Your Steam deck battery life is an important factor to keep in mind when you are playing on the go. After all, nobody wants to find themselves halfway through a titanic battle, only for their Deck to die and lose progress.
Today, we'll explain what the Steam deck offers in battery life, plus we'll make you aware of a few things that may influence that performance. And hopefully, help you eke out a little bit more life from your Steam Deck.
If you’re struggling with understanding your Steam Deck battery life, we’re here to help.
Steam Deck battery life
Let's start by discussing the stated Steam deck battery life, as provided in the Steam Deck tech specs. According to Valve, the Steam deck offers a 40Whr battery, which should give you somewhere between two and eight hours of battery life.
We'll be honest, two hours is pretty terrible, and a variance of some 400% makes it difficult to know whether your battery is going to last until you hot the next checkpoint in your game.
So let's take a look at a few tips to help you optimise your battery performance.
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How to improve Steam Deck battery life
As we said above, two hours' battery life isn't particularly great. And for many people, they may be struggling to even reach that length of time between charges.
There are several reasons why that may be the case. Most obviously, if you're playing a AAA title that demands a lot of resources to run, that's going to drain your battery much faster than if you play a game with much more basic graphics and smaller worlds.
So bearing all that in mind, there are a few steps you can take in order to make your battery last as long as possible.
First off, turn down the brightness of your display. As anyone who uses a mobile phone should know, the screen is a major source of drain on your battery, and the brighter you have it, the more energy it needs. So turn down the brightness, and you'll likely see a significant reduction in power consumption.
Change graphics settings
Another major source of power drain can be found in your graphics settings. Reducing these from High to Medium or even Low will also help extend that battery life.
And as an extension to that, changing the frame rate for your game is another major opportunity to prolong battery life. The Steam Deck can display at up to 60fps, which is pretty standard. But the reality is that in many games, you won't notice much difference between 30fps and 60fps (of course, you'll need to find out for yourself whether you notice a difference).
The Steam deck lets you do this in two different ways. Framerate Limit allows you to change the framerate to a maximum of either 15, 30, or 60fps. Refresh Rate meanwhile, controls how often the screen refreshes itself each second. You can try playing with these settings to see where the boundaries are for you. And obviously, you can change these if you need to speed things back up.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to get that little bit of extra life from your Steam Deck battery when you're out and about. But if you are concerned you may run out of juice, then, of course, you have the option of bringing a charger along for the ride. It's not going to extend the time you get on the battery, but it will let you recharge your Steam Deck.