40 is the new 60, especially in the Steam deck. Here’s how to squeeze a little more performance out of your PDA by switching to 40 Hz.
Steam Deck may be a surprisingly small powerhouse, but there are some games that are not suitable for a laptop PC. Of course, this was to be expected, and many of us are already used to it. Variable frame rate or blocking the game to 30 frames per second is a logical step, but some want more from their Steam deck.
Battery life is a major issue for the deck: our longest gaming session lasted about four hours when playing an emulated game. Most of the charge is often depleted not only by the game, but also by the Steam Deck, which gives out a solid 60 Hz regardless of the frame rate on the screen.
Limiting the screen to 40 Hz means you won’t be able to reach 60 frames per second, but it means many big games will perform much better in the long run.
Fortunately, Valve saw what people were doing and brought this option to the fore in the settings menu, which greatly simplified the work.
How to Switch to 40 Hz on Steam Deck
In game mode, you can switch to 40 Hz by pressing the three-dot button and scrolling down the menu to “Performance”.
After that, go to “Refresh Rate” and reduce it to 40 Hz. Your Steam Deck will shut down for a couple of seconds while the refresh rate is being adjusted. After that, you can also set the frame rate to 40 frames per second.
If you do this on the home screen, you will affect the Steam Deck as a whole. This means that every game, menu and interaction with the PDA will be blocked at 40 Hz.
In order for each game to run with this separately, you can download your game, repeat the process and enable “Use Profile for each game”. Not every game requires a frequency of 40 Hz/40 frames per second, and it’s best to make the menu smooth for ease of use.
Steam Deck with a frequency of 40 Hz will not work in the dock
Some monitors and televisions will not support a frequency of 40 Hz when connected to a docking station. To do this, you need to make sure that you use the Steam Deck profile for each game, or completely abandon this idea. If your TV doesn’t support 40 Hz, it won’t work at all.