Playing PS1 games on the Steam Deck is a journey into nostalgia, offering an immersive experience in classic gaming. This guide will take you through the steps to enjoy these games on your Steam Deck.
The Steam Deck is a highly versatile gaming device, serving as a portable PC and an advanced gaming console. It’s capable of running modern games and, with the right setup, can emulate classic PlayStation (PS1) games, providing a blend of modern and retro gaming experiences
How To Install DuckStation To Play PS1 Games on Steam Deck
The key to playing PS1 games on the Steam Deck is the DuckStation emulator. EmuDeck, a tool that can install and configure multiple emulators including DuckStation, is recommended for this process. Here’s how to install it:
- Press the Steam button on your Steam Deck and navigate to the Power option to switch to Desktop Mode.
- Open a browser and download EmuDeck from its official website.
- After downloading, run the EmuDeck installer, choosing ‘Custom Install’ and selecting the SD Card for installation.
- On the EmuDeck setup screen, select only the DuckStation emulator for PS1 games. EmuDeck will also provide options for enhancing the graphics of classic 3D games, which you can choose as per preference.
Before you begin, consider getting a high-speed A2 Micro SD card for additional storage space. This helps in keeping the Steam Deck’s internal storage free for more demanding games. You’ll also need PlayStation ROMs and BIOS files of the games you legally own. Using a keyboard and mouse can make the setup process in Desktop Mode more user-friendly
Tip: You can also install EmuDeck via the Linux Discover store on Steam Deck and Steam Deck OLED.
How To Install DuckStation To Play PS1 Games on Steam Deck
Press the Steam button underneath the left trackpad, highlight and select the Power option, and switch to Desktop Mode. Have a high-speed A2 Micro SD card ready for storing ROMs and emulator files and consider using a keyboard and mouse for a more user-friendly experience in Desktop Mode.
Installing DuckStation via EmuDeck:
- Download EmuDeck Installer: Open a favored browser and download the EmuDeck installer.
- Run the Installer: After EmuDeck has downloaded, double-click the installer to begin the installation.
- Opt for Custom Install: Choose the Custom Install option and select the SD Card for installation to ensure ample storage space.
- Select DuckStation: On the next screen, select the Steam Deck image. If you only want the PS1 emulator, unselect all the programs except DuckStation.
- Complete the Installation: Skip ahead until it lands on the Configure CRT Shader for Classic 3D Games page, switch this on for a more natural look for 3D PS1 games, and then select Finish to begin the installation of DuckStation.
Where To Place PS1 BIOS Files In EmuDeck And DuckStation
You need to put the PS1 BIOS files in the following path:
- Home > Emulation > BIOS.
How exactly you can download the BIOS files is something you need to research yourself. Due to legal issues I am unable to provide assistance in that matter. However, if you already have the files, place them in the BIOS folder.
Note: You’ll need a 7Zip or similar software extract the BIOS files. You can download the software from the Discover Store.
If you downloaded DuckStation without the EmuDeck, you can add the path to your BIOS files from the Settings menu. Extract anywhere you can and then simply add the path manually via DuckStation Settings.
Setting Game Path for PS1 Games on Steam Deck
For EmuDeck Users
After acquiring your PS1 games or ROMs, you’ll need to copy them to the correct location. For those using EmuDeck, navigate to this path:
- Internal Storage:
Home > Emulation > roms > psx
- SD Card Installation:
In the PSX folder, use the left trigger on your Steam Deck and select ‘Paste’ to transfer your copied games.
For Standalone DuckStation Users
If you’re using DuckStation independently:
- Open DuckStation and go to ‘Settings’.
- Navigate to ‘Game List’.
- Click the plus button to add the above-mentioned path.
- Click on ‘Scan New Games’ to locate your PS1 games.
Once these steps are completed, you’re all set to play PS1 games on your Steam Deck and Steam Deck OLED.
Best Settings For PS1 Games On Steam Deck
After setting up DuckStation on your Steam Deck, fine-tuning the settings is crucial to optimize your gaming experience. Let’s start by adjusting Resolution settings.
- In Handheld Mode: Set the internal resolution to 720p. While the Steam Deck’s screen is 800p, setting it to 1080p will not yield noticeable improvements and will consume more battery. The 720p setting is significantly better than the original PS1’s 480p and is nearly the max output of the Steam Deck, providing crisp visuals without unnecessary battery drain.
- In Docked Mode: Feel free to upscale to 1080p or even 4K if you’re playing through a dock connected to a higher-resolution display.
|Emulation Speed||100% (60 FPS NTSC/50 FPS PAL)|
|Internal Resolution Scale||3x for 720p|
Customizing for Personal Preference
The settings mentioned here have been tested for their efficiency in delivering clear visuals and stable load times. However, part of the fun in emulation is experimenting with settings to find what best suits your preferences.
To get a sense of how PS1 games look on the Steam Deck with these settings, you can check out gameplay videos or images. The quality enhancement from the original PS1 resolution to what the Steam Deck can achieve is quite remarkable.
DuckStation PS1 Games Compatibility List
|98 Koushien – Koukou Yakyuu Simulation (Japan)||No Issues|
|0 kara no Mahjong – Mahjong Youchien Tamago-gumi (Japan)||No Issues|
|0 kara no Shougi – Shougi Youchien Ayumi-gumi (Japan)||No Issues|
|007 – The World Is Not Enough (USA)||No Issues|
|007 – Tomorrow Never Dies (Japan)||No Issues|
|007 – Tomorrow Never Dies (USA)||No Issues|
|007 Racing (USA)||No Issues|
|1 on 1 (Japan)||No Issues|
|10101 – Will the Starship (Japan)||No Issues|
|10th Anniversary Memorial Save Data (Japan) (Disc 1) (PlayStation Taiou)||No Issues|
|16 tales 2 (usa)||No Issues|
|19 ji 03 pun – Ueno-hatsu Yakou Ressha (Japan)||No Issues|
|2002 FIFA World Cup (USA) (En,Es)||No Issues|
|2Xtreme (USA)||No Issues|
|3D Baseball (USA)||No Issues|
|3D Baseball – The Majors (Japan)||No Issues|
|3D Kakutou Tkool (Japan)||No Issues|
|3D Lemmings (Japan)||No Issues|
|3D Lemmings (USA)||No Issues|
|3D-Kaleidoscope – Baby Universe (Japan)||No Issues|
|3Xtreme (USA)||No Issues|
|3×3 Eyes – Tenrinou Genmu (Japan) (Disc 1)||No Issues|
|3×3 Eyes – Tenrinou Genmu (Japan) (Disc 2)||No Issues|
|3×3 Eyes – Tenrinou Genmu (Japan) (Disc 3)||No Issues|
|40 Winks (USA)||No Issues|
|70’s Robot Anime – Geppy-X – The Super Boosted Armor (Japan) (Disc 1)||No Issues|
|70’s Robot Anime – Geppy-X – The Super Boosted Armor (Japan) (Disc 2)||No Issues|
|70’s Robot Anime – Geppy-X – The Super Boosted Armor (Japan) (Disc 3)||No Issues|
|70’s Robot Anime – Geppy-X – The Super Boosted Armor (Japan) (Disc 4)||No Issues|
|A-Train – Trains, Power, Money (USA) (En,Ja,Fr,De)||No Issues|
|ASCII Entertainment Demo CD (USA)||No Issues|
|ATV – Quad Power Racing (USA)||No Issues|
|ATV Mania (USA)||No Issues|
|ATV Racers (USA)||No Issues|
|Ace Combat 2 (Europe)||No Issues|
|Ace Combat 2 (USA)||No Issues|
|Ace Combat 3 – Electrosphere (Europe) (En,Fr,De,Es,It)||No Issues|
|Ace Combat 3 – Electrosphere (Japan, Asia) (Disc 1) (Rev 1)||No Issues|
|Ace Combat 3 – Electrosphere (Japan, Asia) (Disc 2) (Rev 1)||No Issues|
|Ace Combat 3 – Electrosphere (USA)||No Issues|
|Aces of the Air (USA)||No Issues|
|Action Bass (USA)||No Issues|
|Action Man – Operation Extreme (USA)||No Issues|
|Action Puzzle – Prism Land (Japan) [SLPS-02586]||No Issues|
|Activision Classics (USA)||No Issues|
|Adidas Power Soccer (Europe) (En,Fr,De,Es,It)||No Issues|
|Adidas Power Soccer 98 (USA)||No Issues|
|Advan Racing (Japan)||No Issues|
|Advanced Dungeons & Dragons – Iron & Blood – Warriors of Ravenloft (USA)||No Issues|
|Advanced V.G.||No Issues|
You can see the full compatibility list in the offcial Google Doc.
Why I Recommend DuckStation To Play PS1 Games On Steam Deck
DuckStation emerges as a beacon of efficiency and ease, especially for playing PS1 games on the Steam Deck. Here’s why DuckStation stands out and why it should be your go-to choice for reliving the PS1 era on your Steam Deck:
1. Dedicated PS1 Emulation
- Focus and Specialization: Unlike other emulators that support multiple platforms, DuckStation is dedicated to PS1 emulation. This focus ensures optimal performance and compatibility for PS1 games, providing a seamless gaming experience.
- Less Complexity: Without the clutter of multi-platform support, DuckStation offers a straightforward and user-friendly interface, making it accessible even for beginners.
2. High Compatibility
- Extensive Game Support: DuckStation boasts high compatibility with a vast library of PS1 games, ensuring that your favorite classics run smoothly without glitches.
- Regular Updates: Frequent updates mean that any compatibility issues are promptly addressed, enhancing the emulator’s reliability.
3. Enhanced Performance
- Optimized for Steam Deck: DuckStation is optimized for the hardware of the Steam Deck, ensuring that games run smoothly with excellent graphics and sound quality.
- Customizable Settings: Tailor your gaming experience with a range of settings, including resolution, frame rate, and more, to enjoy PS1 games the way you want.
4. Ease of Use
- Simple Installation with EmuDeck: Installing DuckStation via EmuDeck is a breeze, streamlining the setup process and allowing you to dive into gaming faster.
- Intuitive Interface: Navigate the emulator with ease thanks to its intuitive design, ensuring a hassle-free gaming experience.
5. Community and Support
- Active Community: Benefit from an active community of developers and users who continuously work towards improving the emulator and providing support.
- Comprehensive Documentation: Access detailed guides and documentation to assist you in setting up and troubleshooting, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable gaming journey.
That’s all there is to know on playing PS1 Games on Steam Deck. If you’re looking to expand your gaming repertoire, don’t forget to check out our previous guide on “How To Play PS2 Games On Steam Deck.” It’s packed with valuable insights and step-by-step instructions to enhance your gaming experience on the Steam Deck further.