Valve is rolling out SteamOS 3.2 to the Steam Deck, adding new controls for some settings and, most notably, quieting the gaming device's loud fan.
The full patch notes (opens in new tab) are available on Steam’s website where you'll see that the Steam Client is also getting some updates. The most notable being Remote Play Together now working properly, according to Valve. The Client is also getting some quality-of-life changes such as notifying you when the SSD is almost full and improving the performance of the Night Shift keyboard theme.
New SteamOS changes
Fans have been complaining about the Steam Deck’s loud and annoying fan for a while. YouTube videos uploaded by Deck owners show that even with a low-performing configuration, the fan sounds like a turbine. With the new update, the fan is much quieter. A video uploaded to Twitter shows the drastic change before the Deck gets the update and after while playing Vampire Survivors.
Another big change comes in the form of new refresh rate controls. You'll be able to scale down a game’s default refresh rate from 60Hz to 40Hz or any number in-between. Under 40Hz, the new frame limits will be at 10, 20, and 40fps. Valve states that adjusting the refresh rate is a great way to find that sweet spot between a stable game and longer battery life. And each game you own can have its own saved refresh rate configuration.
Other changes include more screen resolution options. Valve didn’t list out what the new options are and never got back to us when we asked for more details. The Deck’s gain staging has been adjusted to remove static coming through the 3.5mm jack that some players have experienced and increase the speaker volume cap. We reached out to Valve about the new speaker limit but also didn’t get a response.
Apart from SteamOS are the changes to Steam Client; namely Remote Play Together. Players in the past have complained that, for instance, the feature's hard-to-read text (opens in new tab) made it difficult to use.
Valve claims Remote Play Together is now “completely functional” and the company even threw in the ability to host and join remote sessions. Be aware that not every game supports Remote Play Together. Valve has a list of the ones that do.
In addition to the SSD notifications mentioned earlier, the Client is adding new icons for gamepad and mouse commands that appear in-game, plus having greater accuracy in connecting to hidden wireless networks.
Players seem to be pretty happy with the changes as seen in the Steam Deck subreddit (opens in new tab). If only Valve can figure something about the battery life or the Deck’s bulkiness, that would be great.