Steam Deck's refresh rate can now be adjusted on the fly

Steam Deck with menu screen
(Image credit: Future)

When the Steam Deck released earlier this year, we were impressed by Valve's portable gaming PC hybrid. That being said, whenever new hardware is released one of the biggest hurdles can be continued support. Valve have been pretty on top of this for the Steam Deck, releasing fixes for fans, and constantly adding more verified games to the system, and those helpful little tweaks keep coming.

The latest SteamOS 3.2 update includes a new feature that allows Steam Deck owners to adjust the refresh rate on the fly. Games are typically set at 60Hz on the Steam Deck but this new feature gives players the ability to adjust this incrementally, with limits at 40, 20, and 10fps. 

This is a particularly useful feature in a portable console because people can choose whether to sacrifice frame rates in order to save battery life. Having these incremental options gives people the opportunity to really dial those settings on the fly for whatever their preference happens to be depending on the game they're playing. 

It looks like it will also integrate with the per-game performance settings that were introduced recently. Both of these working together should really let users squeeze a bit more battery out of their decks for long trips, which will only make this little machine an even better travel buddy.

Steam in your hands

Steam Deck with an image from Elden Ring overlayed on the screen

(Image credit: Future, FromSoftware)

Steam Deck review: Our verdict on Valve's handheld PC.
Steam Deck availability: How to get one.
Steam Deck battery life: What's the real battery life of the new device?
How loud is the Steam Deck? And will it pass the Significant Other test?
Steam Deck - The emulation dream machine: Using Valve's handheld hardware as the ultimate emulator.

Another note in the 3.2 release regards the Steam Deck's fans. They were pretty loud at release and Valve has been making efforts to tone these bad boys down. This new update features the latest efforts in an OS controlled fan curve. Valve claims it's much quieter, especially in low use situations but users can switch back to a bios controlled fan in the system settings.

In other exciting news outside of the update, Valve also announced that Remote Play Together is now fully functional on Steam Deck. Now friends can remotely join you on your Steam Deck gaming adventures, or you can use your Steam Deck to join them, so long as those games support the feature.

At this rate we're bound to see more features and fixes coming to the Steam Deck soon. Hopefully we'll also see stock improvements so more users can take advantage of these updates. Or perhaps we'll just have to wait for the Steam Deck 2.

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here. No, she’s not kidding.