How to Take a Screenshot on Steam Deck(Guide)

When playing Steam deck games like Elden Ring or Hi-Fi Rush, you may often feel the urge to take a screenshot on your handheld console. I mean, who doesn’t want to document and enjoy their in-game success and brag about it to their friends? Luckily, Steam Deck makes it painfully easy to take a screenshot, so you can save your favorite in-game moments or adrenaline-pumping action with the click of a keyboard shortcut. And in this guide, we are going to show you how to take a screenshot on Steam Deck and easily share it with your friends. Turn on your Steam Deck and read on.

Capture Screenshots on Steam Deck (2023)

In this article we explain how to take screenshots on your Steam deck both in game and in desktop mode. Then we will show you the steps to upload and share these screenshots with friends and other Steam Deck users.

How to take screenshots on Steam Deck

Take a screenshot in-game

If you want to capture your favorite moments in a game, Steam Deck makes it extremely easy. Follow the steps below to take screenshots while playing:

1. First, Press the steam button on the left side of the screen. Then search and Press the R1 button on the steam deck. Pressing these two buttons at the same time will instantly capture an image of the game and save it as a private image in the screenshot library.

2. The steam deck displays a “Screenshot taken” pop-up notification in the lower-right corner of the screen to confirm that you’ve taken a screenshot.

The same method applies if you want to take a screenshot anywhere in SteamOS. Press the Steam button together with R1 and the system will take a screenshot immediately. Later in this article, we will show you how to upload and share screenshots with friends.

Take a screenshot in desktop mode

While taking screenshots is easy in SteamOS or in-game, this is not the case in desktop mode. You must use a third-party app called “Spectacle” that comes pre-installed on Steam Deck. Follow the steps below to learn how to use it.

  • First, boot into desktop mode on Steam Deck using the guide linked here. Then click the “Application Launcher” (Steam Deck) button on the taskbar to bring up the menu.
  • From here, use the right trackpad to hover your mouse pointer over the Utilities category. In the right pane you will find “play”, an open-source screenshot app pre-installed on Steam Deck that allows users to take screenshots in desktop mode. Click to open the app. Follow this guide if you don’t know how to left or right click on Steam Deck.
  • Like any other screenshot app, Spectacle lets you capture the entire screen, an active window, a specific region, and more. You can also assign keyboard shortcuts from the Configure option here, making it easier for you to take screenshots on Steam Deck.

Capture high-resolution screenshots on Steam Deck

By default, Steam doesn’t capture high-resolution screenshots, and they’re slightly compressed. This is probably done to save space on the handheld since it has limited memory. To ensure your Steam Deck takes lossless screenshots, follow the steps below:

  • Go to desktop mode and open the Steam app from the icon on the desktop.
  • Once opened, click on the “Steam” option in the top left corner and select “Settings” from the drop-down menu. This opens the settings window.
  • From the left sidebar, go to the “In-Game” settings. Activate here “Save an uncompressed copy” Tick for captured screenshots.
  • Steam now creates high-resolution screenshots on your console. Spectacle, on the other hand, lets you adjust the screenshot quality under the Configure option. Adjust the slider to the desired compression percentage.
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Where are screenshots located on Steam Deck?

A user may want to find the screenshot they took in SteamOS or in-game without sharing it publicly. There are two ways to find all of the screenshots you capture on the Steam Deck, and we’ll explore both here:

The easiest way to find and share your Steam Deck screenshots is of course SteamOS. Just go to the media area and follow our instructions:

  • First press the “Steam” button to access the menu. Navigate here “Media Library.
  • You will Find all screenshots recorded here on the handheld. Here you can choose whether you want to show public, private or all screenshots.
  • Screenshots taken on the Steam deck are private by default, but you can adjust privacy settings and share the image on Steam. Simply select an image with the A button and press the “Option” button on the Steam deck.
  • In the Upload Screenshot pop-up menu that appears, select the appropriate privacy settings and clickConfirm‘ to upload the image to Steam and access it from your desktop (as explained below).

Alternatively, you can go to desktop mode on Steam Deck to find all the screenshots. Not only will we show you how to access it through the Steam app, but also how to search for files. Follow the steps below:

  • Open Steam and click on the “View” option in the top menu bar. Choose here “screenshots” Possibility.
  • In the screenshot window, you can see all the existing screenshots taken on your Steam deck. It also categorizes them accordingly. If you want to know where screenshots are located on your system, select the game from the drop down menu and select Click the View on Disk option. at the bottom.
  • This will open Dolphin File Explorer and shows the actual location where Steam saves the screenshots locally. From here you can easily share the screenshots. We also mentioned the path for the Screenshots folder on Steam Deck here:
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Home > .local > Share > Steam > User Data > [Your Steam ID] >760 > remote control > [GAME ID] > screenshots

In the case of Spectacle, the software saves screenshots in the Pictures folder by default. Therefore, go to “Pictures” in Dolphin file explorer to find screenshots in desktop mode.

How to share Steam deck screenshots to PC

Currently, Steam Deck does not offer a built-in option for users to transfer files from the console to their PC. While local game broadcasting was recently introduced and is currently in beta, screenshot sharing requires some additional work on the user’s part. There are two easy ways to share screenshots through your Steam Deck:

Method #1: Share via email

Almost every screenshot included in this article has been shared via email. While the process may sound cumbersome, it is convenient since Steam Deck is a Linux PC. Follow these steps to share the screenshots:

  • Open the desired browser on Steam Deck and sign in to an email service with your email ID and password. We use Gmail in this tutorial.
  • Then compose an email and attach any necessary screenshots from the Dolphin file explorer on your Steam deck. When you’re done, click the Submit button. Now go to your PC and download the received images.

Method #2: Sharing with Warpinator

The second method of sending images from Steam Deck to OC is the most convenient. Warpinator is local file transfer software that allows users to transfer files on the local network. For this method, follow the steps below:

  • First, Download Warpinator on your Steam deck. To do this, open Discover (App Store) from the taskbar and search for Warpinator. From the search results, click the Install button.
  • Now go to your desktop PC and download Warpinator. If you are a Windows user, click this link to download the software. Once installed, open the software.
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note: Make sure your Steam Deck and desktop PC are connected to the same network to transfer these screenshots successfully. Since Warpinator is local file transfer software, this method will not work if both systems are not on the same network.

  • If both devices are on the same network, the app will show both and allow you to connect. Connect your PC to the Steam Deck.
  • Once connected, click “send files‘ to browse screenshots on your Steam Deck and send them to the target PC. On the desktop PC, accept the incoming files.
  • You have now successfully transferred screenshots from Steam Deck to your system. To view the screenshots, go to Documents and open the Warpinator folder.

Take screenshots and share them on Steam Deck

That’s pretty much all you need to know about how to screenshot on Steam Deck. Capturing a screenshot on Steam Deck is easy and simple. However, the desktop mode requires you to jump through some hoops. We’ve also specified where screenshots are saved on Steam Deck, along with two different methods to share them with yourself, your friends, and other Steam users. So, what games are you currently playing and planning on taking cool in-game moments for screenshots? Let us know in the comments below.

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