Valve has continued its red hot pace with Steam Deck updates and the latest one is a big one. Pushing out now to owners through the stable channel, it adds some really interesting new features to the mix along with the usual fixes and improvements.
Top of the order is the new lock screen. Valve is calling this “The Lock Screen Update” on its blog, and it’s a nice addition. It’s simple enough in execution, doing exactly what it implies. When enabled in settings it gives you a six-character PIN code to lock the device with in three pre-determined scenarios. For me, it means I can put it down and be sure my kids haven’t bought Crash Bandicoot when I come back to it.
The lock screen isn’t the only hot new feature pushing out, though. An uncapped frame rate has been in testing in the beta channel for a little while now, and it’s made it into this build. This has a limited use case, as in, it’s pretty useless on the handheld’s display, but you can now go beyond the 60 FPS lock and let the Steam Deck rip. The new option is found on the FPS slider in the quick access menu.
The fun doesn’t stop there, either. Other headline features added in this latest update include more localized keyboards, an overhaul of the achievements page, and proper multi-window support. This means that apps and games that have more than one window, such as a web browser or those pesky game launchers, will now work better. Launchers have been a pretty irritating roadblock at times on the Steam Deck, so it’s nice to see Valve has fixed it when it’s clear the games won’t be updated. Switching between them is simple enough, each window is listed in the left-hand menu behind the Steam button.
Folks interested in running Windows on their Steam Decks will also be pleased to hear Valve has added fTPM support for Windows 11. So if you really want to, it’s now easier than ever. There are also a number of quality of life improvements, from the charging LED dimming so it’s less annoying at night, to warnings if you’re not using a good enough power adapter.
The full patch notes are extensive, so grab a beverage and take your time to digest them. This is one of the biggest patches yet for the Steam Deck in its young life and it keeps getting better with each one.
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