Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

How to connect the Steam Deck to a TV or monitor

The Steam Deck has a lot of power for its size, and when you want to game on something bigger, you can by connecting it to a larger display. That can be very useful if you’re playing a game where a bigger screen is important for seeing text or detail, or if you’re on the go and want to share some gaming experiences with a friend group. It also makes certain things, like working in the Linux terminal, much easier when tinkering.

Related Videos




10 minutes

What You Need

  • Steam Deck

  • USB-C to HDMI adapter

  • TV or monitor with HDMI

  • HDMI cable

Ready to get started? Here’s how to connect your Steam Deck to a TV or monitor for a true big-screen experience.

How to connect the Steam Deck to a larger display

We’ll start by going over the hardware you’ll need and 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 breeze!

Step 1: Find a compatible TV or computer monitor. Remember, different games will see different results when moving to a large screen. You can expect a drop in frame rates for many AAA games (although they should still be playable), which means that refresh rate isn’t a large concern. For best performance results, you’ll also want to keep the resolution around 1080p, so 4K support isn’t a big deal 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 will have HDMI ports, so you just need to make sure there’s a free HDMI port for you to use.

LG UltraGear monitors announced at Computex 2022.

Step 2: Next, you need a USB-C to HDMI adapter. The ideal solution here is a Steam Deck Docking Station, a hub that’s designed to support just these kinds of setups. Unfortunately, the Docking Station hasn’t been released yet, and Valve has announced that it has been delayed with no firm end date in sight, so it’s not really an option at this time. Other docks could work, but we prefer to recommend the official dock straight from the source.

The alternative is getting a USB-C to HDMI adapter. Again, because of the limits of the Deck, nearly any adapter will do the job here. This Anker model is an affordable version at $18 that 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.

Anker's USB C to HDMI adapters.

Step 3: You’ll also want to make sure that your HDMI cable is long enough so you don't have to sit right next to the display. HDMI cables that are only a few feet long may not be the right pick unless you can keep your Steam Deck close to the display.

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

Step 5: If you haven’t done so already, turn your Steam Deck and display on. Wait at least several seconds for the Deck to switch to the external display. If it doesn’t look like it’s working, double-check the HDMI port’s input number and make sure your display is on the right input. Sometimes unplugging your HDMI cable and plugging it back in will fix recognition issues, too.

Step 6: Keep your Steam Deck updated. Valve has said they are working to improve the docking experience with all external displays. You’ll want to take advantage of any software bug fixes or connection updates.

If you want to learn more tips and tricks for the Steam Deck, check out our guide on some of the best things you can do with your Steam Deck.

Editors' Recommendations

The most common multi-monitor problems and how to fix them
Dell UltraSharp 27 4K PremierColor Monitor

Multiple monitors have all sorts of advantages -- even over single, enormous ultra-wides -- from improving productivity to providing versatility in their placement on your desk. But the experience isn't always perfect. Sometimes, you plug in a second monitor and it doesn't work at all, or it keeps minimizing your game when you move into it accidentally.

If you've followed our guide on how to set up multiple monitors and you're running into difficulties like the second monitor not displaying properly, not turning on at all, or your games aren't displaying on the right monitor, then check out the list below of the most common multi-monitor problems for your desktop PC or laptop and how to fix them in Windows 10 and 11.

Read more
How to install Windows 11 or Windows 10 on the Steam Deck
A USB-C hub hanging out of the Steam Deck.

Windows 11 and Windows 10 work on the Steam Deck now that Valve has officially released drivers for Microsoft's operating system. It's not as simple as hitting a download button, though. In this guide, we're going to show you how to install Windows on the Steam Deck, both to the internal solide-state drive (SSD) and from a microSD card.

Read more
How to add external games to your Steam library
Steam library.

Steam is the place for PC games, but several games are only available on other storefronts. The Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Connect, Origin, and more have games that you can’t find on Steam. To clean up your desktop gaming experience and make the upcoming Steam Deck a little easier to use, we’re going to show you how to add external games to your Steam library.

Read more