Back in February, Jared reviewed Valve’s Steam Deck. When we first started covering Nintendo Switch news and games, it did just fine and became our daily SwitchArcade roundup. While we’re not going to be pushing the Steam Deck that quickly, we’re keeping an eye on things to see how it evolves and how we can bring out great coverage not just for hardware and SteamOS, but also for the games on it. Instead of waiting for a big release to show off on Steam Deck, today’s update for SteamOS brought new features and fixes. If you’re unfamiliar with the Steam Deck or why we care about it, you should definitely read Jared’s review. Jared sent me the Steam Deck we had for review, and I’ve been using it daily for a few days. Today’s update contains a few key features, but also many small improvements and feature additions.
Except for the new lock screen that you can configure, you can make it appear on startup, login, switch between desktop mode and game mode, etc. This will also be useful if you have multiple Steam users and accounts on the same deck. The achievements page has been refreshed as shown in the screenshot above to load faster and toggle stats quickly. Localized keyboards for 21 languages and layouts are now available with the ability to switch between keyboards. This is something that should have been present from the start. A few games have additional launchers or windows and you can now switch between these via a new interface which will also be usable to switch games to a browser window. Except for these new features, Valve has allowed users to delimit the frame rate again after limiting it to 60 fps before. It’s worth noting that battery life tests from top YouTube channels such as Gamers Nexus showed how to uncap the frame rate beyond 60 and pushing the device may result in less battery life than expected.
As one of the most notable updates since launch, Valve also detailed recovery instructions in case people are having issues with updating via desktop mode and asking users to update in game mode. Failing that, the update improves support for some docks, chargers and cards SD with improved battery life in times of inactivity and low usage. I will be working on Steam Deck coverage for specific games and more soon. If you have something you’d like us to cover regarding Valve’s Steam Deck, please let us know in the comments. Feel free to also access our Steam Deck thread here. I look forward to also including the Steam Deck in the iOS game ports reviews to have another point of comparison except for the Nintendo Switch when looking at iPhone and iPad games now. What do you think of your Steam Deck if you’ve managed to get one so far?