Valve’s Steam Deck is launching this year, and pre-orders will be available soon. Instead of a traditional pre-order system, Valve is using a reservation system with multiple protections against bots. To help you score a unit, we’ll show you how to pre-order your Steam Deck.
The Steam Deck is basically a gaming PC turned into a Nintendo Switch. There are three models available starting at $400.
How to Preorder the Steam Deck
Valve is accepting pre-orders for the Steam Deck exclusively through Steam. However, it is not necessarily a pre-order. Instead, Valve is placing pre-booked users in a queue, and when units are produced, they will ship on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-orders go into effect on July 16 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.
You need two things to make a reservation. You need to purchase on Steam first by June 2021 to pre-order a unit for the first 48 hours. Valve is limiting bookings to handle bots, and expansion staff can create new Steam accounts just to purchase units. In addition, you need to pay a $5 reservation fee. The fee is included in the full purchase price.
There are three models available with different storage capacities. You have the option between the $399 model with 64GB of internal storage, the $529 model with 256GB of storage, and the $699 model with 512GB of memory and a premium anti-glare display. Inside, they are all identical outside of the storage space. Here’s where to pre-order them:
The reservation fee will be refunded if you change your mind before launch. If you cancel your reservation within 30 days, you will receive a refund to your original payment method. After 30 days, the fee will be returned to your Steam wallet. Similarly, if you are unable to purchase the Steam Deck when your name appears in the queue, Valve will refund your reservation fee.
Valve is limiting customers to a single Steam Deck unit, regardless of capacity. Additionally, reservations are initially only available in the US, Canada, the European Union, and the UK. Valve says extended availability is “coming soon”.
For now, Valve says the first invites to purchase the Steam Deck will arrive this December. That said, Valve says that while it’s trying “best” to meet demand, it “cannot guarantee availability” right now.
Valve has taken some measures to deal with bots and scalers, which should make pre-ordering the Steam Deck a little easier. First and foremost, you need a Steam account with purchases made before June 2021 in good standing. That means no bans and no community reporting. Assuming you have that, you’ve got a leg up.
Looks like Valve isn’t actually pre-ordering the Steam Deck. The reservation system doesn’t seem to have any limits, so Valve will likely continue to accept reservations even after the original allocation has sold out. Although Valve says units will begin rolling out in December, it could be much longer before your name appears in the queue.
If you want to log in first, make sure to sign in to your Steam account through a browser and go to the Steam Deck page. You can secure a pre-order through the Steam client, but you can’t refresh the page quickly. Also, Steam has some hiccups from time to time, especially when it’s blocked by traffic. Your browser won’t have that problem.
Finally, make sure you have your payment method set up and stored in your Steam account. inside Account Settings screen, you can set your primary payment method so you don’t have to worry about entering your information during checkout.