The Steam Deck comes with an impressive spec sheet on paper. However, since the console is just a few months old, many software bugs may keep you from enjoying it. Nevertheless, Valve is taking reasonable measures to optimize the software and make it more stable.
One of the most common problems that Steam Decks may face is the inability to install games. A Steam Deck may be unable to install new games if there is not enough storage left on the device or if it doesn’t meet the game’s minimum system requirements.
If you are facing a similar issue, we have developed this guide to why your steam deck is not installing games and how to fix it.
Reasons Why Steam Deck Is Not Installing Games
Many factors may keep your Steam Deck from installing new games and applications. Even though it may seem like a big problem, there are common reasons behind it.
Here are a few most common reasons why a Steam Deck cannot install a new game.
Not Enough Space
Usually, the error only appears when there is insufficient space on your Steam Deck. Therefore, you might want to check and clear up some space if it is more than 90% used. In addition to the inability to install new games and apps, having less space available will directly affect the overall performance of your Steam Deck.
Problems With Steam
Although rare, problems do occur with the Steam store, which may be why your Steam Deck cannot download and install a new game. If you have enough storage space, you may want to reinstall or update the Steam store.
Corrupt Setup File
If you are installing a non-steam game, you may run into problems with the installation. This happens when the game’s setup file is corrupt or incomplete.
Currently, games with their own launchers like EA Origins, and those with advanced anti-cheat systems, like Halo, are unplayable and unsupported by Steam Deck. If you are installing similar games, you should know they will not complete the installation process successfully.
Top Fixes for Steam Deck Not Installing Games
Now that you have a sound idea about what might keep your Steam Deck from installing new apps and games, you can easily trace and fix the issues.
Here are a few things you can do to fix the Steam Deck cannot install error effectively.
The first thing you should do whenever there is a software problem in your Steam Deck is to reboot the device. This will clear out any cache files and the memory, allowing a clean startup.
You can then try again with the app installation and see if it works.
Update The Steam Store
If the restart didn’t solve your problem, it is most likely that the Steam Store will be outdated on your Steam Deck. An outdated Steam Store will sometime be unable to install or update games; therefore, it is recommended to update Steam regularly.
Use A Bigger SSD/Memory Card
If you notice that the Steam Deck is low on storage, you may want to use a bigger M2 SSD or insert a Micro SD Card to free up some space. App installs and updates are usually halted whenever less than 10% space is available.
Update Steam Deck’s System
If you are using an old version of Steam Deck’s system (released before May), it has a technical glitch that does not allow certain games to install. Valve mentioned that Valve had fixed the glitch in the new update, but you may need to update your System to check if it helps.
Use Strong Internet
Steam has a habit of installing games based on the internet connection. If you have given enough time to a game to install and it is stuck, you should try again with a stronger internet connection.
Remember that a slow internet connection can temporarily disable the Steam store’s install button.
Bonus: Check Game Compatibility
As the console is relatively new, many games remain unverified regarding their compatibility with Steam Deck. Potentially, if you are installing a new game, it might be on the list of unsupported games at the moment. Hence, your console is unable to complete the installation.
Therefore, you should consider reading compatibility reviews for the game you want to install before proceeding.
We hope one of the methods mentioned in this guide may work for you. However, if it doesn’t, your device likely has a critical fault beyond your ability to fix it. Therefore, it would be a good decision to contact support to get a professional check for any underlying problems.