How to edit videos on Steam
The Steam Deck is a great gaming device, but it’s also its own personal computer. For many of us, it may be the most powerful computer in the house. Featuring a powerful APU designed for powerful graphics, the device is also capable of rendering videos at speeds that surpass the speed of devices with Intel’s integrated graphics.
So, if Steam Deck is potentially your ultimate video editing machine, here’s how to install it.
Step 1: Switch to Desktop mode
First, you need to convert your game console to a computer. If you’re not already familiar with how it works, the process is pretty simple. If you press and hold the power button on the steam deck, a menu will appear with the following option Go to desktop.
When you select this option, your computer will restart. By default, the desktop appears on the Steam Deck screen. Although you have to wait a few minutes for them to activate, you can control it more easily using the Deck’s touchpads built under the joysticks.
“Click left when pressing the right trigger and right click when pressing left. This may seem counterintuitive, but logic dictates that the dominant finger activates the dominant click form.
Although 1280×800 is a usable resolution, the Steam Deck’s screen is cramped for real video editing, so it’s best to get a dock.
You can purchase an official Valve dock or use a third-party USB-C dock you may already own. You can then connect the Steam Deck to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. At this point, using Steam Deck is like using any other desktop computer.
Step 2: Make sure you have enough storage space
Next, you need to make sure you have enough storage space. Video files can be quite large. You need enough space for the files you want to edit, the size of the completed files, and the space occupied by the rendering process itself.
256 GB or 512 GB bridge
Since storage space is a concern, the 64GB Steam Deck is not an ideal choice. 64GB fills up quickly, especially if you’re using the deck to play games. Some recent titles can occupy all these places on their own.
The 256GB and 512GB Steam Decks have another advantage. They both come with faster NVMe drives, with the 512GB drive offering faster speeds than the 256GB model.
The 64GB Steam Deck uses slower eMMC storage. You may not notice the occasional longer load times in a game, but memory speeds are more noticeable when rendering and transferring large files.
Buy a microSD card
Fortunately, your internal memory is only part of the picture. Regardless of which Steam Deck model you have, you have the option to expand your storage space with a microSD card. If you want to stretch your cash, buying a 256GB card is cheaper than paying extra for a 256GB Steam Deck.
You can also install a 1TB card and enjoy a large workspace. However, when it comes to video production, even 1TB can start to become limiting after a while.
External SSD via docking station
A microSD card is cheap and convenient, but it’s not the most secure form of data storage. If you don’t need to take your files with you, you can choose an external hard drive. Just plug it into your docking station and set it up when you’re ready to go.
This option eliminates any memory space concerns. You can plug in an 8TB drive and shoot video until you have enough power.
Change Steam Deck Internal Memory
Technically, you can also replace the internal SSD that comes with the Steam Deck. It’s not that hard to do if you can use your deck. The key word in this sentence is “if”. Opening the deck without damaging it is the risky part.
Step 3: Install Kdenlive (best choice for many)
Now that you’re in desktop mode and have enough memory to work with, it’s time to install the video editor. Many of the options you know on Windows or macOS won’t be available for Steam Deck.
It comes with SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system. Specifically, you are using the KDE Plasma desktop. The most successful and well-known video editor for KDE Plasma is Kdenlive.
You can find Kdenlive in the app store that comes with Steam Deck, known as Discover. This is not a custom software developed by Valve. Discover new apps, add-ons, and more. is a KDE application to find. This is also the way to remove items you have already installed.
Once installed, if you’ve used a video editor before, you’ll probably be able to handle Kdenlive. Each video editor has its own workflow, but most of the basics are the same.
Are there any other video editors out there?
If you haven’t gotten your hands on a Steam Deck yet, or don’t have one nearby, you can check out Flathub to see what apps are available for the deck. Flathub is a website that distributes Linux applications in the Flatpak format that Steam Deck uses. These apps are available for any Linux desktop, not just Deck.
Here is a list of some of the other open source video editors available:
They are joined by other video-related tools such as HandBrake for converting videos from one format to another and OBS Studio for screencasting.
Several high-end custom video editors, such as DaVinci Resolve and Lightworks, are also available for Linux, but since they are not available in Flatpak format, they may be difficult to use on your Steam Deck.
Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge are all available on SteamOS, so you can also use any video editor available in a web browser.
Steam Deck isn’t just for video games
Should you buy a Steam Deck to edit videos? Probably not. But if you already own one, you may find that it’s the best tool for the job in your home. And if you’re looking for one more reason to buy one, here’s another way to put that potential expense to good use.
If you feel comfortable using the Steam deck desktop mode, you may want to consider installing the KDE Plasma desktop on your computer. This will give you the freedom to use more software than SteamOS allows.