Steam Deck Tips & Tricks

Axman

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 13, 2005
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12,873
In this thread we ask and answer questions about how to use the Steam Deck, as well as point out things we've discovered, like friends we met this entire time.

I would like to know how to delete controller layout templates from my Deck. I've saved the same config three times with the same name, and they're annoying me. I want to delete the redundant layouts. Got any tips?
 

klippel

n00b
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Jun 6, 2022
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my top tip: make a 2.4ghz network. I got abysmal download speed on my 5ghz network with pi-hole running DNS. i made another network (unifi USG) just for the deck and i get much better (though not as high as a laptop on the same network) download speeds and it works well enough.
 
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t1337duder

Limp Gawd
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Sep 7, 2014
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My SteamOS has crapped out on me twice in the month I've had it. One time it was stuck in offline mode (no matter what I did), and the other time my Steam would think I'm always ingame for RE4, and will refuse to launch anything in game mode. There are a few recovery options such as resetting local data or reinstalling the SteamOS, but nothing short of reimaging the Deck fixed those issues. This means my dual boot installation was lost both times and I had to reconfigure everything from scratch, twice.

I've seen what feels like hundreds of various issues that people have been having on Reddit. So, my golden advice would be that once you have your Steam Deck where you want it, create a backup clone of your Deck. This way if your OS breaks in any way, you have the backup you can reimage from. I would have saved myself more hours than I'd like to admit if I had done that sooner.
 

maro

Gawd
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Aug 27, 2006
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Reading an article at digitaltrends I came across a list of handy shortcuts:
  • Steam + B (long press): Force game shutdown
  • Steam + X: Show keyboard
  • Steam + L1: Toggle magnifier
  • Steam + R1: Take screenshot
  • Steam + L2: Right mouse click (this is correct, believe it or not)
  • Steam + R2: Left mouse click
  • Steam + Right joystick: Joystick mouse
  • Steam + Right trackpad: Trackpad mouse
  • Steam + Right trackpad (click): Left mouse click
  • Steam + Left joystick up: Increase screen brightness
  • Steam + Left joystick down: Decrease screen brightness
  • Steam + D-pad right: Enter key
  • Steam + D-pad down: Tab key
  • Steam + D-pad left: Escape key
You can see this list by holding the Steam button. I've had mine almost a week now and the only one I knew about was steam+x for keyboard.
 

Axman

[H]F Junkie
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Jul 13, 2005
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If you install a game that runs Origin in the background, there is *no way* to change the Origin settings right now. Do not use the cloud save feature! It's not reliable.

And the worst part: if you uninstall and reinstall the game, it will keep the old Origin settings.

My Deck ate my Mass Effect saves. I'm currently doing a clean install.
 
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maro

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I'd say this is obvious but https://www.emudeck.com/
I've been doing this with Retroarch. The Steam version currently has limited emulators but you can install Retroarch in desktop mode (through discover app) to get the entire list including MAME. It's not exactly a 'plug n play' experience if one is new to emulators, but if you don't mind messing with stuff it works. This looks more user friendly though. I'm hoping Recalbox comes out with a Steamdeck compatible version so I can boot from sdcard (their current x86 version did not boot). Currently the desktop-mode version of Retroarch works well enough...

on another note if anyone is curious about usb-c hubs:

I have been using this hub from monoprice https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=43527
It's fairly inexpensive and seems to work well enough. I was able to use it to connect to a 4k TV (at what looks like 1280x800) and play on on the couch with a wired xbox controller. This is a passive hub so no external power. It acted weird with my wireless kb/m and a usb drive until I swapped the wireless dongle to the 1.5 amp slot but otherwise works great.
For $25 this is at least good enough to carry me over until their dock becomes available.
 
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Zepher

[H]ipster Replacement
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I'd say this is obvious but https://www.emudeck.com/
I'll be getting my Deck tomorrow so I'll be checking that out.
the last (and only) handheld gaming machine I bought was the Atari Lynx I bought back in 1990 or 1991. It was the original larger one.
Looking forward to playing some Lynx games on my Steam Deck if there is a Lynx emulator in that app.
 

Balkroth

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
418
I'll be getting my Deck tomorrow so I'll be checking that out.
the last (and only) handheld gaming machine I bought was the Atari Lynx I bought back in 1990 or 1991. It was the original larger one.
Looking forward to playing some Lynx games on my Steam Deck if there is a Lynx emulator in that app.
Yep
20220708151318_1.jpg20220708151240_1.jpg
 

Balkroth

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
418
is that through EmuDeck or something else?
That's all through emudeck, it basically has all the emulators with it (some additional setup stuff for newer things) . The page you see above is the navigation page opened in steam, it'll only show the systems that have roms, so it won't show everything.
 

Balkroth

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
418
Probably one of the more detailed resources out there as a compilation of data, if ya want to know how to get other launchers, add some of the power saving/tweaking software, etc. It's kinda been my go to before I start digging deep into things.

https://github.com/mikeroyal/Steam-Deck-Guide#table-of-contents


If anyone is interested in getting work Apps to, well work, I could probably write some guides (VMWare Horizons client was kind of finicky to get going, but really it's just Arch so it's not terrible), but I'm probably the only person that actually sees a gaming device and thinks "I totally need to be able to do all my work on that".
 

equinox654

Gawd
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
598
I wanted to go over my experience using windows 11 on the steam deck. I have seen the trash talk about windows on the device, but wanted to try it out for my self and since all my games are cloud saved. No loss from wiping it and I figured I could try to work around the short comings.

Install is pretty straight forward. Install windows like normal. Picked pro, so that I could have an offline account. Installed drivers from usb ssd.
Setup steam, ripped the Radeon software out of a slightly older driver install. Windows is snappy, web browsing is fine. With the screen resolution, I wouldn't recommend it as a youtube or netflix device.

Now for the rest of it... Spoiler alert! It's all bad.

With steam closed the track pad works, but doesn't allow clicking, you use the triggers for that. Which works great. With steam open the controls work like in the linux desktop, which is alright, but I find it hard to click with the track pads.

Controller mapping: I almost feel like valve purposefully gimped it. If you try to map out side of big picture mode, it opens big picture settings in a grainy and buggy offset window the overhangs the screen. Mapping in big picture mode is better, but still horrible. The controller layout picture and button leaders are incomplete, the back buttons are mappable but are in empty area you have to select. I found when I chose a profile it didn't always apply it. The "..." button is unmappable. When you try to change the steam button chord mapping, I found it wouldn't save changes, so I couldn't say map a global WIN+D or shift+tab.

The newest radeon software that I could install did not have support for global fsr yet and the performance overlay couldn't be toggled on. Color correction settings work though, and helps the panel look a bit better.

I used cru to import a .bin that has refresh rates ranging from 40-60. The timing on them felt slightly off, even with vsync. I wonder if valve is using some special hardware commands for their custom refresh rates. Since I couldn't bind a minimize all command, I had to 3 finger swipe up to try to get to the desktop to change refresh rates. The 3 finger swipe up in full screen apps is glitchy as hell.

The apu drivers: I ran out of vram in The Ascent and had to go to the bios and set the video memory to 4gb as it seems a lot of games only see 1gb and won't expand the pool.
The ascent had what seemed like much higher fps than in steam os, but stuttered like crazy. I play it on high in steam os and cap to 40 and it holds pretty well. You generally have to play on low to get 60. In windows medium would hold 60 pretty well except for the zoomed out isometric areas.
Halo infinite complained about the driver and took ages to load. Performance on low was good, but it looked god awful. Medium was 30-50 fps depending, frame pacing seemed pretty bad uncapped.

I tried the steam deck ui in windows. The steam button works as expected. The "..." button works, but all of the functions in the menu do nothing. The button mapping works like in steam os! YAY!, but once a game is launched it fades to the back ground and the steam button no longer functions and the get the regular pc shift+tab.

At that point I decided to wipe the thing and go back to steam os. Stayed up late reinstalling.


Though I only tried 2 demanding games I would say the video driver is sub par and I wonder if it will ever reach parity. Even if a game is running at a higher frame rate in windows... It feels bad.
I have seen the steam button chord remapping work on youtube. I don't know what was up with it for me, I even tried the steam beta client.

I really wanted it to work. I like the idea of just being able to launch .exe files instead of jumping through hoops to install with lutris or steam and having shader compiling hitches in non steam games, but damn is it a shitty experience. I wish someone would code an opensource overlay or shell replacement in windows for these things and maybe hack the mainline driver to work if that is even possible.
 
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Falkentyne

[H]ard|Gawd
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I wanted to go over my experience using windows 11 on the steam deck. I have seen the trash talk about windows on the device, but wanted to try it out for my self and since all my games are cloud saved. No loss from wiping it and I figured I could try to work around the short comings.

Install is pretty straight forward. Install windows like normal. Picked pro, so that I could have an offline account. Installed drivers from usb ssd.
Setup steam, ripped the Radeon software out of a slightly older driver install. Windows is snappy, web browsing is fine. With the screen resolution, I wouldn't recommend it as a youtube or netflix device.

Now for the rest of it... Spoiler alert! It's all bad.

With steam closed the track pad works, but doesn't allow clicking, you use the triggers for that. Which works great. With steam open the controls work like in the linux desktop, which is alright, but I find it hard to click with the track pads.

Controller mapping: I almost feel like valve purposefully gimped it. If you try to map out side of big picture mode, it opens big picture settings in a grainy and buggy offset window the overhangs the screen. Mapping in big picture mode is better, but still horrible. The controller layout picture and button leaders are incomplete, the back buttons are mappable but are in empty area you have to select. I found when I chose a profile it didn't always apply it. The "..." button is unmappable. When you try to change the steam button chord mapping, I found it wouldn't save changes, so I couldn't say map a global WIN+D or shift+tab.

The newest radeon software that I could install did not have support for global fsr yet and the performance overlay couldn't be toggled on. Color correction settings work though, and helps the panel look a bit better.

I used cru to import a .bin that has refresh rates ranging from 40-60. The timing on them felt slightly off, even with vsync. I wonder if valve is using some special hardware commands for their custom refresh rates. Since I couldn't bind a minimize all command, I had to 3 finger swipe up to try to get to the desktop to change refresh rates. The 3 finger swipe up in full screen apps is glitchy as hell.

The apu drivers: I ran out of vram in The Ascent and had to go to the bios and set the video memory to 4gb as it seems a lot of games only see 1gb and won't expand the pool.
The ascent had what seemed like much higher fps than in steam os, but stuttered like crazy. I play it on high in steam os and cap to 40 and it holds pretty well. You generally have to play on low to get 60. In windows medium would hold 60 pretty well except for the zoomed out isometric areas.
Halo infinite complained about the driver and took ages to load. Performance on low was good, but it looked god awful. Medium was 30-50 fps depending, frame pacing seemed pretty bad uncapped.

I tried the steam deck ui in windows. The steam button works as expected. The "..." button works, but all of the functions in the menu do nothing. The button mapping works like in steam os! YAY!, but once a game is launched it fades to the back ground and the steam button no longer functions and the get the regular pc shift+tab.

At that point I decided to wipe the thing and go back to steam os. Stayed up late reinstalling.


Though I only tried 2 demanding games I would say the video driver is sub par and I wonder if it will ever reach parity. Even if a game is running at a higher frame rate in windows... It feels bad.
I have seen the steam button chord remapping work on youtube. I don't know what was up with it for me, I even tried the steam beta client.

I really wanted it to work. I like the idea of just being able to launch .exe files instead of jumping through hoops to install with lutris or steam and having shader compiling hitches in non steam games, but damn is it a shitty experience. I wish someone would code an opensource overlay or shell replacement in windows for these things and maybe hack the mainline driver to work if that is even possible.
With Steam open, the triggers cant control the mouse because they become analog. Steam takes over the Deck controls as a gamepad. You would have to use a program to disable Steam from doing that.
You can still remap the buttons in Steam Input anyway, if you want the trigger clicks back.

Try this.

https://github.com/mKenfenheuer/steam-deck-windows-usermode-driver

https://www.reddit.com/r/SteamDeck/comments/uy45ja/wip_windows_usermode_controller_driver_for_non/

This lets you use the Deck's built in controls for non-steam games.

https://joyxoff.com/en/

This is supposed to let you do something regarding enabling or doing something with the mouse and the trackpads.

I think https://playnite.link/ lets you disable the driver when you run steam games, so they dont interfere with steam (steam will cause double inputs if the driver is active).
 

equinox654

Gawd
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
598
With Steam open, the triggers cant control the mouse because they become analog. Steam takes over the Deck controls as a gamepad. You would have to use a program to disable Steam from doing that.
You can still remap the buttons in Steam Input anyway, if you want the trigger clicks back.

Try this.

https://github.com/mKenfenheuer/steam-deck-windows-usermode-driver

https://www.reddit.com/r/SteamDeck/comments/uy45ja/wip_windows_usermode_controller_driver_for_non/

This lets you use the Deck's built in controls for non-steam games.

https://joyxoff.com/en/

This is supposed to let you do something regarding enabling or doing something with the mouse and the trackpads.

I think https://playnite.link/ lets you disable the driver when you run steam games, so they dont interfere with steam (steam will cause double inputs if the driver is active).
Thanks,
I knew about some of that, but didn’t bother after experiencing the graphics driver and task switching.

I feel like you need a shell replacement or overlay to streamline the experience. Like steam os.

The games that don’t work in steam os are mostly competitive shooters and I don’t think I would ever be competitive with a trackpad or joystick. Hell I play so few of those now days that I’m barely competitive with a mouse anymore.

Think I would rather have to jack with lutris than lose the steam os overlay.
 

Zepher

[H]ipster Replacement
Joined
Sep 29, 2001
Messages
19,549
Yesterday I was just wondering how people ripped Lynx games into Roms and stumbled upon this video showing an upgraded LCD panel for the Lynx.


And since I legally own these Lynx games, I went ahead and downloaded them from one of those Rom sites to try on my Steam Deck,
IMG_1841.JPEG
 
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Zepher

[H]ipster Replacement
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Sitting here trying to get Emulation Station/EMU Deck to work.
Everything looks like it's installed but when I select a game it says "Emulator not found, is it installed?"
IMG_2789.JPEG
 

equinox654

Gawd
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
598
I tested out local game streaming today.
Steams built in streaming is crap.

I installed moonlight which hijacks nvidias game streaming. Set my desktop to 1680x1050 for some supersampling and raised the bit rate to 30mbit.

I can’t tell it’s not native. No dropped frames or macro blocks. Silky smooth like wireless vr on my quest 2.
 
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