Valve has announced a game-changing handheld called the Steam Deck. Yes, it works with your Steam library and is available for pre-order. Here’s everything you should know about the Steam Deck, how it compares, what it can do, and how you can get started.
What is Steam Deck?
The Steam Deck is a new handheld game console announced by Valve in mid-July (right after Nintendo went on sale pre-order for its OLED Switch). As the name suggests, the handheld is designed to work with Valve’s hugely popular Steam platform and will allow players to play any of their Steam libraries on the go.
The Steam Deck shares some similarities with the Switch, such as dual joystick controls, dock-based charging, and the ability to connect it to an external display. There’s also a 7-inch display with 1200 x 800 resolution (4K output is not supported) and battery life is reported to last up to seven or eight hours, depending on usage. Connections include a USB-C port for charging, as well as an SD card slot for more storage.
A Steam-powered handheld can make a lot of sense, but gamers naturally have many questions about how well the device can perform. The best comparison is a small gaming laptop, but the components of the Deck are quite unique: Steam partnered with AMD to customize the Zen 2 CPU to power the Deck, while the RDNA 2 takes care of the stuff. disaster. There’s also a healthy 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB solid-state drive for storage.
Finally, Valve has said that the Steam Deck will supports saving to the cloud tied to your account, which means you’ll be able to play the game on your PC and then pick it up again on the Deck to play on mobile without losing any progress. Steam features like Chat and Remote Play are also supported on the Deck, so as long as you’re comfortable with the small screen, you won’t miss much.
The first Steam decks will ship around December and are available for pre-order now. Steam seems to be updating the expected availability based on their shipping window, and it has been dramatically altered. From this point on, you can expect the Backup Deck to be delivered in Q2 2022.
Steam Deck Supply three different patterns for players to choose from.
The first is the $400 model equipped with 64GB eMMC memory and it comes with a carrying case. This is definitely a model where you’ll want an SD card to hold any kind of big game.
The second is the $530 mode with a 256GB NVMe SSD for better load times. It comes with both the carrying case and the Steam Community profile pack.
The third is the $650 model with a 512GB SSD, an upgraded display with an anti-glare etched cover, and an exclusive virtual keyboard theme along with other extras from previous options.
One of the common questions we’ve seen about the Deck is, “Wait, is it really playable? all games on Steam? “
The answer is currently complicated. Valve itself doesn’t prevent you from playing any title on their platform using a Deck, but the hardware itself has some built-in limitations. At the core of the system is a Linux-based operating system that uses Valve’s new Proton engine that allows Windows-friendly games to work with Linux. According to the latest research by ProtonDB, that approach is problematic for more demanding games that aren’t really designed to handle this.
Notably, hugely popular titles like Fate 2, Apex Legendsand PUBG currently doesn’t perform well enough to play on the Steam Deck – at least, not on multiplayer. There seems to be something wrong with the way Proton handles anti-cheat systems.
Two good news: First, if there’s a specific bug with anti-cheat and Proton, Valve is likely to find a fix in time. Second, single-player games cannot be affected by these issues and are playable. Results may vary depending on the needs of the game and how the game is played with the smaller screen, but you can try any of your favorite titles as long as you have enough storage space. Oh, and if you’re not a big Steam fan these days, the Deck will also support the Epic Games Store.
Using keyboard and mouse
The deck offers thumb-friendly joysticks, a four-button layout, and a trackpad, along with four hand-held buttons on the back and shoulder strap options. There is a gyroscope option for motion-based controls when supported. It’s all familiar but may not be ideal or comfortable for all users. Fortunately, the Deck also seems compatible with a wireless connection to a keyboard and mouse if you prefer this kind of setup when possible.
How to Preorder the Steam Deck
If you want to act now (and since the delivery date has been pushed back by half a year due to previous bookings, that might be a good idea), we have a guide to show you how Pre-order Steam Deck. Valve is using an account-based reservation system, so you’ll need a Steam account to get started. Users are reporting some issues, such as being told their account is too new to purchase or receiving an error message during the booking process, so it’s important to be patient as Valve tweaks procedure.
We have a more detailed guide on Steam Deck pre-order process here.
If you spot a Deck for sale on a site like eBay, don’t ignore it. Steam decks that promise months before delivery date violate eBay’s policies for sellers, and these listings are rapidly being removed.