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Can I play my old copies of ScummVM classics on Steam Deck? Do the integrate well?

2 Answers 2

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Based on this reddit post and my suggestions.

  1. Switch do desktop mode, launch Discover Software Center and search for ScummVM. Install it. This will install it as a Flatpak from Flathub, you'll see why this may be important.

  2. Add you game to ScummVM like you usually do.

  3. Open a terminal and enter:

    /usr/bin/flatpak run org.scummvm.ScummVM --list-targets
    
  4. From the list select the title you want to launch, since my favorite is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (I still have the big cardboard box around here), mine is atlantis, so the command for launching the game is:

    /usr/bin/flatpak run --branch=stable --arch=x86_64 --command=scummvm_wrapper org.scummvm.ScummVM atlantis
    

    If, for some reason, you are running a different processor architecture you'd have to replace x86_64 with the appropriate architecture.

    Someone else reported that his game id was atlantis-steam-win. If you have not installed ScummVM as Flatpak the you either just run scummvm or you have to research how ScummVM is run, looking at the details page of an existing ScummVM icon in your application menu or drawer might help finding this out.

  5. Create a new link to an application from the desktop context menu and add the Command from step 4 in the command field on the Application tab. Customize the shortcut with an icon and a nice name as you like.

    enter image description here

  6. Go to the Steam Client in desktop mode and through Games -> Add a Non-Steam Game to my Library... you can add the previously created application shortcut. Make sure you change the File type to All Files so you see the file you created. If you like you can add custom artwork from https://www.steamgriddb.com/ or other websites to make it look nice in your library. I have not seen a tool like HeroicBashLauncher, which adds Non-Steam games from Heroic to Steam, for ScummVM, but that would be a nice thing to have.

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ScummVM is available from the "Discover" store on Steam Deck but it comes as a Flatpak. Flatpaks are larger than normal programmes as they contain all the dependencies needed for the software to run, and they also have restricted permissions.

The answer the other user gave is one way to use ScummVM but you would need to repeat this step for every single game you want to add. A simpler way is to give ScummVM access to your Home folder (or other folder where you store the game files) and add and launch the games in your ScummVM collection through the ScummVM interface.

If you're willing to use the terminal app:

  1. Install "ScummVM" from the discover store
  2. Open a terminal window from the desktop menu
  3. In the terminal type the following:

/usr/bin/flatpak override org.scummvm.ScummVM --filesystem=home

This command tells Flatpak to override the default file permission for ScummVM and give it access to a different set of files. In this example it would give ScummVM permanent permission to access all folders and subfolders in your Home folder on the steam deck (/home/deck/). You can could have a /home/deck/games folder for example to keep your games.

Alternatively you could given ScummVM less access and only give permission to access it's own folder where you keep the games. You will need to make this folder and put your games here. For example: /home/deck/games

/usr/bin/flatpak override org.scummvm.ScummVM --filesystem=/home/deck/games

You could also give it more access to the whole host file system (This gives access to all files on your system but it does not include critical OS or system internals so it's still faily safe; and this maybe useful if you put games on SD cards). This allows you to look in any folder you want from ScummVM including mounted media like an SD card.

/usr/bin/flatpak override org.scummvm.ScummVM --filesystem=host

If you don't want to use the terminal app

Alternatively you can install a programme called Flatseal which will allow you to do the above but using a graphical interface. However Flatseal is another Flatpak programme and will take up space on your steamdeck.

  1. Install ScummVM from Discover store.
  2. Install Flatseal from Discover store
  3. Open Flatseal and select ScummVM on the left. Scroll down to the "Filesystem" section and toggle access to either "All user files" (your home folder) OR All system files (all files you can see except critical OS files). Do not give access to host-os or host-etc - it will not be problematic but it's bad practice; if a programme doesn't need access to the full OS or config files, don't give it access.

FlatSeal

Add your games to ScummVM

After doing either of the above methods, add games to scummVM. Open ScummVM and select the "Add Game..." drop down, and you can now browse the folders you made available to find each game you want to add.

Add games to ScummVM

They will remain in a persistent list of games you can open in the future, and also open and close save states.

You can also add ScummVM itself to your Steam Deck library as you would any other game or programme. There are multiple ways to do this. The simplest way is to find ScummVM in your menu, add a link to your desktop and then right click on that link and select the add to your Steam library option)

Do they integrate well?

To answer you second question, yes they do integrate well but as most of these games use a keyboard and mouse then this will be the best way to play them. ScummVM is also better used with a keyboard and mouse. You can use a Keyboard and mouse in either Desktop or Gaming mode, so if you add ScummVM to your Gaming mode "non steam games" section you can play games in gaming mode without issue.

If you use a controller then you'd be moving a virtual mouse around the screen and may need to map Steam Deck buttons to keyboard presses. It's doable but time consuming.

Keyboard and Mouse attached to the Steam Deck would be the best way to play ScummVM games, and ideally via a dock attached to a TV or PC screen.

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