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How to save battery on Steam Deck

Battery management is my favourite game

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on May 17, 2023
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The Steam Deck might be launching soon and with a proposed battery charge between two and eight hours, it might not be sufficient for the really demanding games out there. 

For comparison, other similar single-board computers like the AyaNeo which runs Windows can last around six hours. The Odin Pro – and subsequent Base models caught in the manufacturing error – running Android last around 12 when not pushed to the max. 

Valve’s estimates are probably going to be very much in the realm of fantasy for a lot of games, as the hardware will have to counteract all the measures onboard to ensure a comfortable gaming experience. Things like cooling, the general operating system and also the amount of power the RDNA 2 chip inside are providing to get these games running is going to be a massive detriment to the console’s battery life. 

So, how can you actually begin to make it easier on the Steam Deck if you’re out of range of a plug? Or maybe you just haven’t looked at our accessories guides, which take you through some delectable choices for you to keep the gaming with a great portable charger. 

The Steam Deck is simply just a PC, really. If you want to lower the rate at which you’re draining your battery, lower the graphical settings! Sure, the game will still drain the battery in hectic moments, but sometimes you don’t need the god rays or water reflections on. 

On the other hand, an early look from Bilibili showed that there is a direct control layer on the Steam Deck to change the TDP output. The TDP is essentially just the power the device can provide to run games. The more you raise it, the faster the battery drains, but the better the game experience will be. Lowering this will give you a slower, less stable frame rate, but you should be able to ooch that little bit more out the battery life before you can charge. 

Outside of these two suggestions, there’s not much more we can provide you as, no, we don’t have a console and we’re just working off of prior experience with other devices. Seriously, Valve, call us.

To see more from our coverage of the Steam Deck:

Joel is a a lover of janky games, Magic the Gathering, and going down rabbit holes. For PC Guide he has written about peripherals, the Steam Deck, retro games, news and more.