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Chunky Steam Deck update adds overheat warning, docked mode improvements, performance fixes and more

Daring Deck owners can try out Preview software builds too

The latest Steam Deck software update, comprised of both a client update and SteamOS 3.3, is out now. It’s a fat stack of improvements and fixes, too, including a handful of brand new features.

You can read the full patch notes on Steam, but I’ll give you the highlights, which include a new warning that pops up when the Steam Deck’s temperature “goes outside the safe operating range”. When it starts throttling, in other words, a threshold that many Deck owners have been discovering during recent heatwaves. I have an overheating notification feature myself, only it’s just me typing “too hot” in the RPS Slack.

With this update, Steam games’ respective Achievements and Guides pages will now appear in the standard Steam button overlay while you’re playing them, and you can schedule the Deck’s night mode to switch on at a certain time. Or, if you’re worried about burning your eyes during late-night Deck sessions, this update also re-enables the Adaptive Brightness setting; Valve disabled it back in June as it was reportedly causing performance problems.

There’s also good news for anyone who uses a dock or USBC-hub to turn their Steam Deck into a desktop PC. SteamOS 3.3 includes the option to change the UI scaling on external monitors, including an automatic scaling toggle, and any network connections you set up while in Desktop Mode should now work properly in Gaming Mode as well.

Loads of other bug fixes and performance tweaks are listed, though if you’re hungry for even more updates as soon as they’re available, you may be interested in one other feature that’s part of this patch. The Steam Deck software update channel selector has a new ‘Preview’ option alongside the existing Stable and Beta branch options; if you select the Preview branch, you’ll be the first to try out upcoming SteamOS and client features while they’re still in development. You’d be guinea pigging, though, so don’t be surprised if Preview updates have stability issues.

Despite the Steam Deck not being entirely able to beat the heat, it’s been a good few days for the handheld PC. Valve announced last week that shipments are ahead of schedule, meaning everyone who currently holds a reservation should get their Deck by the end of the year.

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About the Author
James Archer avatar

James Archer

Hardware Editor

James had previously hung around beneath the RPS treehouse as a freelancer, before being told to drop the pine cones and climb up to become hardware editor. He has over a decade’s experience in testing/writing about tech and games, something you can probably tell from his hairline.