From ArchWiki

Gamescope is a microcompositor from Valve that is used on the Steam Deck. Its goal is to provide an isolated compositor that is tailored towards gaming and supports many gaming-centric features such as:

  • Spoofing resolutions.
  • Upscaling using AMD FidelityFX™ Super Resolution or NVIDIA Image Scaling.
  • Limiting framerates.

As a microcompositor it is designed to run as a nested session on top of your existing desktop environment though it is also possible to use it as an embedded compositor as well.

Currently it does not have native support for Wayland clients[1] and on a Wayland session it will use XWayland.


Gamescope can be installed with the gamescope package (or the gamescope-gitAUR package). Additionally there is also gamescope-plusAUR which includes extra patches not present in the mainline build.


  • AMD: Mesa 20.3 or above
  • Intel: Mesa 21.2 or above
  • NVIDIA: proprietary drivers 515.43.04 or above, and the nvidia-drm.modeset=1 kernel parameter


Gamescope offers many options, far to many to cover here. For a full list use the gamescope --help command from a terminal.

From a desktop session

The following command will run supertuxkart using Gamescope and force a 1920x1080 resolution at 60 FPS

$ gamescope -W 1920 -H 1080 -r 60 -- supertuxkart

From Steam

You can force Steam to run in Big Picture Mode using Gamescope by using the following command:

$ gamescope -e -- steam -gamepadui
Note: The -e flag tells Gamescope to enable Steam Integration.

You can also run games from Steam using Gamescope by adding the following to the games launch options

gamescope -- %command%
Note: It is still required that you set flags such as resolution, FPS etc when launching from Steam otherwise Gamescope will launch at an incorrect resolution. You can do this in the same way as from a terminal, for example
gamescope -W 1920 -H 1080 -r 60 -- %command%

From Wine

To run programs using Gamescope through Wine, simply append wine followed by the executable.

$ gamescope -W 1920 -H 1080 -r 60 -- wine supertuxkart

Almost all the popular Wine managers such as Lutris, Bottles, and PlayOnLinux have support for Gamescope. Using them is as simple as installing the desired Gamescope package and checking the Use Gamescope (or similar) option.

Note: Wine managers also tend to have a GUI interface to configure basic Gamescope options making them, in general, the easiest way to use Gamescope.

Through Flatpak

You can also use Gamescope from Flatpak versions of Wine managers and Steam in the same way as you would from a package install. It does however require that you first install Gamescope from Flathub with the following command:

$ flatpak install gamescope


The -U and -Y flags can be used to upscale games using AMD FidelityFX™ Super Resolution (FSR) or NVIDIA Image Scaling (NIS) respectively. You can also use -i for integer upscaling.

To upscale a 720p game to 1440p using FSR:

$ gamescope -h 720 -H 1440 -U -- supertuxkart

To run a game at 1080p internal resolution but display it at 4K using NIS:

$ gamescope -w 1920 -h 1080 -W 3840 -H 2160 -Y -- supertuxkart

HDR support

Gamescope is a requirement for HDR10 support when playing games, to make use of this feature you must launch your Gamescope session using the --hdr-enabled flag.

Note: HDR support on Linux is still in its infancy and has many caveats. See HDR monitor support for details.


Switching to fullscreen causes low performance

This is a known bug when using Gamescopes fullscreen hotkey Meta+f, if you encounter this issue it can be worked around by using the fullscreen flag -f when launching the game.

Setting Gamescopes priority

Another known cause of low performance and/or stuttering is not having Gamescopes priority set correctly, you can tell this is the case if you see errors mentioning CAP_SYS_NICE in your terminal while Gamescope is running. The following command will fix this:

# setcap 'CAP_SYS_NICE=eip' $(which gamescope)

See Also