Valve frequently upgrades the Steam Deck firmware, so today’s system isn’t the same as when it launched. The Steam Deck is a portable gaming device that enables you carry PC games with you. Valve’s SteamOS firmware—the operating system that powers the Steam Deck—is just as vital to its success.
Normally, you must wait for a SteamOS Stable update before installing a fix. Curious or impatient users can try the firmware through the Steam OS System Update Channel. How-to:
What’s SteamOS’s Update Channel?
Stable instals the recommended SteamOS patch. This is Steam Deck firmware for users. Default for the Steam Deck.
The System Update Channel’s Beta channel tests “new Steam features.” This channel updates regularly, so expect issues. As a curious individual, my Steam Deck is in this channel.
The Preview channel allows you test early-stage features. Valve warns “you may encounter issues.” so early. This is the Steam Deck owners’ channel.
Steam Deck firmware update
System > System Update Channel.
Preview or Beta (your Steam Deck arrives with the Stable channel active).
Restart Now appears. It reboots Steam Deck and applies the updated System Channel.
Instead of System Update Channels, repeat steps 1-3 with Software Updates.
Check for Updates for new firmware.
Click Apply to restart the machine and install updates. Finally!
Steam Deck System Recovery
If you encounter an issue with the updated firmware, follow Valve’s step-by-step system recovery guide to fix your Steam Deck. You’ll need a USB drive, a USB-C adapter, and a system recovery image to repair your computer. Linux, Mac, and Windows instructions.
Re-Image Steam Deck, Clear Local User Data, Reinstall SteamOS, and Recovery Tools. Check the Steam Deck recovery instructions for the optimal route.
Steam Deck Tips
System Update Channel previews new features, but Steam Deck has more. Read 9 Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Steam Deck and Steam Deck 101 to get started.