How to Use Valve’s Steam Deck: Tips on Setup, Controls, and More


Valve’s new moveable console, the Steam Deck (to not be confused with Elgato’s Stream Deck), formally launched on Friday. When you preordered early, you need to have yours in hand beginning this week, Valve tells WIRED. You’ll doubtless discover it’s not the best gadget to navigate, because it has plenty of settings and customization choices and doesn’t include any directions. We’re right here to assist.

First announced on July 15 last year, Valve’s Steam Deck was initially set to launch earlier than the 2021 vacation season, however with the continued provide chain points, that received pushed again. 

There are two huge software program variations that set the Steam Deck other than different consoles. The primary is the sheer variety of video games you’ll be able to play on it, due to Valve’s Steam recreation market, which is preloaded onto the Steam Deck OS—though most of those video games weren’t designed with a 7-inch touchscreen in thoughts (learn our story about methods to discover appropriate video games for more information). When you’ve got a PC, Steam, and a ton of video games you’ve already bought (and sure quite a bit that you simply haven’t but performed), the Steam Deck can look very interesting. Second, you need to use the Steam Deck in desktop mode to run different packages and launchers—suppose Battle.web and Origin—when you’ve put in Home windows (it comes with Linux).

When you haven’t but purchased the Steam Deck, or are ready in your preorder to reach, we even have a evaluate of the Deck that may assist reply a few of your broader questions on its performance and what gameplay is like. And, you understand, whether or not it’s value shopping for one other console—particularly when essentially the most reasonably priced possibility is $399 for 64 GB (lower than the file dimension of Cyberpunk 2077).

This text is geared extra towards what you are able to do when you even have a Steam Deck in hand. So, let’s get to it. Right here’s methods to do a number of the most necessary actions on the Steam Deck.

Learn how to Get to the Steam Deck’s Settings

There are two methods to get to your settings on the Steam Deck. First, navigate to the Wi-Fi image within the high bar and hit the A button. The second is to press the Steam button on the left facet of the Deck, scroll right down to Settings, and hit A. You can even entry a smaller settings menu by hitting the Fast Settings button on the appropriate facet of the deck (the three dots). This menu will solely allow you to modify issues like the amount, your microphone, and the display brightness.

Learn how to Examine Whether or not Your Steam Deck is Up-to-Date

When you’re in your settings, scroll to System. Software program Updates is on the high of the System menu. When you hit the Examine For Updates button it should both begin downloading the replace or revert again to the Examine For Updates button if there isn’t one. Beneath the button, it reveals you the final time the Deck checked for an replace.

Learn how to Examine Your Steam Deck’s Battery Life

The Steam Deck has two methods to test your battery life—and see its projection for a way lengthy you’ve got till it hits 0 p.c (though this fluctuates tremendously, so take it with a grain of salt). The primary is to scroll as much as the highest navigation bar and click on on the Battery icon. The second is to hit the Fast Settings button. It will routinely convey you to the battery life display, which reveals you the share of cost it’s at present holding on the left and what number of hours and minutes it initiatives the battery will final on the appropriate.

Learn how to Put Your Steam Deck in Airplane Mode

The quickest and best solution to put your Steam Deck in Airplane mode is to hit the Fast Settings button and scroll right down to Airplane mode. Toggle this on and it’ll change to blue. You are actually in Airplane mode.

Learn how to Modify Your Steam Deck’s Speaker and Microphone Quantity

Apart from the speaker quantity buttons on high of the Steam Deck to the left of the fan, the best solution to modify each the speaker quantity and your microphone is by urgent the Fast Settings button. From right here you’ll be able to flip your quantity and mic up or down or mute them utterly.

You can even do that by way of Settings > Audio by urgent the Steam button or scrolling to the highest of the display and hitting the Wi-Fi image. On this menu, you may as well modify the output and enter gadgets in your audio system and microphone.

Learn how to Format Your MicroSD Card on Steam Deck

In your settings, open the System menu. Scroll right down to Format SD Card and hit the Format button. The Deck will immediate you to verify that you simply wish to format your SD card, which suggests all information on the cardboard will likely be misplaced and can’t be undone. Hit Verify and the button modifications to “Formatting … ” This may take a couple of minutes. The button will change again to “Format” as soon as it’s completed, with out providing you with a notification. Value noting, the Steam Deck codecs SD playing cards in ext4 format, which isn’t the usual format for an SD card out of the field, so it should be formatted earlier than use.

Learn how to Take a Screenshot on Steam Deck

Press the Steam button and the R1 set off on the similar time. It will solely work whereas utilizing the Steam Deck UI, not on Desktop mode. To view your screenshots, hit the Steam button, scroll to Media, and scroll to All. To maneuver your screenshot off the Steam Deck, you’ll be able to add it to Steam by hovering over the picture and hitting the Choices button (the burger) and selecting Add.

Learn how to Change Your Obtain Area on Steam Deck

Head to your Settings and scroll right down to Downloads. Obtain area is the primary possibility on this web page, and you may choose the area you need from the drop-down menu (though Valve doesn’t advocate altering your obtain area).

Learn how to Buy Video games on Steam Deck

{Photograph}: Valve

Head to the Retailer and seek for the sport by tapping on the search bar to convey up the keyboard, or by deciding on the sport from the primary display or your wishlist.

From the sport’s retailer web page, you’ll see a inexperienced Add to Cart button on the appropriate. Just like Steam on a desktop, it’ll ask you whether or not this can be a present or for your self, then ask you to enter your cost methodology (it’s a lot simpler to do that on desktop with a keyboard, quite than utilizing the deck’s touchscreen keypad) or enter your safety code for an present card. Hit the inexperienced Buy button. You’ll then must go to your Library to obtain the sport.

Learn how to Obtain Video games on Steam Deck

When you’ve got already bought the sport, head to your Library, choose the sport, and hit the blue Set up button. It will present you the compatibility display so you understand how it should doubtless play on the Steam Deck. Hit Set up and also you’re set.

Learn how to See Your Storage Area on Steam Deck

In your Settings, scroll right down to Storage. On the high of the display, you will note each your inner drive and your microSD, together with how a lot house is left on each.

Learn how to Examine Which Video games Are on Your Steam Deck MicroSD Card

Within the Storage menu of your settings, scroll throughout so the microSD drive is chosen. It will present you a breakdown of what’s taking on house on the drive, in addition to every of the video games and their file sizes.

Learn how to Transfer and Delete Video games on Steam Deck

There are two methods to uninstall video games in your Steam Deck, however just one solution to transfer a recreation between your inner drive (both the eMMC or the NVMe SSD, relying on which mannequin you’ve got) and your microSD card.

Whereas on the Storage display in your settings, hover over the sport you wish to transfer and press Y to maneuver it from the present drive to both your inner storage or your microSD card.



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