How to Install Custom Boot Animations on Steam Deck

Learn how to install custom boot animation on Steam Deck the easy way with our five-minute guide.

While Valve hasn’t given us full support for custom boot animations, we’re halfway there, and installing them is child’s play once you know what you’re doing.

If you’re unsure of how to install custom boot animations on Steam Deck, read on to find out how to do it the easy way.

Step 1: Where to Get Custom Boot Animations for Steam Deck

Screencap from Reddit

Although doing a simple Google search is a solid plan, head on over to the Steam Deck Reddit. There you can sort posts by different categories. In our case, you want to hit the green boot video tag.

So far I’ve found custom boot animations including Into the Spider-Verse, Undertale, and even the Nintendo DS. There’s plenty on there for Deck owners to sink their teeth into.

Step 2: Download the File

Reddit converter website

Normally, downloading a file is as simple as clicking on it. Unfortunately, if you’re grabbing custom boot animations from Reddit, there isn’t a clear way to download them.

There is, however, a solid workaround. Head to RedditSave.com and there you can paste in the URL of the thread and this website will detect the video and download it. It’s what I used and it works like a charm.

Step 3: Convert the File

The next step sees us convert the file into a format the Steam Deck can work with. If the custom boot animation is already a WEBM file, that’s great. Move on. If not, we’ll convert it now.

There are several ways to convert a file, and you bet we’re going with the easiest. Head on over to CloudConvert through that link and you’ll load into the Mp4 to WEBM section. Click on Select File, browse your hard drive to locate the file, then click on it twice to load it into the app. Hit Convert and after a few seconds the online converter will spit out a WEBM version of the file. Easy, right?

Step 4: Rename the File

Even though the file is now ready for use, it still won’t work as of yet. Let’s fix that by renaming the file to deck_startup.webm. Once that’s done, you’re good to move the file over to the Steam Deck if you’re working on Windows.

The easiest way to move files between Windows and the Steam Deck is Warpinator. That program will make a network connection between your PC and the Steam Deck, then let you send and receive files between the two. It’s a godsend that everyone eventually installs. Alternatively, as the files are small, Gmail is totally an option, too.

Step 5: Creating the File Structure

Don’t worry, that heading sounds more technical than it is. In reality, we now need to make some folders in specific places. It’s easy stuff, promise.

Red box over the show hidden files area.

(image credit: RetroResolve)

First things first, open up the Dolphin file explorer in (the blue folder icon) in Desktop Mode and make sure Show Hidden Files is turned on. Do this by hitting the three lines/burger button under the X in the top-right corner of the screen. This will bring up a menu where one of the options is Show Hidden Files. Make sure that’s ticked and a bunch of greyed-out folders will appear.

Under normal circumstances, I’d recommend not messing with the greyed-out folders, but as you’re following this guide, and I’ve tested it all myself, it’s safe to do so. Just don’t stray off the path, yeah?

Red box over the show hidden files area.

(image credit: RetroResolve)

Next, we need to venture through the following path: Home > .steam > config

Do this by just clicking the folder name twice, find the next folder name in the path, click that twice, and repeat until you’re inside the config folder.

Red box showing the uioverrides folder

(image credit: RetroResolve)

Once you’re there, left-click anywhere that isn’t a file to bring up a new menu. Select create new followed by folder. For the new folder, give it the name uioverrides.

Red box showing the movies folder location

(image credit: RetroResolve)

Enter this newly created folder and create a folder inside named movies.

Red box showing where to place the WEBM file on Steam Deck.

(image credit: RetroResolve)

All that’s left to do now is move your WEBM file from earlier into the new movies folder. Shut down the Steam Deck and turn it back on afterward to see your new custom boot animation in action. It really is as easy as that.

5 Best Custom Boot Animations to Install

  1. I Want Spider-Man by Omit_Free
  2. Deck XP by Commenter25
  3. Steam Pal by GhostlessGlass
  4. Into the Spider-Verse by Groundbreakingroll64
  5. Steam DS by Brussty
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Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming and tech journalist with over 10 years of experience writing online. Originally starting in video games before specializing in tech and toys, you can find his bylines at IGN, VG24/7, Kotaku, Tech Radar, Games Radar, PC Gamer, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.