Valve is letting users test Steam Deck UI in Big Picture mode

Steam Deck Big Picture

A new interface is coming to the PC-TV setup

Valve is planning to update its Big Picture viewing mode with the new interface it designed for the Steam Deck. The Steam manufacturer has the new user interface on the beta right now.

This update was announced a while ago, but it looks like it could be rolling out soon. Already, the feature is available in the Steam client through its beta options.

As detailed in a news post, you just need to opt into the Steam Client beta. Then, head over to the properties and add the “-gamepadui” launch parameter. There’s also a forum open for feedback.

Big Picture is Valve’s special set-up for users who want a Steam UI that’s more conducive to a TV set-up. And since that often entails a gamepad in hand, the Steam Deck UI does seem like a good fit.

The updated Big Picture mode now includes a new Home Screen, a Universal Search, and optimized Steam Store for controller navigation.

A new configurator should make it easier for adjusting and creating custom controller configurations. And updated game overlay, system menu, and quick access menu should hopefully make jaunting around Steam’s interfaces easier.

A new lens

I’ve been spending more and more time using my Steam Deck, and have also used the old Steam Big Picture UI a fair bit, and have to say: this all feels like a good upgrade.

The user interface certainly isn’t the sole reason that Steam Decks are becoming pretty darn popular, but the general experience on them is solid. I’ve had little trouble navigating its menus or finding what I need to.

So for those who play PC on the TV or still have a Steam Link stashed away somewhere, this is nice to see. The beta is currently live to opt into and test out for yourself.

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Eric Van Allen
Senior Editor - While Eric's been writing about games since 2014, he's been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.
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