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

Valve’s new moveable console, the Steam Deck (not to be confused with Elgato’s Stream Deck), formally launched on Friday. If you preordered early, it’s best to have yours in hand beginning this week, Valve tells WIRED. You’ll doubtless discover it’s not the best machine to navigate, because it has a number 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 ongoing supply chain issues, that bought pushed again. 

There are two large software program variations that set the Steam Deck aside from different consoles. The first is the sheer variety of video games you possibly can play on it, thanks to Valve’s Steam sport 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 how to find compatible games for more information). If you might have a PC, Steam, and a ton of video games you’ve already bought (and doubtless quite a bit that you just 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 applications and launchers—assume Battle.internet and Origin—when you’ve put in Windows (it comes with Linux).

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

This article 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. Here’s how to do among the most necessary actions on the Steam Deck.

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 prime bar and hit the A button. The second is to press the Steam button on the left facet of the Deck, scroll down to Settings, and hit A. You also can entry a smaller settings menu by hitting the Quick Settings button on the best facet of the deck (the three dots). This menu will solely allow you to modify issues like the amount, your microphone, and the display screen brightness.

How to Check Whether Your Steam Deck is Up-to-Date

Once you’re in your settings, scroll to System. Software Updates is on the prime of the System menu. If you hit the Check For Updates button it can both begin downloading the replace or revert again to the Check For Updates button if there isn’t one. Underneath the button, it exhibits you the final time the Deck checked for an replace.

How to Check Your Steam Deck’s Battery Life

The Steam Deck has two methods to verify your battery life—and see its projection for a way lengthy you might have till it hits 0 p.c (though this fluctuates vastly, so take it with a grain of salt). The first is to scroll up to the highest navigation bar and click on on the Battery icon. The second is to hit the Quick Settings button. This will mechanically deliver you to the battery life display screen, which exhibits you the proportion 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 best.

How to Put Your Steam Deck in Airplane Mode

The quickest and simplest way to put your Steam Deck in Airplane mode is to hit the Quick Settings button and scroll down to Airplane mode. Toggle this on and it can change to blue. You are actually in Airplane mode.

How to Adjust Your Steam Deck’s Speaker and Microphone Volume

Aside from the speaker quantity buttons on prime of the Steam Deck to the left of the fan, the best means to modify each the speaker quantity and your microphone is by urgent the Quick Settings button. From right here you possibly can flip your quantity and mic up or down or mute them fully.

You also can do that by way of Settings > Audio by urgent the Steam button or scrolling to the highest of the display screen and hitting the Wi-Fi image. In this menu, it’s also possible to modify the output and enter gadgets to your audio system and microphone.

How to Format Your MicroSD Card on Steam Deck

In your settings, open the System menu. Scroll down to Format SD Card and hit the Format button. The Deck will immediate you to affirm that you want to to format your SD card, which suggests all knowledge on the cardboard can be misplaced and can’t be undone. Hit Confirm and the button adjustments to “Formatting … ” This would possibly take a couple of minutes. The button will change again to “Format” as soon as it’s accomplished, with out supplying you with a notification. Worth 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.

How to Take a Screenshot on Steam Deck

Press the Steam button and the R1 set off on the identical time. This 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 transfer your screenshot off the Steam Deck, you possibly can add it to Steam by hovering over the picture and hitting the Options button (the burger) and selecting Upload.

How to Change Your Download Region on Steam Deck

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

How to Purchase Games on Steam Deck

Photograph: Valve

Head to the Store and seek for the sport by tapping on the search bar to deliver up the keyboard, or by deciding on the sport from the principle display screen or your wishlist.

From the sport’s retailer web page, you’ll see a inexperienced Add to Cart button on the best. Similar to Steam on a desktop, it’ll ask you whether or not it is a present or for your self, then ask you to enter your fee methodology (it’s a lot simpler to do that on desktop with a keyboard, slightly than utilizing the deck’s touchscreen keypad) or enter your safety code for an present card. Hit the inexperienced Purchase button. You will then want to go to your Library to obtain the sport.

How to Download Games on Steam Deck

If you might have already bought the sport, head to your Library, choose the sport, and hit the blue Install button. This will present you the compatibility display screen so you understand how it can doubtless play on the Steam Deck. Hit Install and you’re set.

How to See Your Storage Space on Steam Deck

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

How to Check Which Games Are on Your Steam Deck MicroSD Card

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

How to Move and Delete Games on Steam Deck

There are two methods to uninstall video games on your Steam Deck, however just one means to transfer a sport between your inner drive (both the eMMC or the NVMe SSD, relying on which mannequin you might have) and your microSD card.

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

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