There are some great free Steam Deck mods that can improve the performance of your console and add new functionality. In this guide, I’ll go over key mods that you should install on the Steam Deck today.
If you have a favorite mod that you want to recommend to others, comment below and let me know!
What are the Best Steam Deck Mods?
- Decky Loader: A store for custom plugins and customizations for the Deck.
- vibrantDeck: Improve the color saturation and graphics in all of your games.
- SteamDeckRepo: Install custom boot videos for your Steam Deck really fast.
- PowerTools: Optimize the performance of your battery and power usage.
- CryoUtilities: Increase the frames per second of games on your Steam Deck and other performance enhancements.
- TouchProtect Hex Trackpad: Custom trackpad grip to pair with a Steam Deck skin.
Below, I’ll go through each of these mods in full detail.
Formerly known as PluginLoader, Decky Loader is a mod designed to add a plugin store right into your Steam Deck’s options menu. All of the plugins you install from it are easily accessible in the Quick Access Menu section.
Decky Loader also supports plugins for changing system sounds, stylizing your menus, and adjusting your screen saturation. Some of the best plugins are:
- System Toolbox – control various settings in one spot
- DeckFAQs – Adds GameFAQ tutorials into your Deck
- vibrantDeck – Adjust the color settings
- Fantastic – Adjust your fan controls
- Bluetooth – Quickly pair and connect to your Bluetooth devices
- Notebook – Adds a custom notepad into your Deck
- PowerTools – Memory adjustments and tweaks
- AutoSuspend – Add the ability to automatically suspend your session when your battery is low
- TunnelDeck – Enables VPN Support
vibrantDeck is my favorite plugin within the tool and there is a special section for it below.
How to Install Decky Loader on the Steam Deck
Follow these steps to install Decky Loader:
- Tab the Steam button and navigate to the Settings Menu.
- Under System, enable Developer Mods
- Drag the sidebar down and tap on the Developer button.
- Enable CEF Remote Debugging under Miscellaneous.
- Click the Steam button, tap on the power button, and then switch to desktop.
- Launch the Konsole app in Desktop mode.
- Enter in the following command: curl -L https://github.com/SteamDeckHomebrew/decky-loader/raw/main/dist/install_release.sh | sh
- After it is done, apply your changes by selecting Restart Now when prompted.
- Reboot back into gaming mode.
Key Features of Decky Loader
- Contains multiple plugins and customizations for the Deck
- Allows two-way communication between the loader and plugins.
If you’re unimpressed with your Steam Deck’s color saturation or gamma, then you need the vibrantDeck mod. Installing vibrantDeck on your Deck improves your Deck’s color output, vibrancy, and gamma. With a few small tweaks, you can make the picture quality of your screen insanely beautiful.
Here’s how to install vibrantDeck:
- The first step is to power on your Deck and install the Decky Loader (see above).
- Once Decky Loader is install, tap the Quick Access Menu button and click on the shopping cart icon.
- Search for vibrantDeck and install the mod.
- The vibrantDeck plugin logo will show up in the plugin section of your menu. If you can’t find the mod, you may need to restart your Steam Deck.
After successfully installing the vibrantDeck mod, you will see a saturation slider on your Deck. You can adjust the slider to improve the color saturation on a per-game basis.
Key Features of vibrantDeck
- Will improve your Deck’s vibrancy and color saturation.
- Can be adjusted individually in every game.
- The mod is easy to install.
SteamDeckRepo is a mod created by Waylaidwanderer to install boot videos on your Deck with a single click. Boot videos display for a few seconds when you turn your Deck on and Valve added the ability to set a custom video in one of its earlier software updates.
SteamDeckRepo has a full library of boot videos you can browse through. The mod even lets you preview the videos before downloading them. Each video has instructions for you to follow on how to set it up, making the download process painless.
SteamDeckRepo is readily available in your distro store. If you can’t find the plugin in your distro store, then run the following command in Konsole in Desktop mode:
flatpak install –user flathub com.steamdeckrepo.manager
Key Features of SteamDeckRepo
- Easily browse through custom boot videos
- Preview the boot videos
- Install and swap through multiple videos at a time
PowerTools is a Steam Deck mod for power users. The mod lets you toggle through multiple performance settings:
- enable and disable SMT and CPU threads,
- cap battery charge rates
- set GPU frequencies and power
- Display supplementary battery information
PowerTools allows you to adjust the FPS in your games and customize your settings to increase performance and prolong your battery life.
To install PowerTools, you need to install the Decky Loader plugin (instructions above), navigate to the shopping bag icon in your Quick Access menu, find PowerTools, and click on the install button.
Key Features of PowerTools
- Allows you to better manage your Deck’s power.
- Adjust the Deck’s battery charge rate.
- This mod notifies you whenever there’s an issue with your Deck’s battery.
CryoUtilities is a mod you can install on your Steam Deck to enhance your gaming experience and performance. It is the number one tool to increase the frame per second in games on your Steam Deck.
CryoUtilities lets you do many things, including increasing or decreasing swap file size, enabling or disabling TRIM, and changing the swappiness value.
How to Install the CryoUtilities Steam Deck mod
- Switch to Desktop Mode on the Deck and launch your web browser and come to this page.
- Download and install CryoUtilities on your Deck by right clicking and saving this link onto your Desktop.
- Double click the file on your Desktop and let the script run. It will create a few desktop icons on your screen.
- You can then launch CryoUtilities on your Deck.
Key Features of CryoUtilities
- Lets you adjust the size of your swap file and activate or disable TRIM
- Increase the FPS in your Steam Deck games
TouchProtect Hex Trackpad Texture
The last mod today is a popular hardware mod for the Decm. After a long time of using your Steam Deck, you will notice that its trackpad will start to wear out with visible markings from your oily fingers. You can overcome this problem by using the TouchProtect Hex Trackpad Texture mod.
This mod will change the texture of your Deck’s trackpad. It protects your device’s trackpad from dust, dirt, and small falls. It is also 100% removable and leaves no residue.
The TouchProtect Hex Trackpad Texture mod makes it easy for your to find your place on the Deck with your thumb. It’s a good way to refresh your hardware and keep it working great over time.
Key Features of the Hex Trackpad Texture
- This mod is completely removable with no residue.
- Protects your Deck’s Trackpads from wearing out prematurely.
- Adds style and texture to your Trackpads.
What is your favorite mod? Comment down below and let us know!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you get mods on Steam Deck?
Yes, there are many mods for the Deck which can improve its performance and make games run smoother on it. Plugins such as Decky Tools and CryoUtilities allow you to optimize the performance of the Deck.
How do you increase the frames per second on Steam Deck games?
Using a mod called CryoUtilities, you can increase the FPS performance of the Steam Deck. This is done by increasing the size of your SWAP file, which allows your Deck to store and retrieve information more quickly.