With the Steam Deck in the world’s collective hands, everyone has been trying to run everything but the kitchen sink on it. Hey, you give people the promise of a handheld gaming PC, it’s only sensible that they’d stress-test every game out there on it. There are some major games that still haven’t been run through the gauntlet, such as League of Legends.
So, can the Steam Deck run League of Legends?
Can the Steam Deck Run League of Legends?
In all likelihood, the Steam Deck probably could run League of Legends, but there are a handful of baseline mechanical problems that prevent it from doing so, at least without extensive modification.
For one thing, the Steam Deck is, first and foremost, intended to play games offered by the Steam service, which League of Legends isn’t. Riot uses its own proprietary launcher and back end for League of Legends, so the game isn’t listed on Steam. Since the Steam Deck runs off of SteamOS, Valve’s operating system that launches right into the Steam interface, there’s no way to natively install League of Legends on a Steam Deck.
Another problem lies within SteamOS itself. SteamOS is based on the Linux operating system, and League of Legends doesn’t have native Linux support. You could play it on a computer running Linux, but only through the use of external utilities that, again, can’t be installed natively on a Steam Deck. Even if you could brute-force the installation, playing the game like that has a higher chance of tripping Riot’s anti-cheat measures, which is a great way to get banned.
Is It Impossible?
All of this said, it is possible to modify your Steam Deck’s software for more open-source purposes, and Valve has previously stated that they intend to make that modification process easier later down the line. If you could figure it out, it would technically be possible to install Windows on a Steam Deck, which in turn would make it much more compatible with League of Legends. At that point, the only real concern would be mapping your controls, but you could just plug a mouse and keyboard into your Steam Deck for an easy solution.
However, making all of this happen would require a lot of nitty-gritty knowledge and tinkering that could potentially damage your Steam Deck. Unless you are very confident in your modding abilities, it’s probably best to give up on League of Legends on the Steam Deck for the time being.