Valve’s Steam Deck has been in the hands of developers for some time now, but it recently made its way over to content creators and outlets. Since then, said parties have been diving deep into the mobile gaming platform to really put it to the test. While it’s rather impressive for the most part, there seems to be one area where the Steam Deck falls short and that’s its battery life.
The battery life of the Steam Deck is something that has been on the minds of many. After all, visually demanding titles have the potential to drain the battery quite a bit, leading to the Steam Deck becoming an expensive paperweight if it dies when you’re on the move. Unfortunately, it seems that the 40Wh battery falls below Valve’s expectations of up to eight hours by quite a bit. Granted, there are a few factors involved with this issue.
Making the most out of the Steam Deck’s battery
Popular tech YouTube channel Gamers Nexus ran multiple tests on Valve’s Steam Deck, including a rigorous test of its battery life. Devil May Cry 5 was one of the games tested, using both its high preset and very high preset without V-Sync. On high, the Steam Deck was able to last for around two hours, while the very high preset lowered the time to one and a half hours. These results are an indication that visually demanding games will have a noticeably negative impact on battery life. On the other hand, Dead Cells, a fairly low-stress title, lasted for just under six hours when played at 30 fps . There’s a dramatic difference between titles, which isn’t exactly a surprise.
The Phawx, another tech-based YouTube channel, tested the Steam Deck as well. They checked out Forza Horizon 5 on the device and reached similar overall results. Both channels came to the conclusion that running newer and more intensive games at 30 fps will improve the battery life by about 30 minutes. This figure could very likely change between different titles though.
The bottom line here is that Valve’s estimates for the Steam Deck’s battery life were a little off. It’s fairly easy to squeeze a couple of hours out of some modern titles. But, this isn’t without limiting graphics settings and messing with things like screen brightness. Fine-tuning settings and being clever with what games you play will ultimately determine the battery life of the Steam Deck. While it can manage 60 fps on plenty of modern titles, there’s a choice to make. You’ll have to chose between a longer game session or a better looking and performing experience.
The Steam Deck launches at the end of February, so keep an eye out for yours if you’ve got it reserved.