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Big new Stable Update for Steam Deck and Desktop Steam

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Valve has today released a major update for the Steam client on Steam Deck and for Desktop users too. There's absolutely masses new including small new features, along with plenty of bug fixes to make the experience smoother overall, as usual a whole bunch of it is shared between Desktop and Steam Deck.

Specifically for Desktop Linux, here's some of what's changed:

Remote Play

  • Fixed audio crackling and loss when streaming from Linux.

Linux

  • Fixed a crash on Linux in libaudio.
  • Fixed crash when taking screenshots through the overlay.
  • Fixed closing non-Steam shortcuts via the overlay when two or more are running.
  • Fixed some errors causing the Library not to render properly.
  • Fixed issue with duplicate streaming dialogs appearing on Mac & Linux.

These also seem specific just to the Desktop Steam client:

  • Fixed DLC hover on game details page being cropped.
  • Fixed several issues related to popup dialogs being sized incorrectly.

The vast majority of the below noted for Steam Deck will also apply to Desktop too:

General

  • Replaced launch option dialog with new UI that includes a checkbox to remember the user's selection - this selection can be changed in game properties
  • Further optimizations to load times for users with large game libraries
  • Added pinned notifications for new inventory items, trade offers, async game turns, moderator messages, offline chat messages, and help request replies in Quick Access > Notifications
  • Added more buttons to the list of inputs that skip the BPM/Deck start up animations
  • Changing download regions no longer requires restarting the Steam client
  • UI Digital Navigation Key Repeats are faster
  • Navigation column in the Overlay is now centered vertically to match the rest of the main menu
  • Various fixes to make the UI scale better in higher resolutions
  • Fixed intermittent browser crash when closing Update news dialog
  • Fixed background images on a collection on the app details page not being clipped correctly
  • Fixed some issues completing purchases through some payment providers
  • Fixed some UI scaling issues in the overlay when running in games in high resolution
  • Fixed a case where disconnecting a controller while navigating would not cancel repeating movements
  • Fixed issue opting in to some game beta branches
  • Fixed issue viewing the hardware survey web page after submitting results
  • Fixed audio crackling and loss when streaming from Linux / Steam Deck using Remote Play
  • Fixed "a" and "c" keystrokes on the app details page triggering an animation

Keyboard

  • Added up/down cursor keys to onscreen keyboard, press shift then left/right cursor to use
  • Added ability to move the standalone & overlay keyboard
  • Fixed issues w/ digital navigation getting stuck on text boxes when using a physical keyboard
  • Fixed some issues using the virtual keyboard Paste button outside of a web context
  • Fixed issue where the virtual keyboard would continuously be made visible after exiting a game

Steam Input

  • Controller configuration browsing screen can now preview configurations and the selection processes now previews then applies instead of directly selecting the configuration
  • Added a search tab to the controller layout browser screen
  • Changed controller mode sliders to default to larger step sizes that match the old BPM interface and added footer button to switch to "fine adjustment" mode with smaller step sizes
  • Reworked the layout of the mode settings page to show more content
  • Generate Steam Input API origins for some virtual menu modes that were missing them
  • Show controller settings in app properties game for non-Steam games
  • Gyro Calibration Rework: Calibration Calculates an anti-drift value as normal, but also records Gyro and Accelerometer noise while stationary, so that Always-On Auto Calibration (toggle to enable) is more discerning, and should only recalculate anti-drift when on a stable surface
  • Controller configurator now groups commands if they are attached to the same input
  • Added support for the Armor-X Pro gamepad in PS4 mode
  • Added direct navigation to controller inputs and modes from the preview screen
  • Added a specific XBox Elite layout preview page
  • Added a specific Switch Pro layout preview page
  • Added support for the ThrustMaster eSwap PRO Controller Xbox
  • Handle errors better and fix some cases where configs would no longer load
  • On larger screens combine the keyboard and numpad tabs of the choose binding screen
  • Remember the last active tab in the choose binding screen and open to that instead always using the tab w/ the current binding value
  • Added upper grips as an option for mode shifts
  • Improved Layout Preview for Nintendo Switch Joycon Left/Right/Pair
  • Nintendo Switch SL/SR buttons now show up as Bumpers for single Joycons or Grip buttons for a JoyCon Pair
  • Joycon individual/pair Gyro now displays and functions properly
  • Filtered Mode Shift button options to only show available buttons based on the controller type
  • Fixed an issue with the Joystick Deadzone sliders having delayed input
  • Fixed an issue with gamepad navigation in the Steam Deck haptics calibration screen
  • Fixed an issue w/ enabling Gyro for Switch controllers
  • Fixed long delay at startup when the Razer Huntsman Elite keyboard is plugged in
  • Fixed the Logitech G29 controller showing up as a gamepad instead of a wheel
  • Fixed the XBox layout preview page layout having some incorrect items and missing others
  • Fixed issue where Steam Controller joysticks would have unintended input during Steam Button chords
  • Fixed long delay at startup when Razer keyboards are connected
  • Fixed crash with games that use "Windows Gaming Input"
  • Fixed issue w/ Joystick Deadzone visualization not updating
  • Fixed some cases where some languages could have text overflow in choose binding screen
  • Fixed chord activator options for XBox and XBox Elite controller types
  • Fixed Capture button icon not being displayed for Joycon Pair
  • Fixed the Switch Pro Layout Preview not showing the gyro

Desktop Mode

  • Fixed a crash on Linux in libaudio
  • Fixed crash when taking screenshots through the overlay
  • Fixed instances of Steam freezing or crashing in desktop mode on Steam Deck
  • Fixed closing non-Steam shortcuts via the overlay when two or more are running
  • Fixed some errors causing the Library not to render properly

Big Picture (while in Desktop Mode)

  • The new Big Picture Mode has been made the default experience. For compatibility purposes, you can access the old experience by using the command-line option "-oldbigpicture". Note that this functionality will be removed in a future update.
  • Added a quick guided tour
  • Added option to start in windowed mode under Settings => Display => Big Picture Mode => Windowed
  • Allow onscreen keyboard to be activated while in New Big Picture Mode and Steam window is not focused
  • Implemented Steam Controller dongle pairing
  • Prevented launch option reminder from appearing on top of other UI while a game is launching
  • Detect focus shifting away from the BPM window faster and reduce instances of navigation going to BPM after starting a game
  • Hide the cursor when in gamepad-navigation mode in Big Picture
  • Fixed a rare crash exiting BPM
  • Fixed the new Big Picture Mode overlay being incorrectly sized when the monitor is set to display scaling other than 100%
  • Fixed overlay scaling when resizing game window
  • Fixed issue where a browser opened by a game was sticking around after closing the overlay
  • Fixed launch options dialog not closing when cancelling game launch
  • Fix the "Start in Big Picture Mode" setting not updating
  • Fixed problem where setting certain library filters in Big Picture Mode could cause those games to become hidden when switching back to desktop
  • Fixed an issue with detecting game windows

See the full changelog for Desktop and Steam Deck.

See my overview video below which also touches on the recent Ubisoft breakage:

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21 comments
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Mohandevir Feb 1, 2023
"The new BigPicture mode has been made the default one"

Meaning it's now the Steam Deck UI for desktop users too?

Edit: Yep! Just confirmed it. Performances are still abysmal, on Nvidia gpu.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 1 February 2023 at 9:43 pm UTC
Liam Dawe Feb 1, 2023
Quoting: Mohandevir"The new BigPicture mode has been made the default one"

Meaning it's now the Steam Deck UI for desktop users too?
Yes. So when you click Big Picture Mode, even on Desktop, it uses the UI from Steam Deck now too. Sadly, for NVIDIA users on Linux, it's quite poor right now due to low performance.
Squirrlz Feb 1, 2023
That's... a lot of changes. Given the history of Stable updates breaking random things on the Deck, I'm almost scared to install it. Maybe I'll just keep an eye on the SteamDeck subreddit for a day or two before pulling the trigger.
itscalledreality Feb 1, 2023
It’s been years, but how about they allow us to turn off Notifications entirely?

Achievement Notifications are awful and lag the game.

Removing the Steam Overlay doesn’t help.
hardpenguin Feb 2, 2023
Quoting: GuestThis is a terrible idea, it's not even feature complete yet.
True but on the other hand they had to make the beta fixes finally get to stable branch at some point.
SethM Feb 2, 2023
Biggest patch I've seen in a while for the Steam Client. Might actually get a controller to test out the new big picture mode on desktop.

Also is it me or is Steam performing much better on Wayland now?
Brisse Feb 2, 2023
Spent a few minutes looking around the new big picture UI. Seems to work pretty well. Performance was fine and it didn't seem to load the system too much (makes sense considering it was developed for a battery powered handheld device). Surprised how much it has in common with the desktop UI, and they crammed a lot of the same features in there, yet it works really well with a controller.

Just one issue: When reading a "news" article, the background blurs while the article is presented on top. So far so good. When pressing B on the controller to go back, the blur effect doesn't go away even though the news article closes. Other than that, I didn't see anything odd.
STiAT Feb 2, 2023
Quoting: Mohandevir"The new BigPicture mode has been made the default one"

Meaning it's now the Steam Deck UI for desktop users too?

Edit: Yep! Just confirmed it. Performances are still abysmal, on Nvidia gpu.

Question, do you have "Enable GPU accelerated rendering in web views" enabled in Settings / Interface? I read that helps with the new big picture mode on NVidia for some reason.
Mohandevir Feb 2, 2023
Quoting: STiAT
Quoting: Mohandevir"The new BigPicture mode has been made the default one"

Meaning it's now the Steam Deck UI for desktop users too?

Edit: Yep! Just confirmed it. Performances are still abysmal, on Nvidia gpu.

Question, do you have "Enable GPU accelerated rendering in web views" enabled in Settings / Interface? I read that helps with the new big picture mode on NVidia for some reason.

Ah? No. I just wanted to see if it was really the case. I'll have a look. Thanks!

Edit: Just confirmed. It was enabled by default. In my case, enabled or disabled doesn't make much of a difference. Maybe because I'm on an old laptop with GTX980m?


Last edited by Mohandevir on 2 February 2023 at 3:43 pm UTC
Nanobang Feb 2, 2023
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First off, I dumped NVIDIA just in time, didn't I? Hooray for my new AMD GPU!

Ok, anyway. Yeah! I love it. This feels like the experience that I always wanted from BPM (Big Picture Mode). It feels and sounds snappier, far easier to move around in than the old BPM's, blue-narcotic-dream-whale interface ever did. Even the sound pallet is snappier. The new movement sound is more like two red bricks being lightly tapped together in a large water-filled cavern..."plink". The old movement sound was all a hooted vowel, a single syllable in the mushy "Wah" language of Charlie Brown adults.

I adore the "Verified" rating on every game's store page and---even better---the "Great on Deck" tab at the top of the Store page! It's a lot like having ProtonDB ratings built into the Steam client.

Only one bug I may have encountered so far, more of a nuisance really. Pressing the center/on-off button on my Steam Controller doesn't open the menu (and is an Xbox logo?). I can only open the menu by repeatedly hitting ESCAPE or the red "B" button. [Addendum---It corrected itself when I plugged my Steam Controller in using a USB cord. Fixed!]

For the first time ever I've checked the box that says, "Start Steam in Big Picture Mode."
[Addendum the Second---I unchecked that box again. The BPM makes my system's audio crackle with everything not in-game. In game I saw a few video problems: occasional stuttering and occasional seams in the scenery showing as white lines where areas of scenery aren't matching up. Mind you, this was with Saints Row 3, a notoriously persnickety game on Linux.]


Last edited by Nanobang on 4 February 2023 at 3:03 pm UTC
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