Steam Deck freezes with black screen

For about a year now, I’ve been in possession of a Steam Deck. A very cool console, although “portable PC” is more accurate.

Lately, however, the Deck would often freeze in the middle of a game. The screen would briefly turn black, then the game would return but was unresponsive. I could still hear the game’s audio, the audio didn’t seem to freeze.

Very frustrating, and I’ve already contacted Steam support about sending the device in. Quite inconvenient, especially when you plan to take it on vacation in a week.

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Things I’ve tried

  • Reset to factory settings
  • Swapping the SD card
  • Changing the DNS settings to Google’s server (8.8.8.8), even though it doesn’t really make sense. This suggestion was made on Reddit.
  • Complete OS reinstallation (Reimage)
  • Enabling the old, classic fan control – I suspected the Steam Deck was overheating.

Sadly, none of these worked and the console kept crashing.

What’s the solution?

After thorough research, I found the solution on Reddit. Here are the steps I followed. Now, my Steam Deck runs for hours without crashing.

Step 1 – Reset the APU Cache

  • Turn off the console completely.
  • Hold down the volume down (-) and quick menu (…) buttons.
  • While still holding the buttons, turn on the console.
  • Once the Steam logo appears, release both buttons.

The console’s startup might take longer than usual.

Step 2 – Activate Battery Storage Mode

  • Disconnect the charger if connected.
  • Turn off the console.
  • Hold the volume up (+) button and turn on the console.
  • Navigate to Setup Utility – Power – Battery Storage Mode.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.
Battery Storage Mode des Steam Deck aktivieren
In this menu you can activate Battery Storage Mode of the Steam Deck

The console will turn off. Wait for 1-2 minutes, then plug in the charger, and the console will turn on.

In rare cases, the Steam Deck might turn off when you unplug the charger. To fix this, you need to go back into Battery Storage Mode.

Step 3 – The last resort

If the first two steps don’t work, you can try limiting the CPU. For instance, I set Diablo 4 to a limit of 1,200 MHz. That’s still enough for running dungeons at 30 FPS. In the open world, the FPS drops significantly, but that’s an issue even on my gaming PC.

Step 4 – The very last resort

If steps 1-3 didn’t help, you probably have a faulty console. The only option left is to contact Steam support, open a ticket, and send your Steam Deck in via RMA. Sorry. 🙁

Letzte Aktualisierung am 2024-02-28 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API

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