Tutorial on using a computer’s keyboard and mouse with Steam Deck

It is possible to play thousands of PC games on the Steam Deck in the palm of your hand, in addition to many more that can be played through emulation or with some little adjustments. The Steam Deck is an extremely flexible piece of technology. Because it has a desktop mode, you may use it either as a PC running Linux or Windows.

On the other hand, using the on-screen keyboard may be cumbersome, which is one of the Steam Deck’s few drawbacks. Thankfully, there are two straightforward methods that can be used to configure a keyboard and mouse such that they are compatible with the Deck. This allows users to completely avoid the problem. The procedure is as follows.

Employ the utilization of a USB Hub or the Steam Official Deck Dock.

Before the advent of the official Steam Deck Dock, the USB hub was your best choice for directly attaching a keyboard and mouse to your Deck. This remained the case even after the arrival of the Steam Deck Dock.

You can purchase a wide variety of them from various technology merchants like Amazon and Newegg, and it is simple to incorporate them into your existing infrastructure. Simply attach all of your cabled devices, such as your keyboard, mouse, Ethernet, and even HDMI and DisplayPort, to the hub, and then connect the hub to the Deck by utilizing the USB-C wire that is included with the hub.

If you have successfully installed everything, that is to say, if everything is plugged in, then you shouldn’t have any problems utilizing your connected devices when you are in Desktop mode. It is expected that this method will work for both wired and wireless devices. In order to utilize your Deck in conjunction with a conventional personal computer system, you will need a second keyboard and mouse combination. This is the primary constraint.

The Steam Deck Dock adheres to the same guidelines outlined in the previous paragraph, and despite the fact that Valve developed it expressly for the Deck, it may still function as a conventional hub, although in an odd manner.

Making Use of the Barrier for the Steam Deck

Tutorial on using a computers keyboard and mouse with Steam Deck 1

The useful piece of software known as Barrier makes it possible for you to utilize the same keyboard and mouse for both your Steam Deck and your primary computer. The initial configuration may require some attention to detail, but after that, it should run like a dream.

To get started, just to the Barrier GitHub page and save the application to your PC from there. Load Desktop mode on your Deck, and search for “Barrier” in the Discovery app store to locate this game.

Launch Barrier on both your personal computer and your deck after it has been successfully installed. Install Bonjour as requested, and make sure that Barrier is not operating at the same time (noted at the bottom right of the menu). Carry out this action for both cases.

Examine the app now that Barrier has been released on both platforms. The server needs to be set up on the primary computer that has a keyboard and mouse connected to it. This is the most important menu choice in Barrier. It is important to make a note of the IP address that is displayed within the app. You will require it in a short while. First, ensure that the “Configure interactively” option is chosen, and then navigate to the “Configure Server” menu.

Tutorial on using a computers keyboard and mouse with Steam Deck 2

You may determine where the Deck will be placed in relation to your computer by clicking and dragging the monitor picture in the upper right corner of the menu down into the grid. If your Deck will be situated above and to the left of the primary computer, you should position the monitor symbol in the upper-left corner of the grid, and your Desktop should be in the middle of the board. Change the name of the new icon to “steam deck,” which is the default name for your Deck’s device within Barrier.

After that, pick Change Settings from the Barrier dropdown menu, which is located in the upper right corner of the app. You may keep everything else on this panel as it is, with the exception of one little button labeled “Enable SSL.” According to all of our research and testing, turning off this option not only on your primary PC but also on the Steam Deck makes things simpler.

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The Deck aspect of the Barrier has to be configured at this point. Select the Client check box when in Desktop mode and with the Barrier open, then de-select the Auto config option. Enter the IP address that is displayed on the version of Barrier that is running on your personal computer, then navigate to Change Settings on the Deck and de-select Enable SSL once more. Each time you use the Barrier ability, you will be required to complete both stages.

When everything is ready, launch the Barrier program on your personal computer, followed by the Steam Deck program. If you can move the mouse from your primary monitor to the desktop of your Deck, then everything is functioning properly on your computer.

Because the transition is determined by where you placed your Deck on the Configure Server page, the top of your monitor will be the location of the transition if your Deck was placed above the computer.

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