Steam Deck FAQ


SDC Founder
Staff member
Dec 15, 2021
Can I play [x] game on the Deck? How many games can I play?
A preferable way of checking is CheckMyDeck. This site lists the playability of your specific library, which makes it far easier than scrolling through a big list.

You can find a full list of games that have been officially tested by Valve and marked as verified or playable on SteamDB. This list is constantly growing as Valve tests more games, and as more games adapt their games to work on the Deck.

Just because a game is not marked as verified or playable, it doesn't mean it won't work. It simply means that it has not been tested. If your game is marked as 'Unknown' or cannot be found on either list, then it could work, but also might not - the best way to find out at that point is using ProtonDB.

Non-Steam games should work, depending on their specific launcher. Xbox Game Pass (PC Game Pass) will not work, as this requires Windows. You can use xCloud Game Streaming, however. Emulators will also work too.

Can I do [x] like my PC on my Steam Deck?
Yes. Your Steam Deck is a small, portable PC. This means that anything you can do on your PC, you can do on the Steam Deck. It's important to note that by default, the Steam Deck ships with SteamOS 3.0, compared to Windows there will be differences, so it may take some time to learn your way around before you become as comfortable as you are in Windows. Alternatively, you could always install Windows on your Steam Deck.

In order to connect a keyboard and mouse, you will need a USB-C hub/dock. The official Valve one is currently not available at the time of writing, however any reputable branded USB-C hub which has a USB-C PD passthrough, as well as at least 2 USB ports is suitable. Here is an example of one.

How good is the battery life?
This again depends on what you are playing, the settings, frame rate limit, screen brightness and many other factors. Valve officially says the Steam Deck can get between 2 hours - 8 hours. Early reviews have said the bottom end for battery life is closer to 90 minutes than 2 hours.

In order to preserve your battery life further, capping your FPS to 30, lowering screen brightness and lowering game settings are all great ways to extend your playtime further.

As the Steam Deck is powered from a USB-C connection, a powerful PD power bank can supply enough charge to keep your Steam Deck powered and not discharging. In order to prevent discharging, this should be at least 45W. If you want to use a USB-C Hub/Dock at the same time, you need to account for the power draw of that, so around 65W should be used.

You can use a weaker power bank (e.g. 18W), but your Deck will discharge as you play. Any weaker of a power bank is not going to be worth using for the most part.

Can I change my reservation from xGB to yGB?
No, your current Steam Deck storage choice is final for your reservation. If you wish to swap, your only choice is to cancel your reservation and reserve the size you now want. This will put you back at the end of the queue.

Can I upgrade the storage?
Yes, at your own risk. Please follow a tutorial for taking your Steam Deck apart, such as the one from iFixIt. You need an M.2 2230 size, which is smaller than the typical M.2 size. Here is a list of drives that are expected to work - this hasn't been officially confirmed as we don't have hands on at the time of writing. Links are an example, and may not be the best price / in stock.

Is the 64GB / micro SD card going to be too slow?
As of the time of writing, we do not have hands on with a 64GB to confirm, however what we do have is micro SD card tests.

Linus Tech Tips did a few loading tests, and found in GhostRunner the loading time was 19 seconds on SD card compared to 8 seconds on the 512GB SSD. See the video. This is only a single game test, but it will highly depend on a game by game basis as to how well it works.

The 256GB/512GB models do have faster storage, so the best experience will always be had on these. If you're handy, check the previous FAQ question to look in to upgrading your storage.

How powerful is the Steam Deck? What settings can I expect?
The Steam Deck is, in most games, the most powerful handheld PC thus far. Therefore, if you see any videos with games running on a different portable PC, such as an AYA NEO, it will only run better on the Steam Deck (generally).

Here are a few games, and the respective settings and frame rate to give a rough idea.

How does my PC/laptop compare to the Steam Deck?
This depends on your specifications, but is also not a great basis to work off. The Steam Deck will have a smaller resolution than most modern (2015+) gaming laptops/PC monitors, whilst also having one of the most powerful integrated graphics. Please see the previous question as to how well it runs games - that is the best way of showcasing the performance. You can then look up how well the games run on your hardware / test your own hardware in comparison, and then you'll get a more definitive answer.

Is the screen good? Will it look blurry / sharp?
The screen is a 1280x800 60HZ IPS panel, with a size of 7". Whilst this might sound low, that gives it a Pixels per Inch (PPI) of 215. To put this in comparison, a 1920x1080 24" gaming monitor has a PPI of only 92. Whilst a gaming monitor is placed further away from you than the Steam Deck likely will be, it is still very unlikely to look 'blurry', though this is dependent on how close you hold it and your personal eyesight.

If you have a regular Nintendo Switch, you can use that a rough basis for what you expect from the Deck. The Switch has a slightly higher PPI at around 235, but it's close enough that if you find the Switch blurry/not blurry, you can pretty safely assume the same on the Steam Deck.

Will the controls be comfortable?
This is dependent on your hand size. For many, the Nintendo Switch is uncomfortable due to a very cramped control in order to ensure portability. The Steam Deck has much more space dedicated to the controls, including full-height joysticks. It's hard to tell specifically if you'll enjoy them or not without trying for yourself, but reports from reviews are positive, which is a good indicator as it gets to more people.

Does the Steam Deck have 3G/4G/5G? How can I play online games on the move?
The Steam Deck does not support cellular/mobile connectivity, it only supports WiFi. You can hotspot your phone to your Steam Deck, though do be warned that this will drain your phone battery quite quickly.

When will I get my Steam Deck?
You can find Valve's official estimation by visiting the Steam Deck reservation page. You do need to be logged in - you can also access this through Steam by clicking on 'Store', then 'Steam Deck' on the home page, and choosing to reserve.

This will say either Q1, Q2, or after Q2. We do not have any more specific dates than this, so nobody can provide you with this. It does also depend on when you placed, for example someone who is in After Q2 placed in December 2021 will get their Deck before you if you are After Q2 placed in January 2022. Each queue is also region and storage specific, so you can only compare if these also match.

Desperate to get an estimation? You can use an unofficial calculator. These are plotting data from your region, storage choice, the Valve estimation and your timestamp for reservation in order to provide you with an educated estimation of when to expect your Deck.

How does the purchasing process work?
Once your time comes to purchase a Steam Deck, you will receive an email from Steam ( advising you that you are next in line to purchase. You have 72 hours from receiving that email to purchase your Deck, otherwise your reservation will be forfeited.

You can use Steam Wallet Funds. You can only purchase the storage size you reserved. Once purchased, you should receive further updates on when to expect your Deck via email, including tracking.

What charger will I receive?
You will receive the charger for the region you are purchasing in. This means for a UK purchase, you can expect a 3-pin UK plug, and for a US purchase, you can expect the US plug, and so on.

Can I play non-controller games with the Steam Deck's built-in controls?
Yes. Thanks to Steam Input, any game that has been originally designed for mouse & keyboard only, can be played without a mouse or a keyboard just using the Steam Deck's own controls, even if the game requires hundreds of hotkeys / keyboard combinations (such as WoW, ARMA, Elite Dangerous).

You'll be able to create custom touch menus for both of the two touch pads, with up to 16 different keys / macros assigned to each. But that's not the limit, you can also make it so that when you hold one of the four back buttons on the controller (or any other buttons of your choosing), the touch pad keys / macros change to a completely different set, so you can theoretically assign more than a hundred keys onto a single touch pad. The same can be done for the DPad and thumbsticks.

These touch menus can either show the keyboard key that they activate, or you can add custom icons to them, so for example, if you play Skyrim and have your sword hotkey assigned to 1, and bow to 2, you can add icons with a picture of a sword and a bow, making your on-screen touch menu simpler to understand.

The Steam Deck also has a touch screen, so playing games that normally use a mouse, such as Civilization, Cities: Skylines or Don't Starve should work great on that.

Even FPS games like CS:GO will be very playable on the Steam Deck, thanks to the possibility of using the built-in gyro for aiming.

Credit to u/apinanaivot on the original FAQ for this answer.

What are the specs of the Steam Deck?
Click here for the full tech specs.

Where are the full reviews?
Full reviews will release on February 25th, 10am PST when the full NDA is lifted.

In the meantime, we have partial reviews, see here:

I have a question that isn't in this FAQ, help!
It's more than likely that your question is asked in a different way to how I have worded it, so search the FAQ by keyword. For example, if your question is "What are the Steam Deck's controls", search for "controls" - you'll find your answer that way. Please also check the Valve FAQ.

Secondly, search the subreddit for the question - many questions have already been asked so it's unlikely that nobody has asked your specific question yet.

If it definitely isn't here, then ask in the comments, or make a separate post on r/SteamDeck or Steam Deck Community. I'll be active and responding where I know in the comments, and as will others in the community. I'll look to keep the main list updated (and credit users for their contributions) in order to make it as simple as possible.

Original thread by u/Servor
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