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Steam Deck now lets you override display resolution for games

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Have some games on Steam Deck that won't get the right resolution? Now you can force them into what you want. This will be useful for quite a lot of retro games especially, and some that just won't behave.

Announced as part of a recent update, you can now go into the Properties menu of any app on Steam Deck and select to force the resolution:

Here's the full update notes:

  • Added Game Resolution setting to App Properties, allowing players to override the max display resolution for games, on a a per-game basis
  • Added mouse cursor (using right trackpad) for built-in web browser interactions when connected to an external display
  • Improved default aspect ratio behavior for external monitors - games will now default to 1280x800 for 16:10 external displays and 1280x720 for all other external displays
  • Improved UI performance in game carousels
  • Improved UI performance when connected to an external display
  • Improved controller order when using external gamepads to assign the controller slots by the order of input. This should help with compatibility in games which locked onto the Steam Deck controller.
  • Fixed 'Enable updated fan control' toggle not remembering its state across reboots
  • Fixed Bluetooth controllers not working on the lockscreen
  • Fixed some formatting issues on the Steam Deck Chord Summary page
  • Fixed issue preventing deletion of some controller layouts
  • Temporarily disabled adaptive brightness toggle, as it was causing performance and stability issues. Big thanks to the community for catching this weird bug - we're working on a fix for it now.
Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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16 comments
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dpanter 3 Jun
So forcing a larger game resolution than your display supports would effectively mean downsampling? Or will the game ignore this setting and use default resolution, or even refuse to run?
mphuZ 3 Jun
QuoteAdded Game Resolution setting to App Properties, allowing players to override the max display resolution for games, on a a per-game basis

Interesting.. Is this a feature of Big Picture or SteamOS?
Eike 3 Jun
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Quoting: mphuZ
QuoteAdded Game Resolution setting to App Properties, allowing players to override the max display resolution for games, on a a per-game basis

Interesting.. Is this a feature of Big Picture or SteamOS?

As far as I know, the GUI of Steam Deck is not Big Picture Mode, but some successor, though it's supposed to come to PC as well... some day.
mphuZ 3 Jun
I just don't really understand this Game Resolution feature.

With it, I will be able to magically run all games in 1920*1080 resolution, even those that do not support?

For example, Splinter Cell or Return to Castle Wolfenstein. They do not support modern resolutions, mods are required.
Eike 3 Jun
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Quoting: mphuZI just don't really understand this Game Resolution feature.

With it, I will be able to magically run all games in 1920*1080 resolution, even those that do not support?

For example, Splinter Cell or Return to Castle Wolfenstein. They do not support modern resolutions, mods are required.

I guess if the game just can't do it, it won't help. Most games of the last decade(s) should be able to cope though, I guess.
jordicoma 3 Jun
I think that on xorg you can pot the desktop (buffer) on any resolution and scale back to the screen resolution.
And also: https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Gamescope-AMD-FSR
Here says that gamescope supports fidelity fx and integer scaling.
So, I think that up/down samples as needed.


Last edited by jordicoma on 3 June 2022 at 12:26 pm UTC
This is the magic of Gamescope! If I get it right, it's able to isolate the game in a Window that "emulates" a virtual screen with the resolution of your choice and the game gets "tricked" into that resolution. Gamescope is such a bully!

Edit: I put that into my words, sorry if I fumbled with terminology.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 3 June 2022 at 12:55 pm UTC
Quoting: mphuZI just don't really understand this Game Resolution feature.
With it, I will be able to magically run all games in 1920*1080 resolution, even those that do not support?
For example, Splinter Cell or Return to Castle Wolfenstein. They do not support modern resolutions, mods are required.
I'll have to try this when I get home today.
One situation in which I could imagine this to come in handy would be external screens. Right now, in Game Mode, games cannot be run at resolutions above the built-in screen's native resolution and will then be upscaled to the native resolution of the external monitor. If this setting allows going above the built-in screen's native resolution, games that do not upscale well, but also are not too demanding on the GPU, could be run at the native resolution of the external screen.
I begin to envy Steam Deck the features I would like to see in the regular Steam client 😁
setzer22 6 Jun
Does this fix the issue of Gaming Mode being stuck at 720p when plugged on an external screen?
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