What Is a Steam Deck’s Battery Life? A Console Guide

November 21, 2022 • Zachary Amos

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Milton Bradley came out with the first handheld gaming console with the Microvision in 1979. Nintendo’s Game Boy in 1989 sparked a generation of players who could bring their favorite Mario games on the go. 

In the 21st century, companies like Sony and Nintendo began using handhelds, like the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and the Nintendo DS, to complement their regular home consoles. PC gamers felt left out of the handheld console conversation until the Valve Steam Deck’s release in 2022. This guide will tell you everything about the handheld, from the Steam Deck’s battery life to the prices.

What Is a Steam Deck?

Steam Deck is the Valve Corporation’s first successful handheld gaming device since its founding in 1996. Valve is the developer of Steam, a digital distributor of video games with over 100 million active monthly users on its service. In 2015, Valve attempted to branch out with the Steam Machine, a prebuilt gaming computer that acted as a home console you could plug into the TV. The Steam Machine was not commercially successful, so the company looked to the handheld market. 

Some elements of the Steam Machine made their way into the future handheld device. For example, Steam Controller, released with the Steam Machine, had prototypes with a screen in the middle of the gaming controller. This idea and others led to the development of the Steam Deck. Valve unveiled the Steam Deck in the summer of 2021 and released it in February 2022. 

What Are the Steam Deck’s Specs?

If you have never seen a picture of the Steam Deck, imagine what a Nintendo Switch looks like and widen it out. These two consoles have a lot of similarities, even though Nintendo released the Switch in 2017. Some of the specs for the Steam Deck include:

  • Display: The Steam Deck has a 7” diagonal display with a 1280 x 800px resolution or a 16:10 aspect ratio. 
  • Weight: This console is about double Switch’s weight, weighing around 1.5 lbs. 
  • CPU: The Steam Deck runs on a Zen 2 processor, specifically Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
  • Ram:  The handheld has about 16 GB of ram.

How Long Does a Steam Deck’s Battery Life Last?

Battery power is one of the most important questions for any mobile device, whether a cell phone or a handheld gaming console. What’s the battery life of a Steam Deck? The battery life has a wide range of two to eight hours depending on what game you’re playing, the brightness of your screen and the volume. 

A game like Minesweeper may get you seven or eight hours of gaming, but Grand Theft Auto V can tax the battery and make it only last a couple of hours. To get the most battery life out of your Steam Deck, download games with a lower required frame rate and change the graphic settings within the game to a lower setting. If you’re at home, you won’t have to worry as much as you would on a road trip.  

How Much Does a Steam Deck Cost?

Valve has released three models of the Steam Deck, each with a different storage capacity and price tag. These models are:

  • 64 GB: For $399, you can get the base model of the Steam deck with 64 GB of embedded multimedia card (eMMC) storage.
  • 256 GB: For $529, you can get the 256 GB model with a nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) solid-state drive (SSD). This SSD will make your system run faster than the baseline model.
  • 512 GB: For $649, you can get the most high-powered version of the Steam Deck with a high-speed NVMe SSD and 512 GB of storage. 

A New Generation of Gaming

PC gaming has been around for nearly half a century. From Spacewar to Pong to Doom, people of all ages have played these iconic games. Though, they had to play these games on a computer. Now, Steam users can take their games on the go with the Steam Deck. You may have questions like the battery life of Steam Decks. Use this guide to answer your questions about the handheld console.