11+ Steam Deck games that won’t drain your battery

The Steam Deck is a very user-friendly device for hackers, as many settings can be accessed directly. But you don’t need a computer science degree to set up your Steam Deck for optimal battery life.

As mentioned earlier, the battery estimate on the Steam Deck is fairly accurate. I bet there is a discrepancy of plus or minus 15 minutes with what the deck tells you has left. Again, this is highly dependent on multiple factors. In particular, make sure that you are in the actual game itself when checking the grades. It’s not uncommon to see a five-hour estimate in the main menu, only for it to drop to just an hour or two when you’re running a graphic-intensive game.

In general, battery-saving techniques as we all learned on smartphones also apply to deck: reduced brightness, volume, little-to-no Bluetooth devices connected, Wi-Fi kills, all of which should give you more battery breathing room. Add to that turning off vibration in Steam Deck controls and killing input from things you’re not using, like touchpads, for example, might help as well. Vibrations and haptic steam can be found by pressing the quick access button (…) and navigating to the gear icon.

Furthermore, pressing the quick access button and navigating to the battery icon will reveal some performance settings worth checking out. On average, lowering the frame rate to 30 can make some games running up to two hours jump to at least three if not more. You can also lower the refresh rate to 40, set the frame rate to match, and enjoy a nice middle ground between 30 and 60, with improved battery life across the board.

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(Note that messing with the frame rate can be a disaster for older games (especially on RetroArch), so for old-school vibes it’s best to keep it at 60 – which is what it should be anyway.)

And while this isn’t necessarily battery advice, if you’re going on a long trip where you plan to be offline for a while, be sure to test all your games offline for a good three days before you leave. This should give you enough time to verify that the games you want to play will work fine without you having to call home.

Finally, if you know what you’re doing, manually adjusting your TDP and GPU clock can also significantly increase battery life. If these terms scare you, then forget about it completely.

One of the most commonly criticized aspects of Steam Deck is battery life. While future versions of Deck will likely improve in this area, you can certainly make your current battery go a long way with the right games and these best practices.

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