Valve has published an updated Steam Deck FAQ on the official website, answering quite a few questions that we all had about the upcoming handheld gaming PC.
To begin with, we got confirmation that the Steam Deck can indeed be used as a controller for your PC games via Remote Play functionality. Given how fully featured and customizable the controller looks like with its capacitive thumbsticks, trackpads, and additional rear buttons (not to mention the gyroscope and haptic feedback), it's great news indeed. A while ago, Valve even demonstrated the controller's unique trackpad and gyroscope controls combination.
Other noteworthy tidbits from the FAQ are that the new UI will indeed replace Big Picture mode on Steam, though Valve said the rollout will happen in stages. Additionally, the handheld gaming PC supports multi-boot, allowing users to select between different operating systems at each boot.
Valve's device will start shipping in December 2021 for those lucky users that got in the first wave of pre-orders. The rest will have to wait for 2022.
Can you have multiple Steam accounts on one Steam Deck?
Yes, and each account on a Steam Deck will keep its own local save data and settings.
Can I run non-Steam games through Proton on Steam Deck?
Yes, you can run non-Steam games through Proton.
Will Steam on Steam Deck have an ‘Add a Game’ feature like Steam on desktop?
Yes, we'll support adding games like we do for the desktop Steam client.
Will the UI on Steam Deck replace Big Picture?
That is what we’re aiming for, though the rollout will happen in stages.
Will improvements to Proton for Steam Deck (like anti-cheat support) also apply to Proton on desktop?
Yes, these improvements will make it to all systems using Proton.
How will SteamOS and Steam Deck handle offline mode when it comes to launching games?
Just like a PC, you'll need to be online to download games and play online multiplayer games. Once a game is installed on disk, you can play while offline unless the game requires an internet connection.
What file system format does the microSD card use on Steam Deck?
Steam Deck microSD cards use ext4 with casefolding - Steam Deck formats SD cards to the proper format.
Can Steam Deck be used as a PC controller?
Yes, you can connect it to a PC via Remote Play and use it as a controller.
Will Steam Deck work with PC VR headsets?
While technically a PC VR headset can be connected, it is not optimized for PC VR experiences.
Does docking the Deck improve performance?
No, docking is more akin to plugging a USB-C hub into a PC. It runs at full performance in portable mode.
What kinds of screens do the 64 GB and 256 GB models have?
All models have a glass screen (optically bonded IPS LCD). The 512 GB model's screen has an additional anti-glare etched treatment applied to it.
What kinds of haptics does the Steam Deck have?
It has dual LRA motors, one under each trackpad.
Does the audio jack support audio + mic?
Yes, CTIA standard layout.
Is the touchscreen multitouch?
Yes, ten fingers.
How long is the charging cable?
1.5 meters, or 4.9 feet.
Will Steam Deck be sold in retail stores?
It is only available directly via Steam. We may be partnering with retailers as we make it available in more regions - more information about that soon.
What can you tell us about the BIOS and does it allow dual-boot?
Multi-boot is supported - you can have multiple OSes installed and choose which one to boot into. Users will have access to the BIOS menu.
Can you boot an OS off the SD card?
Yes, boot from microSD is supported.
Will Steam Deck support external GPUs?
No, external GPUs are not supported.
Can I change the model after I've already reserved?
No, once you've reserved it, the only way to change your model is to cancel and reserve again (this would put you at the end of the queue for your region).