Steam Deck Frame Rate Limiter Seems to Add Substantial Input Latency

The newly introduced Steam Deck Frame Rate Limiter may be causing a lot of input latency for users overjoyed with the new feature.

The “steam deck price ” is a popular item in the gaming community. However, it seems that adding the frame rate limiter to this device adds substantial input latency.


Valve just issued a new steam deck beta patch that includes experimental support for modifying the screen refresh rate of games on the well-received portable, but it comes with a huge caveat, according to reports. According to Dacvak’s tests, utilizing the new ability to restrict the frame rate, which can be reached through a slider in SteamOS’ Performance page, may add a significant amount of input delay. Depending on the configuration, the latency might be as high as 200 milliseconds.

  • 31.8 milliseconds (upcapped)
  • 75.8ms at 60 frames per second
  • 145.9ms at 30 frames per second
  • 32.5ms at 50hz/uncapped
  • Cap: 94.2ms at 50hz/50fps
  • Cap: 186.1ms at 50hz/25fps
  • 34.3ms at 40hz/uncapped
  • 40hz/40fps cap: 121.1 milliseconds
  • Cap: 232.0ms at 40hz/20fps

PSA: Enabling the Framerate Limiter increases input latency significantly (timings inside) (r/SteamDeck).

I used an iOS app called “Is It Snappy?” to do the latency testing, which records video at 240 frames per second and allows you to pin a start and finish point to compute the difference in milliseconds. Because this is a 240fps recording, there is always a +/- 4ms margin of error, therefore I take 5 distinct timings and average them out to compensate (represented in the data above).

The beginning point for my latency time is when the button is completely pushed, and the ending point is when the first visible change on the screen occurs. (This is known as “button-to-photon” delay.) All of my testing were done in the settings menu of Rogue Legacy 2, since it had the lowest latency and was the most reliable game I had attempted.

The result is that activating ANY framerate limiter limitation increases input delay significantly. The Steam Deck, on the other hand, already has a fantastic button-to-photon ratio, thus activating the 60fps maximum is entirely playable in most games, while the 30fps cap is viable in a few. These are just my thoughts; certainly, your preferences will decide your own limits.

As part of its SteamOS 3.2 beta patch, Valve implemented experimental support for altering the in-game screen refresh rate on the Steam Deck, which was published last Wednesday, April 29. Previous reports showed that restricting frame rate was an efficient means of prolonging the Battery Life of the portable, therefore the functionality was eagerly anticipated by gamers searching for a way to increase playtime on the Steam Deck.

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