The best methods to enhance your Steam Deck’s battery life are enabling Airplane Mode when doable, decreasing display screen brightness, and utilizing per-game efficiency profiles. Additionally attempt limiting framerates, refresh charges, decision, TDP, the GPU clock, and shading.
The Steam Deck is an excellent handheld gaming PC, nevertheless it does include its share of downsides, with the poor battery life being the most important one. If you happen to’re on the lookout for methods to increase your Steam Deck’s battery life, look no additional. We’ve bought you lined.
Beneath you will discover plenty of methods to optimize your Steam Deck to get essentially the most out of its battery, regardless of whether or not you’re enjoying a latest AAA title, a cute however undemanding indie recreation, or a number of the classics by way of emulation.
Learn how to Enhance Your Steam Deck’s Battery Life
Let’s begin with some normal tips about bettering the battery life which might be tremendous simple to use.
Flip On Airplane Mode (or Offline Mode)
Airplane mode turns off all wi-fi communication in your Steam Deck, resembling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. That is the simplest and quickest strategy to get extra battery life, and whereas it isn’t tremendous efficient, it may give you a good battery life enhance.
To allow Airplane mode in your Steam Deck, press the “Fast Entry” button — the three-dots button you will discover below the best touchpad. Then scroll to the “Fast Settings” menu — the one with the gear icon — and press the “Airplane Mode” toggle by deciding on it and urgent the “A” button.
If you happen to don’t want Wi-Fi however do want Bluetooth, in case you’re utilizing wireless buds or a Bluetooth controller, you may activate the “Offline Mode,” choice, which shuts down Wi-Fi however permits Bluetooth for use.
To do that, press the “Steam” button, then scroll all the way down to the “Settings” menu and enter it by urgent the “A” button in your Steam Deck.
As soon as there, scroll all the way down to the “Web” submenu, choose “Enter Offline Mode,” and press the “A” button.
Then press “Affirm” within the following window.
You’ll be able to disable it later in the identical menu if you’re able to again on-line.
Flip the Display Brightness Down
The second method you may elongate the battery life in your Steam Deck is by turning down the display screen brightness. Reducing the display screen brightness to about one-third of the max brightness reduces your Steam Deck’s energy utilization by greater than 1.5 watts, which is substantial when enjoying much less demanding video games.
To show down the display screen brightness press the “Fast Entry” button in your Deck, scroll to the “Fast Settings” menu, choose the “Brightness” choice, after which press the “A” button and tweak the display screen brightness with the left analog stick or the D-pad.
As you may see from the 2 screenshots under, we’ve dropped the facility utilization from 8.2 to six.5 watts whereas enjoying “Kaze and the Wild Masks” simply by decreasing the display screen brightness from max to about one-third of the utmost.
That mentioned, don’t count on the identical beneficial properties when enjoying demanding AAA titles. These video games use extra energy, and decreasing the vitality utilized by ~1.5 watts will enhance the battery life however not practically so long as when enjoying much less demanding 2D titles.
Use Per-Recreation Efficiency Profiles
This nifty little choice permits you to use a novel efficiency profile for each recreation you’re enjoying. For instance, you may tweak the thermal energy (TDP) for every recreation individually. In different phrases, you may tweak the quantity of energy accessible to the CPU and GPU.
As an example, you may go from the default worth of 15W all the way in which all the way down to 3W, which might make a world of distinction relating to the battery life. To learn the way to allow TDP tweaking, scroll all the way down to the Lower Your Steam Deck’s Thermal Power Limit (TDP) part of this information.
To allow per-game efficiency profiles, press the “Fast Entry” button, and scroll to the “Fast Settings” menu. As soon as there, discover the “Use Per-Recreation Profile” toggle and switch it on.
Be aware: You must be in-game to show the “Use Per-Recreation Profile” choice on.
Set the Framerate Restrict to 30 or 40 Frames per Second
One of the simplest ways to enhance the battery lifetime of your Steam Deck is to cap the framerate to 30 or 40 frames per second (fps). This fashion, the video games you play might be restricted to both 30fps or 40fps as an alternative of 60fps, leading to much less energy utilization and longer battery life.
To allow the framerate cap, press the “Fast Entry” button, go to the “Efficiency” menu — the one with the battery icon — and set the “Framerate Restrict” slider to 30fps.
If you wish to allow the 40fps restrict, it’s a must to tweak the “Refresh Price” slider as an alternative. This slider is positioned just below the “Framerate Restrict” slider. Don’t neglect to maintain the “Framerate Restrict” slider at 60fps when tweaking the “Refresh Price” slider to 40fps.
Tweak In-Recreation Decision and Visible Settings
Turning the in-game decision and visible settings down together with the body price limiter may give you some additional juice out of the battery. Simply drop the visuals down till you discover the candy spot.
As for the decision, if you happen to determine to play at a decrease decision to avoid wasting battery don’t use AMD FSR upscaling. FSR places further pressure on the CPU, nullifying the additional battery life you’ve gained by decreasing the decision within the first place.
Tweak Your Steam Deck’s Thermal Energy (TDP) Restrict
The Steam Deck comes with a default TDP of 15W. That’s the utmost energy accessible for the CPU and GPU when operating video games. Be aware that the Deck can use greater than 15W of energy since different elements, such because the display screen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips, audio system, and many others., additionally want energy to run.
Whereas the utmost, 15W TDP, is required to run demanding video games at playable framerates, you may decrease the TDP when enjoying much less demanding video games.
To tweak the TDP press the “Fast Entry” button, enter the “Efficiency” menu, scroll all the way down to the “Thermal Energy (TDP) Restrict” toggle, and switch it on. After you flip it on you’ll see the “Watts” slider under the “Thermal Energy (TDP) Restrict” toggle. You’ll be able to tweak the “Watts” slider by deciding on it with the left analog stick or the D-pad, and urgent the “A” button. When you activate the slider, tweak the facility with the left analog stick or the D-pad.
To search out the bottom quantity of energy wanted to run a particular recreation at acceptable body charges, set the visible choices to your liking first. Then, whereas in-game, transfer the digicam to a scene that appears demanding — or attain a visually demanding a part of a stage in 2D video games and video games with a set digicam — and reduce the “Watts” slider in single-watt steps till you see a drop in body charges. Then up the TDP one notch, and that’s it.
This fashion, you may significantly decrease the facility utilized by the CPU and GPU in a number of video games. That mentioned, a number of newer AAA video games will doubtless require full, 15W TDP to run at playable body charges.
You Can Additionally Manually Cap the GPU Clock
Be aware you can additionally manually cap the GPU clock. Whereas this isn’t as helpful as tweaking the max energy accessible to your Deck, decreasing the GPU clock will help with the battery life when utilizing emulators. As an example, most Swap video games run advantageous with the GPU clock set at 1000MHz, so you may restrict it to 1000MHz to get a bit extra juice out of the cell.
To allow this feature go to the “Efficiency” menu, discover the “Guide GPU Clock Management” toggle, and switch it on. After you try this, you’ll see the “GPU Clock Frequency” slider just under the “Guide GPU Clock Management” setting. All it’s a must to do subsequent is tweak the GPU clock down till you see efficiency degradation.
Stream Video games As an alternative of Working Them on Your Steam Deck
Working video games on the Deck is one of the simplest ways to play most titles. Nonetheless, this imposes some limits. As an example, Game Pass video games can not natively run on the Deck, in any respect. Additionally, trendy AAA video games with beefy visuals use a number of energy when operating in your Deck, which leads to poor battery life.
One resolution for this situation is to make use of streaming companies resembling Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now to stream Recreation Cross and newer AAA video games. Recreation streaming makes use of method much less energy than operating video games off your Deck and may drastically enhance the battery life.
If you happen to personal a PC, you may stream video games domestically by way of Moonlight, a neighborhood streaming shopper for Nvidia’s GameStream expertise. YouTube channel Metal Lodge has a helpful information on how to install and configure Moonlight on a Steam Deck which we advocate watching.
With Moonlight, you may domestically stream each Recreation Cross video games — make certain to create a desktop icon for the sport you need to stream — and AAA video games for hours on finish whereas getting an insanely lengthy battery life you’ll by no means be capable of obtain by operating video games immediately in your Steam Deck. Higher but, native streaming by way of Moonlight makes use of so little energy you can get a noticeably improved battery life even when streaming older and 2D video games with easy visuals.
Activate Half Price Shading
Steam Deck has one other characteristic you should use to delay its battery life referred to as “Half Price Shading.” What it does is drop the shading high quality down, permitting the Deck to run video games with the identical visible settings and determination whereas utilizing much less energy.
To allow Half Price Shading, go to the “Efficiency” menu, scroll down till you see the “Half Price Shading” toggle, and switch it on.
It’s best to know that Half Price Shading can drastically degrade visuals and make the video games too blurry and pixelated to play with out points. It’s particularly noticeable with in-game textual content, which might typically be nigh-unreadable.
On the whole, we don’t advocate utilizing the choice apart with 2D pixel artwork video games or 3D titles that emulate that old-school look, resembling Cultic, Nightfall, A Quick Hike, or Prodeus.
FSR upscaling, discovered on the “Scaling Filter” slider, will help with some demanding video games however is often not that nice for extending the battery life. As we’ve already mentioned, whereas it might probably help you play graphically-demanding video games in decrease resolutions, FSR places additional pressure on the CPU, which cancels out the battery financial savings you bought by turning the decision down.
If you happen to nonetheless need to use FSR, go to the “Efficiency” menu, scroll down till you see the “Scaling Filter” slider, after which transfer the slider to the “FSR” worth.
A Few Additional Steam Deck Battery Life Optimization Suggestions
The 2 additional ideas we now have listed under aren’t game-related, however we nonetheless advocate following them.
Allow the Battery-Saving Cargo Mode if You Don’t Plan on Utilizing Your Deck for a Whereas
If you happen to purchased it new, your Steam Deck arrived with the battery in “Cargo Mode.” This mode prevents the Deck from by chance turning on throughout cargo. It’s additionally beneficial to show it on if you happen to don’t plan on utilizing the system for a extra prolonged time frame — a few weeks, a month, or longer — to maintain the battery from discharging.
To allow the “Cargo Mode,” you might want to flip your Steam Deck off. To do that, press the “Steam” button, enter the “Energy” menu, and choose the “Shutdown” choice.
As soon as your Steam Deck shuts down, maintain down the Quantity Up (plus icon) and Energy buttons till you hear a sound. After the sound’s performed, launch each buttons, and also you’ll enter the BIOS.
As soon as contained in the BIOS, use the D-pad to maneuver round and the “A” button to pick out choices. Subsequent, choose and enter the “Setup Utility” menu.
Then scroll to the “Energy” submenu, choose the “Battery Storage Mode” and switch it on.
Press “Sure” to verify your selection, and also you’ll be set.
Be aware: The battery needs to be under 80% to enter the “Battery Storage” mode. Additionally, you received’t be capable of flip your Steam Deck again on whereas within the “Battery Storage” mode till you hook it to its charger.
Don’t Use Exterior SSDs
Final however not least, if you wish to maximize the battery life in your Steam Deck, by no means use exterior solid-state drives (SSDs). They will gobble up to 7-9W of power. It is a lot contemplating the CPU and GPU contained in the Deck can use 15W of energy at most. If you would like extra storage, get a microSD card as an alternative.