BioShock games’ “quality of life” updates actually break them on Steam Deck

BioShock Remastered, BioShock 2 Remastered, and BioShock Infinite have all come into conflict with some questionably titled “quality of life” updates that publisher 2K Games released last week. These updates added a new 2K Launcher to the three BioShocks that appear when launched from Steam, but according to GamingOnLinux, there’s something about this launcher that doesn’t sit well with Linux-based operating systems. Linux-based operating systems such as SteamOS from the Steam Deck.

It just so happens, then, that there’s a chance, if you’re trying to play games on Valve’s portable PC, that all of these updates will make it a bloody 9-iron hit on the Deck’s ability to launch affected games. absolutely. Whoopsie doodle.

To check for damage, I installed all three damaged BioShocks on my own Steam Deck, complete with QoL updates, and both BioShock Infinite and BioShock Remastered failed to launch when commanded. I must have been lucky with BioShock 2 Remastered though, as it launched fine – it just didn’t show the 2K Launcher when it normally would. However, other Linux and Steam Deck users have reported it among the affected games.

(Possibly related: BioShock 2 Remastered is the only one of the three with a Steam Deck Verified rating. BioShock Remastered is rated Playable and Infinite is rated Unsupported, though the latter should still run on Proton 7.0 and up. It just doesn’t have the better performance in the game).

That shameful. Not that these updates add much that really improves “quality of life” while playing: for all three games, the updates consist entirely of the 2K Launcher and the ability to link a 2K account if you have one. That is all. It’s really not worth blocking Steam Deck support, huh?

Fortunately, GamingOnLinux also found some solutions, which I also tried successfully. For each game, you just need to paste the following strings as Steam launch options – you can find the required field by opening the Game Properties menu. The startup options field is at the top of the General tab, which should appear first by default.

To fix BioShock Remastered, add the following:

bash -c ‘exec “${@/2KLauncher\/LauncherPatcher.exe/Build\/Final\/BioshockHD.exe}”‘ — %command% -nointro

To fix BioShock 2 Remastered, add this:

bash -c ‘exec “${@/2KLauncher\/LauncherPatcher.exe/Build\/Final\/Bioshock2HD.exe}”‘ — %command% -nointro

And finally, here is the text from BioShock Infinite:

bash -c ‘exec “${@/2KLauncher\/LauncherPatcher.exe/Binaries\/Win32\/BioShockInfinite.exe}”‘ — %command% -nointro

In each case, this bypasses the 2K Launcher entirely. Annoyingly, this isn’t the first time a developer or publisher has screwed up their own game’s ability to run on the Steam Deck: Final Fantasy XIV was broken for a while after it also got a new launcher and was unplayable until a later upgrade from Proton. One can hope that this time, it will be 2K themselves cleaning up their own mess.

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