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Running a mod/trainer on Steam Deck / Linux using launch options

If you only care about the solution, scroll to the bottom for the correct launch option.

PC gamers are used to hobbyist freedom. One of the biggest reasons to select PC as your gaming platform of choice is the possibility to install mods, use memory editors and run other programs that customize the gaming experience.

Game trainers, such as Aurora (from CheatHappens) or WeMod change game content in real-time, and can be considered cheating. Memory Editors, such as Cheat Engine, allow you to search for numerical values in memory (e.g. experience points or money), and change them at will. Tweaks like this should not be used in multiplayer games, but used in the right way, they can enhance the single-player gaming experience by tailoring progress speed and gaming difficulty to your liking. There are also in-memory mods that can fix aspect-ratio problems or otherwise fix bugs in games.

On Windows, you can just download a memory editor or a trainer, and run it in the background while gaming. On Linux the process is a little more involved, as most games need to be run through a compatibility layer, and any trainers need to use the same “wine prefix” to affect a game. Here are two easy ways to run trainers using Steam in Linux (including Steam Deck).

Launching a trainer on Linux using protontricks

If you’re handy with a terminal, and wish for some fine control, you can install protontricks and run any program inside the same wine prefix the proton compatibility layer uses.

  • First, grab the app_id (serial number, if you will) of the game you wish to modify, using the command protontricks --list
  • Second, run the trainer using the command protontricks-launch --no-bwrap --appid 1234567 /path/to/trainer.exe

Even easier: Use Steam launch options to simultaneously launch a trainer in the same Wine prefix

Open the properties of your Steam game, and find “Launch Options”, under the General tab. Enter this command, which instructs Steam to simultaneously launch your trainer with the game, and whitelists the folder it resides in for use in the compatibility layer:

PROTON_REMOTE_DEBUG_CMD="/app/trainer.exe" PRESSURE_VESSEL_FILESYSTEMS_RW="/app/" %command%

You can combine the instructions with other environmental variables or launch flags, if you wish. In the screenshot below, DRI_PRIME=1 is added to use the secondary GPU.

Now any time you launch the game, Steam will also launch the trainer simultaneously. The two programs automatically share the same Wine prefix, so they will work together nicely.

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