Steam Deck Guide

Last Update: 8/14/2022

Valve Steam Deck

Back in July 2021 the Valve Steam Deck was announced with great fanfare. Shortly after the announcement, YouTube was flooded with speculation about the device, hardware specifications, etc. I delayed putting in a reserve for the Steam Deck by a day or two, which turned out to be a mistake. The demand for this device was clearly very high and nearly one year after it’s announcement, my Steam Deck arrived on June 24th, 2022.

This guide has been created to become a repository for everything I learn about the Steam Deck and to share that information with my viewers. As I learn new things about the Steam Deck and of course the games themselves, I’ll continue to add to this guide. Much more content is being developed and will be added, check back regularly. The Change Log will be updated to make it easier to know what’s been changed/added since your last visit.

I hope you enjoy the content below and find it helpful. If you do, I appreciate your support by subscribing to the Wagner’s TechTalk YouTube channel. Here, you’ll find videos on a number of technology topics – now including, the Steam Deck!

-Jon

How-To link to a specific section on this Guide: go to the Table of Contents (below) and click a section to reference. Copy the URL from the address-bar of your browser and paste in your video description/post/blog. This will direct a viewer to a specific section in any of the guides you find on this site.


Gaming on the Steam Deck

In full transparency, I’m not a big PC gamer (gasp). Or at least, I wasn’t until recently. I’m a big fan of Star Wars, so many of the games I played on the PC were Star Wars-related games from years ago. But, over the past year (or so) I’ve also been very active in Virtual Pinball and play a lot of Pinball FX3 on my Legends Pinball machine from my Steam Library. But honestly, that was about it.

So why in the world would someone who doesn’t play many PC-based games spend $500+ on a device that is geared for PC Gaming? First of all, I sit at a PC in my day job. When I get off work, I create guides like this and YouTube videos – on a PC. If I played PC games on a PC, I’d likely never see my family. The Steam Deck allows me to spend more time with my family and away from my main office computer(s).

Almost every night, at a certain time I turn off the computer and watch movies with my wife and kids. While they are staring at their phones (playing games) watching a movie, I can sit in the same room and on the Steam Deck with a little bit of game play here and there.

Having the Steam Deck has definitely opened up a whole new world of portable PC/Linux gaming, both in terms of games available from the Steam library as well as the best performance I’ve ever seen on a handheld for Emulation using EmuDeck.

Another advantage, at least to me, is that separation from your work/home computer that the Steam Deck provides. With the Steam Deck, I can load all of those games (some old, most new) that I want to play and keep them on the Deck. If I want to take a break from YouTube or writing, I can step outside on the hammock with the Steam Deck. Load up a game and kick back and see what all I’ve been missing out on.

So yes, I’m now enjoying PC gaming again. I hand off the Steam Deck to my kids and my kids friends and let them have fun with it. The performance of the machine is great for a 1st generation device, based on my experience with it so far. I have no doubt the Steam Deck will be around for many years to come!


Why the Steam Deck?

Everyone is going to have their own reasons for why/why not to pick the Steam Deck. Below are some reasons why I think you may/may not want to consider picking one up. Keep in mind, I paid for this unit at full-price and waited a long time for it to be delivered. We’ll start with the Why’s first.

Why To Consider

  • Performance – The Steam Deck is without a doubt the most powerful Gaming PC in a handheld form-factor currently available. But, it’s a big handheld (see below).
  • Windows Game Play – The Steam Deck runs Linux, not Windows, when it ships from the factory. You may wonder, how it’s able to play games made for Windows in Linux? There is a compatibility layer called Proton which allows you to install and run Windows games that do not have native Linux versions. While not yet perfect, it works very well for many games and Valve is constantly verifying additional titles from their library on the Steam Deck.
  • Desktop Mode – The Steam Deck includes a Desktop Mode which essentially turns it into a Desktop PC. You can install additional applications on the Steam Deck and use it like you would most any Linux PC. The Firefox web browser is pre-installed and allows you to browse websites (such as this one) directly on the Steam Deck. For more on Desktop Mode, see here.
  • Retro Gaming – Thanks to the hard work from the EmuDeck development team, it’s also possible to play Retro Games on the Steam Deck through emulation. For more on this topic, please see here.
  • Run Windows – The Steam Deck is essentially a PC and yes, you can even install Windows to your Steam Deck! In this section, we’ll cover how to install Windows to a microSD. In this process, you can run Windows 10/11 or swap microSD cards and go back to SteamOS gaming. The best of both worlds, so-to-speak.
  • Connectivity Options – You can connect the Steam Deck to all kinds of different controllers (wired or USB), Docks add a keyboard+Mouse or even connect it to a home Arcade machine. For more in this area, please see this section.
  • Storage Expansion – Every Steam Deck includes internal storage. Depending on the model you choose, it will have 64GB, 256GB or 512GB installed. The Steam Deck also has a microSD slot at the bottom which will allow you to increase the amount of storage available for your games. You can read more about Storage Expansion here, or exactly how to add a microSD card here.
  • Solid Construction – The Steam Deck feels like a premium device with solid controls. There are two joysticks, two touchpads buttons on the front, top and bottom of the unit. All the controls feel great in your hands and are well-positioned for long gaming sessions. It looks and feels like a premium device.

Why Not To Consider

  • Long Shipment lead-time – After reserving one, it may take several months to receive it. Demand is still very high for this device and until availability catches up with the demand, there will continue to be a long wait period. It was nearly 1 year from the time I reserved it till the time it shipped. It would likely be far less for you now that they are in full production, but I would expect at least 2-3 months before you are able to complete your reservation (at the time of this writing).
  • Cost – This is not a cheap device, it will cost anywhere from $399-$649 depending on the model you are considering. However, if you’re one that buys a new Gaming handheld every 3-6 months, this may be the only device you will need for several years to come.
  • It’s Big– This can be a pro or a con, depending on your perspective. However, I would be remiss in not stating the obvious – it’s a big handheld device! It’s not something you’ll be able to carry in your pockets. If that’s what you’re looking for, then some of these may be better suited for you.

Picking the Steam Deck

There are three options when ordering the Steam Deck, arranged from least-most expensive. The primary difference between each model is the amount of storage (and speed of storage). The more expensive option also includes anti-glare etched glass.

Deciding on which option to pick may not be easy. In my case, I chose the middle option with 256GB. It seemed to have the right balance of built-in storage and features. While you can expand your Steam Deck with a microSD card, some Steam games are quite large and can easily/quickly consume 64GB of internal storage.

Sure, games can be saved directly to the microSD instead of internal storage. Just keep in mind, if you go with the 64GB version you may later find yourself wanting more internal storage on the Steam Deck itself. It is possible to upgrade the internal storage, but not a simple process and not for the faint of heart.


Sd, card, memory Icon in Data And Devices icon pack

Storage Expansion

You will most likely want to supplement your internal storage on the Steam Deck with storage on a microSD card. What size microSD card to get really depends on the type and number of games you want to have available on-Deck and available to play.

For best performance you’ll want to consider a U3 A2 card. A2 represents the Application Performance Class and a class of 2 will provide much better performance over A1 cards. A U3 card provides faster write speeds over that of U1 cards, 30MB/s vs 10MB/s.

Many of the most-recent titles can consume as much as 30-100GB (or more). However, if you primarily want to use the Steam Deck for emulation those will typically consume much less storage. Balancing the amount of storage you will want or need can be tricky. If you start with a smaller capacity microSD card such as 64/128GB, you may quickly find that a 512GB or even a 1TB card might have been a better choice. You can certainly change your mind later and swap microSD cards, if needed.

I went with the Lexar 1TB microSD, it has been working well for me. I typically buy either Samsung, Gigastone or SanDisk microSD’s for use with my handheld devices. However, due to variances in prices, speed and availability I went with the Lexar card. It’s a decently fast microSD card and I’ve been able to install a fairly large library of games (both from Steam and via EmuDeck). Time will tell if it was a good choice, if I find out otherwise I’ll update this section.


Steam Deck Resources


Steam Deck Reference

The following will assist you with some common Steam Deck shortcut functions that will be helpful to you as you learn more about the device:

CommandDescription
Steam + B (long press)Force Game Shutdown
Steam + XShow on-screen keyboard
Steam + L1Toggle the Magnifier
Steam + R1Take a Screenshot
Steam + L2 (soft pull)Right mouse click
Steam + R2 (soft pull)
Steam + Right Touchpad Button
Left mouse click
Steam + Right Stick ButtonJoystick Mouse
Steam + Left Stick UpScreen brightness increase
Steam + Left Stick DownScreen brightness decrease
Steam + Right D-Pad buttonEnter key
Steam + Down D-Pad buttonTab Key
Steam + Left D-Pad buttonEscape Key

Specifications

The specifications for the Steam Deck are below:

  • CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
  • GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
  • APU power: 4-15W
  • RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 on-board RAM (5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels)
  • STORAGE
    • 64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)
    • 256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)
    • 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)
    • All models use socketed 2230 m.2 modules (not intended for end-user replacement)
    • All models include high-speed microSD card slot
  • DISPLAY
    • Resolution: 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio)
    • Type: Optically bonded IPS LCD for enhanced readability
    • Size: 7″ diagonal
    • Brightness: 400 nits typical
    • Refresh rate: 60Hz
    • Touch enabled: Yes
    • Sensors: Ambient light sensor
  • CONNECTIVITY
    • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0 (support for controllers, accessories and audio)
    • Wi-Fi: Dual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • AUDIO
    • Channels: Stereo with embedded DSP
    • Microphones: Dual microphone array
    • Headphone / mic jack: 3.5mm stereo headphone / headset jack
    • Digital: Multichannel audio via DisplayPort over USB-C, standard USB-C, or Bluetooth 5.0
  • POWER
    • Input: 45W USB Type-C PD3.0 power supply
    • Battery: 40Whr battery. 2 – 8 hours of gameplay
  • EXPANSION
    • microSD: UHS-I supports SD, SDXC and SDHC
    • External connectivity for controllers & displays: USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode support; up to 8K @60Hz or 4K @120Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • SOFTWARE
    • Operating System: SteamOS 3.0 (Arch-based)
    • Desktop: KDE Plasma

Accessories

Below are some accessories I purchased for the Steam Deck that you may find helpful (bold items were recently added to the list):

  • USB-C Dual Monitor Docking Station – This docking station is packed with many useful options, including x2 HDMI Output ports, x1 USB 3.0 port, x2 USB 2.0 ports, SD/TF reader, type C power port (for charging while docked) and x1 DP Output. Video demonstration here.
  • Foldable Keyboard, iClever BK08 Bluetooth Keyboard – This is a handy keyboard and trackpad to have for use with Desktop Mode and Windows 10 on the Steam Deck. Instead of breaking out my wired USB keyboard and mouse I can easily put this in my pocket. It also allows pairing to 3 different devices so you can easily use it with your phone, tablet, etc. also.
  • Lexar 1TB microSD – I typically buy Samsung or SanDisk branded microSD cards. However, the price differences and speed of each lead me to the Lexar 1TB microSD instead. The reviews for it were good (5 *’s) and the price was reasonable ($135.99). MicroSD cards beyond 1TB are very new, difficult to find and/or will likely be expensive. Micron has announced a 1.5TB microSD card but unknown when they will be available or how much they will cost. For now, a 1TB microSD card makes the most sense, to me, for storage on Steam Deck. Keep in mind, you can choose a much smaller capacity microSD, if you prefer.
  • Steam Deck TPU Protective Case – Fits the Steam Deck very well and provides protection for the bottom of the Steam Deck (no display protection).
  • Steam Deck Carrying Case – It has enough room that I can add the power supply, dock, extra microSD cards, HDMI cable (flat), folding keyboard, etc. inside this case. Perfect if you want to travel with your Steam Deck and keep all your stuff in a single case that offers good protection. If you have a TPU protective cover (above) over the Steam Deck, it is a tight fit in this case but it will fit.
  • AtGames Legends Ultimate – The Legends Ultimate is a full-size Arcade cabinet which provides an OTG or Bluetooth connection to allow playing your Steam Deck through the arcade machine. I have a full guide on the ALU here. In this video, I demonstrate connecting the Steam Deck to the Legends Ultimate, it works best when connected over Bluetooth.
  • Stand Base Compatible with Valve Steam Deck – This is a decent and relatively inexpensive stand for the Steam Deck. It folds, so it will fit in the above carrying case.
  • 3D Printed Stand (by WTT) – While not specifically designed for the Steam Deck, it’s one that I designed a few years ago and has worked with every handheld I’ve reviewed/tried, including the Steam Deck.
  • 8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ Bluetooth Controller – This controller worked very well with the Steam Deck. If you’re looking for a BT wireless controller for your Steam Deck, this is a good option.
  • XBox 360 Wired (USB) controller (clone) – This clone wired Xbox 360 controller worked well on the Steam Deck. Since this is a USB-A connection, you would also need the USB-C Docking Station (or similar) device to use this controller. It is an inexpensive option if you prefer a wired connection vs. wireless.

Quick How-To’s

The sections below will provide some assistance with some useful how-to information for the Steam Deck.

Apply Updates

When you first receive your Steam Deck you’ll be prompted to login with your Steam Account. If you don’t already have one, you can click the Create Account button. Once the account is created, proceed with the following:

  • Login with your Steam Login and Password, then click the SIGN IN button.
  • You will be prompted to enter your Steam Guard Code, check the e-mail account associated with your Steam Account. Enter the code and tap the SIGN IN button.
  • Press the STEAM button on the left side of the unit.
  • Move down and select the System option, it may show a yellow exclamation point in the icon, indicating there is an update to apply.
  • Under UPDATES, if you see an exclamation point (!) beside Software Updates and an Apply button, tap the Apply button.
  • Once the update has completed, tap the RESTART button.

Setup microSD Card (Storage)

Setting up a microSD card for storing your Steam games is easy, but here are some steps to get you started:

  • Insert your new microSD card in the slot at the bottom of the Steam Deck. For more information regarding microSD card storage, see here.
  • Press the STEAM button on the left side of the unit.
  • Move down and select the System option.
  • Under SYSTEM SETTINGS you may see an option for Format SD Card and a button to the right that states Format. Click Format to prepare the microSD card for game installation.
  • If you’re sure you are ok with the contents of the microSD being erased, select the Confirm option to format the microSD card.
  • You will first see the TESTING status as the Steam Deck ensures that the card you’ve inserted meets the minimum requirements for installing games to the Steam Deck. You’ll then see FORMATTING, this process may take a few minutes.
  • Once the format has completed, you’ll see it listed under the Storage option with the amount of FREE storage available for your games.
Card after Formatting has Completed

Enter Desktop Mode

This section will discuss how to enter Desktop Mode. But what is Desktop Mode? Basically, it provides a Linux desktop environment on the Steam Deck. Further, you can install additional applications, browser the internet (just like any other modern OS), work on office documents or pretty much anything you would typically do on a dedicated PC.

  • While not required, you may want to connect a keyboard and mouse to your Steam Deck and perhaps HDMI Output to your TV or Monitor.
  • Using the Steam Deck, press the Steam button.
  • Navigate down to Power.
  • Select Switch to Desktop.
  • After a brief delay, the Steam Deck will enter Desktop Mode where you can perform many of the same functions as you would on a typical PC. The Firefox web browser is pre-installed and useful if you want to navigate the internet.

Discover Software Center

The Steam Deck is a Desktop Computer. As such, you aren’t limited to just gaming on the device. If you want to install an Office suite for working on documents, spreadsheets, etc. this can easily be done via the Discover Software Center. Below I’ll provide one simple example by installing the popular Libre Office package.

Discover Software Center
  • Enter Desktop Mode.
  • Launch the Discover Software Center icon on the lower-left of the taskbar (looks like a shopping bag).
  • On the left panel, click Applications.
  • Then select Office (you can also type a keyword into the search box to locate a specific application).
  • Click the Install button to the right of the application you want to install, LibreOffice in this example.
  • Once the installation completes, you can launch LibreOffice by clicking the Steam button (lower-left icon) Office and then the office application you’re interested in (i.e. LibreOffice Calc is a spreadsheet application).
  • Explore the many applications that are available to you on the Discover Software Center!
LibreOffice Calc (spreadsheet)

Energy Saving

While running the rom manager to scrape artwork in EmuDeck, you may not want your Steam Deck to switch off while on AC Power for awhile. To change this setting, see the following:

System Settings Icon
  • If you haven’t already, enter Desktop Mode.
  • Click the System Settings icon (lower-left on the taskbar).
  • Under Hardware, select Power Management.
  • Under the On AC Power tab, make sure that Screen Energy Saving is checked.
  • Change the Switch off after to a much higher setting, perhaps 30-160 min.
  • Click the Apply button.
  • That’s it!

Show Frame Rate

When testing out the performance of a game, it’s often useful to be able to see certain performance metrics, such as the frame rate. To do so is easy, here’s how:

  • Press the “…” button on the lower-right to open the Quick Access Menu (QAM).
  • Select the icon that looks like a battery.
  • At the top, set the Performance Overlay Level to 2.
  • Scroll down to the very bottom until you see Show Perf Overlay in Steam and enable it.
  • You will now see the performance metrics, including the FPS/Frames Per Second in the upper-left.
  • If you want more/less detail, adjust the Level slider accordingly.

Steam Deck Tips

Below are some tips I’ve learned that I think you’ll find helpful and useful. If you have others that should be added, please comment on any video on this guide. I’d love to hear them!

Steam Button Shortcuts

Near the top of this guide, you may have noticed the Steam Deck Reference. What might not be apparent is that you can press+hold the STEAM button for about 3 seconds. Keep holding and you’ll see a similar reference appear on the screen.

Change Keyboard Theme

The default keyboard theme isn’t all that exciting. You can change it by pressing the STEAM button → SettingsKeyboard. Select the drop-down under the Current Keyboard Theme to change to a different theme. My favorite is Steam Green, but try them all and see which one you prefer. You can also press the keyboard icon on the far-right to see what it looks like (or press STEAM + X).


Emulation

Emulation is an exciting aspect of the Steam Deck, one we will explore in the sections below. It is anticipated that there will be a number of ways to emulate your favorite classic arcade and console games in the future. As such, each method of emulation will have it’s own guide to go into further detail as well as provide a platform to expand the content.

Guide: The EmuDeck Guide

EmuDeck

See: EmuDeck Guide

EmuDeck is an excellent tool to quickly and easily install and configure a number of emulators on the Steam Deck. This guide will cover how to install EmuDeck, run the Steam ROM Manager, assign artwork and much more!


Guide: Run Windows from microSD Guide

Run Windows from microSD

See: Run Windows from microSD Guide

You can install Windows 10/11 to a microSD with full driver support easily using this guide. It will step you through creating a Windows ISO file, Creating the Windows MicroSD image, copying/installing the drivers, tips and more.


Guide: Steam Deck + Virtual Pinball on a Physical Cabinet (Legends Pinball)

Virtual Pinball

See: Steam Deck with Legends Pinball Guide

Ever since receiving my Steam Deck, I’ve been interested in finding out if it can be used with the AtGames Legends Pinball with two monitors connected. A guide and video have been developed to show you how you can use your Steam Deck with Pinball FX3, Future Pinball and Visual Pinball X (VPX) running Windows from the microSD.


Dock Options

Video: Steam Deck Dock Option: Connect x2 Monitors, Keyboard+Mouse & more

This Steam Deck Docking Station Option has dual HDMI ports, x1 USB 3.0 port, x2 USB 2.0 ports an SD Slot and a microSD slot. If you own a Steam Deck, one of the first things you may want to do is connect it up to a TV or Monitor and this video will show you just how to do it!

We’ll connect a number of devices including: wired Xbox 360 controller, 8Bitdo SN30 Pro+ BT controller, Keyboard and Mouse (USB), Legends Ultimate Arcade, x2 external monitors and a microSD card.

There are other docking station options available and most will work similarly (or exactly) as shown in the video above. However, keep in mind, not all docking stations will include x2 HDMI ports or the ability to add external storage (SD/microSD cards).

Below you’ll find additional information regarding connecting the Steam Deck to other input devices that I’ve tried.


HDMI to TV/Monitor

Being able to capture video from the Steam Deck is rather important for someone who makes YouTube videos, such as myself. However, even if you have no interest in capturing the video, the ability to use the large screen TV in your living room or game room may be just as important to you.

There are many different devices available to take the audio+video from the Steam Deck and send them to your TV. However, I currently only own one. This may change in the future, when it does I’ll update this guide with more options. For now, this is how I connect the Steam Deck to my TV/Monitor/Video Capture device:

  • Connect power from the Steam Deck to the USB-C Dual Monitor Docking Station (or equivalent).
  • Connect an HDMI Cable (here is one of several I use) from the TV to the Dock.
  • Connect the USB-C cable from the dock to the top port of the TV/Monitor.
  • After a few seconds, the audio+video signal from the Steam Deck should appear on your TV. If it doesn’t make sure you have the correct HDMI Input selected on the TV/Monitor.
  • That’s it!

XBox 360 Controller (USB)

Connecting an XBox 360 controller to the Steam Deck via USB is very easy, assuming you have a docking station or adapter to convert a USB-A to USB-C connection. The basic steps are as follows:

Video: See how

  • Connect power from the Steam Deck to the USB-C Dual Monitor Docking Station (or equivalent).
  • Plug in the USB-A end of the XBox 360 controller to an available USB-A female port on the dock.
  • Plug in the USB-C cable from the dock into the Steam Deck.
  • The Steam Deck will auto-detect the controller. From here, you’ll be able to press the XBox button to act as the STEAM button on the Steam Deck. All other buttons are properly mapped for you and available.

8BitDo SN 30 pro+ (BT)

Many Bluetooth controllers should work for you and the steps below will be pretty much the same for any you may already own. I used the 8Bitdo Sn30 Pro+ Bluetooth Controller, the “SN” in the name means it resembles the Super Nintendo controller. Keep in mind though, that model appears to have a price $30 more than other styles. Be sure to take a close look at the pricing options before considering it. That said, here’s how to connect it:

Video: See how

  • Press START + B at the same time. The LED at the bottom front will then come on, blinking slowly. *NOTE: If not using the 8Bitdo Pro+ Controller, check the documentation for your controller as it may differ.
  • Then press+hold the wireless button at the top-back of the controller for about 3 seconds until the LEDs move left-right continuously. *NOTE: If not using the 8Bitdo Pro+ Controller, check the documentation for your controller as it may differ.
  • Using the controls on the Steam Deck, press the STEAM button.
  • Navigate to the Settings option.
  • Then down to Bluetooth.
  • Under the AVAILABLE TO PAIR section, locate your controller, select it and press the A button to pair the controller to the Steam Deck.
  • That’s it, load up a game and have fun!

Keyboard and Mouse (USB)

Connecting a keyboard and mouse is a great way to use your Steam Deck as a PC. The Firefox web browser is built-in to the machine (while in Desktop Mode) and you can visit your favorite websites, play YouTube videos, etc. Below we’ll touch on how to attach your keyboard and mouse over USB.

Video: See how

  • Enter Desktop Mode on the Steam Deck.
  • Connect power from the Steam Deck to the USB-C Dual Monitor Docking Station (or equivalent).
  • Plug in the USB-C cable from the dock into the Steam Deck.
  • Plug the USB cable(s) for the keyboard and mouse into the USB-A port(s) on the dock.
  • That’s it!

Connect to ALU (USB)

Legends Ultimate

You can also connect the Steam Deck to the AtGames Legends Ultimate via USB/OTG (On-The-Go) as well as Bluetooth. I personally recommend using Bluetooth instead of USB as some important buttons such as the Menu and STEAM button don’t immediately map properly via USB. That said, here’s how to set it up:

Video: See how

  • If you have the Legends BitPixel connected, disconnect it (power off or if you added a USB switch, flip it to the off position).
  • Power-cycle the Legends Ultimate (turn it off/on).
  • Connect power from the Steam Deck to the USB-C Dual Monitor Docking Station (or equivalent).
  • Plug in the USB-C cable from the dock into the Steam Deck.
  • Connect one end of a USB-A to USB-A cable from the ALU 2.0 port (white USB port) on the top panel, the other end to an available port on the dock. The cable I used is here.
  • Connect one end of an HDMI Male-to-Male cable from the ALU HDMI input port on the top panel, the other end to HDMI 1 on the dock.
  • On the Legends Ultimate, navigate to the Settings tab and select the OTG Mode tile. You should see a message at the bottom of the dialog indicating “USB connected, LEGENDS ULTIMATE can not be used.” (or similar).
  • Press the Channel button on the top panel of the ALU to switch to the Steam Deck.
  • Navigate to a game you want to play using the Joystick and have fun! *NOTE: As mentioned previously, the Menu and STEAM buttons do not map while in OTG mode. Therefore, you’ll need to use those buttons on the Steam Deck when needed.

Connect to ALU (BT)

The section below will describe how to connect the AtGames Legends Ultimate (ALU) to the Steam Deck via Bluetooth. This method is recommended over USB as both the Steam Menu button and STEAM buttons are accessible and mapped for you over Bluetooth. Here’s how to connect it:

Video: See how

  • Press and hold the P2 (Player 2) button for about 8 seconds until the blue LEDs in the upper-right begin to blink rapidly.
  • Connect power from the Steam Deck to the USB-C Dual Monitor Docking Station (or equivalent).
  • Connect one end of an HDMI Male-to-Male cable from the ALU HDMI input port on the top panel, the other end to HDMI 1 on the dock.
  • Press the Channel button on the top panel of the ALU to switch to the Steam Deck.
  • On the Steam Deck, press the STEAM button and navigate to SettingsBluetooth option.
  • Under the AVAILABLE TO PAIR section, locate Control deck-P1 (for Player 1), select it and press the A button to pair the controller to the Steam Deck. You can repeat to connect Control deck-P2 (for Player 2).
  • Once paired, you’ll notice the blue blinking LEDs have stopped blinking and have become a solid blue color.
  • Load up a game and have fun! *NOTE: You can press the P1 button to access the Steam Menu button and the AtGames button will act as the STEAM button.

Change Log

  • 2022-08-14 – Minor change in a link under the accessories section. Additional edits.
  • 2022-08-09 – Moved the Run Windows from microSD to it’s own guide here. Multiple organization and general improvements.
  • 2022-08-08 – Added the new Steam Deck with Legends Pinball Guide.
  • 2022-08-05 – Updated the Storage Expansion section with additional clarification regarding U3 A2 cards.
  • 2022-08-02 – Added a new section Swap between SteamOS and Windows.
  • 2022-07-31 – Minor updates.
  • 2022-07-28 – Fixed a few broken links.
  • 2022-07-26 – Added Discover Software Center section.
  • 2022-07-24 – Added how to show the Frame Rate. Added new Steam Deck case with room for most all your accessories
  • 2022-07-23 – Minor updates; new Emulation section which also links to the new EmuDeck Guide.
  • 2022-07-19 – Guide was made public. Released the Windows Install on the Steam Deck video.
  • 2022-06-262022-07-18 – Continuation…
  • 2022-06-24 – Start to this guide.