Step-by-Step Guide: How to Open Keyboard on Steam Deck

To cope with the rapid advancement in technology, Valve, created a portable gaming device called the Steam Deck. With full-size controls placed exactly where you need them to be, the Steam Deck was designed for lengthy play sessions whether you’re using trackpads or thumb sticks.

A common query from users is, “How do I use a keyboard on Steam Deck?”

Valve made sure customers could simply utilise the buttons and triggers on its portable console to navigate the desktop interface. Therefore, we will describe how to bring up the keyboard when using Steam Deck’s desktop mode in today’s article.

keyboard in steam deck(Image source: Valve)

Accessing the Steam Deck Keyboard

The fact that Valve fails to provide instructions on how to use the virtual keyboard features in desktop mode is a significant issue with the keyboard. It might take you a long time to figure out the shortcut for the virtual keyboard.

Let’s look at the step-by-step procedure to access the Steam deck keyboard.

Launching the Steam Deck virtual keyboard

Firstly, choose the field you need to type in by clicking it with the mouse. When using the mouse, select the text field by pressing it. The R2 button on the right trackpad. You can also use the touchscreen as an alternative.

Press “Steam” on the bottom left and “X” on the top right together as soon as you see the cursor in the text field.

steam deck keyboard

You are good to go. Your virtual keyboard is visible on your Steam deck desktop.

steam deck keyboard01

You can use the trackpads, the D-pads, the touchscreen, or the right joystick in order to use the keyboard on your console.

Customising the virtual keyboard layout

In order to customise the layout of the virtual keyboard follow the following procedure.

The first step is to press Windows key+I in order to open settings.

steam deck keyboard02

Then, select the Taskbar option under Personalization in the settings.

steam deck keyboard03

Now click on Touch Keyboard.

steam deck keyboard04

With the help of the sidebar here, you can alter the keyboard’s size. On the same screen, there are also options to change themes and key text size.

steam deck keyboard05

In order to change the layout, quickly open the touch keyboard and click on the cog icon in the top left corner of the keyboard and select the option Keyboard layout.

steam deck keyboard06

Enabling/disabling auto-correct and predictive text

Both auto-correct and predictive text can be enabled through the setting application. You need to press the Windows key and type “Typing settings” and press enter.

steam deck keyboard07

Connecting an External Keyboard

Let’s discuss the step-by-step procedure for connecting the external keyboard.

Compatible keyboard options

A compatible keyboard means the keyboard must be able to access every feature. By utilising the Tab key and other keystrokes, users can access and switch between links, buttons, forms, and other features. Websites shouldn’t need a mouse to function.

There are two types of keyboards that require less effort in connecting.

1. Bluetooth keyboards

A Bluetooth keyboard is simply a wireless keyboard that enables communication between PCs, tablets, and laptops using radio frequency (RF) technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth or infrared (IR).

2. USB keyboards

A USB keyboard is an input gadget that attaches to a computer or another device using a USB port. They are frequently used with additional input devices, like a mouse, to form a full computing system.

Pairing and connecting a Bluetooth keyboard

Open the Settings app, select Devices from the menu, and then select “Bluetooth & other devices.” As shown in the screenshot below, the Bluetooth switch should be turned on. If it’s not, click or tap it to make it active.

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Now, Windows will launch a Bluetooth setup wizard named “Add a device.” Select Bluetooth here.

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Select Bluetooth here and your device is ready to pair.

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Connecting a USB keyboard

We can connect the USB keyboard to the USB ports present on the back or front of the computer. An external keyboard can be connected to one of the USB ports on a laptop as well. A USB hub would be required in the absence of USB ports.

steam deck keyboard


Enhancing Gameplay with Keyboard Shortcuts

On Windows, selecting options and navigating menus are typically done with the mouse. However, in the quick-paced digital age, increasing productivity has taken precedence. Therefore, for quick results, you can simply press two or more keys at once rather than using your mouse to cycle through the options. Microsoft has added numerous keyboard shortcuts for navigating more swiftly and effectively over time, which will increase your productivity.

Common keyboard shortcuts in Steam games

Steam Deck has a wide range of offerings to its users. You may use these unnoticed shortcuts to take a screenshot, activate the on-screen keyboard, and adjust the brightness of the screen‌.

Some shortcuts in Steam games are-

B + Steam (long press)

forcing the game to end

Steam + X: Manifest the on-screen keyboard

Steam + L1: On/off the magnifier tool

Steam + R1: For taking a screenshot

Steam + L2 (soft pull): Right mouse click.

Creating custom keyboard shortcuts

You can make your keyboard shortcuts more personalized by associating them with a command, macro, typeface, style, or commonly used symbols.

Steps to personalize your keyboard shortcuts.

  • Start key shortcuts on the keyboard with CTRL or a function key.
  • Press the key combination you wish to assign in the Press new shortcut key box. For instance, hit CTRL along with the desired key.
  • If the combination of keys is already assigned to a command or other item, check the Current keys (or Currently assigned to). Enter a different combination if the first one is already assigned.
  • Choose Assign.

Recommend Steam Deck accessories

Talking of the most recommended Steam Deck accessories, Ugreen Steam Deck Dock 6-in-1 USB C Docking Station is being widely appreciated by the people. The UGREEN Steam Deck Dock has an HDMI connector that supports 4K@60Hz, as well as 2K@144Hz and 1080P@240Hz. You may use it to connect the majority of resolution and refresh rate monitors to Steam Deck and take advantage of a high-quality and fluid gaming experience.

The UGREEN USB 6-in-1 C Docking Station for Steam Deck has a Gigabit Ethernet connector. Steam Deck can be connected to a wired network for faster game downloads and a more fluid online gaming experience, doing away with high latency on wireless networks.

keyboard in steam deck01

Key features of UGREEN USB 6-in-1 C Docking Station for Steam Deck

  • It includes one USB C port and two USB 3.0 ports.
  • It can transmit data at a rate of up to 5Gbps.
  • It is simple to connect external keyboards, mice, game controllers, hard drives, U discs, and other devices to Steam Deck.
  • It enables a maximum of 20V 5A power input with the 100W PD 3.0 rapid charging connector.

Benefits of using Ugreen Steam Deck Dock

  • It’s undoubtedly the most economical portable gaming system.
  • Valve’s Steam Deck Dock is a sleek and understated piece of hardware.
  • The dock is solidly constructed; it has no flex or weak points.
  • The Dock will continue to function in the absence of power by using the Steam Deck’s battery.


After going through the information mentioned about the Steam Deck and the ways of assessing the keyboard Steam Deck, it is clear that ‌ Valve’s creation of  a portable gaming device called the Steam Deck has brought a revolution in the world of gaming.  It is also clear that installing & using a keyboard on Steam Deck is an effortless job.

In order to make the gaming procedure more interesting and provide a top-notch quality steam deck, Ugreen Steam Deck Dock 6-in-1 USB C Docking Station is being widely appreciated by the people.  Its multiple features make it more reliable and recommendable to people.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use any Bluetooth or USB keyboard with my Steam Deck?

No, although the Steam Deck has Bluetooth functionality, it lacks USB ports for a keyboard.

2. Is there a way to connect a mouse to my Steam Deck?

Yes, you may connect a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to your steam deck via the hub or docking station.

3. How can I reset my keyboard settings to default?

Using the Control Panel and Settings, you can restore your keyboard to its factory settings.

4. Can I use keyboard and controller inputs simultaneously in games?

It is workable, but sharing a screen with another person is required.


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