It's now easier to pair AirPods with your Steam Deck

Stardew Valley on Steam Deck
(Image credit: Valve)

The Steam Deck might be one of my favorite non-Apple pieces of tech in the last few years. A nifty handheld PC that takes the stress out of playing gaming juggernauts like Elden Ring or Cyberpunk 2077, all while on your commute or couch, it's been great since it launched - but it keeps getting better.

That's thanks to regular updates from Valve, with the manufacturer running an easy-to-use beta opt-in system so Steam Deck owners can test new and improved functionality.

The latest update, version 3.6.0, just hit the Preview channel, and it's full of neat improvements to things like the docked gameplay experience, as well as bug fixes, but there's a great improvement for AirPods users.

Valve says the new update has "Improved pairing experience with Apple AirPods", and while we don't quite know what that entails, it's a big step forward.

AirPods Max in different colors

(Image credit: Floating Pixels)

The Steam Deck's AirPods fix is a big win

Whichever AirPods you use, connecting them to your Steam Deck has been a bit of a hassle in the past.

It's not that they don't work, but the pairing process (at least in my experience) can take a few tries, usually with needing to enter pairing mode, or switch Bluetooth off and on again on the Deck.

If Valve's update means I can pretty rapidly connect while on the go, or even makes it easier to switch back to my iPhone, that's a huge improvement.

It's ideally timed, too - Hades 2 launched in early access this week, is Steam Deck verified, and its soundtrack is sensational.

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Lloyd Coombes

Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom. Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more. He’s also the Editor in Chief at, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch, naturally). You can find him on Twitter @lloydcoombes.