The Best Steam Deck Accessories to Expand Your System
Valves steam bridge is more than just a portable gaming system – it’s a palm-sized PC that can do a lot of what your desktop or laptop can do. Somehow.
Out of the box, the Steam Deck is an interesting but limited portable gaming rig. To take advantage of its sometimes hidden features, from a highly functional Linux desktop mode to support for many gaming platforms other than Steam, adding a few accessories helps.
I’ve certainly spent a fair amount of my time thus far with the Steam Deck using the device on a stand, with a wireless keyboard and Mouse. I spent less time connected to an external display, but I also already gave up my first 256 GB MicroSD card for a larger 512GB version.
Read more:Steam Deck Review: This portable gaming PC surprised me, both good and bad
Here are some of my current suggestions for the best Steam Deck accessories – if you love 3D printing, be sure to scroll to the end.
The Steam Deck itself only has one USB-C port for power and video output. This small docking station adds both HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, as well as three USB-A ports and an Ethernet jack. Yes, it can technically output to your TV at 4K/60Hz, but the Steam Deck GPU isn’t really designed for high-res gaming. The best thing about the official Valve Dock is that it’s small and loaded with ports. The downside is that at $89, it’s quite pricey for a simple dock.
Learn more about the Steam Deck Comparison.
This docking station is bigger, heavier and more expensive than Valve’s official station, but it adds a very nice extra feature: an M.2 drive slot inside. The benefit of having extra storage is that it gives you a place to offload and store large games to make more room on the Steam Deck itself, rather than constantly re-downloading large game files.
Learn more about the Steam Deck Comparison.
Along with a power supply, docking station, and maybe some cables, a generous carrying case for the Steam Deck is a must. I find Valve’s default case too small (and at least in my case the zipper snagged right away), so after trying a few other models I settled on this Tomtoc carry bag at flexible walls.
It’s chunky, but has a separate area for accessories, a pocket for microSD cards, and the main section has extra padding for the screen and V-shaped padded wings that follow the shape of the Steam Deck handles.
You get price alerts for tomtoc Carrying Case for Steam Deck Console and Accessories, Protective Shoulder Bag Pouch with Console Pockets, Original AC Charger Adapter, Original Docking Station, Daily Carry Bag lightweight for travel
Buying the base 64GB Steam Deck model is like buying the smallest capacity iPhone. You know you’re going to run out of space – and fast. Unlike an iPhone, however, it’s easy to add a microSD card to the Steam Deck to use as secondary storage. The Steam Deck supports UHS-I (ultra-high speed) cards of the SD, SDXC, and SDHC varieties, and adding one is like doing the same thing on a Nintendo Switch. My advice is to go for capacity and price. The 512GB card above hit that sweet spot for me, but keep an eye out for sales of other models.
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Digging around a lot in the desktop mode of the Steam Deck, I knew right away that I would need a keyboard. I went with this very compact gaming keyboard which was exactly the size of the Steam Deck. It connects via Bluetooth and charges via USB-C; just be aware that it lacks a number pad, and part of the layout is a little wrinkled because it’s so small. Read our hands-on with the Razer BlackWidow Mini Hyperspeed.
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You can output the Steam Deck’s video signal through the system’s USB-C port (which is also its power port, so keep that in mind). I hooked up an Acer Predator X27 27-inch 4K monitor, which looked great, but note that you don’t really need 4K resolution or G-Sync, so a cheaper monitor would work too. With the system’s relatively weak graphics optimized for 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution, blasting things up to 4K and 27-inches will only highlight those limitations. But it also makes it easier to work in desktop mode.
This exact model is out of production now, so I’m linking to the newer comparable model below. Next, I plan to try out the Steam Deck on the new Alienware 34-inch OLED display we just reviewed.
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The Unofficial CNET DIY Steam Deck Support
Best cheap stand
Yes, Valve makes its own stand for the Steam Deck which will also act as a docking station. But the exact date, price, and even details about it are all TBD. Not wanting to wait, I tweaked some tablet stand designs and created 3D printed and laser cut Steam Deck stands perfectly sized for the device. You can download the models here, and this list of the best 3D printers should get you started building one.
3D printed Steam Deck clip-on stand
Best Portable Kickstand
I love the DIY 3D printed kickstand. Unlike the laser cut stand I made before, this design, which I found on Printables.com’s 3D Model Repository, stays attached to the Steam Deck and pops open as needed. It’s a three-piece design, with a clip-on base, the kickstand, and a hinge. All three parts took about four hours to print on a 3D printer, and two 6mm M3 screws are needed, which I was able to pick up at my local hardware store.
I liked it so much that I wrote an entire article about it: The Steam Deck really needs a kickstand, so I made one.
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