This article describes how to connect a mouse and keyboard to a Steam Deck.
How to Use Steam Deck with A Mouse and Keyboard
The Steam Deck supports a range of accessories that can be connected by USB or Bluetooth. Because the Steam Deck only has one USB-C connector, attaching a mouse and keyboard requires a USB-C dock or hub. However, because Bluetooth is embedded into the system, you don’t need any additional hardware to connect a wireless mouse and keyboard as long as they use Bluetooth and not a proprietary 2.4GHz system.
The technique for attaching a mouse and keyboard to your Steam Deck through Bluetooth vary depending on whether you connect them in game mode or desktop mode. In desktop mode, it works exactly like connecting a Bluetooth device to any Linux machine, however in game mode, the process is dependent on the Steam Deck’s settings menu.
How to Connect a USB Mouse and Keyboard to A Steam Deck
If you own a USB-C hub or dock, you can connect a USB mouse and keyboard to your Steam Deck. The hub or dock must have enough ports to support both the mouse and keyboard. If you plan on using your keyboard and mouse for extended periods of time, a powered USB-C hub is the best option because the USB-C port used to connect peripherals like a mouse and keyboard is also the connection used to charge the device.
- Here’s how to connect a USB mouse and keyboard to your Steam Deck:
- Connect a USB-C hub or dock to your Steam Deck.
- Connect your mouse and keyboard to the hub or dock.
- Your Steam Deck will detect the mouse and keyboard and allow you to use them right immediately.
How to Connect a Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard in Game Mode
The Steam Deck also supports Bluetooth mouse and keyboard connections. You can connect in either game or desktop mode, and the devices will stay linked even if you switch between them.
- Here’s how to connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to a Steam Deck in game mode:
- Press the Steam Button.
- Select Settings.
- Choose Bluetooth.
- Check the Bluetooth toggle to make sure it’s turned on, and tap it if it isn’t, then put your mouse in pairing mode.
- Choose the mouse from the list of possible devices.
- Put your keyboard in pairing mode and pick it when it appears in the list of available devices.
Read More- How to enable or disable Bluetooth on a Mac
How to Connect a Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboard in Desktop Mode
If you connect a mouse and keyboard in game mode, you can transition to desktop mode and they will remain linked and functional. If you want, you can connect a mouse and keyboard right from desktop mode, but it’s a little more complicated because you have to use the touch screen to tap the tiny Bluetooth icon on the taskbar.
- Here’s how to connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to a Steam Deck in desktop mode:
- Select Power from the Steam Button.
- Select Switch to Desktop.
- On the desktop, tap the Bluetooth symbol in the lower right corner of the taskbar.
- Tap Add New Device.
- Set your mouse to pairing mode, then choose it and hit Next when it appears in the list.
Read more- How to Turn on Location Services on Mac
Why Connect a Mouse and Keyboard to Steam Deck?
While the Steam Deck offers a set of built-in controls that work well for many games, they aren’t suitable for all games. Although the Steam Deck allows you to adjust the functionality of the analogue sticks, buttons, triggers, paddles, and touchpads, certain titles only require a mouse and keyboard. If you’re trying to play one of those titles, or simply prefer a mouse and keyboard over a controller, you’ll want to connect these accessories to your Steam Deck.
Another reason to attach a mouse and keyboard to a Steam Deck is the desktop mode option. While it is possible to navigate desktop mode using the touchscreen instead of a mouse and type using the on-screen keyboard, it is inefficient. It can also be difficult to tap on some icons with the touchscreen, and several other functions are all better with a mouse and keyboard. Even dragging and dropping is tough.
If you want to connect your Steam Deck to a monitor and use it for word processing, online browsing, or even gaming, you’ll need a keyboard and mouse. While the on-screen keyboard is adequate for basic tasks like as file searches, it is inadequate for anything more sophisticated.