Microsoft’s Halo: MCC update should support Steam Deck, but the exact opposite happened
As the Steam Deck gets out into more hands there are more and more eager gamers trying to play their vast libraries on the handheld. The list of verified and officially playable titles is already over 2,000 and going up by the day, a monumental achievement for Valve and its Proton special sauce. There is still a stumbling block, though; anti-cheat software. And that’s the tale of the tape when it comes to Steam Deck and general Linux support for Microsoft’s Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC).
Halo: MCC uses Epic’s Easy Anti Cheat (EAC) on its multiplayer, and until now that has been a roadblock for anyone trying to play through Proton. Even though EAC was updated pre-Steam Deck launch to support Linux. So when a huge update arrived on April 11 that brought with it the necessary fixes for EAC on Linux, Steam Deck owners immediately had a reason for celebration. Or perhaps just to be hopeful. Alas, as the intrepid team at GamingonLinux found, that hope was short-lived.
*After some testing, this update appears to have entirely broken Halo MCC on Linux Proton / Steam Deck.
— GamingOnLinux 🐧⭐ (@gamingonlinux) April 11, 2022
The frustrating thing is not that EAC hasn’t enabled multiplayer support at last — though that is still frustrating — it’s that what once worked now seems not to. It hasn’t been officially announced that Microsoft was intending to start supporting the Steam Deck and Linux with this update, but still. Considering EAC has to be enabled by the developer, it’s hard to believe it was an accident.
Halo: MCC single player has been working pretty well on Linux for some time, and while I haven’t personally played it on Steam Deck yet, I have enjoyed some super happy Spartan fun time on my Linux desktop PC. And it was really good, arguably more stable through Proton than I’d experienced through Windows. Fortunately, the Linux community rarely accepts defeat, and for those who at least want to play the single-player games, there’s a fix that can be applied.
If, like me, it no longer runs for you.
Delete this directory: “easyanticheat” in the installed folder.
Then you can at least play offline on Linux / Steam Deck like before.
— GamingOnLinux 🐧⭐ (@gamingonlinux) April 12, 2022
Hopefully, this is intended as support for multiplayer on Steam Deck, especially with the added PC/console crossplay support introduced in the same update. But how quickly it might get sorted out is anyone’s guess. Soon, though, please!