How to extend the battery life of the Steam Deck

Proving to be a new favorite for many gamers, the Steam Deck offers a surprisingly viable option for PC gaming on the go. To get the most out of Valve’s portable console, however, you’ll want to maximize the thing’s battery life. Here’s how.

Choose your games wisely

By most reports, the Steam Deck can last anywhere from two to eight hours on a single charge. Part of that depends on what you’re playing – playing a lo-fi indie title like Celeste is understandably less demanding on the console than, for example elden ring. So if you have a long flight ahead of you, give the massive collection of smaller titles some love. Of course, if you’re only planning on playing for a few hours anyway, you can go to town with one of the big names like God of War.

Change your graphics options

Image via @Dolphin_Emu

The Steam Deck does exceptionally well for such a relatively small thing, but there are a few ways it should excel. The 1200×800 high-resolution display is great and can run games at a glorious 60 fps, but chugging along at this level can drain the battery a bit. Luckily, the console’s operating system has a built-in framerate limiter, available in the options menu, that allows you to set a system-level framerate of 30fps. That’s enough for the deck’s small but effective display, and many more graphically demanding titles will only be able to hit 30 fps anyway.

Similarly, it’s often worth poking around in the graphics options for any game you play as well. As beautiful as the Steam Deck’s display is, it’s still a lot smaller than the average gaming monitor, so visual downgrades will understandably be less noticeable while gaming. The more of these settings you can push down a few notches, the longer the battery will last. When all else fails, even something as simple as lowering the screen brightness can go a long way.

Tinker with advanced settings

It’s possible to squeeze even more battery life out of the Steam Deck if you’re willing to peek under the hood. However, it should be noted that messing around with some of the advanced settings available can have adverse effects if you don’t know what you’re doing. So be careful.

You can find more things to tinker with in the Steam deck settings to make the console use less power. For example, if you set the GPU’s clock speed to a static value, it will run at a certain level instead of changing depending on the game and other circumstances. For more demanding games, this often saves some battery life at the cost of some visual fidelity, but for lighter games it can have the opposite effect, so be careful.

There is also a setting to limit the TDP or thermal design power of the system. This is essentially a measure of how much power the processor is using, so of course it’s a great way to reclaim extra battery life. However, if you set it too low, performance will suffer drastically, so try to find the right balance.

There’s also AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution, which can offer both better performance and longer battery life, extending battery life by over an hour in some cases. according to YouTuber The Phawx. How to extend the battery life of the Steam Deck

Curtis Crabtree

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