FIX: Project Zomboid Crashing on Steam Deck

Project Zomboid is an incredibly immersive survival game that has captured the hearts of gamers worldwide. However, some players have encountered an unfortunate issue – frequent crashes on the highly anticipated Steam Deck. Thankfully, we have some effective solutions for you to overcome this frustrating problem. By following these basic checks, you’ll be back to surviving the zombie apocalypse without any interruptions in no time. So, let’s dive in and ensure your Project Zomboid experience on the Steam Deck remains flawless!

Solution 1: Basic Checks

Before trying anything else, it’s wise to check off some things.

  1. You should check if PZ is compatible with Steam Deck.
  2. Are there any mods or something extra you have installed on your device? It’s important to have official/well-maintained files running on your Steam Deck to keep it clean.
  3. If the game itself is running fine, check their official channels or forums.
  4. Your internet connection is fine.
  5. Your Steam Deck is not overheating.
  6. Most of the errors are avoided just by this simple technique due to software glitches. The next thing you need to do is force reboot your console to overcome Project Zomboid not opening.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the power button for 3 seconds and if it doesn’t respond then it’s your software issue
  2. To fix this Press and hold the Power button for at least 12 seconds
    reboot steam deck for PZ not loading
  3. This will give a force restart to your console

Solution 2: Disconnect and reinsert the Micro SD Card

If Project Zomboid is on your SD card then first you should try to reinsert the SD Card, else disconnect the micro SD card from your Deck, and try to run another game.

If you don’t face Project Zomboid shutdown while playing in internal storage then the issue is probably in your SD card.

So, it’s best for you to check the current SD Card in another device and replace the micro SD card with a new one.

Alternatively, install the primary game on your internal memory.

Solution 3: Re-Initialize DNS

I know this might sound extra but I had to include it as some users have fixed their issue by changing the DNS settings as the crashing could be due to the network. Yes, this helps if your FPS drops randomly too.

This has also helped users solve lagging issues on Project Zomboid

Re-initializing DNS is simple:

  1. Hold the Steam Deck power button to bring up the power menu.
  2. Then select Switch to Desktop to switch over to the Linux desktop.
    switch to desktop mode on steam deck to initialize dns on Project Zomboid
  3. Make sure the desktop version of Steam is running.
  4. Now click on the Wi-Fi icon located at the bottom right and then click Configure Network Connection
    Update Your DNS Server on Steam Deck In Easy Steps
  5. Click on your current connection and then select IPv4
  6. Change the Method from Automatic to Manual
    Update Your DNS Server on Steam Deck In Easy Steps
  7. In the DNS Servers, we are going to enter the DNS separated by commas to match the Google DNS.
    • 8.8.8.8
    • 8.8.4.4 
  8. To add, remove or modify the DNS manually you need to click on the Edit icon as shown in the picture below
    Update Your DNS Server on Steam Deck In Easy Steps
  9. And manage them from the window that appears
    Update Your DNS Server on Steam Deck In Easy Steps
  10. You can do the same steps with IPv6 if you want to change its DNS settings

Solution 4: Update the Steam deck

One of the most common reasons for shutdown is an outdated SteamOS version causing compatibility issues.

To check if you are using the latest OS of Steam on Steam Deck, you need to:

  1. Tap on the Steam Button to open the sidebar
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Find System (second option)
    Update steam deck to get rid of black screen
  4. yellow icon will appear that will tell you if an update is available and what’s new
  5. Click on Apply and Restart the Steam deck to complete the update.
  6. Repeat the process to see if there’s any other update pending until it says it is up to date

If you are unable to update your Steam deck, consider checking our Steam Deck Not Updating guide to help you.

Solution 5: Change Proton Version

Steam Deck uses Proton as a compatibility layer that enables the console to run PC games.

There are multiple collections of high-performance graphic APIs and Wine working together to make it work.

There’s a different proton version available for each game and sometimes one proton version works for one game and the other works for the other game.

How to Change the Proton Version in Steam Deck?

To change the proton version, you need to select your game

  1. Then go to Settings of the game
  2. Now go to Properties
    steam deck properties
  3. In the left sidebar, choose the second option: Compatibility
  4. In the new menu opened check the box presented
  5. You’ll find Proton Experimental
    steam deck compatibility proton version with PZ to fix black screen
  6. Tap on it to find all the versions you can select from.

Solution 6: Reset Steam Deck

To reset Steam Deck from the console itself is one of the easiest ways:

  1. Press the Steam Button to open Settings
  2. In System Menu, scroll to the bottom of the page to the Factory Reset button
    factory reset steam deck to fix black screen on Project Zomboid
  3. This will take the Steam Deck back to its original state without anything in its memory.
confirm factory reset steam deck

This will help you clear any cache/storage/software-related issues that may be causing your game to crash on Steam Deck.

If this is also not helping then it’s either a game or sadly a hardware issue you are facing, as faulty Steam Decks are common but repairs/returns are not a big hassle if you are in a supported country.

Solution 7: Contact Steam Deck Support

If you cannot get rid of PZ not opening on Steam Deck after resetting or force rebooting, you should contact Steam Deck support and ask them to perform the necessary repairs on the console. Check in the game discussion forums or comment here if you are still facing an issue, and I’d be happen to help you.

steam deck support

Final thoughts

In conclusion, while the crashes on the Steam Deck may hinder your enjoyment of Project Zomboid, these basic checks will help you tackle the issue head-on. Whether it’s updating your drivers, adjusting game settings, or verifying game files, these simple steps can often resolve the problem and allow you to dive back into the post-apocalyptic world with ease. Don’t let technical glitches ruin your gaming experience; take control and implement these solutions to get the most out of your Steam Deck and Project Zomboid adventure. Happy survival gaming, and may your battles against the undead be crash-free!

Sophia
Sophia

Hi! I'm Sophia from France. 🇫🇷 I got my first PlayStation as a gift and saved up big time for my fav, the PS2! 🎮 Now, I write super cool guides and articles about it on thecpuguide.com. Let's game on! 🌟

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