Valve’s next major SteamOS update brings some important new display settings, as well as some new performance improvements to the Steam Deck. You can read all about the SteamOS 3.5 update in a blog post on the Steam website.
Two big new features are support for variable refresh rates (VRR) and HDR if you’re using your Steam Deck with compatible hardware. Valve says HDR can be enabled if you have a compatible display, while VRR can be enabled if you have a compatible USB-C adapter. The company also changed the Steam Deck’s default color reproduction to “emulate the sRGB color gamut,” which Valve says will result in “a slightly warmer, more vibrant color appearance.” If you don’t like the change, Valve has also added settings that allow you to modify the intensity and color temperature of the screen.
There are also some welcome changes that are not related to display settings. The update includes “updated graphics drivers, with many performance and functionality improvements.” Valve says the update brings “improved performance for star field;” Bethesda’s excellent space RPG is not verified for the Steam Deck, but that hasn’t stopped people play the game on laptop gaming pc anyway.
Valve also promises that the new update adds “slightly improved sleep resume speed.” Every second helps!
If you want to try the SteamOS 3.5 preview, go to Settings > System > System Update Channel > Preview. If the preview is too unstable for you, you can always switch back to the stable channel.