How to Play 3DS Games Dual Screen with Citra and Steam Deck - Steam Deck HQ (2024)


Disclaimer: We do not condone piracy on SDHQ. All roms tested with this guide have been dumped from the legal cartridge owned by the author. If you are looking to play 3DS games dual screen with Citra and Steam Deck, please use games you own yourself.

This guide is based on Nixxe's Dual Monitor Setup Guide found on the Citra Community forum for PC. This guide has been adapted for use with the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck is capable of some truly amazing things - one of which includes the ability to use your deck as the secondary screen when playing 3DS games. This guide can help you create an authentic experience when emulating your favorites. Read on to learn how to play 3DS games dual screen with Citra and Steam Deck!

Getting Started

We'll assume a few things first --

  1. You have installed Citra via Flatpak or Emudeck
  2. You own and have dumped a legal copy of a 3DS game you own as a .cia file
  3. You have a keyboard and mouse to change emulator files throughout this guide

Connect your Steam Deck to a monitor and make the monitor your primary screen. For this guide, we'll be setting up our secondary screen (Steam Deck) to the right. The monitor does not need to physically be on the right side of your desk. Make sure the screens line up at the top.

How to Play 3DS Games Dual Screen with Citra and Steam Deck - Steam Deck HQ (1)

Take note of the resolution of both screens. For this guide, we have:

  1. The primary monitor, set to 1920x1080
  2. The Steam Deck, set at 1280x800

Configuring Citra

Navigate to Citra's installation config folder. I installed Citra via emudeck, so I found the install folder here:

Home > .var > app > org.citra_emu.citra > config > citra-emu

1. Make a copy of your qt-config.ini file and rename it to qt-config_old.ini. This functions as a backup in case you want to reset the setting back to the default.

How to Play 3DS Games Dual Screen with Citra and Steam Deck - Steam Deck HQ (2)

2. Open qt-config.ini with KWrite, the default text editor

3. Scroll down to the Layout section, which starts on line 257

4. Copy and paste the following parameters:
Note: these settings are for a 1920x1080 primary screen.

If your primary monitor is 1080p, you can go ahead and copy the code below and replace it with your [Layout] section in your qt-config.ini file.

[Layout]custom_bottom_bottom=800custom_bottom_bottom\default=falsecustom_bottom_left=1920custom_bottom_left\default=falsecustom_bottom_right=3200custom_bottom_right\default=falsecustom_bottom_top=0custom_bottom_top\default=falsecustom_layout=truecustom_layout\default=falsecustom_top_bottom=1080custom_top_bottom\default=falsecustom_top_left=0custom_top_left\default=truecustom_top_right=1920custom_top_right\default=falsecustom_top_top=0custom_top_top\default=truefactor_3d=0factor_3d\default=truefilter_mode=truefilter_mode\default=truelayout_option=1pp_shader_name=none (builtin)pp_shader_name\default=truerender_3d=0render_3d\default=trueswap_screen=falseswap_screen\default=trueupright_screen=falseupright_screen\default=true

Note: if you're using a different monitor screen size for your main monitor, check out Nixxe's guide to see how to change your [Layout] settings for your monitor.

Almost There...

Now that everything is set up, there's a few extra steps to help get your game running the way we want in order to play 3DS games dual screen with Citra and Steam Deck.

1. Since the game is being played in desktop mode, you'll want to make sure your gamepad is set to the default key bindings on desktop mode. I typically use a customized binding setup for desktop mode so I can use my deck without a keyboard and mouse when in desktop mode.

To find this, go to Steam in desktop mode. Then, in Steam, go to Settings > Controller > Desktop Configuration

How to Play 3DS Games Dual Screen with Citra and Steam Deck - Steam Deck HQ (3)

Set your taskbar to Auto Hide or Windows Can Cover:

  1. Right click on the taskbar
  2. Select "Enter Edit Mode"
  3. Select "More Options" > Auto Hide or Windows Can Cover
How to Play 3DS Games Dual Screen with Citra and Steam Deck - Steam Deck HQ (4)

Playing Games

1. Open up Citra. You can open it via Steam (in desktop mode) or through the application menu.

2. Make sure "Single Window Mode" is turned off under the "View" settings.

3. Open the game. The game will start running in a small window. Make sure it's snapped to the top left of your main screen.

How to Play 3DS Games Dual Screen with Citra and Steam Deck - Steam Deck HQ (5)

4. Extend the window out as far to the right as possible.

5. Extend the window out as far down to the bottom as possible from the main monitor.

6. Right click on the emulation window and select More Actions > No Border. This will hide the main window.

You're ready to play! Pick up your Steam Deck and play away!

How to Play 3DS Games Dual Screen with Citra and Steam Deck - Steam Deck HQ (6)


That's it! You're now ready to play 3DS games dual screen with Citra and Steam Deck. We hope this guide helped you create the best 3DS experience possible with your Steam Deck! I know it did for us! One extra note -- theoretically, a similar setup will work for Cemu as well. Check back soon for a guide on how to play Wii U games on Steam Deck!

Thank you guys for reading! If you enjoyed following this guide, please consider supporting SDHQ by donating onPatreon. Your support will help us continue to grow and provide the latest and best Steam Deck content!

How to Play 3DS Games Dual Screen with Citra and Steam Deck - Steam Deck HQ (7)

Shelby Klein

Shelby Klein is a web developer, digital artist, avid gamer and father based in Orlando, Florida.

Steam Profile

How to Play 3DS Games Dual Screen with Citra and Steam Deck - Steam Deck HQ (2024)


How do you dual screen a Steam Deck? ›

If you want to run a dual-display setup with your dock, you must switch the Steam Deck to Desktop mode. We highly recommend connecting a keyboard and mouse for traditional PC navigation. It makes setting up two screens much easier. Connect your monitors to your Steam Deck dock.

Can Citra play multiplayer with a real 3DS? ›

Citra's multiplayer feature has the ability to emulate local wireless multiplayer over the Internet. While on a real 3DS you'd be limited to the people in your immediate vicinity, Citra boasts a complex server/client infrastructure that forwards a game's wireless communication across the internet.

Can you use Citra on Steam Deck? ›

That's everything needed to add and play 3DS games on the Steam Deck via the EmuDeck app running the Citra emulator. The games will launch from the Steam library like the official games, and players can also add them to the favorites tab.

Does Citra work with 3DS games? ›

Citra emulates a subset of 3DS hardware and therefore is useful for running/debugging homebrew applications, and it is also able to run many commercial games. Some of these do not run at a playable state.

Can you play split screen on Steam Deck? ›

So on your main menu now you should have an option that says "Play Offline Coop", next to Campaign and Singleplayer, select that, you'll have an option to change your splitscreen direction at the botton, then you can select Play Campaign or whatever mode you want, select the level and difficulty and it should load you ...

How do I use dual monitors with Steam? ›

How-To Guide: How to Run Steam Games on an Additional Monitor
  1. Step 1: Configure Two Monitors. ...
  2. Step 2: (Optional) Make the Second Monitor the Primary Display. ...
  3. Step 3: Open Steam on the Secondary Display. ...
  4. Step 4: Launch the Game. ...
  5. Step 5: Modify the game's settings.
Nov 15, 2023

How many monitors can a Steam Deck support? ›

Connect your Deck

Dock Deck to your TV and play games on the couch with your favorite wireless controllers. Set up a Dock at your work desk and get some keyboard / mouse work done on up to two external displays at a time.

Can I plug 2 monitors into my GPU? ›

Connecting multiple monitors to one GPU is simple. All you need to do is plug in a compatible video cable into the rear I/O ports. If your first monitor is connected via an HDMI cable, you will likely have to utilise other connectors, such as DisplayPort, for your additional monitors, and vice versa.

Does KVM work for multiple monitors? ›

And then you'd attach multiple computers, depending on how many devices your KVM supports. Then you can switch between those devices, by pressing a button. These days it's common to have KVM switches that support extra features like… Multiple monitors.

Does Intel Iris Plus Graphics support multiple monitors? ›

Graphics for Intel® Iris Xe MAX Graphics

Graphics controllers support up to three streaming independent and simultaneous display combinations of DisplayPort*, eDP*, HDMI*, DVI, or Thunderbolt monitors.

How to change screen layout in Citra? ›

The screen layout can be changed by opening Citra, going to Emulation → Configure → Graphics. The layout can sort of effect the screen size depending on what it is set to.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Van Hayes

Last Updated:

Views: 6154

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Van Hayes

Birthday: 1994-06-07

Address: 2004 Kling Rapid, New Destiny, MT 64658-2367

Phone: +512425013758

Job: National Farming Director

Hobby: Reading, Polo, Genealogy, amateur radio, Scouting, Stand-up comedy, Cryptography

Introduction: My name is Van Hayes, I am a thankful, friendly, smiling, calm, powerful, fine, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.