Steam Deck 40Hz Mode Is Coming Soon To Save Your Battery

The Steam Deck is a great gaming system for playing new games while on the go, but its high-performance hardware is notorious for draining its battery quite quickly. YouTuber The Phawx has found a great balance between performance and power by capping the Steam Deck’s display to 40Hz, increasing the battery life to around two hours.

Using Sekiro for testing, Phawx discovered that running the game at its full 60Hz without limiting the framerate drained the battery far quicker. Some tinkering to reach 40Hz saw the Steam Deck battery drain about 20W when playing Sekiro, theoretically giving the system two hours worth of power to play the game. As Phawx added, the Steam Deck simply doesn’t have enough power to run Sekiro at 60fps properly, as there was a constant battle between the CPU and GPU for available resources.

Modifying the screen provided a best-of-both-worlds scenario, with increased battery power for the Steam Deck and gameplay still managing to be smooth at 40fps as opposed to the more cinematic approach of 30fps. The catch here is that applying a 40Hz mode to a Steam Deck requires you to have Windows 11–which doesn’t play too well with the system–installed on it, as well as the Custom Resolution Utility tool.

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Author: Darryn Bonthuys