The Steam Deck packs a lot of punch for its size, and if you want to game on something bigger, you can hook it up to a bigger screen. This can be very useful if you’re playing a game where a larger screen is important for seeing text or details, or if you’re on the go and want to share some gaming experiences with a group of friends. It also makes certain things, such as working in the Linux terminal, much easier when tinkering.
ready to start? Here’s how to connect your Steam Deck to a TV or monitor for a true big screen experience.
We’ll start by going through the hardware you’ll need, then take a look at the connection process and how to do it safely. With the right equipment, switching to a TV or monitor is a piece of cake!
Step 1: Find a compatible TV or computer screen† Remember that different games will see different results when moved to a big screen. You can expect a drop in frame rates for many AAA games (although they should still be playable), meaning refresh rate isn’t a big concern. For the best performance results, you’ll also want to keep the resolution around 1080p, so 4K support isn’t an issue either.
What does that leave? Your display really needs an HDMI port – that’s about it. Most of today’s monitors (some are DisplayPort only, but this is rare) and TVs have HDMI ports, so you just need to make sure there’s a spare HDMI port you can use.
Step 2: Next, you’ll need a USB-C to HDMI adapter. The ideal solution here is a Steam Deck Docking Station, a hub designed to support only these types of setups. Unfortunately, the Docking Station has not yet been released and Valve has announced that it is delayed with no set end date in sight, so it’s not really an option at this point. Other docks might work, but we prefer to recommend the official dock straight from the source.
The alternative is a USB-C to HDMI adapter. Again, due to the limits of the deck, almost any adapter will do the job here. This onefor $18 it should do the trick. You’ll want to connect the Steam Deck’s USB-C port to one end of the adapter and your display’s HDMI cable to the other end.
Step 3: You also want to know for sure your HDMI cable is long enough that you don’t have to sit right next to the display. HDMI cables that are only a few feet long may not be the way to go unless you can keep your Steam Deck close to the screen.
Step 4: Connect the HDMI cable to your display and then to your adapter. Connect the USB-C cable from the adapter to your Steam Deck.
Step 5: If you haven’t already done so, turn on Steam Deck and Display. Wait at least a few seconds for the deck to switch to the external display. If it doesn’t seem to work, check the HDMI port’s input number and make sure your display is set to the correct input. Sometimes disconnecting and reconnecting your HDMI cable also resolves recognition issues.
Step 6: Keep your Steam Deck up to date. Valve has said they are working on improving the docking experience with all external displays. You want to take advantage of any software bug fixes or connection updates.
To learn more tips and tricks for the Steam Deck, check out our guide to some of the best things you can do with your steam deck†