Sim City 3000 Unlimited – How to Run the Game on Steam Deck

Guide to Run the Game on Steam Deck

Note: Credit goes to with_maltodextrin

To just get it running with no faffing about:

  1. Install the game as normal on your Steam Deck.
  2. Choose the cog button on the game page in your library.
  3. Choose Properties…
  4. Go to the Compatibility tab on the left.
  5. Check the box for Force the use of a specific Steam play compatibility tool.
  6. Change the version in the box below it to Proton 5.13-6.

That’s all it takes to get it to run for me without changing start parameters, resolution settings, etc.

Newer versions of Proton (including newest ProtonGE) all seem to stop updating the screen after getting to the main menu and starting a new city.

For better battery life on Steam Deck

  1. Press the … button to open the Steam overlay menu while running the game.
  2. Choose the lightning bolt icon on the left to open the Performance menu.
  3. Set Use per-game profile – do not skip this step or all other games on your Steam Deck will be forced to be slow until you turn off the TDP limit manually.
  4. Scroll down and turn on TDP Limit.
  5. Set the number to 3 watts – yes, 3 watts is enough.
  6. SimCity 3000 will use 100% of your CPU while running, like many older games do.
  7. The TDP limit just means it’ll still use 100% of CPU, but your forced-to-be-power-sipping CPU is still plenty fast for a game old enough to drink.

I ran SC3000 on a 486DX66 running at 66MHz when it was released. The 1400MHz of the Steam Deck in forced 3 watt TDP mode is so much faster than that it’s not even comparable. (granted the 486 didn’t run it well, but I was able to play it for hours just the same).

Jan Bonkoski
About Jan Bonkoski 954 Articles
Jan Bakowski aka Lazy Dice, was always interested in gaming and writing. His love of gaming began with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64) back in 1998. He’s been making game guides since 2012. Sharing his gaming experience with other players has become not only his hobby but also his job. In his free time, he plays on Steam Deck.

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