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My current little wish-list for Steam Deck upgrades

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The Steam Deck has been out for a while, it's now easy to purchase with no reservation queue, and the long-delayed Steam Deck Docking Station is also here!  Valve has put out a lot of updates but there's plenty they could improve. Honestly, it's vastly different to how it felt at release.

After thinking on it for some time, plus gathering some inspiration from people in our Discord and YouTube, here's a current quick list of items I would like to see that i think would just make the Steam Deck better overall. All of these I think are perfectly doable. Obviously there's plenty i want from a Steam Deck 2 which is basically confirmed but what about for now through software updates?

Here's my little list:

A more customizable Home Screen. Let me put collections here, let me move things around and make it more "mine".

Customize the performance overlay. I already know it's possible because it uses MangoHud, which itself has plenty of things you can tweak on desktop Linux and it can be moved to different parts of the screen. The current monitor is great with the different levels you can switch to but let us move it to a different position at the very least, it covers up the UI on a lot of games in the top left.

Downloads with the screen off. The screen itself likely eats a fair amount of battery life, so it sure would be nice if we could have the screen off while downloads continue right? Maybe an option we can turn toggle for the power button to turn the screen off on one tap, with a double-tap being suspend? There's probably better ways to do it but it would be a real nice to have option. I know it's probably not possible to do downloads while suspended like other consoles do due to technical limitations, but that would be one for the Steam Deck 2 and so this feels like a nice small compromise.

More "official" apps that can be installed easily in Gaming Mode in the Non-Steam section of the Library. We know Valve can do it, they did it with Chrome. Let's get more in here! Netflix, Spotify and many more direct-apps. A proper music player would be great here too for your local collection.

Options to deal with the Shader Cache. Not only can it get rather large, being a problem for the 64GB model, it's also confusing for new users. There's posts on it constantly with people confused what's eating their drive space. Clean up the language on it, make it more visible for each game. Let people move it too. The time you have to wait for some games to launch, as it deals with the shaders is terrible too.

Let us move the on-screen keyboard in Desktop Mode. A properly compact version would be great too, it just takes up far too much space.

More regular upgrades to the Plasma Desktop. It's pretty far behind right now, and likely will be again after the next major update drops. The KDE team put a huge amount of effort into upgrading the desktop experience, we should want in on that.

Steam Controller 2. I don't need to say any more do I? Well, the Docking Station is out now, there's many third-party docks and lots of people will be hooking up to a TV. Give us a good official controller!

Let us pick what the Deck boots into between Gaming Mode and Desktop Mode. I'm sure most people use it in Gaming Mode but the option for those of us using it often like a PC or keeping it docked, it could be really useful.

Even more attention on Deck Verified. It's good the system exists but it's far from perfect. Paladins, for example, is still listed as Steam Deck Playable, despite the anti-cheat breaking it quite a long time ago. How are things like this not picked up? Trust in Deck Verified is essential.

I'm sure you all have your own wishlist too. Let me know what you want to see in the comments.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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42 comments
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hoek 9 Oct, 2022
+ cheaper steam deck :|
ljrk 9 Oct, 2022
Quoting: gradyvuckovic
QuoteEven more attention on Deck Verified.
Both more attention to the ratings themselves and of course always lots of effort put into working with game developers to ensure their hottest new games are Verified if possible at launch.

My 2 additions...

1. Steam Deck Optimised

Basically a new rating which is even higher than 'Verified'. Optimised would mean the following guarantees:
  • Native: No Proton needed, the game is native to Linux.

  • Vulkan: Game uses Vulkan for graphics for best performance.

  • 60fps @ 1280x800: The game's default graphics settings on the Steam Deck allow the game to run at the maximum resolution and refresh rate of the Deck.

  • 3 Hours Gameplay: The game's default graphics settings allow it to run for at least 3 hours of gameplay.

  • Offline: No connectivity is required to run the game for single player content, first time or any time.

  • Verified: All the same guarantees of Verified apply as well, since this is the level 'above' Verified.




The first is a tricky one. Consider something like ETS2 which tricks all the boxes (except Vulkan rn), but runs faster on Proton than Native. There's *no* downside to running through Proton for the user experience. I couldn't care less. In fact, instead of the built-in translation layers that are sometimes used for porting, Proton, in a way, makes more of the code running open source ;)

Instead, I'd like to have Steam to default to the "best" configuration, which, for ETS2, is Proton and not the native version.
ljrk 9 Oct, 2022
Personally, I'd like a better desktop mode that works on a touch/controller first device. And KDE is not (yet) that. Yes, some people like KDE but it is *really* not suited for the purpose of using it on the Deck without K/V/M attached. Be it GNOME or whatever else there is.
grigi 9 Oct, 2022
As someone that never had a game console, I was completely stumped when God of War said I should press "RS".
Nothing was labeled "RS" physically on the device or even in the steam input configurator.

Turns out it was pressing the right stick down.

These kinds of things may be taken for granted by someone that's used to a controller, but it certainly caused me a lot of grief.
slaapliedje 9 Oct, 2022
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Quoting: audiopathikDeck 2: Better screen without whitewashing in the top edge, USB4 Thunderbolt for eGPU that could perhaps be utilized in smaller form-factor eGPUs in Docks to boost performance, Wifi6.
Unfortunately I think there is some strange licensing going on where TB4 is strictly either an Apple or Intel thing. There are a few motherboard makers who have added Thunderbolt to AMD systems, but not many. But I'd agree, this would also be pretty snazzy with a Dock that just has a GPU in it for boosting up the capabilities (The Nintendo Switch does something similar).

Quoting: gradyvuckovicWith the Deck, right now tapping the power button puts the whole device into sleep mode. I don't know how exactly would be the best way to add a 'screen off' mode. It'd be kinda awkward to change the default action now that it's been established. Perhaps holding down the power button should bring up some kind of menu, with 'Sleep' 'Screen Off', 'Turn Off' options? I don't know, tricky problem that one.. But we definitely need a solution. It feels 'dumb' having to sit the Deck in it's stand and leave it with the screen on while it's downloading. Even my desktop PC I can at least lock the PC and turn off the monitors when I need to wait for a long download for a game.

I tend to think a good solution would be to add a menu entry to the long press (same one that offers to switch to desktop mode) with a 'Download Mode' that turns off the screen and when you press a button or screen again, will show you the progress. With some games hitting 100GB+ in size, it's getting pretty ridiculous.
CatKiller 9 Oct, 2022
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Quoting: grigiAs someone that never had a game console, I was completely stumped when God of War said I should press "RS".
Nothing was labeled "RS" physically on the device or even in the steam input configurator.

Turns out it was pressing the right stick down.

These kinds of things may be taken for granted by someone that's used to a controller, but it certainly caused me a lot of grief.
Ironically enough, for a Sony title played on the Steam Deck, that's Xbox labelling. Both the PlayStation and Deck call that R3.
itscalledreality 9 Oct, 2022
Better touch screen support.
Why is there no calibration in settings?!?!

If not possible with current hardware then a better screen with better touch support for Steam Deck 2.


Last edited by itscalledreality on 9 October 2022 at 8:15 pm UTC
elmapul 9 Oct, 2022
" Paladins, for example, is still listed as Steam Deck Playable, despite the anti-cheat breaking it quite a long time ago. How are things like this not picked up? Trust in Deck Verified is essential."
i think they should direct their efforts to online gaming the last... or at least, reduce their efforts in q/a those until they got all major triple A and double A covered.
seriously, anti cheat can break stuff at any time, so they will have to keep their tests updated, wich will take away time from testing new games or lead us to a place like this, an game that you cant even open marked as playable or verified...
ShabbyX 10 Oct, 2022
Does steam deck make it easy to switch accounts? If not, that would be my number one request. So me and my wife could share one deck without getting our games/progress/achievements mixed up (not that it matters much, but still nice to feel like it's your own user playing, not borrowing the other one's account)
Matombo 10 Oct, 2022
More for a potentiel SD2: More hardware consistency from the first to the last unit: The first SDs had the louder fans, but also stronger haptics. (Still a little bit tilted that I got downgraded in the second point after my RMA :/ )
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