Linux Software Steam

Steam Deck Tip: Higher Resolution While Docked

If you find yourself playing the steam deck while docked on on something like a 4k television or 1080p computer monitor, you might be wondering why in-game settings seem to lock you to the native 1280×800 resolution.

I wondered this too and stumbled across this helpful video the explained the process by Marcus Adams on Youtube.

Short video by Marcus Adams on increasing docked Steam Deck resolution

I’d like to outline the steps here though for those of you that just want the answer.

To Increase the Resolution

  1. Click on your game in the Steam Library that you want to launch
  2. Click the gear to the right of the controller Icon
  3. Go to Properties
  4. Look for Game Resoluton (It is probably set to Default)
  5. Switched that to your desired resolution

I suggest not going beyond 1080p or the deck will likely have trouble rendering the game. However if you are playing a platformer like Hollow Knight, even 4k will probably work fine.

Maximizing Performance

In my example I was playing ‘Nier:Automata’. At the native 1280×800 resolution I easily get 60fps without any issues at all. However, bumping it to 1080p resulted in a lower 41 to 47 FPS.

What I suggest doing is going to your Quick Settings (The 3 dots on the right of the steam deck) OR home button + B button.

Go down to the battery icon and set your scaling filter to FSR

Next go back to your game and lower the resolution in-game to 1280×720.

FSR should kick in. It will be noticable. If it’s not kicking in you might need to go back to video settings and switch it to fullscreen or borderless to get it to kick in.

You can increase your steam overlay level to see if FSR is running or not. You can see FSR either ON or OFF on the left at max overlay.

For my example on Nier:Automata the boost in quality was marvelous. I was rendering the game at 720p but upscaling it to 1080p and I was achieving 60fps.

In my experimentation with upscaling I found 480p to be the absolute lowest I could possibly go before upscaling gets goofy with games, 540p is not bad, 720p is ideal.

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