Steam Deck Fatal Error [Causes & Fixes]

Encountering this error will end all activities on Steam Deck

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  • Steam Deck Fatal error interrupts your gaming activities, taking you back to the operating system page.
  • Corrupt system files and pending updates can cause the Fatal Error in Steam Deck.
  • Updating the Steam Deck software will install the updates to fix bugs and can resolve the Fatal Error.
steam deck fatal error

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Steam is well-known to gamers because it houses countless games and features. However, users report the Steam Deck fatal error they encounter when using the handheld device, preventing them from accessing their games.

Also, users complain about running into Steam needing to be online to update error.

What is a fatal error?

A fatal error is an error that appears on your PC and devices for numerous reasons, causing your program to terminate without prior warning or saving its state. It stops a program from running due to faulty hardware, bugs and viruses, and other issues.

The error message reads Fatal Error: Steam must be online to update. Please confirm your network connection and try again.

However, encountering the fatal error on Steam Deck returns halts any activity on the program.

What causes fatal errors in Steam Deck?

Some common causes include:

  • Network connection issues – When not connected to a stable and fast network connection, it can affect your activities on the Steam Deck device. Also, it prevents the device from connecting to Steam servers and can result in a Fatal error.
  • Issues with Steam servers – Steam devices and apps are dependent upon the availability and reachability of the Steam servers. Without access to the Steam servers, you can run into the Fatal error on Steam Deck because they cannot be reached.
  • Corrupt game files in the Steam library – Some of your installed games in the Steam library on the Deck can be corrupted or compromised. These games can cause issues with the Steam Deck performance, resulting in the Fatal Error.

The factors responsible for the Fatal error in Steam Deck may vary depending on the device. Nonetheless, we’ll take you through some fixes to resolve the error.

How do I fix the Steam Deck fatal error?

Before trying any advanced steps for the error, proceed with the following preliminary checks:

  • Check your network connection.
  • Restart the Steam Deck handheld and check if the Fatal error persists.

Expert tip:


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Try the solutions below if you can’t fix the error:

1. Verify the integrity of your game files

  1. Power on your Steam Deck and go to the Deck Library.Deck Library
  2. Right-click on the game prompting the fatal error, and select Properties from the drop-down.
  3. Click on Local files and click the Verify integrity of game files button.Verify game integrity on steram deck
  4. Wait for the process to complete and check if it returns any error. Try launching the game and see if it prompts the Fatal Error.

Verifying your game files will resolve issues with poorly installed games. Read what to do if you can’t verify game files integrity on Steam.

2. Connect the Steam Deck to an Android phone

  1. Plug a USB cable into the Steam Deck device and the Android phone.
  2. Go to Settings on your Android phone, and go to Connected devices.
  3. Click on USB, select This device, then click USB tethering.Enable USB tethering through ANdroid settings

Enabling the USB tethering option will share an internet connection with the Steam Deck and help it download and install any pending updates.

3. Update Steam Deck firmware

  1. Press the Steam button on your Steam Deck to open the Steam Menu and click Settings.steam deck seetings
  2. Click on Settings and navigate to System. Click on Check For Updates on the right. If there’s an update available, click the Apply button to install it.check for updates on Steam deck
  3. Once the update is complete, click on the Restart button to incorporate the updates into the Steam Deck device.

Updating the Steam Deck will install the latest patches for fixing bugs and improving its overall performance. It will resolve the Fatal error. You can read our guide on updating the Steam Deck Software for more details.

4. Check the Steam server status

Many issues may occur with devices and services depending on the Steam server if it’s not working or accessible. It can cause several errors because the device can’t communicate with the necessary authorities to run.check steam twitter server

Hence, you can check Steam’s official Twitter page to check if there’s any update regarding the server. If there’s any, wait while they resolve the issue.

5. Factory reset Steam Deck

  1. Press the Steam button on your Steam Deck to open the Steam Menu and click Settings.steam deck seetings
  2. Navigate to the System tab and select Factory Reset. Follow the onscreen prompts to finish the resetting process.steam deck factory reset

Resetting the Steam Deck handheld will clear any corrupt files and apps that may cause the Fatal error to occur.

Also, our readers can check how to run Android apps on Steam Deck in a few steps.

For more questions or suggestions on this guide, kindly use the comments section below.

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If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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