Large Steam Deck update makes it more secure, easy to use, and extends battery life

Left-hand side of Valve's Steam Deck pictured up-close
(Image credit: Future)
Audio player loading…

Valve continues to update the Steam Deck (opens in new tab) at a steady pace, delivering improvements and patches for the handheld gaming PC, molding it ever more into a fully-fledged console in its own right. And today's update is more than just a quick patch, too. With a new lock screen feature, extended dock and charging support, new features, and even improved battery life in some instances.

Since there's so much to cover, let's get right into the new features worth knowing about.

  • New lock screen - This can be set up to appear on wake, boot, login, or when switching to desktop for added security. It's a PIN entry, so just don't forget yours if you set it up.
  • Localised keyboards - There are now 21 further languages and layouts available on the Steam Deck in case regular QWERTY English isn't your style. Valve says it's working on Chinese, Japanese, and Korean layouts, too.
  • Multiple window switching - It's now possible to switch between multiple windows of the same application. For example, tabs of a web browser.
  • Updated achievements page - If you're the type to chase trophies, the Steam Deck's page is now faster and easier to navigate.

And when it comes to updates to the Steam Deck experience, today's update has a good few of those worth talking about.

  • Compatibility - Valve says it has expanded Type-C dock, charger, and SD Card compatibility. That has us hopeful to get the Steam Deck working with our docks in the office, which it struggled with initially. The official Steam Deck dock is still MIA, but the specification of which has been improved recently (opens in new tab).
  • Added fTPM support - This means you can fulfil the minimum requirements for Windows 11 on the Steam Deck, though to be honest it wasn't particularly tough to get around with the Rufus tool (opens in new tab).
  • Improved battery life - Battery life should be better when idling now, preventing your Deck from sapping its battery when nothing's happening.
  • Improved stability - A big vague but general stability improvements are welcome.
  • New Quick Access menu tools - It's now possible to switch on Half-Rate Shading and uncapped frame rate in the Quick Access menu.

You can read the full update notes here (opens in new tab).

Valve clearly hasn't just pushed the Steam Deck out to the public and then called it a day, and it's good to see these semi-regular updates bringing a lot of new features to the fore. The Steam Deck has a lot of potential, and while we're generally pretty big fans of it, there's definitely room for it to improve and get the most out of PC gaming on the go. 

Here's hoping there are some big performance-enhancing improvements on the way too, eh Valve?

Image (opens in new tab)

Steam Deck review (opens in new tab): Our verdict
Steam Deck availability (opens in new tab): How to get one
Steam Deck battery life (opens in new tab): The real battery life
How loud is the Steam Deck? (opens in new tab) Say what?
The emulation dream machine (opens in new tab): The ultimate emulator
The best budget gaming PC (opens in new tab): Price point hero

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.