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Mar 31, 2022 2:04 pm
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Steam Deck client update adds input calibration & keyboard updates

Valve's Steam Deck gets OS update

Steam Deck Elden Ring

The Steam Deck has been released officially for almost a month now, and is finally in the hands of many users worldwide. However, many will still be languishing looking at their reservation, with Valve still having a huge backlog of orders to fulfil. While this means that many punters excited about the device won’t be able to get their hands on one quite yet, Valve is still issuing out software updates and tweaks for the system that should make the experience of actually using the device a little bit easier. Today, they have done just that by issuing a new Steam Deck client update that adds further improvements to the Steam Deck’s operating system.

Steam Deck client update overview

The update that Valve has issued includes several optimizations and quality-of-life improvements, including fixing a handful of bugs that occurred under certain esoteric circumstances, including fixing the onscreen keyboard inputs when connecting to public WiFi captive portals, the landing pages that you arrive at after you try to connect to public Wifi. In addition to this, it fixes a rather critical issue where Chrome would not install to the device under the non-Steam section of the library.

We’ve summarised all of the fixes issued in this update below from Valve:

  • Added dual trackpad typing support to the on-screen keyboard
  • Added game mode onscreen keyboard to Desktop mode
  • Added Family Sharing status to game details page. Borrowers will see whose library they are borrowing from, and lenders will see a message if their library is currently in use by a borrower.
  • Added a Calibration and Advanced Settings screen with options for:
    • Adjusting deadzones for the left and right Joysticks
    • Adjusting haptic strength for left and right Trackpads
    • Joysticks and other sensors on external gamepads
  • Updated network connection flow to connect without re-prompting for a known password
  • Improved performance downloading library images after logging in, leading to less stuttering
  • Removed display of ‘B’ back button in Overlay Quick Access Menu
  • Fixed on-screen keyboard input issues when connecting to public WiFi captive portals
  • Fixed issue where Chrome wouldn’t install from the non-Steam section of the Library

These improvements are iterative, and do not significantly change the experience of playing games on the Steam Deck, therefore just enhancing the user experience, and ironing out a handful of bugs that may have caused some quirks. Many criticized the Steam Deck’s software for not being quite ready for when it was released, as reflected in many reviews for the device itself, citing that Valve had continually been updating the Steam Deck’s OS in the run-up to launch. t can come off as if SteamOS 3.0 wasn’t quite optimized enough with everything in order when it launched, and some users have also noted frustration with the experience of using the OS in certain scenarios.

Now, it appears that Valve is following the tried-and-true cycle of console manufacturers issuing iterative updates to the OS of their hardware as it matures, as Sony has done with the PS5, and how Valve is continuing to do so with the Steam Deck.

Emulation steps up onto Steam Deck

Whereas at launch you were only beholden to use Retroarch on the Steam Store, you’ll now be able to use a myriad of emulation front-ends, which the community have now developed after searching for an easier way to experience older titles while using Steam Deck. YouTubers like ETA Prime and Retro Game Corps have detailed their methods on the Steam Deck’s ability to run various emulators, and emulation front-ends on their channels.

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