One of the most important things to improve for Gabe Newell and his team will be the Steam Deck’s battery life.
In a blog post, Valve summarized Steam Deck’s first month in the hands of gamers and briefly touched on what else to expect. Already, 2,000 games have received Verified or Playable ratings, so you can run them either perfectly or with minor bugs on your portable PC. “It’s been exciting to see the variety of games the community has been playing – new or old, big or small, every genre – it seems like players have been having a ton of fun on [Steam] Deck. We will continue charging through the Steam catalogue and can’t wait to share the next big milestone here,” the post says. Valve has also added a feedback feature to see whether or not games that fall into the Verified category are genuinely perceived as perfect by Steam Deck players.
Regarding BattlEye and Easy Anti-Cheat, two anti-cheat solutions, Valve wrote: “The two biggest anti-cheat services, BattlEye and Easy Anti-Cheat, now have a streamlined path for developers that choose to enable support for Proton and Steam Deck. Elden Ring and Apex Legends are two examples of games taking advantage of this work.” Updates to the operating system were also mentioned (on-screen keyboard, dual trackpad typing, the keyboard used in game mode can now be used in desktop mode, plus keyboard themes were added).
“We’ve spent some time making the Steam Store more responsive and snappier on Deck, plus we get that navigating through libraries can be unwieldy if you have a ton of games, so we’ve made it easier with fast scrolling. We’ve also added the ability to create dynamic collections within your library based on tags and other game characteristics,” Valve claims. There’s an option to limit the frame rate to 15 FPS to improve the battery life: “This setting works great for visual novels, puzzles and a lot of simulation games. For those who love to tinker, we’ve made TDP (processor power), GPU Clock control, and FSR (screen scaling) settings available to optimize power even further.”
fTPM support is currently in beta, and when it exits, it will be possible to install Windows 11 on Steam Deck. The most significant piece missing from the puzzle is Windows’ sound drivers, and the company hopes to have good news on that soon. So, Valve is making pretty good progress with Steam Deck, which will start shipping its second round shortly.