Ahead of the Steam Deck’s launch, Valve has detailed a new feature for Steam’s cloud saves that should carry over your progress from your Steam Deck back to your PC (or another Steam Deck) even when you put your Steam Deck into suspend mode without fully exiting a game. Valve has talked about this intriguing idea before, but now it has a name — Dynamic Cloud Sync.
Here’s how it should work: when you put your Steam Deck into sleep mode, Dynamic Cloud Sync will automatically upload “all modified save game data” to the cloud, Valve explained in a blog post published Monday. That way, you can pick up your save when you sit down at your PC or another device with Steam. The Steam Deck will also automatically download save updates when you wake up the device.
The feature sounds very handy, and if it works as advertised, it could make the myriad of mobile promises made by the Steam Deck feel attainable. Seamless cloud saves is something rivals (like the Nintendo Switch) have struggled with. That said, Valve says developers will have to manually enable Dynamic Cloud Sync in their games, so it might take time for the feature to be available in some of your favorite titles, and it’s guaranteed to require internet connectivity.
If Dynamic Cloud Sync isn’t enabled, Steam will still track progress you make on your Steam Deck. “However, any user who suspends their Deck while your game is running and then tries to resume that game on a different device will be prompted to first return to their Deck to close the running process or continue without their most recent save game progress,” Valve says in the post intended for developers.
Dynamic Cloud Sync could be one of the Steam Deck’s best new features, and hopefully, we won’t have to wait long to try it for ourselves, as the device’s February 2022 launch is nearly here. But if you haven’t already secured a reservation, you might be waiting a bit longer to get your hands on the handheld gaming PC, as Valve’s expected order availability for new reservations is currently a vague “after Q2 2022.”