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What is DOS_deck?

Experience classic games with modern convenience at DOS_deck. With full controller support and a carefully curated game collection, enjoy timeless classics and hidden gems, readily available for instant play in your web browser on devices you already own.

DOS_deck runs seamlessly on Steam Deck, Mac, and Windows using Chrome, Edge or Safari. Whether you prefer playing on a TV or a laptop screen, using a gamepad or mouse and keyboard, DOS_deck adapts to your gaming style.

Why choose DOS_deck?

DOS_deck features:

  • 🕹ī¸ Instant Play
    Dive into your favorite MS-DOS games without downloading, installation or configuration. Click, play, and relive the nostalgia.
  • 🎮 Controller Support
    Enhance your gaming experience by connecting your gamepad for a modern convenient experience.
  • đŸ“ē Go Full Screen
    Play distraction-free by going full screen and enjoying your games to the max.
  • 💾 Automatic Game Progress Saving
    Never worry about losing your progress. DOS_deck automatically saves your game state when you exit, so you can pick up where you left off.
  • ⌨ī¸ Virtual Keyboard
    A virtual keyboard is available for when you need to input text and don't want to leave the couch.
  • ❤ī¸ Game Favorites
    Keep track of your preferred games by adding them to your list of favorites. Easily access your beloved titles in one place.
  • ℹī¸ Detailed Control Info
    Each game is pre-configured for using a controller and DOS_deck lists keyboard keys and controller buttons to provide you with the best gaming experience.
  • 🔗 Deeplinking
    Share your gaming adventures with friends through deeplinking to specific games. It's gaming nostalgia at your fingertips.
  • đŸ’ģ Cross-Platform Support
    Whether you're on Mac, Windows, Linux, or the Steam Deck, DOS_deck has you covered.
  • 🌐 Browser Compatibility
    DOS_deck works seamlessly with Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox, ensuring you can play your favorite games on your preferred browser.

Unlocking the Gaming Past with DOS_deck

In the modern era of gaming, we're spoiled for choice with instant access to games, thanks to game consoles and streaming services, all seamlessly controlled with our trusty gamepads. But let's rewind the clock. Long before these conveniences, there was an era where the gaming world was defined by the MS-DOS operating system, and it laid the foundation for what we enjoy today.

Between 1980 and 1995, MS-DOS reigned as the standard computer operating system. It was a period of innovation and creativity that introduced entirely new gaming genres. Wolfenstein pioneered the first-person shooter (FPS) genre, while Dune 2 set the stage for real-time strategy (RTS) games. Moreover, it was the birthplace of legendary franchises we adore today, including Grand Theft Auto, Fallout, Need for Speed and Warcraft.

However, as technology progressed, MS-DOS fell by the wayside, and in 2001, Microsoft ceased support for this iconic system. Many of these classic games became incompatible with modern versions of Windows, leaving a void in the hearts of gamers.

Enter a dedicated group of enthusiasts who weren't ready to let the classics fade into obscurity. They developed a PC emulator aimed at preserving the MS-DOS experience, and thus, DOSBox was born. This remarkable piece of software was the key to resurrecting the past.

DOSBox allowed these classic games to run, but it required installation on a computer, limiting accessibility. Fortunately, the magic of modern web technology came to the rescue. Some ingenious individuals managed to make DOSBox run within a web browser, giving rise to the marvelous software package known as JS-DOS.

DOS_deck is built upon the foundation of JS-DOS, which, in turn, relies on DOSBox. Together, they breathe new life into MS-DOS games by bringing them to your browser. However, there's a twist. Games from that era were designed for keyboard and mouse input, without established standards for interaction or control patterns. Here at DOS_deck, a tremendous effort was put into creating a seamless experience, enabling you to effortlessly navigate and play these games, ideally with the comfort of a controller in hand.

Rediscover a golden age of gaming with DOS_deck. It's the bridge between the past and the present, connecting you to a world of digital memories and timeless adventures.

A few tips

Playing these games in a browser is a blast. But browsers behave a certain way and it's good to know a few things:

  1. Browsers only play sound effects and music after you've "interacted" with the page at least once. So click or press a key once to activate audio.
  2. In many games, Escape activates a menu. But Escape also exits full screen in a browser. Therefore, you can press the equals key ("=") to simulate Escape at all times.
  3. Some browsers require you to click on the game once before you can actually use the mouse or emulate the mouse with a controller.

Steam Deck Installation

DOS_deck runs great on Chrome or Edge on a Steam Deck, but it needs a few steps to activate the controller properly. By default, browsers cannot detect the controller. Instead, controller input is received by Chrome and Edge as if you pressed a keyboard key. So follow these steps to install DOS_deck in Steam Deck game mode:

  1. Press the Steam button, select Power > Switch to Desktop.
  2. Open the Discover Software Center.
  3. Select Applications > Internet > Web Browsers.
  4. Find Chrome or Edge and select Install.
  5. Once it's installed, return to the Desktop. Select Application Launcher.
  6. Select Internet, right-click on Chrome or Edge and select Add to Steam.
  7. Check the box next to Chrome or Edge. Select Add Selected Programs.
  8. Back on the Desktop, open Application Launcher > System > Konsole (terminal window).
  9. Chrome or Edge needs access to the Steam Deck controller.
    Enter this command in Konsole and press Enter:

    For Chrome:
    flatpak override --user --filesystem=/run/udev:ro com.google.Chrome

    For Edge:
    flatpak override --user --filesystem=/run/udev:ro com.microsoft.Edge

  10. Open Steam
  11. Navigate to Chrome or Edge, right-click and select Properties.
  12. Change the name to DOS_deck
  13. Append this to launch options (after @@u @@):

    --window-size=1200,800 --kiosk "https://dosdeck.com"

  14. Restart your Steam Deck back into Game Mode
  15. Go to DOS_deck in your library and select Manage > Controller Layout
  16. Select BROWSE CONFIGS > Gamepad with Mouse Trackpad > APPLY CONFIGURATION > Done
  17. Enjoy!

Are these games legal?

Yes. DOS_deck only offers legally distributable games. Each and every game is checked and verified to be either:

  • Shareware - Games that provide one episode for free, encouraging players to purchase remaining episodes.
  • Freeware - Games released without monetary charge to the public.
  • Demo - Game demonstrations, either playable or not, encouraging players to purchase the full game.
  • Liberated - Games initially released commercially, of which the original developer or publisher eventually released the game into public domain.

FAQ

Question: Will you add [my favorite game] ?
Answer: Probably, in time. Please be patient.

Question: Can I upload games I own?
Answer: Not right now, but in the future this might become possible.

For other questions and dicussions, please visit reddit.com/r/dosdeck

Contact

My name is Martin Kool and I like hobbies. Post your questions on reddit.com/r/dosdeck or send me an email at martin@q42.nl.

Big ❤ī¸ to Sander van Houdt for the logo design.

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