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Steam Deck update adds per-game performance profiles

Custom settings for this game, and that game, and oh yes that game too

Steam Deck software updates continue to refine Valve’s handheld PC. This time, the big new feature is the ability to create per-game performance profiles, which let you pick and choose from the Deck’s toy chest of power and battery-saving settings and apply your tailored configuration to a specific game at a time. You can then switch between games without having to manually re-adjust those settings every time you play something different.

Given the Steam Deck’s battery life… let’s say inconsistencies, best practice typically involves adjusting these performance settings on a game-by-game basis anyway. Custom profiles are therefore a welcome streamlining of the process: you could, for instance, whack a charge-saving 30fps cap on Elden Ring, play for a bit, then quit out in a Malenia-induced rage and switch to some relaxing 60fps Aperture Desk Job without any additional settings fiddling.

Cover image for YouTube videoWe Played Ten Different Game Genres On The Steam Deck

And it’s not just the frame rate cap: these profiles cover everything in the Quick Settings menu’s Performance tab, including Variable Rate Shading (VRS), the TDP and GPU core clock controls, and FSR upscaling. The feature also pairs very well with a recent beta branch software update, which also added a 40-60Hz refresh rate slider to the Performance tab.

To set up a performance profile for a game, it’s just a matter of launching it on the Deck, opening the Quick Settings menu, navigating to Performance, toggling on “Use per-game profile,” and choosing your settings. When you quit out to SteamOS, it’ll revert to default settings (or whatever you’d previously set to use in the main menu), then keep them until you launch a different game and repeat the process. Your custom profiles will then automatically apply themselves the next time you launch each game. Efficient!

There are a bunch of smaller tweaks and fixes in this update too. Here’s the full patch notes, including the unintentionally funny-sounding “Fixed issue with users showing up as Favorites when they are no longer friends.” Who knew the Steam Deck would have similar social problems to Facebook?

In other Steam Deck news, Fortnite recently became playable (in a sense) after launching on Xbox Cloud Gaming, which you can set up on your own Deck via this guide. It’s been just a couple of weeks since Valve’s last major software update on the main branch, which added a lock screen for better security from prying eyes and thieving hands.

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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.