In context: Valve’s Steam Deck resembles a portable game console, but it’s still a PC. As such, customization is one of its core features. Valve’s latest update for the device gives users even more control over how they customize it for each game.
This week, Valve released a new update for the Steam Deck’s OS with several new features and fixes. Most notably, players can now create profiles telling the system to perform differently with each game. This should help users optimize the balance between a smooth experience and acceptable battery life, which won’t be identical for all games.
Steam Deck owners would obviously expect to manage graphics settings in games. However, the device also lets players change some system-wide settings like resolution, framerate, brightness, processor clock speed, and TDP (Thermal Design Power), as the video above shows. A YouTuber made significant battery life savings by capping the screen’s refresh rate at 40Hz.
With the latest update, the Steam Deck remembers when players make such changes for individual games. 2D pixel art games like Rogue Legacy 2 or Stardew Valley probably don’t need to draw as many watts as AAA titles like Elden Ring or God of War. Setting limits on the system when playing the lower-end games could drastically decrease battery drain without sacrificing performance. Users can find the new feature under Quick Access Menu > Performance > Advanced View.
The update also makes the Steam Deck switch between online and offline modes more smoothly. It includes keyboard improvements and lets users participate in the Steam hardware survey. The latter should let Valve’s monthly survey results give us an idea of the Deck’s popularity.