Steam Deck Dynamic Cloud Sync could be a game changer

The past several days have been exciting ones for Steam Deck updates. Previously, Valve revealed that the Steam Deck would support Epic's Easy Anti-Cheat on top BattlEye, giving Steam Deck support for two of the biggest anti-cheats in the industry. Today, we're learning that Steam Deck will support a feature called Dynamic Cloud Sync, and it's particularly exciting for those that plan to split their game time between Steam Deck and a desktop or laptop.

What is Steam Deck Dynamic Cloud Sync?

Steam Deck's Dynamic Cloud Sync is, essentially, a feature that allows you to pause your game on Steam Deck and pick it up in the same spot on another device. Valve, it seems, expects many people to use the Steam Deck the same way they use a Nintendo Switch and suspend games when they're done playing by putting the Steam Deck into sleep mode.

With Dynamic Cloud Sync, players can suspend the game on Steam Deck and then resume from the same spot on another machine. So, if you're in the middle of a stage, you can pop the Steam Deck into sleep mode then sit down at your desktop and resume where you left off. Even better is the fact that Valve says Steam Deck will automatically download any save game changes to Steam Deck when players try to resume the suspended game after playing on another device.

Will all Steam games support Steam Deck Dynamic Cloud Sync?

In short: not all Steam games will support Steam Deck Dynamic Cloud Sync, but Valve would like them to. In a post to the Steamworks Development blog, Valve says that developers aren't required to support Dynamic Cloud Sync, though the company recommends it as it'll "give players the best experience possible." In games that don't support Dynamic Cloud Sync, you'll be prompted to return to Steam Deck to close out the game you were playing before you can launch it on any other device.

The good news is that Dynamic Cloud Sync uses the Steam Cloud system, which is already baked into a ton of games. Developers need to integrate Dynamic Cloud Sync APIs with their games and then publish updated builds before they can turn the feature on, but the fact that this is based on Steam Cloud – a system many developers are already using – means that adoption of Dynamic Cloud Sync should be high as well.

Dynamic Cloud Sync could be the feature that takes the Steam Deck from good to great. The prospect of handheld PC gaming was already pretty exciting, but when you add something like Dynamic Cloud Sync into the mix, the Steam Deck will likely become even more appealing to a lot of PC gamers. The Steam Deck is due out sometime in February 2022, so don't be surprised if we hear a lot more about it in the coming days and weeks.