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Get extra out of your handheld

Key Takeaways

  • Use Steam Deck shortcuts for fast entry to options like screenshots, pressure closing video games, and adjusting brightness.
  • Set a lock display screen PIN to maintain others from accessing your Steam Deck and messing along with your library.
  • Stream video games out of your gaming PC to the Steam Deck over Wi-Fi for extra space for storing and higher efficiency.

The Steam Deck has remained one of many best handheld video game consoles ever because it launched in direction of the start of 2022, and with the OLED model now launched, it would not seem like that is altering any time quickly.


How to add non-Steam games to your Steam library

As of late, with each different firm having its personal launcher, you possibly can rapidly discover that your PC recreation library is unfold out throughout a number of apps.

Other than making PC gaming accessible and transportable, one of many issues that makes the Steam Deck nice is how customisable it’s. There’s a lot you are able to do with the Steam Deck – so many issues that maintain us coming again to it. Listed here are among the greatest Steam Deck ideas and methods we have found by means of our time gaming on it.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 12

Use Steam Deck shortcuts

To see an inventory of helpful Steam Deck shortcuts, maintain down the Steam button for a few seconds. Among the most helpful shortcuts embody the next:

  • Screenshot: Steam button + R1
  • Drive recreation shut: Steam button + Maintain B
  • Present keyboard: Steam button + X
  • Increase brightness: Steam button + Left Joystick up
  • Decrease brightness: Steam button + Left Joystick down
  • Enter key: Steam button + D-Pad Proper
  • Tab: Steam button + D-Pad down
  • Esc: Steam button + D-Pad left
  • Present cursor: Steam button + Trackpad / Proper Stick (proper set off for left-click)
  • Proper-click: Steam button + L2
  • Left-click: Steam button + R2
  • Magnifier: Steam button + L1

Add a pin to steam deck


Give your Steam Deck a lock display screen PIN

If you don’t need members of the family or pals moving into your Steam Deck and messing along with your library, there’s excellent news: you possibly can add a PIN.

To show the PIN settings on, go to Menu -> Settings -> Safety. Set a PIN you will not neglect, and select whether or not to require one when waking or turning the Steam Deck on, when logging in, when switching to Desktop Mode, or any mixture of those three.

Valve Steam Deck review controls photo 9Ship the Steam Deck to sleep

Between gaming periods, you need not flip your Steam Deck console off utterly, and even stop the sport you are taking part in.

As an alternative, you possibly can droop and resume your gameplay with ease by placing your Steam Deck into sleep mode whilst you’re in-game, then switching it again on in your subsequent session and resuming from the identical spot.

To place the Steam Deck to sleep, merely faucet the Energy button, after which faucet it once more to wake it.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 2

Stream video games to your Steam Deck

There’s one other solution to counter the space for storing difficulty on the Steam Deck and that is making use of Steam’s Distant Play performance (i.e. Steam Link).

If in case you have a decent gaming PC with the Steam consumer and Steam video games put in on it, you possibly can stream the video games over your own home Wi-Fi from the PC to your Steam Deck.

Associated: How to stream games to your Steam Deck

This has two advantages: First, you need not set up the video games domestically in your Steam Deck, and second, you possibly can profit from the additional processing energy in your gaming PC to get increased body charges and a smoother gameplay expertise.

It is easy to do: The lengthy story quick is that you simply simply want each gadgets operating and related to the identical community, then click on the Stream button on the related recreation in your Steam Deck library.

Activate Evening Mode to assist stop eye pressure

Steam Deck’s Evening Mode may help stop eye pressure, and may help your eyes and mind chill out somewhat extra if it is getting near bedtime.

It really works by chopping down on blue gentle frequencies emanating from the Steam Deck’s show. It’d look somewhat orange whenever you first allow it, however your eyes ought to rapidly regulate, and can most likely thanks for it (or they’d, if that they had the power).

To activate Evening Mode on the Steam Deck, go to Menu -> Settings -> Show. From there, you possibly can schedule the time to auto-enable Evening Mode, or allow it straight away, and regulate Evening Mode’s tint.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 4

Tweak Steam Deck efficiency settings

To tweak the Steam Deck’s efficiency, click on the three-dot menu button and navigate all the way down to the battery part.

Strive tweaking each the FPS and refresh fee beneath the efficiency settings to both clean out your expertise or improve your battery life. Decrease framerates and refresh charges ought to enhance battery life, however go too low and gameplay may turn out to be too uneven. You may as well check out FSR as a Scaling Filter and decrease your decision to extend recreation efficiency – check out some completely different mixtures till you discover one thing that works nicely for you.

If you wish to make changes only for the particular recreation you are taking part in, you must tick Use per-game profile earlier than altering something.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 10

Remap your controls and use your again paddles

To remap your controls whereas in-game:

  1. Press the Steam button
  2. Choose Controller settings
  3. Hit A on the subsequent display screen to pick Controller settings

On this display screen, you may see a map of the present controls there, however you even have the choice so as to add extra by clicking controller settings.

Now you can re-map varied controls, however the different bonus right here is which you could map the again paddles to no matter you need.

The again paddles are hardly ever used for something. There are 4 paddles marked L4, L5, R4 and R5. You’ll be able to assign these to in-game controls and use them to play extra comfortably.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 3

Modify display screen brightness

To scale back the Steam Deck’s brightness, press the three-dot button on the right-hand aspect of the Steam Deck to open the choices menu and tweak the brightness slider there.

Though it is tempting to crank the brightness all the way in which up, we might truly counsel turning it down.

Associated: Steam Deck OLED: What’s new and should you upgrade?

One of many complaints folks have concerning the Steam Deck is its battery life. With out some tweaks, it is easy to chew by means of the hand-held’s battery in two or three hours on the LCD model, and never for much longer than this on the OLED model.

Lowering the brightness is one step in direction of making your enjoyable last more.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 1

Get your self a microSD card

Best microSD cards for Steam Deck photo 6

SanDisk 512GB Extremely microSDXC

The SanDisk Extremely microSDXC is a wonderful choice to improve your Steam Deck’s storage simply.

We would extremely suggest buying a microSD card (or a number of) to offer you entry to extra video games with ease. Video games will not load as quick that means in comparison with NVMe SSDs, nevertheless it’s nonetheless nice to have additional house with out huge additional expense.

The Steam Deck is obtainable in varied completely different storage format sizes: 256GB for the unique LCD model, and 512GB or 1TB for the brand new OLED model.

Associated: Best microSD cards: A small device to expand your storage in a big way

Although it is theoretically potential to replace the internal storage (and improve it), this is not going to be an possibility for a lot of.

We purchased a 256GB mannequin to economize however discovered that we managed to fill the console up with simply 4 video games. Naturally, this varies relying on what you are putting in, however Forza Horizon 5, for instance, takes up nicely over 100GB of space for storing.

Putting in a microSD card is a good way to repair this storage downside.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 13Try some in-game guides

To browse guides for the sport you are at present taking part in, press the Steam button and choose Guides.

The Steam Deck actually streamlines most of your handheld gaming duties, equivalent to altering efficiency settings and altering in-game controls.

It does this for recreation guides, too. By looking these player-submitted in-game guides, you may get the enable you may have to beat that boss or that degree, or discover that hidden space.

Positive, there are many guides to be discovered on-line, nevertheless it does make issues simpler with the ability to simply hit a few buttons and discover the right information proper there in entrance of you.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 5

Modify your graphics settings and optimise your recreation

If you happen to attempt to play video games on extremely settings, you may probably discover that the Steam Deck would not carry out in addition to you want. Strive turning the graphics down a bit. We did not discover this to be vital on a regular basis, however dropping to excessive settings could make a smoother expertise in case you want it.

The bonus right here is it nonetheless seems nice because it’s solely a small display screen anyway.

As PC avid gamers, we’re used to with the ability to merely launch our video games and bathe within the glory of visible delights.

If you happen to can entry a gaming PC, you should utilize the Distant Play streaming operate we talked about earlier to run video games on the Steam Deck at excessive graphics settings with out taxing its GPU.

The Steam Deck’s capabilities are a bit completely different from a fully-fledged gaming PC although, so some tweaking could also be vital.

There are a number of sources out there with the most effective recreation settings to maximise efficiency and enhance battery life. These are tried and examined settings for every recreation that may be value a glance if you’d like a greater gaming expertise with out the trouble of attempting to determine it out by your self.

ShareDeck and Steam Deck HQ are two websites with user-submitted settings that may enable you with optimised settings in your video games.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 6

Join different gadgets to your Steam Deck through bluetooth or USB

Because of its Bluetooth capabilities, the Steam Deck has the power to work with quite a lot of gadgets, together with mice, keyboards and headsets. So, in case you want extra granular controls, you possibly can join these gadgets fairly simply.

Click on the Settings button, then scroll to flip Bluetooth on. Now you possibly can simply pair your machine and use it. This works with loads of peripherals too.

Associated: How to use Bluetooth headphones with your Steam Deck

You may as well contemplate connecting gadgets through USB by utilizing a USB hub that connects through USB-C. Merely join the hub to the Steam Deck’s USB-C port, and you will have a number of additional ports in your peripherals (or maybe even a TV or monitor) to plug into.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 7

Examine for Steam Deck updates

Valve is commonly crafting updates for the Steam Deck to enhance performance and consumer expertise.

We would suggest regularly checking for updates for the Steam Deck. Do that by clicking the Steam button on the left aspect, then navigating to updates. You will see an exclamation level on system settings when an replace is prepared.

A few of Valve’s updates for the Steam Deck have included some nice enhancements. One in every of our complaints concerning the Steam Deck initially was the followers have been too loud, however Valve launched a patch which made it a lot quieter.

Steam Deck tips and tricks photo 9

Examine recreation compatibility in your Steam Deck

While you’ve received your fingers on the Steam Deck, it is easy sufficient to see which video games will work nicely. Those in your library are already marked as:

  • Verified
  • Playable
  • Unsupported
  • Unknown

We have discovered that the listing of playable video games can rapidly increase, so it is value checking your library to see if new ones seem.

Associated: How to see which games will work with your Steam Deck

The shop on the Steam Deck additionally factors you to suitable video games, so that you may be certain a recreation will work before you purchase it.

Additionally, simply because a recreation is marked as “unsupported” would not essentially imply it will not work. We have seen some video games that solely required some controller tweaks with a view to operate. So in case you already personal a recreation and need to play it, do not let that label put you off attempting.

Valve Steam Deck: Release date, price, features, and how to reserve one gallery 2 photo 5Drive-quit in case your Steam Deck freezes

If you happen to’ve discovered that your Steam Deck has frozen whilst you’re taking part in, you possibly can force-quit with simply a few button presses. Urgent the Steam button and B button collectively will force-close any recreation that is inflicting an issue.

Mega Modz Custom Steam Deck 3Browse the desktop with Desktop Mode

To enter Desktop Mode on the Steam Deck, press the Steam button and choose Change to Desktop beneath Energy.

Desktop Mode permits you to use a full desktop setting – you possibly can browse the web, ship emails, transfer information, and even set up purposes such as you would on a laptop computer or PC.

Epic Games steam deck


Set up Epic Video games in your Steam Deck

If you happen to’ve exhausted your catalogue of Steam Video games or simply need to play extra, don’t be concerned as a result of you can too set up Epic Video games in your Steam Deck. This might sound a bit like blasphemy, however in case you do not thoughts some tinkering, it is easy sufficient to do.

Associated: How to install Epic Games on your Steam Deck

There are some apparent advantages to this as nicely, since Epic is commonly giving freely video games from its retailer. The method for putting in Epic Video games in your Steam deck is somewhat long-winded, however we have written a information that can assist you out (linked above).

Upgrade Steam Deck Internal Storage

Improve your Steam Deck’s inside storage

Mp600 mini

Corsair MP600 Mini

This PCIe gen 4 x4 NVMe drive is the right dimension in your Steam Deck and a worthy solution to improve it too.

One different factor you are able to do to enhance your Steam Deck is to improve the interior storage. The Steam Deck makes use of a compact NVMe SSD which is comparatively straightforward to improve, nevertheless it does take quite a few steps and a couple of hours to do.

You want the proper instruments to get it open (not only a screwdriver) and numerous endurance, however in case you use a bigger M.2 2230 NVMe drive you may get sooner loading instances than you’ll increasing your storage with simply MicroSD card.

If you happen to improve your Steam Deck’s SSD, you may have to reinstall Steam OS and must reinstall all of your video games.

We did it with Corsair’s MP600 Mini and took our storage from 256GB to 1TB with relative ease, and now we are able to retailer many extra video games and have them load rapidly.



Customise your Steam Deck

The Steam Deck is a reasonably understated little bit of equipment, and it is also not more likely to stand out from the group you probably have a pair in the home.

If you happen to simply need yours to look a bit completely different, you possibly can go to Dbrand for some nifty skins to personalise your machine. The corporate made an amusing Nintendo Change-themed skin called Switchdeck however there are a bunch of different types out there too.

You may as well check out completely different on-screen keyboard themes in your Steam Deck. To take action, go to Menu -> Settings -> Keyboard and you may select between completely different types and themes. You may as well buy further types from Steam’s points shop.

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