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Home » Technology » SteamOS 3.3 for Steam Deck: Valve optimizes handheld PC performance and 5GHz Wi-Fi

SteamOS 3.3 for Steam Deck: Valve optimizes handheld PC performance and 5GHz Wi-Fi

With the release of SteamOS 3.3, the latest version of the Linux operating system adapted to the Steam Deck based on: ArchLinux Valve is now optimizing the performance of its Zen 2 RDNA 2 handheld gaming PC and its Wi-Fi reception over the 5 GHz network, among other things. The release notes have been expanded this time.

SteamOS 3.3 is a major facelift for the Steam Deck

In addition to new device drivers and an updated firmware, which should provide greater compatibility and performance, as well as improved Wi-Fi stability, Valve also improves audio and Bluetooth, as well as input devices, and now supports new and upcoming revisions of well-known controllers. Desktop mode is also getting a product update.

Valve optimizes almost all areas

The official Release Notes of SteamOS 3.3 and the latest Steam Deck Client update that comes with it also include several improvements for installing and updating apps via flat suit – for example Firefox – and KDE Plasma’s Discover Software Center. Also new are the KDE Plasma Classic Theme (“VGUI2”) and improved support for 32-bit games that use the open Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (LIKE A) to use.


  • Achievements page added to overlay (while pressing Steam button in-game)
  • Guides page added to overlay (while pressing Steam button in-game)
  • Added notification when the Steam Deck temperature is out of safe range
  • Added a scheduled Night Mode feature that allows players to choose if and when they want to enable Night Mode automatically
  • Added a button to clear entered text in the search bar
  • Adaptive brightness switch is now active again
  • Fixed notification for claiming digital rewards that shoot endlessly for some customers
  • Fixed an issue where medium game names in the main menu overlay did not scroll properly
  • Fixed some issues with claiming digital Steam Deck rewards
  • Fixed sound for performance progress notifications
  • Fixed faded colors in the Remote Play client when playing with specific hosts
  • Fixed Xbox login dialog for Flight Simulator and Halo Infinite not displaying certain characters correctly

Steam input

  • Added missing Deck buttons for Gyro Enable and Button Chord options
  • Added support for game-bundled virtual menu icons in the in-game Deck UI
  • Various performance improvements


  • Added support for Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean keyboard. We are still refining these keyboards, please provide feedback on the forums.
  • First IBus IME input support added on the desktop for Chinese, Japanese and Korean keyboards
  • Fixed keyboard in desktop mode that sometimes doesn’t show or remove
  • Fixed on-screen keyboard that appears under the Steam or Quick Access menu
  • Updated keyboard behavior for improved fast typing on trackpad and touchscreen. (pressing one key while holding another key will now capture the held key instead of waiting for the first to be released)
  • Fixed some touch style issues with the virtual keyboard

performance / stability

  • Fixed some performance issues for users with a lot of screenshots
  • Fixed several crashes related to screenshot management
  • Fixed several crashes related to non-Steam shortcuts
  • Fixed some native Linux games that wouldn’t quit when force quit via Steam
  • Fixed Chrome flatpack not closing properly when exiting via Steam
  • Fixed a bug where some flatpak applications (like Edge) could not close successfully
  • Fixed a performance issue with some games when the backlight changes intensity

Desktop mode

  • Updated Firefox to be installed as a Flatpak, rather than from the OS repositories, to ensure timely updates
  • The first time Firefox is launched from the desktop, it will now prompt for installation through the Discover Software Center, which handles updates as they are published.
  • Updated network connections created/edited on the desktop are set system-wide by default so they are available in game mode
  • Added VGUI2 Classic Plasma Desktop Theme
  • Reduced virtual keyboard in desktop mode to the correct dimensions
  • Added support for the Qanba Obsidian and Qanba Dragon arcade sticks in Desktop mode

Docked Mode

  • Added an option to scale the Steam Deck UI for external displays
  • Added a toggle for automatic scaling of the Steam Deck UI for external displays
  • Added ability to adjust image display settings for external displays with overscan issues
  • Fixed an issue where the panel would stay off when disconnecting the dock shortly after resuming from sleep
  • Fixed an issue where the panel backlight stayed on while docking


  • Fixed Bluetooth profile selection is not saved when switching from desktop mode
  • Fixed CPU overhead for echo cancellation when the microphone is not in use, improving power consumption in idle or near idle scenarios
  • Fixed multi-channel audio on external displays
  • Fixed audio out on some capture cards
  • Fixed some cases of corrupt audio after resuming from sleep mode
  • Fixed audio output on some 32-bit games that support ALSA . to use

drivers / firmware

  • Updated graphics driver with compatibility and performance improvements
  • Updated wireless driver with fixes for Wi-Fi disconnection issues on 5Ghz
  • Updated controller firmware utilities to support future controller hardware revisions

Release Notes for Steam OS 3.3

Free choice of development branches

Also new is the so-called “Update Channel Selector”, which now allows the user to choose between the three development branches “Stable”, “Beta” and “Preview” of the SteamOS operating system.

system updates

  • Added a new channel selector for Steam Deck software update – there are now three options:
  • stable: Recommended experience for most users. This option will install the latest stable Steam Client and SteamOS.
  • Beta: Testing for new Steam features. Updated regularly. This option will install Steam Client Beta and the latest stable SteamOS.
  • Example: Testing for new Steam and system level features. Updated regularly. You may run into problems. This option installs Steam Client Beta and SteamOS Beta.
  • You will only see patch notes for the update channel you selected.

SteamOS 3.3 – Update Channel Selector

SteamOS 3.3 is already being distributed

The rollout of SteamOS 3.3 and the included Steam Client update via the Stable Channel has already started and will come in waves as usual. In terms of compatible games, progress is now moving fast too: Valve has tested about 2,000 games on the Steam Deck and classified 662 as “Steam Deck Verified” and another 587 as “Steam Deck Playable”.

  • Tested games: 2,000
  • Games verified by Steam Deck: 662
  • Games playable with the Steam Deck: 587
  • Games not currently playable: 751
  • More details about the games

Exactly how the criteria for the “Steam Deck Verified” certificate are composed and how they are weighted was further examined by the editors in October last year.