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New Steam Deck update brings users up to speed with performance and customization upgrade

The Steam OS 3.6.0 preview update promises plenty of new features and upgrades for Steam Deck users.
Last Updated on May 15, 2024
A handheld gaming device displaying a screen with various game options on its main menu. The screen features images and text related to different game titles, showcasing a performance upgrade. The device is on a flat surface.
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The ever-popular Steam Deck console has received a welcome update, bringing plenty of performance booting upgrades, which, up to now, have been unavailable to users of the original device.

Valve Corporation, the company behind the digital distribution platform Steam as well as their handheld Steam Deck devices, announced the SteamOS 3.6.0 preview update, which promises a host of new features such as a new graphics driver, overclocking ability, and more.

What has changed with the Steam OS 3.6.0 preview update?

Previous updates mean the newer Steam Deck OLED already had the capacity for overclocking, but now this feature is available to owners of the Steam Deck LCD too, allowing gamers to generate more performance out of their devices, especially if you own a modified console with additional cooling.

Alongside the overclocking ability, the new version 24.1 Mesa graphics driver brings “many performance and correctness improvements,” along with “improved responsiveness of the Steam UI” according to Valve. Also included in the 3.6.0 preview update, also dubbed “Remote-Controlled”, are improvements to the display, enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, and additional VRR support.

Users of the original Steam Deck will be undoubtedly glad that these features are now being made available to them and although it still won’t compare to the Steam Deck 2 console, the added performance offered by the ‘Remote Controlled” preview update should bring welcome gains to the overall user experience, which until now, had been reserved for later editions of Steam’s console portfolio.

Full details of the Steam OS 3.6.0 Preview: Remote-Controlled

✓ Steam OS 3.6.0 preview update

General

  • Updated to a more recent Arch Linux base
  • Improved pairing experience with Apple AirPods
  • Improved session recovery speed after GPU crashes
  • Fixed some connectivity failures with access points supporting WPA3 security
  • Updated Linux kernel to version 6.5
  • Improved speed of subsequent OS updates
  • Improved reliability of certain microSD card usage scenarios
  • Fixed game session cursor offset alignment
  • Worked around misdetection of some SanDisk microSD cards
  • Fixed an issue where a thin grey line could appear at the bottom of the screen during boot in some situations
  • Fixed an issue causing temporary files to accrue when using Flatpak
  • Enabled support for Bluetooth A2DP and BAP profiles
  • Improved connection speed of some Bluetooth devices
  • Improved performance and stability in memory pressure situations
  • Fixed an issue where the Performance Overlay would spuriously enable itself under certain conditions
  • Added mechanism to configure which Bluetooth device categories are allowed to wake the system from suspend
  • By default, controllers are the only devices that can wake the system from sleep
  • Finer-grained UI configuration options will be available as part of a future update
✓ Steam OS 3.6.0 preview update

Display & Graphics

  • Improved display uniformity, under some conditions (Mura Compensation)
  • Improved display color balance (reduced green tint) at lower brightness levels, under some conditions
  • Improved gamma uniformity (yellow tint), under some conditions
  • Updated graphics driver to Mesa 24.1, with many performance and correctness improvements
  • Improved responsiveness of the Steam UI
✓ STEAM OS 3.6.0 PREVIEW UPDATE

Desktop Mode

  • Updated to KDE Plasma 5.27.10
  • Enabled thumbnail previews for videos in the file browser
  • Fixed an issue with desktop use that could cause subsequent microSD card auto-mount to fail
✓ STEAM OS 3.6.0 PREVIEW UPDATE

Deck Dock

  • Added support for some HDMI CEC features:
    • TV remote input
    • TV wake up
    • TV input switching
  • Updated Dock firmware, with compatibility fixes for high-refresh-rate VRR displays
✓ STEAM OS 3.6.0 PREVIEW UPDATE

BIOS

  • Added overclocking controls on Steam Deck LCD
  • Fixed not being able to set the SDCard as default boot device
  • Adjusted power LED slow charging threshold
  • Fixed spurious power LED blinking in S5
✓ STEAM OS 3.6.0 PREVIEW UPDATE

Development and Modding

  • Modified files in /etc are now migrated to new OS versions based on a whitelist
    – Fixes numerous issues with incidentally touched /etc files becoming ‘sticky’ and persisting unexpectedly
    – Additional whitelist entries can be added via config fragments
    – See /etc/atomic-update.conf.d/example-additional-keep-list.conf
    – Added /etc/previous/ containing modifications from the previous update to prevent unexpected data loss
    – Up to five previous snaphots of /etc modifications will additionally be retained in /var/lib/steamos-atomupd/etc_backup/
  • Added support for {ssh,sshd}_config fragments