For some video games, you possibly can search on-line to discover different individuals or web sites which have examined particular person titles to see how a lot battery life they’ve gotten for particular video games. Most of this information is perhaps anecdotal, however it may well assist offer you a baseline for what to anticipate for the recreation you need to play.
Reduce the Frame Rate
There’s fairly presumably no higher single setting you possibly can modify to save battery than placing a restrict in your recreation’s body fee. The Steam Deck comes with a 60-Hz display, which suggests it maxes out at 60 frames per second (fps). This is a typical baseline, particularly for fast-paced video games, however not each recreation wants to render 60 totally different pictures each second to be fulfilling. For some, the truth is, you may not even discover the distinction between 30 and 60 fps.
The Steam Deck has two instruments to restrict body fee, and each could be discovered by urgent the Overflow menu (the three-dot icon on the proper aspect) > Performance (the one with the battery icon) > Advanced View.
The first, Framerate Limit, helps you to implement … nicely, a restrict on the body fee. Pretty simple. By default, it provides the alternative between a most of 15, 30, or 60 fps (video games can nonetheless go below this, however they cannot go over). The different is Refresh Rate. This truly controls what number of instances the display screen itself updates per second. You can modify this down to as little as 40 Hz. In flip, this may modify the obtainable Framerate Limit setting choices proportionally.
In my expertise, for a lot of video games, 40 fps is greater than sufficient to get clean movement, whereas nonetheless considerably slicing down on battery drain. You can even modify these settings with per-game profiles, so you possibly can nonetheless take pleasure in greater body charges for video games the place it actually issues to you.
Turn Down the Brightness
Loads of energy goes to simply lighting up your display screen—and never simply on the Steam Deck, by the approach. This is true of your cellphone, pill, or laptop computer, too! If you’re ready, turning down the brightness even down to 50 p.c can save an honest chunk of battery. You can discover this setting by urgent the menu button and choosing Quick Settings (the gear icon).
Change the Game’s Graphics Settings
Most PC video games have in-depth graphics settings that you simply don’t discover on most consoles. Since the Steam Deck runs those self same variations of video games, this implies you will have the next diploma of management over simply how a lot these video games with complicated graphics drain your battery. Turning graphics settings down to Medium or Low can add a shocking quantity of life to your battery.
Adjust the Thermal Power Limit
This is perhaps a setting you’re not as used to seeing, however this feature places a tough cap on how a lot energy the Steam Deck’s processor makes use of. This slider is measured in watts, from three all the approach up to 15. The decrease you set this, the much less energy the processor will likely be ready to use. You can discover this setting in the Advanced View of the Performance tab in the menu overlay.
This is a really brute drive approach of saving energy, and relying on the recreation it may well have a large affect. For instance, I examined this whereas enjoying the not too long ago launched Stray at 3 watts, and it floor efficiency down to an unplayable uneven slideshow. Other video games, like Portal 2, drew so little energy that even at 3 watts, the recreation nonetheless got here in below the restrict anyway.
Fiddling with this setting is certainly superior and will require some experimentation to strike the proper steadiness between efficiency and energy financial savings. To assist with this, there’s a efficiency overlay, additionally present in the Performance tab. Set this to at the least degree three, and also you’ll find a way to see a reside readout of what number of watts the CPU and GPU are utilizing at any given time.
Bring a Portable Battery
When all else fails, the greatest backup possibility is to simply carry an additional battery with you. The Steam Deck costs from a USB-C port on the prime of the machine. You can take a look at our Best Portable Batteries information for a number of nice choices. Whatever you select, the Steam Deck comes with a 45-W charger, so it’s protected to assume the nearer your battery pack can get to a forty five W output, the quicker it’ll cost. Most batteries which can be geared toward charging tablets and even laptops will present at the least a full cost or two for the Steam Deck.