What is the battery life on Steam Deck?
The Steam Deck is designed to be played wherever you go, but does it have the battery life for that?
The Steam Deck is quite a remarkable piece of hardware and has brought a whole new dimension to portable gaming. Where we were once confined to a Nintendo handheld or an expensive Windows-based alternative, the Steam Deck has filled the void.
One thing you should always consider with any laptop or gaming device is battery life. The Steam Deck is no different since it’s designed to go wherever you go. But how long does its battery last and what can you do to get the most out of it?
Steam Deck battery life varies wildly
If there was a weak point on the Steam Deck hardware, it would be the battery life. It’s not necessarily wrong, but it is possible. The battery has a capacity of 40Wh, which is pretty good for something of this size. But the AMD APU inside is quite powerful, which means under the right circumstances it can destroy battery life. Valve’s initial claims are vague 2-8 hours, but it’s perfectly possible to drain it in under two hours.
Battery life will be worse on games that push the CPU and GPU the hardest. Graphically intensive titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered and the new God of the war can do the most damage if you leave everything uncapped. The Steam Deck is essentially a laptop without a keyboard, and like any laptop, the more you run it, the less your battery life will last.
Maximize the battery life of your Steam Deck
There are things you can do to maximize your Steam Deck’s battery life. The first is obvious: buy an external battery. As long as it can supply 45W to the Steam Deck, you’ll be able to keep it charged while playing games on the road. A good battery doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be if you’re looking for high capacity. Anker’s PowerCore+ 26,800mAh battery is a good investment if you’re going to be using your Steam Deck a lot away from a wall outlet, and it has a 45W output that will keep it powered up.
Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD Portable Charger B07XRJZXKY
Anker’s massive battery can pump out the 45W you need to keep your Steam Deck (or laptop or tablet) charged for hours of use on the go. Perfect for those times when you need to charge, but won’t have access to a wall outlet.
You’re not limited to buying a battery, but it’s still essential for extended use without a charger. Valve has integrated a few settings into SteamOS that you can use to further extend battery life.
The first thing to do is limit the frame rate to 30 FPS when not connected to power. As nice as it is to run your games at a silky smooth 60 FPS, it uses more battery. You also have manual controls to reduce the refresh rate of display, GPU and CPU power and apply half rate shaders. You can also limit yourself to less graphics-intensive games when you’re on the road. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, it will take a bit of trial and error, and it will vary from game to game.
But you can also save a profile specific to any game in your library. You probably don’t want to limit kill the arrow as much as Spider Manand you can implement individual profiles for each that will take effect when you launch the respective games.
Valve’s first portable gaming PC, the Steam Deck, is one of the hottest devices of 2022, with a massive library of games to play and the ability to take them on the go.