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Steam Deck battery can drain in under 2 hours in some cases

After getting its hands on the Steam Deck before the console’s official release later this month, Gamers Nexus has found that the mobile PC’s battery life can vary wildly. In its testing, the PC hardware-centric YouTube channel found that the Steam Deck’s battery can drain in just 87 minutes depending on what game users are playing and the settings at which games are being run.

Valve Steam Deck Hardware Review & Analysis: Thermals, Noise, Power, & Gaming Benchmarks

In its testing, Gamers Nexus ran the Steam Deck at 50% brightness with its audio completely turned off. Running Devil May Cry 5 at high settings and turning on VSync, which applies a frame rate cap, saw the console die after two hours of use. However, boosting the game’s settings further and turning off VSync resulted in the console dying in 87 minutes.

That battery life is well under the two hours that Valve advertises on the Steam Deck’s spec page, but that number should be viewed with some skepticism. Valve lists the console’s battery as lasting from two to eight hours, a massive margin that likely takes into account which games are being played. Gamers Nexus took that into account during its testing and decided to run Dead Cells with Vsync on, which drained the Steam Deck’s battery in just under six hours.

It’s not clear what games users would have to play to squeeze a full eight hours of battery life out of their Steam Deck. However, the console’s wide range in battery life likely stems from its equally varied library. Valve has been rating the entirety of Steam’s library, ranking which games would immediately work on the Steam Deck and which would need to be tweaked.

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Otto Kratky
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Otto Kratky is a freelance writer with many homes. You can find his work at Digital Trends, GameSpot, and Gamepur. If he's…
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