Valve warns players to keep their Steam Decks out of the heat. The ongoing heatwave has been rough, but the difficulties that hot weather causes for people are nothing compared to what it can do to a Steam Deck. In a new tweet posted on the OnDeck Twitter account, Valve highlights the risks of using a Deck in extreme temperatures.
According to the tweet, the Steam Deck performs best in ambient temperatures between 0° C and 35° C. That’s the equivalent of 32° F up to 95° F. However, in situations where the air temperature exceeds this, the Deck can begin to struggle.
At an internal temperature of around 100° C, the Deck will begin to throttle its own performance. This is done in order to slow down how fast the device is heating up. Once the Steam Deck hits a scorching 105° C, it will shut down to prevent further damage. This is a safety measure commonly seen in both laptops as well as other handheld gaming devices.
It may seem like an obvious tip to not use the Steam Deck in extreme heat, but some people will overlook the risks. Running just about any device above its advised temperature can cause wear, or even irreparable damage in some cases. The last thing you or anyone else wants is a fried APU inside of a $650 USD handheld gaming PC. Steam Deck owners are best off either finding a cooler environment to play games or holding off until temperatures drop back down.
Not unique to Steam Deck
Temperature issues can occur in all kinds of devices but are most common in mobile devices. Laptops and handheld gaming consoles often sacrifice cooling in favor of aesthetics and ergonomics. Having the room for air to flow properly is difficult when hardware manufacturers already have to figure out how to cram several other parts in, too. Something has to give, and more often than not it’s airflow that goes first.
Don’t let your Steam Deck get too hot. It’s a dense device.
For our friends in the midst of a heatwave, a quick note about Steam Deck in high temperatures. Steam Deck performs at its best in ambient temperatures between 0° and 35° C. If the temperature gets higher than this, Steam Deck may start to throttle performance to protect itself.
— Steam Deck (@OnDeck) July 19, 2022