Steam Deck cloud saves could work better than we expected

Two players using the Steam Deck
(Image credit: Valve)

We’re just weeks away from the expected February 2022 launch of the Steam Deck, and this latest Steam update has us more excited than ever to try the device out for ourselves.

While Valve’s handheld PC-console hybrid has yet to release, the team have been hard at work updating its Steam platform to ensure it’s ready to support the Steam Deck. Some expected changes have included new store tags for Steam Deck-compatible games but also hint at an awesome cloud save feature.

Dynamic Cloud Saves have just gone live, with the feature designed to help facilitate play across multiple devices as explained in a Valve blog post. It mostly functions just like any cloud save system, the progress you make while playing on Steam Deck will carry over to PC and vice-versa – but Valve has improved upon the existing formula.

Normally you have to remember to manually save and quit out of a game to be sure your progress has been uploaded to the cloud. However, in a move that puts the Nintendo Switch’s smooth transition function to shame, the Steam Deck will automatically update your cloud save when it’s put to sleep and the title is suspended.

If you then make progress on PC but want to return to your Steam Deck, loading into the suspended game will either automatically laid the latest cloud save data, or will send you to the main menu so you can load in manually – whichever the game’s developers decide is best.

Valve has explained that it expects "users will frequently suspend their Steam Deck without exiting the game," so this new dynamic save feature is designed to ensure the Steam Deck lives up to the pick-up-and-go gameplay a handheld promises.

Unfortunately, this new save style won’t appear on every Steam Game right away. Valve has explained that developers will need to manually implement it through Steam Auto-Cloud or the ISteamRemoteStorage API.

While we hope this isn’t too difficult a process to carry out, Steam Deck compatibility has caused no end of pain for some developers. We’ll just have to wait and see if Dynamic Cloud Saves can be turned on with the flick of a switch, or if it'll be a multistep problem that smaller dev teams simply don't have time to solve.

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.