Steam Deck OS 3.4 update beefs up the desktop mode

Valve Steam Deck Dock
(Image credit: Valve)
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A nice SteamOS update has pushed the Steam Deck's OS to a new version of KDE Plasma, which powers its desktop mode, and that adds a nice pile of useful stuff you might like to make use of. It incorporates stuff from the February (opens in new tab), June (opens in new tab), and October (opens in new tab) updates for Plasma.

The biggest features for the casual user are stuff like new swipe gestures to make use of the Deck's touchscreen, with directional swipes from the screen edge to open your desktop grid, overview, open windows, and the desktop itself. You can also syncrhonize your desktop accent color to go alongside the dominant color of your wallpaper—quite fun combined with the picture of the day feature.

The other nice thing is a bunch of new support for system tray widgets, which are extremely customizable under KDE Plasma. You can customize that to have stuff like better battery implementation—or, great for a mobile device, change text size and add text alongside icons.

The update otherwise tweaked a sleep issues with "a small number of titles, where specific games would be frozen or exhibit glitchy behavior after waking up." Which is great to see, since those are the ones that really mess with your experience. There are also some pretty neat new performance tweaks, like to specifically allow screen tearing so you can minimize latency.

Those of y'all who wanted your Switch controllers to work again, by the way, had your wishes granted a few days ago: A hotfix made those get recognized, so go to town with your Pro Controllers and all that. I guess you could use joycons if that's your thing.

You can find the full patch notes on Steam. (opens in new tab)

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.