There’s a new Steam Deck update for those running in the Steam Deck preview channel, offering lots of new small but important improvements that will be welcomed by users. The update to SteamOS 3.4 is in a preview form, meaning that some features are still being tested. With the update including a fix to several notable bugs, the option to disable VSync, and improvements to storage drives, however, users may well want to hop on this one.
Perhaps the most notable news for many users will be fixes for several annoying Steam Deck bugs. Firstly, an issue causing the default audio device to display the message “echo-cancel-sink” and prevent audio controls from working correctly has been fixed. The update also resolves an issue with audio going to sleep on external displays via HDMI or DisplayPort connections, while new Steam Deck docking station firmware should ensure HDMI 2.0 displays are correctly detected upon wake or boot up. Additionally, there’s a fix for in-game hitches caused by the adaptive backlight being on.
A “new option to allow screen tearing” should allow users to disable forced VSync, should they choose to do so – this is preferred by some as VSync can cause minor input latency in some cases. The update also pushes SteamOS to the latest version of Arch Linux, meaning it includes several tweaks for the desktop mode KDE Plasma, introducing new touchscreen gestures, widget updates, and a new ‘overview’ option that shows all open windows and virtual desktops. KDE Connect is now enabled by default, too, allowing you to seamlessly connect your phone to transfer your files or use a phone keyboard on your Steam Deck.
Storage drives are getting several updates. TRIM has been re-enabled for the internal drive as well as any supported external storage devices, which should improve write performance. There’s also an option in the advanced system settings to run TRIM immediately. External drives formatted as ext4 are now automatically mounted and made available for use, which should make it easier to get MicroSD cards working. There’s also a new eject option to unmount removable drives (though it won’t physically boop your device out), and a fix for an issue causing sporadic fan behaviour and higher SSD temperatures with certain NVME drives.
The default mouse emulation on the Sony PlayStation DualShock 4 and DualSense controllers’ trackpads has been disabled while Steam is running. Meanwhile, the timing on virtual keypresses has been adjusted, which Valve says should fix input issues with several apps and games including Street Fighter V and the EA app.
If you want to opt into the preview build, head over to the Steam update channel option in your Steam Deck’s system settings menu. You can read the full Steam Deck SteamOS 3.4 preview patch notes on Steam.
A new Steam Big Picture mode update brings the beautiful functionality of the Steam Deck to your desktop gaming PC. If you’d rather get your handheld up and running on a TV or monitor then the best Steam Deck dock will let you do so in style.