Steamworks Documentation
Steam Deck FAQ
This page covers the questions asked by developers and publishers at our Steamworks Steam Deck event. For answers to questions commonly asked by Deck customers, see

Developing without Devkit

What's the status on devkit requests and how are you selecting who gets one?

We are still looking at devkit requests and are about to send out a second wave of approvals - so if you haven't already submitted a hardware request here please make sure you do so. That said, we won't have enough kits for every developer - we're looking at what titles players who have reserved a Steam Deck play the most, as well as general community interest - and prioritizing the developers of those titles for devkits. If you don't have a devkit, you can test for Steam Deck compatibility with your own hardware, following the instructions here.

I'm a developer outside the countries where Steam Deck is being released - can I still get a devkit? 

Yes, we're sending devkits around the world, including regions that are not part of the initial Steam Deck launch.

I've heard there are issues with the EV2 devkit hardware - are those fixed in the final version?

Yes, that's the whole reason behind these engineering builds, is to test manufacturing and see if there are any issues that need to be fixed. Issues like the sticky B button some developers have reported have been addressed and won't be an issue for customers.

Can we use a VM for Steam Deck development?

We don't recommend it unless you're just testing UI -  you won't be able to test GPU performance with a VM.

Can you use a retail Steam Deck as a devkit?

Yes - there's nothing special about the devkits, no special hardware or software that makes them easier to develop for. You can use the same tools and testing methods with a retail unit that you can with a devkit.

I wasn't able to get a devkit. Can I skip the line to get my retail unit early?

Probably not this way, but we are working on a way to extend the devkit program beyond launch. More on this soon.

When I'm putting together a system for testing, do I need to use an AMD CPU or will an Intel CPU work just as well?

While you can use any CPU, if possible it's better to use an AMD CPU to get the closest environment for Steam Deck testing.

If my game is Steam Deck Verified, will it have more visibility on Steam?

Yes, it will be more visible on Steam Deck. The default Store home page for Steam Deck shows only Deck Verified titles. That said, the entire Steam store (with all titles, regardless of Deck Verified status) is still available to browse and purchase from, just one tab away.

Hardware Overview

Does Steam Deck support multithreading?

Yes, up to 8 threads.

Are there any plans to add 5G or LTE at this point in time?

No plans to add cellular, however you can always tether to your phone.

Do we have any specific recommendations on how to optimize for battery life?

We recommend that all games have an FPS limit, whether implemented in the game itself or using the global FPS limiter we'll be providing.

Anything game developers need to do for supporting the Deck suspend and resume in game?

Nothing specific to Steam Deck. The primary consideration is that Steam Deck will disconnect from Wi-Fi while suspended, so we recommend that you back up your save files before suspending. We plan on providing some APIs to help with that. 

Will there be a spare parts store? And if so, when will that be available?

We don't really have any details to share right now, but we are definitely committed to providing spare parts after we ship.

Are you planning any hardware improvements?

We are focused on current gen at this time and don't have anything else to share. 

How Much VRAM does Steam Deck have?

Steam Deck has 16 gigabyte of unified memory. One gigabyte that's dedicated for the GPU, but depending on workload the GPU can access up to 8 GB. 

Will Steam Deck performance be any different, depending on if it's plugged in or if it's running on battery?

We are focused on providing you the full performance available from the APU both on battery and when you're plugged in. Our expectation is that performance is the same across the board in either configuration.

What about ethernet speed on the dock?

The dock will support up to 1 Gb/s Ethernet 

Steam on Deck

So will this UI that's used on Deck end up replacing Big Picture? And, if it does, when will it happen?

The plan is that it will replace the Big Picture UI. Our focus right now is really on getting the Steam Deck shipped. So we want to make sure that we're really optimizing for that platform first, but pretty soon that will be the Big Picture replacement. 

Does Deck only support full screen mode?

The Steam Deck will automatically run games in full-screen by default.  However, if you drop to desktop, you can run games in windowed mode.

Do you plan to release SteamOS as a standalone, general-purpose operating system?

We definitely plan on releasing SteamOS as a separate operating system. We don't have exact timing on that. We're really focused on making sure that Steam Deck is a great experience, and we'll release it for other hardware soon.

Does Deck support installing software from outside of Steam and can you use it with Proton?

Yes. You can install and add any game like you would on the Steam desktop. Just install the application and then add it to Steam from desktop mode and it'll show up just like it would on any PC.

Will Steam Deck support VR?

Technically it's possible. We've seen people jury rig it, but we didn't design and optimize Steam Deck for VR.


These answers were provided during the Q&A session with Sebastien Nussbaum and Alex Deucher from AMD.

Will Steam Deck support the new Vulkan dynamic rendering feature?

Yes. The Steam Deck hardware already supports this feature, and the work is already in progress to support dynamic rendering on the software side, with drivers that support the feature. 

Will AMD FSR be incorporated into Steam Deck?

FSR is already available for some applications that support it. Games that already include FSR will work as is, but also FSR support will be included as part of an OS future release. Once that happens, games could potentially make use of FSR even if the games themselves don't natively support it.

Will the AMD GPU profiler be able to run on Linux natively?

Yes, it works on Linux natively today – the graphical user interface and all. The support for taking the traces natively within it is something that we're looking into. You'll have to take the traces from within your application, but then you can view them and use all the tools within RGP natively, today.


The Steam Deck has some unconventional controls. Will Valve will be encouraging developers to integrate gyro and trackpad aiming into their control schemes instead of sticking with the more traditional layout?

This depends on what your game is and what sort of controls you're aiming for. But we do think that the gyro, when combined with the joystick or the trackpad, are ideal for a large class of games and something many players will want to use.

They offer finer precision for people that are used to gamepad inputs, but also take the mouse paradigm from the desktop into a portable form factor.  We recommend trying out this style of input for anyone shipping a game that  has player control of a camera or a cursor and seeing if it makes sense for your game.  You can always ship both a traditional and motion control configuration via Steam Input configurations with your game.

Does the Steam Deck support Local Multiplayer/Couch Co-op?

Definitely - you can play local co-op on the Steam Deck in a few different ways. You can hook controllers in via Bluetooth, or directly via USB.  You can also play with Remote Play Together, where other players are on other Decks or PCs.

What Input APIs does the Steam Deck support?

The Deck supports all major input APIs - XInput, Raw Input, DirectInput, as well as Steam Input.  

Will the touch screen input be treated as a mouse input or does it use touch APIs?

By default the touchscreen treats touch events as a mouse click at that position.  However, it also supports Touch APIs via SDL or Windows Touch.  This is a configuration option that can be enabled in your Steam Input Configuration file.

How do I make my game with multi-touch support work properly?

If your game utilizes multi-touch support, there is a drop-down option on the partner site under "Steam Deck Touchscreen" called "Touch API Pass-through" that you will need to select in order for multi-touch input to work. Without it, touch input will be limited to single-touch which emulates a touch screen using a mouse pointer.

Will it be possible for developers to create Steam Deck Steam Input configs without a developer kit?

Yes. We recommend a PlayStation 4 or 5 controller, but any controller will allow you to get started.  The PlayStation controllers offer the closest set of controls in that they have a built-in gyro and they have trackpad.  

If your game intends to make use of Steam Deck specific inputs, of course you'll need a Deck to really dial in those controls.  But if you aren't intending to use those inputs, then any controller will work.  

Do you recommend that games which use mouse interactions use the touchscreen?

If your game is really specifically targeting touch interaction, then yes.  However, we think a lot of games that are more cursor based will oftentimes want to use the track pads instead.  They're designed for gaming and will more naturally slot into a lot of cursor based paradigms that aren't as easily applicable to touch such as Hover States, right-clicking, etc.  They'll also allow for a more ergonomic interaction between the cursor controls and the rest of the inputs.  Touch interfaces often require a set of different affordances that may or may not make sense for your particular game, so it's going to depend on the genre and style of interface you're targeting.

Does Steam Input add extra latency?

Steam Input should not add additional latency, but like anything, should you experience a bug here, be sure to let us know.

Do you support using Steam Deck as an external controller?

Currently, you can remote play into another machine to treat the Steam Deck as a controller, which will recognize all of the Deck's controls. You can test your game on a desktop PC, use remote play or have multiple controllers using a Steam Deck.

Will you support touch menus on the Deck touchscreen?

In general, we already support virtual menus, like radial menus and touch menus with Steam Input via the track pads or joysticks. We're looking at ways that we can best support that with the touchscreen, but haven't solidified any plans there as of yet.


Is Proton testing going to be part of the game-submission process moving forward?

Yes, as part of the Deck Verified testing that happens before game release. There are plenty of details about this in the Steamworks documentation, and this will continue to evolve through the Steam Deck release and beyond.

Will applications that aren't on Steam work with Proton and be usable on the Deck?

Definitely. Proton works great with apps that are outside of Steam. And on Deck, we'll actually be improving the UI experience to let users add non-Steam games to the main user interface.

What kernel version will be used on SteamOS 3.0?

We'll always try to update to the latest kernel version. Right now we're using 5.13, and we're working on an update to 5.15, and we'll continue to roll out those changes to whatever's latest, moving forward. 

Will SteamOS have a read-only immutable OS file system?

Yes. By default the OS updates will be distributed as a whole OS image, and we recommend installing additional applications via flatpak to avoid issues. If customers want to do more than what’s available by flatpak, they can turn off read-only mode. We don't recommend this though, as they may get their Steam Deck into a bad state or compromise their data. In addition, anything installed outside of flatpak (via pacman for instance) may be wiped with the next SteamOS update. More on that here.

Will the fact that the system is Wayland-based cause any known performance hit to existing games or any missing functionality to be aware of?

There aren't known functional differences or performance problems, but if users encounter any issues, we'll look into them.

Is Steam working closely with leading game engine developers, like Epic Games and Unity on Steam Deck?

Yes, we're working with both Unity and Epic on making sure Unreal and Unity engines have integrations that make the development experience for Deck as smooth as possible. And going forward we expect there will be improvements rolling into those engines over time to further integrate with our development tools and to make those engines a great target for Steam Deck. Already there's a pretty good experience for Unity and Unreal developers from the start.

Can game developers use more than 1GB of GPU memory for textures, vertex and other buffers, or is the 1GB VRAM that was mentioned earlier today a hard limit?

More than 1GB is definitely available to use with the GPU. Up to 8GB can be shared right now and it's an amount that can be changed on a game-by-game basis.

Would Valve prefer for games to use Proton or to have native Linux support?

Valve has no strong preference. It comes down to whatever's the best experience. So if it's easier for a developer to achieve the best experience through Proton, we think that's great. If a developer has the understanding and the resources to deliver a native Linux build that provides a great experience and has all the expected functionality, and they are able to maintain it, then we think that's even better.

Is there a standardized way to report Proton issues to Valve?

Yes, the official spot is through the Proton Github, where most issues are being discussed and reported, but if any developer prefers to, they can also get in touch directly with us through the Steamworks forums or other contacts developers may have.

Wrap Up

Can you give us a more specific date for when SteamOS 3 will be available?

We're focused right now on finishing things up for Steam Deck's launch, so there's no solid date for that as of yet. Most likely not until after Steam Deck ships to customers though.

When testing for OS compatibility with Steam Deck, should we use SteamOS or will there be a version of Steam Deck's OS available for download?

We don't recommend you use SteamOS 2.0 for testing. The closest thing right now is Manjaro KDE, since it's Arch Linux (just like Steam Deck) and also uses KDE. See here for the full instructions. Down the line, we expect to make an image available that will incorporate more of the bits included in Steam Deck's OS (like gamescope and possibly gamepad-ui) for better 1:1 testing.

When will Steam Deck be available in more countries?

We're still finalizing plans with a bunch of other countries and territories. Nothing solid to announce or confirm yet, but we can say that we're working really hard on making Steam Deck available in Australia.

Would Valve be interested in having any Steam Deck exclusive titles?

No, that doesn't make much sense to us. It's a PC and it should just play games like a PC.

When a developer submits a game for Deck Verified review, how long will it take to get the results?

We're aiming for results within a week of submission. That said, we think this timeframe will fluctuate depending on the current size of the queue and the complexity of other titles in the queue. More on this here.

What's up with that Portal themed white Steam Deck in the background?

Cool, right? This was one of the (many) prototypes that we went through before getting to our final design. We love it too, but we're not going to be able to bring it to market at the same time. We're going to look at other color options in the future, but that's pretty far down the road - nothing to announce today.

How do you decide who gets a dev kit?

We look at what titles players who have reserved a Steam Deck play the most, as well as titles with general community interest - and prioritize the developers of those titles for devkits. 

How do we get Steam Deck Verified applied to our games and then show up in the Steam Deck store?

The high level here is that your game will be reviewed by our testing team (either automatically, or you submit for review). They'll check for a bunch of Steam Deck compatibility items, like controller support, legibility, performance, and system support. After that your title will get a Deck Verified categorization, which will show up in the store on Steam Deck (as well as the library). All other titles will also be visible in the store regardless of Deck Verified category, just one tab over. More details on this whole process here.

What kind of feedback is given in the Deck Verified feedback report?

You'll see the overall categorization, as well as which compat passed or failed (most of which customers will also see), and you'll also see an additional developer-only field for notes / clarification from testers where relevant.

Will my Steam Deck Verified category show on store pages when browsing from a PC or non-Deck device?

If you have a Steam Deck, you'll see a title's Deck Verified category on its game detail page. For everyone (including Deck customers), you'll see the category results surfaced and usable as tags in Store Search. Otherwise, you won't see this info if you're not on a Steam Deck.

You mentioned that you're talking with Unity and Epic, are you also talking to Godot?

Yes, we're talking to Godot as well and are actively supporting them and want their engine to work well with Steam Deck.

How many sound channels does Steam Deck support?

We support two when using the onboard speakers, but we support multi-channel when using HDMI or Bluetooth. 

Will there be a way to install external apps on deck without going into dev mode?

Yes. You'll be able to install external apps via Flatpak or other software without going into developer mode.