Valve has shared an official Tweet advising Steam Deck users that though possible, it is not recommended to play your portable device outside during the current heatwave. To add context, temperatures have reached a new record high in the UK, having surpassed 40 degrees Celsius. Even more reason not to go outside.
According to Valve, its device performs optimally in ambient temperatures between 0 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius, and if temperatures surpass these thresholds, your “Steam Deck may start to throttle performance to protect itself.”
A follow-up tweet gave insight on the integrated custom quad-core AMD APU; though it can run without a hitch at temperatures of up to 100 degrees Celsius, once it exceeds this threshold it will throttle performance to ‘beat the heat,’ and could possibly degrade device reliability. Furthermore, If temps continue to climb and reach a nominal 105 degrees Celsius, the APU will shut down entirely “to protect itself from damage.”
Valve’s not the only company heeding this advice. Just last week amid scorching weather in Japan, Nintendo issued a similar warning on Twitter with regards to its Nintendo Switch handheld gaming device. The manufacturer suggests the device should not exceed a maximum safe ambient temperature of 35 degrees Celsius.
Portable handheld devices have a reputation for outputting a large amount of heat due to their compact nature, and manufacturers like Valve put tremendous amount of thought and R&D into their devices to ensure optimum cooling performance under even the most strenuous circumstances. Therefore, Valve and Nintendo’s advice should not be taken lightly. Best game inside, at least for now.