Steam Deck supports Discord and music apps in the background

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While the console has no or limited support for discord, Valve’s Handheld Steam Deck PC has the full version of the application. This enables you to join the same voice channels and text chats that you do on the 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’ve tested Discord, Spotify and YouTube Music Player in the background while playing the Elden Ring. Both programs run smoothly without any problems. Much of it comes down to the optimization that Valve has built into its SteamOS environment.

Here’s how to play Discord or other apps in the background when you play a game:

  1. Hold down the power button until the menu pops up. Select “Switch to desktop”.
  2. In desktop mode, click the Discover Store icon on the taskbar.
  3. Search for Discord, Spotify and / or any other application you want to run on SteamOS (download “Core Keyboard” under the Accessibility tab if you need a virtual keyboard).
  4. Install programs.
  5. Find them in the Start menu and then log in desktop mode.
  6. Open Steam, click the “+” button at the bottom left and select “Add Non-Steam Game”.
  7. Select Discord and other apps and add them.

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

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