How to Connect the Steam Deck to a TV or Monitor

The Steam Deck packs a lot of power into its compact size, but sometimes you want a bigger display to fully enjoy your games. Whether it’s for better visibility or sharing gaming experiences with friends, connecting your Steam Deck to a TV or monitor can enhance your gaming experience. It also makes tasks like working in the Linux terminal easier when tinkering.

Connecting the Steam Deck to a Larger Display

Let’s start by discussing the necessary hardware and then go through the connection process to ensure a seamless and safe experience. With the right equipment, switching to a TV or monitor is a breeze!

Step 1: Find a compatible TV or computer monitor. Take note that different games may perform differently on larger screens. AAA games, for example, may experience a drop in frame rates (although they should still be playable). Therefore, the refresh rate is not a major concern. For optimal performance, stick to a resolution of around 1080p. 4K support is not essential.

So what do you need? Your display should have an HDMI port. Most modern monitors and TVs come with HDMI ports, so you just need to make sure you have a free one to use.

LG UltraGear monitors announced at Computex 2022.
Image source: OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

Step 2: Next, you’ll need a USB-C to HDMI adapter. While the Steam Deck Docking Station is an ideal solution, it is currently delayed. Therefore, you can opt for a USB-C to HDMI adapter instead. Since the Deck has limited requirements, almost any adapter should do the job. An affordable option is the Anker USB-C to HDMI adapter, priced at $18. Simply connect one end of the adapter to the Steam Deck’s USB-C port and the other end to your display’s HDMI cable.

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Anker's USB C to HDMI adapters.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Ensure that your HDMI cable is long enough, allowing you to sit comfortably away from the display. If your HDMI cable is only a few feet long, it may not be sufficient unless you can keep your Steam Deck close to the display.

Step 4: Connect the HDMI cable to your display and then to the adapter. Connect the adapter’s USB-C cable to your Steam Deck.

Step 5: If you haven’t done so already, turn on your Steam Deck and display. Allow a few seconds for the Deck to switch to the external display. If it doesn’t seem to be working, double-check the input number on the HDMI port and ensure that your display is on the correct input. Sometimes, unplugging and replugging the HDMI cable can resolve recognition issues.

Step 6: Keep your Steam Deck updated. Valve is continuously working to improve the docking experience with all external displays. Make sure to take advantage of any software bug fixes or connection updates.

For more tips and tricks on getting the most out of your Steam Deck, check out our comprehensive guide on OnSpec Electronic, Inc..

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