Do you need to know how to connect your Steam Deck to a monitor (or indeed, a TV?). Rest assured, Retro Dodo is here to help!
Valve’s Steam Deck is now available, though it’s still incredibly difficult to get your hands on one (which is why we’ve been checking out which other handhelds might scratch the same itch here on Retro Dodo – check out our article on the best Steam Deck alternatives).
If you have got one though, congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of an absolutely phenomenal handheld – arguably one of the finest and most capable handheld devices we’ve ever seen.
Though touted as a ‘Switch Killer’ when announced, the Steam Deck is actually a far different proposition to Nintendo’s handheld/home console hybrid. One area in which the Switch seemingly wins is with being able to use it freely on the TV – but surely you can do the same with a Steam Deck? Let’s find out how to connect your Steam Deck to a monitor!
What will I need to connect the Steam Deck to a monitor or TV?
Well naturally, you’ll need to be in possession of the Steam deck itself. Valve have promised an official docking station; even though it isn’t on sale yet, there are alternatives.
Third party docks can be found online, but just as the Switch can connect via USB-C to HDMI, so too can the Steam Deck – so either an HDMI to USB-C adaptor is needed, or a USB-C to HDMI cable.
How do I connect the Steam Deck using a dock?
It’s really straightforward: plug an HDMI cable into one of your TV or monitor’s HDMI sockets, insert the dock’s USB-C connector into your Steam Deck. Next, attach the Steam Deck’s power supply into the dock’s separate USB-C power socket and you’re done!
How do I connect my Steam Deck to a monitor or TV using HDMI?
Desktop PC and gaming laptop owners have been connecting their devices to TVs and monitors via HDMI for years – and the Steam Deck can do this too, despite not having an HDMI port of its own. So how do we do that?
You’ll need an HDMI to USB-C adaptor (a link to these on eBay is below!) to start with; when you do, simply plug the HDMI cable into a currently unoccupied HDMI socket on your TV or monitor. Then plug the HDMI to USB-C adaptor into the USB-C port on your Steam Deck, and attach the HDMI cable to the HDMI side of the adaptor.
How do I change display settings?
If you have experience of changing monitor/display settings on your PC in order to account for a different size, shape or resolution screen, you’ll be familiar with how to do this part of the process.
If you’re not familiar with this, it’s pretty easy to do: head to the left of your taskbar on the Steam Deck and click into System Settings. From the Hardware section on the left, select ‘Display and Monitor’. A further tip: make sure you disable the Steam Deck’s display to preserve its battery life; after all, you won’t need to use the screen on your handheld while you’re playing it via the TV or monitor!
What display settings can I change?
There’s plenty of settings here to tweak in order to get things looking just right – such as resolution and refresh rate, for example; even screen orientation if you happen to be using an emulator to play vertically oriented arcade games (and if you’re lucky enough to be able to rotate your monitor!). If that is something you’re interested in doing, check out our how to install emulators on your Steam Deck article for further information.
How do I get my hands on a Steam Deck?
Despite Valve’s issues with fulfilling demand of the Steam Deck, there are a number of end users who are selling theirs on eBay, albeit at inflated prices at the moment. However, if you’re happy to pay over the odds (which we wouldn’t advise – we’d recommend that you wait for Valve’s stock to become available), you can check out what’s available on eBay below.
Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.