Steam Deck: Troubleshooting Common Issues and Getting Back to Gaming (2024)

The Steam Deck, Valve’s revolutionary handheld gaming PC, has taken the world by storm. Offering unparalleled portability and power for your Steam library, it’s a dream come true for many gamers.

Steam Deck
image by Steamdeck(Valve)

However, as with any new device, some technical hiccups and user-reported issues are bound to surface and the Steam Deck is no exception. This guide delves into the most common issues encountered by Steam Deck users and provides solutions to get you back to uninterrupted gaming bliss.

Keep Your Steam Deck Updated: A Universal Fix

Before diving into specific problems, remember to always update your Steam Deck. Valve frequently releases updates that address bugs and improve performance. Connecting to the internet and checking for updates through Settings > System > Software Updates is crucial for a smooth experience.

Addressing Crashes and Performance Glitches

Constant Game Crashes:

  1. Reboot: Often, a simple reboot (hold the Power button for 10 seconds) can resolve temporary software glitches causing crashes.
  2. Reinstall SteamOS: If rebooting doesn’t help, reinstalling SteamOS using the Recovery Image might be necessary. This process resets the Deck while attempting to preserve game data.
  3. Test Different Games: If only specific games crash, the issue might lie with their optimization for the Deck. Try other titles to isolate the problem.

Steam Deck Unreachable by Servers:

This issue, caused by a Wi-Fi bug triggering power-saving mode, has been fixed in an update. Ensure you have the latest version by going to Settings > System > Software Updates > Check for Updates.

Performance Overlay Stuck:

This persistent overlay can be frustrating. Try:

  1. Reboot: A simple restart often clears temporary glitches.
  2. Toggle Overlay: Access the Quick Access Menu and turn the performance overlay “Off” and then back “On.” Some users find this effective.
  3. Adjust Overlay Level: Change the overlay level to “1” from the Quick Access Menu. This has worked for some players.

Optimizing Battery Life: Squeezing Extra Playtime

The Deck boasts impressive battery life, but specific settings can drain it faster. To maximize playtime:

  1. Reduce Brightness: Lowering the screen brightness significantly improves battery life.
  2. Disable Unused Connections: Turn off Bluetooth when not using controllers or headsets.
  3. Adjust Performance: Use the Performance section to lower frame rates or enable FSR for graphical settings that prioritize battery life.
  4. Limit Refresh Rate: Reducing the refresh rate to 30Hz can further extend battery life.

Dealing with Hardware Concerns: Drifting Sticks and Audio Woes

Thumbstick Drift:

Fear not, drifting joysticks are likely a software issue, not a hardware failure. Ensure you have the latest update and restart your Deck. This has resolved the issue for many users.

No Audio:

  1. Check Bluetooth Connections: If audio isn’t playing through the speakers, ensure no Bluetooth devices are connected and drain the audio output. Reboot if necessary.
  2. Third-Party Headset Compatibility: Some third-party headsets might not be fully compatible with the Deck. Try using the 3.5mm jack or a different Bluetooth headset.
  3. Hardware Issues (Rare): If the issue persists and affects all audio outputs, consult a repair shop.

Connectivity Struggles: Pairing Bluetooth and Black Screens

Bluetooth Pairing Issues:

  1. Check Device Pairing Mode: Some devices require specific button presses to enter pairing mode. Consult the device’s manual.
  2. Access Bluetooth Settings: Go to Settings > Bluetooth and ensure the device is visible. Try “Show All Devices” if it’s not automatically detected.
  3. Forget and Re-pair: If a previously paired device fails to connect, forget it and attempt re-pairing.

Black Screen:

  1. Force Reboot: Hold the Power button for 10 seconds to reboot.
  2. Check Battery and Connections: Ensure the Deck has sufficient charge and is properly plugged in.
  3. Hardware Damage: If the screen remains black and the Deck shows no signs of life, you might have a hardware issue. Check your warranty or consult a repair shop.


While some hiccups are inevitable, understanding common Steam Deck issues and their solutions empowers you to navigate the troubleshooting process effectively. Remember, the Deck is still evolving, and Valve actively addresses user feedback and technical hurdles. This guide provides starting points for troubleshooting. If issues persist, seeking help from Valve’s official support channels or the Steam Deck community forums is recommended.

Also Read This: PS5 Best Settings: 5 Features to Turn Off Now (And Why You Should)

Q&A Section

Q: What should I do if the Steam Deck update causes more issues?

A: Consider rolling back to a previous version using the Steam Deck Recovery Page and the provided recovery image.

Q: How can I improve Steam Deck battery life?

A: Lower brightness, turn off unnecessary connections, adjust frame rate, or enable FSR through the Performance section to enhance battery performance.

Q: What if my Steam Deck controls are not working properly in certain games?

A: Try using a keyboard and mouse setup for better compatibility, especially in FPS games.

Hello friends, My name is Nitin and I'm the founder, owner and writer of Gamer Urge Blog. I'm a Tech savvy and a gamer. I'm passionate about knowing things related to tech, internet and gadgets.

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