Steam Deck Update Brings Improved Battery Life, New Lock Screen, QoL Improvements, and More

Valve has pushed a new update for the Steam Deck, introducing some new tweaks, improvements, and features to the device.

Posted By | On 26th, Apr. 2022

Steam Deck

The Steam Deck has been out for a couple of months but, and as the handheld gaming PC moves further into its lifespan, Valve is continuing to come up with ways to improve the user experience for those who’ve got their hands on the device, or will do in the future. A new update has been pushed out for the Steam Deck, and it brings quite a bit worth talking about.

On the client side of things, the Steam Deck has now added a PIN-based lock screen feature, localized keyboard options for an additional 21 languages and layouts, support to have multiple windows open within a single application or game, a redesigned Achievements page, new Achievement drop downs that make it easier to compare stats with friends, and more.

Meanwhile, the OS has also received various tweaks that bring about some interesting improvements. The highlight here is improvements made to battery life when your device is in idle or very low usage scenarios, though it remains to be seen how much of a tangible impact that will have.

You can check out the full update notes below.

UPDATE NOTES:

Client Update:

  • Added Lock Screen feature
    • Lock screen is specific to device, and can be set to show up on wake, boot, login, and/or when switching to Desktop mode
    • PIN can be entered using the touchscreen or controls
  • Added localized keyboards for 21 languages and layouts
    • Multiple keyboards can be enabled in Settings > Keyboard > Active Keyboards
    • Use the new globe key on the keyboard to cycle between active keyboards
  • Added support for multiple windows within one application or game.
    • Press Steam to view active windows and select which window you would like to view
    • Useful for web browsers or games with launchers
  • Updated Achievements page design, making it faster to load and easier to navigate
  • New achievements drop down allows players to quickly compare stats against any friend who also plays
  • Add Friend and Pending Requests have been combined into a single new page for better handling of friend requests
  • Added logic to detect and notify user when a microSD card doesn’t match advertised storage size and specifications, instead of attempting to format (for a very long time)
  • Fixed issue where Steam and (…) button couldn’t be used with Remote Play when streaming games from PC
  • More performance improvements for players with very large game libraries

OS Update:

  • Added messaging when a charger that doesn’t meet the minimum bar is plugged in
  • Added uncapped framerate setting in Quick Access menu > Performance
  • Added Half-Rate Shading experimental option to Quick Access menu > Performance, forcing 2×2 Variable Rate Shading into existing games for power savings
  • Added fTPM support, enabling Windows 11 installation
  • Added button combo: hold “…” + “Volume Down” to reset PD contract in the cases where Steam Deck gets stuck due to an incompatible Type-C device
  • Updated power LED to dim a few seconds after power supply connection events for better experience in dark environments
  • Improved compatibility for a number of Type-C docks and PSUs
  • Improved battery life in idle or very low usage scenarios
  • Improved stability
  • Fixed issues where the touchscreen does not work after some boots
  • Fixed compatibility with some SD cards specifically when used as boot devices.
  • Fixed extra haptic click when pressing on trackpads
  • Fixed ACPI error spew in the kernel

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