Running GameConqueror on the Steam Deck

The linux application GameConqueror is a Cheat Engine-esque application for mucking around in the memory of a process while it is running. It is targeted at single player games and can be used to give you more xp, gold or whatever upgrade points the game uses. This is very useful when you are all grown-up and don’t have literally half of your wake hours to play video games. Sometimes you just want to experience the story in the game without the hassle, but most of the times you just want to be a dirty cheating bastard. Usually you just install gameconqueror and open it on your secondary display and get on cheatin’, but with the Steam Deck you are kind of limited to the small screen in your face and no mouse/keyboard.

Since the Deck has a quite frustrating on-screen keyboard you want to use GameConqueror remotely somehow. Thankfully 80s happened and X11 forwarding is a thing now. So the idea is to install GameConqueror on the Deck, install ssh on the Deck and just forward the GameConqueror view to your laptop. Easy right?

What you need:

  • A Steam Deck
  • Any computer that has SSH and an X11 server, consult your favorite search machine if in doubt
  • SSH on the Deck (Guide on reddit)
  • Read/write permissions on the Deck (See Official Deck FAQ)
  • GameConqueror on the Deck

I assume you have SSH on your computer and on your Deck and that X11 forwarding is working as intended. You can test it with some of the apps that are installed with KDE Plasma.

WARNING: You can mess up your Deck’s OS when you attempt these things.

This was originally drafted in 2022, YMMV.

Enable pacman

First disable the readonly mode:

sudo steamos-readonly disable

Now you need to make pacman chooch. First initialize the keyring:

sudo pacman-key --init

If it fails you may need to delete the old keyring: sudo rm -r /etc/pacman.d/gnupg

Next populate the keyring with the stock keys:

sudo pacman-key --populate archlinux

That should do it! You can now install stuff with pacman, yay! The catch is that all modifications you make will be wiped in the next update, meaning that you will need to repeat these steps when you get an update.

Install and run GameConqueror

sudo pacman -Sy gameconqueror

Now log out of the ssh session and log in with X11 forwarding enabled:

ssh -X deck@<deck-ip>

Due to gameconqueror requiring root permissions you need to copy your .Xauthority file to /root:

sudo cp .Xauthority /root

And you can now run gameconqueror with:

sudo gameconqueror

Cheat in a game

Pick your favorite title where you need a helping hand and get on it. This night the victim is the 1996 title Death Rally. I’ve already made it to the end but for shit’n giggles I fiddled with the money:

All your base are belong to us.

In the background you can see the mediocre off-brand LCD on my ThinkPad showing the gameconqueror window with the pointer to the in-game money. If you have superhuman eyes you can maybe even read the number: 1337000.

Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far.


© 2024 Jesenko Mehmedbasic - this is a footer.