Valve’s Steam Deck is a huge success, thanks to a combination of great hardware and efficient software. If you don’t have one yet and would like to check the latter out, Valve is now letting users try out the Steam Deck user interface via the desktop version of Steam. It’s a new option for beta users – all you need to do is adjust a few settings for the TV-style Big Screen interface. (Does that make it the Small Picture Interface? Who knows.)
This is what you have to do.
Step 1: Switch to the beta version of Steam if you haven’t already.
Step 2: Edit the shortcut for the Steam executable. In Windows, you can search for “Steam” in the Start menu, right-click the Steam shortcut, and click “Open file location” to find it quickly. The default location is in your User folder, so /AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Common/Programs/Steam.
Step 3: Right-click the shortcut, then click “Properties”. Add -gamepadui to the end of the Target field, then click “OK”.
Step 4: Launch Steam using the modified shortcut. If it is already running, restart the program.
You can navigate the interface with a mouse and keyboard just fine, but it works much better if you have a controller handy. Most of the features of Steam can be accessed in this interface, although it may take you a little longer to get to the advanced settings. To return to the standard interface, simply remove the “-gamepadui” text from the Steam shortcut.