Modding Guides

How to install and run the Multiverse Launcher on Steam Deck

Written by: BlackBeltMike

These instructions assume you own the GoG version of Populous: The Beginning.

Good Luck Shaman!

System Specs

Current system specs at the time of writing, which may be found in Steam Deck’s Desktop Mode -> System Settings -> About This System:

Operating System: SteamOS 3.2
KDE Plasma Version: 5.27.5
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.107.0
Qt Version: 5.15.2
Kernel Version: 6.1.52-valve3-1-neptune-61 (64-bit)
Graphics Platform: X11
Processors: 8 × AMD Custom APU 0405
Memory: 14.5 GiB of RAM
Graphics Processor: AMD Custom GPU 0405.

Tested with Multiverse Launcher(MV) 3.6 and the GoG version of Populous: The Beginning.

The compatible Wine version required is lutris-fshack-7.2-x86_64 (installation instructions included below).

Install and setup of Populous: The Beginning

  1. Via the Steam button menu, switch to Desktop mode.
  2. Install Lutris using the Discover app, run it and connect your GoG account.
  3. Using Lutris, install the GoG version of Populous: The Beginning. Check during install that the prefix created by the installer is /home/deck/Games/gog/populous-the-beginning. If prompted to choose between Wine auto-generated and non-auto-generated, the auto-generated option is fine.  You should also choose to create a Steam shortcut, and to install the manual etc when prompted.
  4. The game’s setup wizard will run, no need to change the installation screen options from their defaults.  Once the install completes, choose Exit to close down the setup wizard.
  5. Now with Populous selected in Lutris, click the arrow next to the Play button, select Configure and in Game Options, ensure the application executable is set to: /home/deck/Games/gog/populous-the-beginning/drive_c/GOG Games/Populous 3/D3DPopTB.exe
  6. At this point, it’s a good idea to test that the game itself loads up.  You should be able to click Play inside Lutris, and if prompted with options of what to run, choose Populous: The Beginning.  Note that at this point, your control mappings won’t be fully defined, and it will be difficult to exit the game if you load into a map, so just load in as far as the main menu and quit.

Multiverse Installer

  1. Using a browser in Steam Deck Desktop mode, download the latest version of the Multiverse installer from
  2. Copy the downloaded MVLauncherInstaller.exe to the populous game folder.  If you followed the instructions correctly, this will be: /home/deck/Games/gog/populous-the-beginning/drive_c/GOG Games/Populous 3/
  3. Now back to Lutris, click on Games (in the left menu bar), and the Plus symbol (+) to add a game.
  4. In the menu, select Add locally installed game.
  5. In the Add a new game dialog, set the Name field to Multiverse Installer.
  6. In Game Options, click Browse to set the executable to /home/deck/Games/gog/populous-the-beginning/drive_c/GOG Games/Populous 3/MVLauncherInstaller.exe
  7. Click Save, select the Multiverse Launcher ‘game’ from inside Lutris and press Play.
  8. The Multiverse launcher installer will run, so complete MV Installer steps, accepting the default option suggestions until the final screen.  Deselect Launch MultiverseLauncher and click Finish.

Install Lutris Runner

We need to install a specific runner for compatibility reasons.

  1. Inside Lutris, in the left menu bar, near the bottom under Runners, you should see two icons next to “Wine”. Click on the one labeled “Manage Versions”.
  2. On the next screen, Install “lutris-fshack-7.2 x86_64”.
  3. On that’s installed, click Exit.

Launching Multiverse and running the game

  1. Boot Steam Deck into Game Mode and within the Non-Steam games section of your Steam Library launch the Populous: Multiverse shortcut. This avoids needing to run Multiverse from Lutris and doing it this way allows per-game Steam Deck performance options and per-game Steam Deck control mappings to be set.
  2. After launching Multiverse, the Multiverse window should appear and be mostly functional.  Hovering over the Close window button will display text in a missing font; this is not important.
  3. Inside the MV launcher, click Settings and make the following changes: set Renderer “Direct3D9”, Resolution “1280×800”, Windowed “Yes”, Fullscreen “No”, Vsync “On”, Visible ImGui Menu “No”.

Downloading Campaign Packs

  1. The quickest way to get started is to grab both of the Essentials and More Campaigns sets.  There are two Download All links here:
  2. Once downloaded, extract all the .pack files from the two zip files.
  3. If still in Steam Desktop mode, run Lutris, select Populous: Multiverse and press Play.  The following pack install process works both in Steam Deck Desktop Mode and Game Mode.
  4. Press Install Pack and in the file browser, choose Desktop -> / -> home -> deck -> Downloads -> and finally the folder where you unzipped the pack files into.  For the original Populous: The Beginning experiences, perhaps install The Beginning and Undiscovered Worlds packs before any others.
  5. The campaigns may be loaded and enjoyed by selecting them inside Multiverse.

Recommended Steam Deck Control Mappings

Steam Deck supports per-game controller mappings so it’s super-easy to customise every button, trackpad and joystick behaviours. To do this, you must launch the Populous: Multverse shortcut directly from Steam Deck game mode.

Some mapping ideas to get started but it’s all personal preference:

Start with the Mouse-only template
Reduce right trackpad sensitivity to 95 to slow cursor speed
Set both joysticks to Directional Pads
Set A button to Space Bar

Left stick suggestion:

Up: Up arrow key
Down: Down arrow key
Left: Numpad Delete key
Right: Numpad PgDn key

Right stick suggestion:

Up: Up arrow key
Down: Down arrow key
Left: Left arrow key
Right: Right arrow key

Final Tips

      • Use the standard Steam Deck “…” button to balance FPS with battery consumption. For example, the game will run at 120fps at 1280×800 with Vsync off but to optimise battery usage, dial down fps and screen refresh rate via the Deck. 40fps/Hz is a good compromise but 20 Framerate Limit and Refresh Rate 40 is also very useable in a game like this.
      • Use Steam in Desktop mode to apply jpg artwork etc to the shortcuts.
      • In the same way that you downloaded the campaign pack files, also download AshbyNarrator.modpack (from and in the Multiverse launcher in Steam Desktop mode, use the Install button inside the Mods Manager screen.  After installing it, right click on the Ashby icon and Enable it.