on Steam Deck, which makes sense as Epic owns Easy Anti-Cheat. 

When pressed further on why Epic won’t be updating Fortnite for Steam Deck, Tim Sweeney replied, “We don’t have confidence that we’d be able to combat cheating at a scale under a wide array of kernel configurations including custom ones.” 

Sweeney went on to elaborate on this further saying, “The threat model for anti-cheat varies per game based on the number of active players and ability to gain profit by selling cheats or gain prominence by cheating. Hence anti-cheat which suffices for one game may not for another game with 10, 100, or 1000 times more players.” 

Fortnite won't run natively on Steam Deck, though there is a potential workaround to the situation.
Fortnite won’t run natively on Steam Deck, though there is a potential workaround to the situation.

In a nutshell, Fortnite’s player base is too large, making the update process more complicated than that of smaller games. It was pointed out that Epic could hypothetically put Fortnite on Steam itself, and Sweeney even responds to this saying Epic would be happy to do so, however they wouldn’t be happy “giving Steam 20-30% of its revenue for the privilege.”

With Fortnite not receiving a support update for Steam Deck, and not being made available on Steam directly, Fortnite players are going to have to get creative if they want to play Fortnite on Steam Deck. While Steam Deck runs SteamOS, which is a Linux-based operating system, you’re free to install Windows if you want and have the know-how to do so. 

That said, there’s always a risk of running into issues with Windows on Steam Deck in regards to drivers and software support, so it could prove to be more trouble than it’s worth if you’re only installing Windows for the sake of playing Fortnite. For more on this, we recommend reading through this article from Windows Central that goes over why you shouldn’t install Windows on Steam Deck.

All in all, it’s a shame to hear Fortnite won’t run natively on Steam Deck given all of the other platforms the game is currently available on. Should the situation change in the future, we’ll be sure to let you know.