How to Install Custom Boot Animation on Steam Deck

Updated October 6, 2023

As a gaming enthusiast, you must have this urge to customize your device, adding some flair to it. Along with transforming your Steam Deck’s exterior, you can even add a personal touch to its boot screen. It means your favorite clip will appear instead of a boring background whenever you open your gaming computer.

Fortunately, the process to do so is pretty simple. And Valve’s official support for this had made it even more straightforward. So if you’re tired of seeing that Steam Deck logo every time, it’s time for a change.

Keep reading as we have discussed the stepwise process of how to install custom boot animations on your Steam Deck in this blog post. From beginners to experts, everyone can take advantage of our simple yet comprehensive guide. So, let’s get started.

What is a Steam Deck?

It is rare for gaming enthusiasts to not know about the Steam Deck. However, here’s a brief introduction to this device if you are just starting your journey in the gaming world. It is a compact-sized gaming computer that was released by Valve in early 2022 and is based on the Linux distribution Steam Operating System.

This device is a gamer’s favorite for many reasons, of which its customization capabilities are the most notable. You can personalize its settings the way you want, and that too in just a few clicks. From installing different themes and skins to adding custom shortcuts – the possibilities to mold this gaming device according to your liking are endless.

What is a Custom Boot Animation?

Simply put, custom boot animation is graphics that appear on your device’s screen when you boot it. It could be a simple picture, a short clip, or something with intricate artistic visuals.

But what is their purpose? Custom boot animations are a perfect way to add a personal touch to your computer. At the same time, many gamers go this route by adding a short clip so their gaming device starts up quickly.

You can find a handful of custom boot animations online on Reddit or Steam Deck Repo. Moreover, it is even possible to develop one from scratch if you have the know-how of graphic designing. You can use several animation apps like Adobe After Effects or Blender for this purpose.

How Custom Boot Animation Works?

The working mechanism of custom boot animations is simple to understand. It does nothing but replaces your computer’s default startup graphics with the custom animation file. You will first need an animation file in .webm format to implement this on your Steam Deck.

Moreover, it is also important to take care of its resolution so that the graphics do not appear distorted when displayed on the screen. Now comes the step to replace that particular file with the default setup, which may require administrative privileges. Hence, you must carefully follow all the steps mentioned below.

Many systems may not support custom boot animations, and doing so forcefully can cause errors in your computer’s hardware configuration. Hence, don’t forget to confirm through the manufacturer’s manual before taking a step. However, Steam Deck has no such limitations, as it’s fully compatible with custom boot animations.

What you Need to Install Boot Animation on your Steam Deck?

Before installing a custom boot animation on your Steam Deck, it’s important to fulfill a few requirements. For example, the absence of an internet connection can make the process complex. You have to first download the animation on any other device and transfer it to apply on the Steam Deck.

Similarly, it would help if you had a keyword as through it, you can type directly to open a website. However, if not this, you can activate an on-screen keyboard. Simply press X with the Steam key, and it’ll be ready to use.

How to Install a Custom Boot Animation?

Since the requirements are now clear, let’s jump onto the process of installing custom boot animation on the Steam Deck. Here’s a breakdown that can help:

Step 1: Activate the Desktop Mode

Installing Custom Boot on Steam Deck

The foremost thing you must do is change your device’s current mode to desktop.

  • Long press the Steam button and navigate down to the Power tab. You can easily switch to desktop mode by selecting the appropriate option.
  • Holding the Power Button for a few seconds can also let you access this menu.

The desktop menu will appear like this:

Steam Deck Custom Boot Installation

Step 2: Hunt a Boot Animation for your Preferences

Both Reddit and the Steam Deck Repo site are full of custom boot animations. So you must find the one that aligns with your liking. To carry out this, follow the below steps:

  • Using a physical or on-screen keyboard, enter in the browser. Or you can also search Steam Deck Repo on Google.
  • Now you will have a list of custom boot animations on your screen. Navigate through it and find the one that you like.
  • Finally, download it. Remember to keep it in the .webm format.

Step 3: Make your Folders to Copy your Selected Animation

Steam Deck Folder

While technological advancement has made custom boot installation straightforward, you still have to create folders. This step is essential for storing the animation file. Here’s how to do it:

  • Launch the File Explorer app. Its common name is Dolphin.
  • Activate the Show Hidden Files option.
  • Scroll to the Home Directory to proceed.
  • Now it’s time to create a folder and name it uioverrides. You can access this by navigating into .steam/root/config.
  • Following a similar prompt, create another folder and name it movies.

Custom Boot Animation on Steam Deck

  • You can finally copy and paste the downloaded animation file into this folder. Just ensure that you have named it deck-startup.webm.

Step 4: Reboot your Steam Deck

It is the final step where you have to restart the Steam Deck for custom animation to apply.

Benefits of Custom Boot Animation

Custom boot animations are the perfect way to showcase your love for art by adding a creative touch to your otherwise boring startup screen. It basically sets up the mood for an adventurous gaming style. Whether you choose a simple animated logo or opt for an immersing cinematic backdrop, custom animations can bring your favorite game characters to life on your PC.

So don’t wait and set up a captivating boot animation for your computer now. It is any day better than the boring Steam Deck logo.

Where to Find Custom Boot Animations?

Since you have learned how to install custom boot animations on your Steam Deck, the next question is where you can find them. If you are a graphic designer, simply head on to any animation app and pour in your artistic talent to generate an animation from scratch. However, don’t worry if you lack this skill, as we have a solution for that as well.

You can visit the Steam Deck Repo website to find one according to your preferences, or even Reddit is full of custom boot animations for this gaming device. All you need to do is visit the Steam Deck Boot Vids subreddit, and there’d be plenty of options. Moreover, Redditors constantly update the thread with new designs. So when you are bored with the current one, you know where to go.

From animated to static, these places are loaded with stunning visuals to add to your computer’s startup screen. On the Steam Deck site, every file has a brief description, making it easier for you to choose one. It gives a slight idea of how the animation would appear even before downloading it.

Wrapping Up

There’s no better option than installing a custom boot animation on your Steam Deck if you want your device to have a personal touch. Moreover, the process isn’t complex, thanks to the device’s Linux OS. We hope our detailed guide on how to install custom boot animations has clarified the entire process.

So don’t wait long and choose an animation you like to update following the mentioned step. Your computer’s dull screen is waiting to be turned into absolutely gorgeous artwork. Get ready to impress your gamer friends with your choice!

FAQs for Installing Custom Boot Animation on Steam Deck

1. Is there a chance of the Steam Deck’s warranty going void if I incorporate a custom boot animation?

Not at all. The developers of this device, Valve, have given Steam Deck users permission to customize their devices just the way they like. Precisely, your warranty will remain intact regardless of your customization measures.

2. Can I use any video type to replace the default startup screen on my Steam Deck?

Yes, this handheld gaming device is highly compatible with almost all videos and clips until they are in the .webm format. At the same time, the VP8 and VP9 codec is also a necessity. Moreover, you can choose clips of any length, but we highly recommend keeping them short. This will start up your gaming system quickly.

3. Are there any screen resolution requirements for custom boot animation installation on the Steam Deck?

The device supports 1280×800 pixels. Hence you must ensure that your selected animation is streamlined accordingly.

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