Steam Deck Dynamic Cloud Sync: Seamless Switching Between Steam Deck and PC

Close-ups of the Steam Deck
(Image credit: Valve)

Whether we're sitting on the couch with a Steam Deck or at our best gaming PC, with Valve’s Dynamic Cloud Sync it will be possible for gamers to switch effortlessly between PC and Steam Deck while preserving their progress. The news comes from a Steam Community blog post posted yesterday. There is a catch though, game developers have to support this capability. 

Normally, when you play a game, but need to stop, you save your progress, exit and then continue either on the same device, or on another one. This is not always the case with handhelds since many will suspend playing. To enable seamless switching, Steam Deck has to save progress automatically and then upload data to the cloud before the device enters sleep mode. 

“We anticipate that users will frequently suspend their Steam Deck without exiting the game, as is common with other hand-held gaming devices,” an explanation by Valve reads. “With Dynamic Cloud Sync, Steam will automatically upload all modified save game data to the cloud prior to the device entering sleep mode. Users can then resume their game on any PC, laptop or other device. Steam will also automatically download any save game changes when users return to their Steam Deck and wake up the device.” 

Valve’s Dynamic Cloud Sync looks like a particularly useful feature for those who play a lot and will therefore make the Steam Deck console more popular among core gamers, something that Valve needs to compete against other handheld gaming platforms, particularly smartphones and Microsoft Xbox’s cloud and remote console gaming. 

There is a catch though. While the capability is free both for game developers and end users, it does not work automatically and developers have to manually enable it n their titles in Steamworks and use some new APIs. Valve have provided a how-to detailing the process of adding the feature to games.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.