Valve’s Steam Deck handheld has slowly become a full-fledged portable gaming PC ever since it first hit shelves last year. I got mine roughly two months ago and it’s completely changed how I view gaming. But as is often the case for gadgets we grow to love, accessories round out the experience and increase the utility of the device.
For instance, the Steam Deck’s battery life isn’t great (it’s OK to admit it), so having multiple charging and power options is a must. And since we’re dealing with PC games, storage is at a premium, no matter which model of Steam Deck you own. Below you’ll find some Steam Deck accessories that will take your gaming experience to the next level.
It took a while after the launch of the Steam Deck for Valve to release an official dock for connecting your Steam Deck to a TV or computer monitor, but the official Docking Station has everything you’d need. As far as connections go, there’s a DisplayPort 1.4 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, power connection, a Gigabit Ethernet port and three USB 3.1 ports for connecting other devices like a keyboard and mouse.
Don’t want to buy the official dock? The 6-in-1 docking station from JSAUX is highly rated, looks great and has all of the essential connections. More specifically, there’s an HDMI 2.0 port, three USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C port for power and an Ethernet connection. There’s a 90-degree connector on the cable that goes between the dock and the Steam Deck (also present on the official dock), which is a small but appreciated touch and is nice to see in a less expensive alternative. You will need to provide your own power source; anything that provides 45W of power will work. The 6-in-1 dock isn’t the only one JSAUX has in its lineup, with models ranging from $30 up to $110.
The most glaring issue with the Steam Deck is its battery life. I routinely get around two hours of playing time in games like Uncharted 4 or God of War, which isn’t very good. That’s led me to strategically place 45W wall adapters around my home, allowing me to play for extended amounts of time. Anker’s 713 USB-C wall adapter puts out the full 45W charging speed of the Steam Deck. My favorite part? The prongs collapse into the body of the charger to make it easier to toss in your bag when on the go.
Having a fast USB-C wall charger doesn’t do you much good without a USB-C cable that’s long and fast enough to keep up. I picked up a pair of these Ugreen USB-C cables that are 10 feet long and will work with chargers that provide up to 100W of power. The cables don’t feel cheap at all, and thanks to the fabric exterior they shouldn’t crack and fray as easily as rubber-coated cables.
A wall adapter is only good for situations when you have an outlet nearby. For those times when you’re on the go, a portable charger such as the Anker 537 Power Bank is ideal. It offers 45W charging to maximize the Steam Deck’s charging, and it comes with a 60W USB-C wall adapter for recharging the pack (or powering your Steam Deck!) while on the go.
Whether you want more space to store your Steam game library or plan on running Windows from external storage on your Steam Deck, a large-capacity microSD card is a must-have for any Steam Deck owner. I’ve been using this 512GB Evo Plus microSD card made by Samsung to run Windows 10 and haven’t run into any issues at all.
When it comes to gaming, you can never have enough storage. If you find that performance from titles stored on the microSD card just isn’t cutting it for you, swap out the stock SSD with the Sabrent Rocket 1TB 2230 SSD. You’ll need to be comfortable with taking your Steam Deck apart, but iFixIt has a fantastic guide that goes through the process, step by step. You can even get the tools you need from iFixIt to ensure it’s smooth sailing. Also, you’ll want to keep this Steam Deck support page handy in order to format the SSD and go through the Steam Deck recovery process.
There aren’t many options available to customize the look of your Steam Deck to make it your own. Enter Dbrand, a company known for its high-quality and great-looking skins for a long list of devices. Their Steam Deck skins come in all kinds of patterns and designs, and after watching the 12-minute installation video, I feel like the installation process isn’t all that scary.
iVoler’s screen protectors are affordable, easy to install and do a good job at protecting your screen from scratches and even the occasional drop. This two-pack comes with matte screen protectors that will give the display the same look as the 512GB Steam Deck that comes with a matte display, which helps reduce glare while also adding a layer of protection.
The Steam Deck comes with a protective case that does its job, but it also takes up a bunch of room inside any backpack. That’s what makes this JSAUX Shoulder Bag for the Steam Deck so appealing. It has enough room for the Steam Deck and all of your accessories, and it even has another area for more devices, be it a Nintendo Switch or a smaller tablet.