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Valve just dropped the Steam Deck update we wanted, but it needs work

You can now record gameplay clips directly on Valve's handheld gaming PC, but you need to opt into the Beta and enable the setting first.

Steam Deck Screen Recording Beta

Direct gameplay capture has been a much-requested feature, not just on the Steam Deck, but also on the Steam platform in general. Now, Valve has announced a new capture technology that allows for the saving, editing, and sharing of gameplay clips in a streamlined manner, and the feature is already available for Steam Deck too.

As the best handheld gaming PC, the Steam Deck needs already has a lot going for it, but the lack of a capture feature has been a thorn in its side until now. Also, the addition of gameplay recording is a much more exciting feature for the portable than it is on the PC, because there have been many simple ways to capture footage on the PC via third-party software for decades.

Steam Deck gameplay recording feature

This new direct gameplay capture feature has been met with huge praise and a lot of excitement from the Steam Deck community. Valve is only rolling out the update via the Beta channel, meaning you’ll need to change your System Update Channel option to Beta in the settings menu.

Your Steam Deck will need to restart once this is done, but you can then enable the gameplay recording setting further down in the menu, where you’ll find that a new dedicated section has been added.

There are three options available: No recording, active recording of the last 120 seconds, and triggered recording that only starts once prompted. I stuck with the rolling 120-second option in testing, as I rarely need to save extended clips when playing on the Deck.

I took the feature for a spin in Super Meat Boy and it worked well. You can hit the Steam button and select the gameplay recording option to review the stored clip and edit it right there and then, before choosing to save it to your media library or share it.

gameplay recording as seen on a Steam Deck

While the gameplay recording worked well, however, overall this Beta firmware appears to have a few glaring issues. Most notably, all game audio stopped once the Steam menu was opened. I tested this in The Witcher 3 and Risk of Rain 2 as well to make sure it wasn’t an isolated game issue.

Also, once I had finished playing around with the gameplay clip that was recording, the Steam button then didn’t work, meaning games had to be exited through the in-game menus, which was far from ideal. Again this was replicated across multiple games to ensure it wasn’t an isolated issue.

This is just part of what can happen when using an unstable build, and these bugs will hopefully be ironed out over time. If you would rather wait for the feature to arrive with no side effects, you can stick to the Stable channel firmware and await the arrival of the full release.

If you need some help deciding which titles to use with this awesome feature, check out our picks of the best Steam Deck games, where all of the inclusions have been hand-picked and tested on Valve’s handheld by us.