Steam Deck support and integration

Would be really really cool if Renoise was specifically adapted to the Steam Deck for on the go tracker-based beat-making

  • UI mode adapted for small touch screens (could also be helpful for those on other handhelds (Raspberry based or GPD laptops)

  • Steam Deck’s controls fully mapped to Renoise navigation, commands, composing, playing etc (could also be made compatible with Xbox/PS4/Switch game controllers)

  • Performance optimisation if required for the Steam Deck’s OS and APU

  • Make sure the installation is smooth and icon can be easily added on the Steam interface once installation is done.

I think such integration would bring Renoise a whole new experience and probably new public as well.

I personally haven’t invested on a Renoise licence yet but I’m receiving my Steam Deck in the coming days and I’ll probably test the demo of Renoise on it to see if it’s usable. From my short experience on the Demo on Mac, I believe it will probably need some stripped down UI to be usable on the Steam Deck’s screen.

I wonder if the physical controls send key stroke messages to the system that we could already map to Renoise, I will test and tell you if it is the case.

What do you think ? Would you use your Steam Deck as a tracker-based groovebox on the go or at home ?


I reserved a steam deck too! I never though of using it for renoise, wow that’s going to be great to test, I wonder if the screen will be too small…hmmmm!

I know the SteamDeck’s operating system is Linux based, which should be already supported. As for integration, I wonder if the Lua scripting interface would be able to allow a custom interface for this. It might already be possible.

Got your priorities backwards imho.


confirmed working!!!

They put jungle on da deck

— Dogs on Acid: Xtreme Beach Volleyball (@yungslav_) July 11, 2022
"its basically impossible to use without plugging in a kb+m but also: lol"
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So i got it going too…

What there needs to be is a way to enter notes without the keyboard. Some scripting will need to involved.

Something like press a hotkey and will let u press up/down to scroll thru notes and then another key to enter it. Click on an already entered note to edit the same way, etc. And then the same style system for entering fx commands, a contextual menu of sorts would pop up and let u scroll the various fx commands available for that column, then move to the value and be able to scroll up/down thru hex values.

It would be so cool to be able to fly around editing with the controller interface. Maybe @Raul could make something?

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That’s why I believe that some official integration would be really cool. If it’s just mapping and if SteamOS is open enough to desktop mode apps for them to access the built-in game controls, that could be possible easily.

However if it requires also some UI adaptation that could be harder for the developers todo. But could be worth it.

I haven’t bought any licence for now, just testing the demo which I find very cool on the computer. But I would pay maybe 10-20 bucks more if there was an official release on the steam store with full UI integration of game pads and steam deck controls.

For now I have my DirtyWave M8 as handled tracker and man this thing is super cool (and powerful).

Its looking like it may be possible all within the steam deck controller configuration. I’m giving it a go!

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It is going great. Since this is “Bleeding edge” I’ll chime in hints so far.

There really is no installation. Just download the linux version to the downloads folder, extract, and double click/execute the file named “renoise” ignore the others. I just left the extracted directory in the downloads folder and it stayed there after a steam os update. You can’t install like normal because the steam deck has a read only filesystem for most of it.

After running for the first time it will complain about not having root access for ALSA audio priority and will work sometimes without enabling priority but will eat cpu, but it works fine using Jack. There is a constant ~2.6% cpu load. Playing dblue Tension maxes out around 23%.

You can “Pin” the application to the task bar after its launched for easy opening. You can also go into steam in the desktop mode and add it to steam library as a non steam app. Then you can open Renoise while in Game mode.

I’ve been working on a steam controller configuration for it without changing any of the default renoise key bindings. Except for pattern follow. It is default bound to “Scroll” but binding middle mouse button thru the steam controller config doesn’t work.

To make commands in the steam controller config for, as an example, ctrl-x you make ctrl a regular button press and x a sub command. This also works for long button press and double press, so you can have 3 key combos on one button depending how you press it.

There also exists a way to change “scenes” but I haven’t gotten there yet. The steam controller manual is over 700gb in size with gifs :smiley:

The gyro works great for moving sliders.

The scripts from @unless line grab and value stepper have made it possible for editing to be very quick using the joysticks. Its not a bad experience at all. Except they don’t work in phrase editor. Inputting notes so far the best way i’ve found is just mapping a button to c3 and transposing afterwards.

I mapped buttons to Undo/redo, edit mode, pattern follow, transpose 1 or 12 steps up/down, the tools above, move keyboard focus, copy/cut/paste all on one button, c3, enter, space, left/right mouse click, and use

I’d like to figure a way to change controller “scenes”, edit step value, also possibly more than one note, and more, before “submitting” this is as something useful.


You should be able to upload your controller config for others to use as well! I think steam lets you upload non steam app controller configs :woman_shrugging:t2:. Anyway, fantastic work! Ima try to do a similar setup when I feel less lazy lol. Thanks for the awesome write up.

There is a .vdf controller file stored locally that I’ll share once I think its complete as I can get it.

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Wow amazing ! Thank you for taking the time and sharing that with the community ! I had little hopes honestly when I opened the thread but now for sure I will give it a try !

Here is a controller config

On the deck you put it in ~.local/share/Steam/userdata/xxxx/xxxx/remote/controller_config/renoise
after that it should show up as a controller config for renoise

the xxxx/xxxx are numbers I am not sure are the same on every system, the other folder names should be the same. Maybe you have to make a config for renoise first for it to make the folders, i am not sure


l5/r5 is undo/redo
l4/r4 is transpose up/down 1 semitone, hold for 1 oct (must have note selected )
l1/r1 changes active focus
l2 is right click
r2 on soft pull is space, hard pull return
menu button is esc, list button toggles pattern follow (you must assign this value in renoise key commands )

dpad is arrow keys

b button single click to begin selection, double click to end selection
x button, hold to cut, double click copy, single click paste

install the unless tools line grab and value stepper, then u can move notes around with the right joystick and values with the left joystick, i think you have to assign these values in the key commands of renoise,
for line grab i used shift-ctrl-alt i,j,k,l
and left joystick is value stepper i used shift-alt =,-
when assigning the values you may have to hold the control and use another hand to move the cursor to apply at the same time

a button is x

you can move a slider holding clicking on right trackpad (or l2 for right click), resting thumb on left trackpad ( then the gyro becomes active ) and tilt the device left and right to move the slider

for any note editing you must use the b button to begin and end a selection

There is a lot more that could be done but I am running out of ideas. Also rarely it does kinda of glitch out, and u must restart renoise for the commands to sync up again.

You can use the touchscreen but it doesn’t work too well

left trackpad can be used for scrolling

Due to all the setup needed I probably won’t upload this to steam as it won’t work right without the setup, so you have to know what you’re doing etc.

if you install plugins and open their editor, they can only be closed by pressing the steam button, selecting the plugin window name and chose close window(x)


Old topic, but I was wondering if anyone’s gotten this working since Steam Deck’s move to Arch Linux?
I’ve installed it but it’s very choppy. Adjusting buffer doesn’t fix anything.

Checking CPU frequency scaling...
Your CPU frequency governor is NOT set to 'performance'.
It's HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to disable CPU frequency scaling for realtime audio applications.
Please have a look at '' for more information about this...
Checking audio configuration...
PAM seems not to be installed or not configured for audio applications.
It's HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to tweak your system for realtime audio applications to get acceptable audio/MIDI latencies with Jack and ALSA. Please have a look at '' for more information about this topic...

Installation of Renoise 3.4.2 SUCCEEDED.

I’ve set the CPU governor to performance and created the limits.d/audio.conf file. but no changes

Immediately started to work when I stopped trying to figure ALSA out and just used JACK

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sorry if I’m out of line here but there would be a much bigger audience for Renoise on the iPad/iPhone, I’d say if that becomes a reality steam deck would be a much easier sell at that point, but financially speaking, iOS would generate a lot more income for Renoise.

iOS/iPadOS is definitely a bigger market. But there are already compelling alternatives on it. At least one (SunVox).

For having tried tracker apps with touch screens only, it’s not very convenient to use.

The Steam Deck has built-in touch screen, pads for the fx and many buttons in addition to gyro. So I believe it would be ideal.

Also, Valve has created a new market for handheld PCs so we are talking about a bigger market than just the device itself (even though for now the Deck is 90% of it).

Lastly, in terms of dev investment, Renoise being already on Linux, it’s about creating a mapping for the built-in controls and adapting parts of the UI for smaller screens and making sure the package is compatible with the specific distribution. Which will benefit also to laptop users.

Porting on mobile basically means starting from the ground up.

I hear you I never could get into sunvox on a touchscreen, on PC I like it, but ultimately I just like the way you interact with Renoise more, even though SunVox does have some really great features, it’s just way more fiddley. Even if Renoise were to be on iOS I’d still use a keyboard so for me there’s not really much point.

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i think jack is ported through pipewire now but it seems to work fine.