How to Fix Steam Deck Screen Flickering

Do you have Steam Deck screen flickering issue? Several factors can cause this issue such as a software issue, broken HDMI cable, or faulty Steam Deck dock. To fix Steam Deck flickering issue, you will need to perform several troubleshooting steps.

The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming hardware developed by Valve. You may play on the go or by attaching an external display monitor with the Steam Deck. Even games made for Windows PCs can be played on this platform if you buy them via the Steam store. Through the Proton compatibility layer, this is made possible. Users of Steam Decks can install any necessary programs, including new non-Steam games and alternative operating systems, thanks to the software’s open platform nature.

Steam Deck Technical Specifications

Processor:

AMD APU
CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
APU power: 4-15W

RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 on-board RAM (5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels)

Storage:

64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)
256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)
512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)

Resolution: 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio)

Display size: 7″ diagonal

Brightness: 400 nits typical

Refresh rate: 60Hz

Touch enabled: Yes

Sensors: Ambient light sensor

Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0 (support for controllers, accessories and audio)

Wi-Fi: Dual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac

Channels: Stereo with embedded DSP for an immersive listening experience

Microphones: Dual microphone array

Headphone / mic jack: 3.5mm stereo headphone / headset jack

Digital: Multichannel audio via DisplayPort over USB-C, standard USB-C, or Bluetooth 5.0

Input: 45W USB Type-C PD3.0 power supply

Battery: 40Whr battery. 2 – 8 hours of gameplay

microSD: UHS-I supports SD, SDXC and SDHC

External connectivity for controllers & displays: USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode support; up to 8K @60Hz or 4K @120Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2

Fix Steam Deck Screen Flickering

How to Fix Steam Deck Screen Flickering

The screen flickering is one of the problems that Steam Deck owners could run through. This may occur after turning on the Steam Deck or while others are watching you play. There are times when the flickering issue goes away on its own, but more frequently, you’ll need to identify the cause.

Here’s what you need to do to fix Steam Deck screen flickering issue.

Fix #1 Force Reboot your Steam Deck

The first thing to do when you have flickering issue with you screen is to do a reboot with your button. You could be experiencing a temporary software issue with your Steam Deck. By doing a restart you refresh the Steam Deck’s Steam OS.

Fix #2 Check HDMI Cable

Bad HDMI connections are one of the things that can lead to the Steam Deck flickering problem on the monitor. To ensure that the HDMI cables are firmly attached, try to unplug them out and plugging them back in.

You can also consider cleaning the HDMI cables.

Take off the HDMI cable that is attached to the monitor’s back.

Blow carefully over the contacts on the cable and in the monitor’s connector to clean them.

Reposition the cables on the Monitor and Steam Deck dock by firmly pushing them into the slots.

Turn on the monitor and check if the screen is flickering.

A faulty HDMI cable may occasionally be the root of the issue if it still flicker.

Fix #3 Check Steam Deck Dock

Try to check if the screen flickering issue is cause by your dock. Your dock might have hardware issue that is causing flickering with your external display. If your Steam Deck screen is okay but when you dock it the external monitor is flickering, chances are that the dock is defective.

Fix #4 Factory Reset Steam Deck

If the LCD screen if your Steam Deck is the one having the issue, then you can do a factory reset if you can still press the button and navigate with your Steam Deck, if not go to the next instructions if you cannot press the button.

Factory Resetting Steam Deck

Step 1: On your Steam Deck, tapSteam.

Step 2: Go to System tab.

Step 3: Scroll down and select Factory Reset.

Fix #5 Reimage Steam Deck

If at this point you are still getting the flickering issue with your Steam Deck then you can initiate a reimage of your Steam Deck. Several Steam Deck users have pointed out that this finally fix the issue with their Steam Deck screen.

Step 1: Download the recovery image on Steam. (Make Sure it is the latest version)

Step 2: Prepare a USB key (8GB minimum)

  • On Windows use the Rufus utility. Select the recovery file and write it to your USB.
  • On MacOS you can use Balena Etcher to write the recovery file to your USB drive.
  • On Linux you can also use Balena Etcher to write the recovery file to your USB drive – or from the command line:
    bzcat steamdeck-recovery-4.img.bz2 | dd if=/dev/stdin of=/dev/sdX oflag=sync status=progress bs=128M(set /dev/sdX to the USB device you inserted)

Step 3: Use a USB-C adapter or hub to plug the boot disk in.

Step 4: If it isn’t turned off already, turn off your device. In order to enter the Boot Manager, hold down the Volume Down button while pressing the Power button. When the chime sounds, release the Volume Down button.

Step 5: In the Boot Manager, boot from the ‘EFI USB Device’.

Step 6: Once the Steam booted you can choose recovery options for Steam deck.

Re-image Steam Deck – Performs factory reset

Clear local user data – Reformats the home partitions

Reinstall Steam OS – This will reinstall SteamOS

Recovery tools – Make changes to the Steam Deck boot partition.

If the issue persist you can contact valve for an RMA.

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Carl

Carl has been a tech writer since he started college. He loves writing about technology and he loves talking about it, too. He has been writing for online publications for years and he enjoys writing articles that can help out his readers. He is an avid gamer and his current favorite game is Valorant.

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