So, how to open the Steam Deck desktop mode keyboard? The Steam Deck is more than just a handheld gaming device; in essence, it’s a portable computer that runs on the Linux operating system. So while using it, you can encounter a few faults or defects. It is not immediately obvious how to manually bring up the virtual keyboard, and there are times when it does not display even though it should.
This article will discuss using the keyboard in Desktop Mode on Steam Deck.
So, let’s get right into it!
Does Steam Deck Work With Keyboard and Mouse?
Yes, you can use your own Keyboard or mouse with the Steam Deck
The Steam Deck has its own docking station, enabling it to connect to USB devices, external screens, ethernet connections, and charge itself.
You can connect a keyboard and mouse to it, or if you prefer to game with the Steam Deck docked, you can use your preferred wired gaming controller. Alternatively, you can also use a wireless gaming controller. The docking station is an item that is available separately from the Steam Deck handheld. However, the handheld features Bluetooth, which means it can already connect to peripherals straight out of the box.
The Steam Deck is essentially a little, fully working PC since it is compatible with a mouse, keyboard, and other peripherals. Valve has made very few compromises in the design of this device. For example, suppose the user wants to use it as a conventional PC in addition to having the convenience of immediate mobility. In that case, they may even change the Linux-based operating system that is on it with Windows.
Here’s how to connect a physical keyboard and mouse to your Steam Deck:
Use a compatible wireless keyboard, mouse, or another input device with your Steam Deck. Wireless devices are now the most reliable method to get your keyboard and mouse to operate with a Steam Deck. Products such as the Steam Deck Docking Station are not yet available for purchase. However, as soon as the Docking Station is available, it will be simpler to handle wired connections.
The Steam Deck, to its credit, comes standard with unrestricted compatibility for Bluetooth 5.0, which indicates that it is compatible with all types of Bluetooth devices. So, for example, suppose you are interested in purchasing a new Bluetooth keyboard or mouse.
Before you try to link your keyboard and mouse for the first time with your Steam Deck, you must be sure that you completely charge them, switch them on, and the devices are ready to go. Make sure each is prepared to start working by checking for features such as pairing buttons on both.
Changing the mode of the Steam Deck to Desktop Mode to use a keyboard or mouse is unnecessary. Click the QAM button, denoted by a question mark and located in the far right-hand corner of the Deck. This button brings up the menu on the right-hand side. To access the Quick settings menu, scroll down until you reach the gear icon at the bottom of this page.
Choose the “Other” option at the bottom of the “Quick Settings” menu. This option should reveal a compact menu about Bluetooth. Be sure that Bluetooth is switched on at this location since it may not be on by default.
Access the settings menu by leaving the QAM menu and selecting the Steam button. Then, navigate your way down to the Settings menu and select it.
Choose Bluetooth from the list of options on the left. On the screen on the right, you’ll find all the Bluetooth choices currently available to you. Take a look at the part of the page that’s labeled Available to Pair. Keep the keyboard and the mouse close to your Steam Deck. If the keyboard of the mouse comes with pairing buttons, press them.
Select your keyboard and mouse from the list of available devices to pair as soon as you see them appear, wait for your Steam Deck to pair, and then connect. There is a possibility that it will take several seconds for each device.
You should check your controllers’ layout if you want to play a game using just a keyboard and mouse. The Steam Deck attempts to transition to an external device layout when it detects attached devices. However, this doesn’t always function well for a keyboard and mouse combination.
On the Steam Deck, choose the game you wish to play, and then pick the Controller icon on the right side of the game’s title. This icon will access the controller settings, where you can check out the layout you’re using right now. To see further possibilities for the layout, choose the arrow that points to the right on the current plan. Finally, you should switch to that keyboard and mouse arrangement if you see one accessible.
Suppose there is no template for a keyboard and mouse. In that case, you can always design your own by selecting a new layout, going to Edit, then going to the Mouse and Keyboard sections at the top of the menu. You can specify your own commands and do other things in these areas.
The keyboard and mouse controls’ functionality will not be the same in every game. However, this level of customization may be helpful. Ensure that your Deck does not go back to a different layout the next time you begin a game. If necessary, reorganize the priority of your layouts so that this does not happen.
If you are already in Desktop Mode, you can access these choices directly from the Desktop menu at the bottom right of the screen. There, you will see a button labeled “Bluetooth.” Simply put, configuring your keyboard and mouse is far more convenient before transitioning to Desktop mode.
How to Use Desktop Mode on Steam Deck?
Follow these steps to use Desktop Mode on the Steam Deck:
Please turn on your Steam Deck and then press and hold the Power button for a few seconds once it has finished booting. Maintain pressure on the button until a new menu appears.
Pick the option to Switch to Desktop Mode.
Your Steam Deck is operating in Desktop Mode now. However, working in the mode will be much simpler for you if you attach a keyboard and mouse (the trackpad is functional but isn’t very impressive).
In addition, we recommend connecting to a laptop or monitor so that you can use a bigger screen, which will improve your visibility.
What other options do you have now that you’ve switched to Desktop Mode? In such a case, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the pre-installed applications that allow you to make some adjustments rapidly.
You can locate a wide selection of emulators inside the Discover Software Center program (indicated by the blue bag symbol), which is among the most often used. You may be able to play games using these emulators even if Steam does not directly support them. Pick the programs that you wish to have installed.
You can search for a wide range of additional programs, such as browsers, certain games, and music players, using the Discover app. It may even let you play games on your Xbox if you have the appropriate configuration.
If you have worked with Linux in the past, you will be able to see that the Deck is a read-only system that does not allow for too many substantial changes. Despite this, you can still use the Terminal and execute commands and make particular modifications to the files located on your Deck.
This feature allows you to use the “passwd” command to establish a password and activate the sudo commands. However, you should only do this if you have significant experience working in a Linux environment and are familiar with the modifications you want to implement.
Suppose you play around with the Linux features a bit too much and start to screw up your Deck. In that case, there is a chance that you can repair it, but to do so, you will need to execute a recovery procedure. There is a guide available on Steam that will walk you through managing recovery. However, you will need a suitable USB-C adaptor or dock to connect to the USB stick.
You can easily return to the gaming mode at any time by selecting the icon labeled “Return to Gaming Mode” in the top left corner of the screen. However, you can switch between the two modes at any time. However, we recommend you avoid doing so in the middle of a game.
How Do I Bring up the Keyboard in Desktop Mode Steam Deck?
Press the STEAM and X buttons to access the virtual keyboard function available on the Steam Deck. Both the default SteamOS layout and the Desktop Mode provide access to this feature for your use.
You may, however, be required to have the desktop version of Steam running in the background while you are using Desktop Mode. In addition, you may access the Desktop Mode by selecting the desktop icon on your Steam client.
It is important to keep in mind that the virtual keyboard feature of the Steam Deck is not yet fully developed and is a relatively new addition to the program. Although Valve has said that they are attempting to improve this, you may still find that using a real mouse and keyboard is the better option in some circumstances.
How to Change the Steam Deck Keyboard Theme?
The Steam Deck keyboard makes it simple for you to speak with other people. However, you can also modify the keyboard’s appearance to reflect your tastes. The following is an explanation of how to change the theme of the Steam Deck keyboard:
Select Settings from the menu that appears when you press the Steam button.
Move your cursor to the bottom of the screen and choose the Keyboard menu.
You will see a choice for the “Current Keyboard Theme.” You can make your selection from among several pre-installed themes by scrolling through this list accessible.
In addition, you can get access to more virtual keyboard themes by choosing “Find More Keyboard Themes” from the Keyboard Menu. The Deck will then take you to a different page where you can make purchases at the Steam Points Shop to customize the appearance of your virtual keyboard.
The Steam Points Shop is a market where you may use Steam Points to buy unique avatars, badges, backgrounds, and other features that you can use to personalize your Steam account.
When you purchase something in the Steam store, regardless of how much you spend, you will get 100 points. The prices for virtual keyboard themes range from around 5,000 to 7,000 Steam Points each.
Final Words – How to Open the Keyboard in Desktop Mode on Steam Deck?
The Steam Deck is full of controls; in fact, there are so many controls that Steam Deck users can make various modifications to how it operates and how you play it. However, it was not quite successful in squeezing in a foldable keyboard and a retractable mouse, so you will have to provide those components on your own.
The trackpad that comes with the Deck is not that good. The left trackpad is the primary click, and the right trackpad is the secondary click. The virtual keyboard available with the Deck is much more reliable, and you can press Steam X to access the on-screen keyboard.
Setting up a mouse or keyboard on the Steam Deck is very easy. You will mostly switch to this option while playing some games that don’t play the same without the keyboard or when you do some keyboard-necessary work.
Read Also: How to Use Discord on Steam Deck?