Valve’s Steam Deck is a powerful handheld PC that can run many games from the vast catalog of Steam games, but you probably knew that already. Maybe you didn’t know that within a few months of its release in early 2022, the accessory scene around the Steam Deck was already full of great options.
It’s true, you don’t need many add-ons at all to have a wonderful experience with the Deck; it comes with a solid zip-up case and a fast power adapter. At minimum, a high-capacity microSD card to expand its internal storage is all I’d universally recommend to most people.
But if you’re curious what else is out there, I’ve included my favorite Steam Deck accessories, as well as what the rest of the Polygon staff is loving. This post may be updated due to availability, or when new accessories hit the market.
The Steam Deck accessory starter kit
Like all tech, the Steam Deck houses many fragile components. But the one that’s most prone to accidental damage is its 7-inch glass-covered display. I highly recommend that every Deck owner buys a set of tempered glass screen protectors (I’ve had nothing but good experiences from amFilm, although there are many players in this space). It may not save your Deck from catastrophic damage, but its job is to absorb scrapes and jabs instead of the actual glass covering your display (screen replacements aren’t exactly cheap). When the cover eventually gets scratches, or cracks, simply remove it and apply a new one.
The Steam Deck comes with up to 512 GB of SSD storage if you buy the $649 model. Although, for being Valve’s high-end model, that’s not a wealth of storage, given that PC games routinely come in 30-60 GB install sizes. For those who buy the $399.99 model, there’s even less onboard storage to work with: just 64 GB. Whichever model you have, buying a microSD card for extra game space is nigh essential. We have a guide to the best microSD cards for Steam Deck that expands on a couple specifics regarding speed, but if you just want to be shown what’ll work well in your Deck, here are a couple of suggestions.
If you want faster download speeds and a smoother online gameplay experience than Wi-Fi can provide, route an extra Ethernet cable from your modem to your Steam Deck, then connect it with one of these USB to Ethernet adapters. Unless you have one laying around, you’ll also need a USB-A to USB-C adapter to plug it into your Deck. Note: If you have a dock or a USB-C hub for the Deck to connect it to a TV or monitor, that may already have an Ethernet port.
The Steam Deck is heavier than the Nintendo Switch, so no one blames you if you want to prop it up on a stand while you play, keeping it in view as you use a wireless controller. Thankfully, there are a vast number of stands at stores like Amazon, starting as low as $5.99. You can just follow your taste and budget here, and you should end up with a decent stand.
You can also head over to Etsy to check out some interesting designs. Note that many of the Steam Deck stands sold on Etsy are built with 3D printing files that are actually free to download, and you can print them yourself for the cost of materials if you have access to a pricey 3D printer.
Lastly, if you envision going into the Steam Deck’s desktop mode to do some emulation, or to simply use the Deck as a mini computer, you may want to grab a compact wireless keyboard to type commands on. Without it, it’s a real pain to touch type and navigate on the Deck’s screen (especially if you have big fingers). So, do yourself a favor and buy this all-in-one, foldable keyboard that has a trackpad built in.
Best Steam Deck dock and dock alternatives
If you want to view your Steam Deck games or other content on a TV or a monitor, you’ll want a dock. This is another category that’s rich with options, ranging in price and features. Not only can docks push your video to the big screen, they also let you connect peripherals via USB ports, like a removable hard drive, mouse, keyboard, and more. Simply put, it can make your Steam Deck feel more like a home console, or a computer — whatever it is you’re going for.
While Valve wasn’t the first company to launch a Deck-compatible dock, its version is one of the most port-rich options. Its Deck Dock has HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, a USB-C port to receive power from a wall adapter (it includes the same 45 W model that the Steam Deck ships with), a gigabit Ethernet port, and three USB-A 3.1 ports. The inclusion of DisplayPort sets it apart from most USB-C hubs, along with its elegant design. But it comes at a significant cost, priced at $89.
For something that’s significantly more affordable, we also like Anker’s 341 USB-C hub, which has seven ports in total: HDMI, USB-C in for power, an additional USB-C port for data, two USB-A 3.0 ports, and an SD/microSD card reader. Note: It lacks an Ethernet port to give your Deck a wired connection, so you might want to grab this affordable USB to Ethernet adapter to plug into this dock. Also, it has no way of standing up your Deck, although that may not bother you.
Jsaux makes a very similar option to Valve’s official Deck Dock, albeit with a less catchy name. It’s called the HB0702, and it costs $54.99. Like the Deck Dock, it has USB-C for power, DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, three USB-A 3.2 ports, and gigabit Ethernet support. Get this one if you don’t care whether you have the official Deck Dock, but want nearly identical features.
Best Steam Deck wall/monitor mounts
There isn’t much competition in this category yet, but that’s OK, since the most prominent option seems to be very good. A company called Deckmate offers a VESA mount and a wall mount in its ecosystem of accessories. We suggest getting Deckmate’s $53 “entire system” bundle if you’re jumping in for the first time. It includes more than you may need, like a kickstand, accessory mounts, and more. But crucially, it includes screws that don’t come in the a-la-carte wall or monitor mounting bundles.
Back to Deckmate, the wall mount is self-explanatory; it’s a mount that you can secure to your wall by two screws, or just by its strong 3M VHB adhesive. Then the Deckmate’s grip lets it snap onto the wall. As for the monitor mount, you’re getting a mount that can be screwed into any VESA-compliant stand. Then you just snap the Deck onto it.
[Editor’s note: If you have access to a 3D printer, Jsaux’s ModCase is compatible with 3D-printed parts, including a VESA mount and a wall mount. However, because you can’t purchase those accessories yet, we’re not including it here. Find more on the ModCase at the bottom of this post.]
If you want the most secure, flexible kind of mount for the Steam Deck, I suggest getting a monitor arm that can attach to a desk (this is where Deckmate’s VESA mount comes into play). These are rated to hold up monitors that are much heavier than the Steam Deck, so most models should have no problem holding the console in place. Get one if you want a stand that’s versatile, with the ability to move your Deck up or down, turn it on its side, push it away, or pull it close to you. Here are a couple of recommendations.
Best Steam Deck controllers
If you don’t want to use the Steam Deck’s built-in controls, or if you just want a controller to use while it’s docked or on a stand, you have multiple options. The Deck supports multiple controllers, whether you’re connecting one via Bluetooth or via USB. Steam OS natively supports Xbox controllers dating back to the Xbox 360. More recent controllers, like the PS4’s DualShock 4, the PS5’s DualSense, and even Nintendo’s Switch Pro Controller are all officially supported within the Steam interface, so it’s possible that you may already own one or more compatible controllers.
Some recent third-party controllers will also work great, including the 8BitDo Ultimate Wireless and the GuliKit KingKong Pro 2.
Best Steam Deck portable batteries
There are batteries that can charge the Steam Deck just as quickly as the 45W wall charger included with each console. However, much like the Steam Deck itself, they stretch the definitions of being portable. They’re also not cheap. The most affordable yet powerful option that I’ve found is Baseus’ 20,000 mAh battery with a 65 W USB-C output speed. It costs $50.38, and with its capacity you should be able to recharge the Deck’s battery a couple of times. However, expect it to drain faster if you’re gaming on the Deck as you’re charging it.
Anker’s Power Bank 537 is slightly bigger, with a 24,000 mAh cell, but it has the same peak 65 W charging rate. It’s pricier, costing $99.99 at Amazon. Even so, it might be the better deal in case you have an Amazon gift card, or just prefer the Anker brand.
Best Steam Deck hard cases
There are a bunch of soft and hard cases out there that you can slip your Steam Deck into to ruggedize it, and any of those might be just fine for you. But we’ve really enjoyed the Dbrand Project Killswitch, which lets you add or remove a kickstand, in addition to doing a great job of protecting your console and adding some grip.
Note: I want to plug the investigative digging by The Verge’s Sean Hollister and my Polygon colleague Alice Newcome-Beill, which turned up a big flaw with the Killswitch that Dbrand addressed in time for the release. Previously, its kickstand design attached magnetically, and they discovered that it drastically affected the fan speed in some Steam Deck units. Now, it uses a magnet-free mount that gets around this issue.
Like most options, the Killswitch leaves easy access to all of its buttons, triggers, ports, and most importantly, its fan’s airflow. But it’s great that you can add or remove the included kickstand with its lock slot. The $59.95 kit includes the Killswitch case, as well as a kickstand, plus skin decals of your choosing.
It’s hard to shop for Steam Deck accessories and not encounter the brand Jsaux. If you’re looking for a hard case, Jsaux makes a multi-talented option called the ModCase, and its basic configuration costs just $29.99. That’s a price that most Deck owners should have no problem forking over, especially for this much versatility.
It comes with a protective and grippy case that snaps around the Steam Deck, along with four other accessories: a travel cover to protect the face of the Deck when it’s not in use, a watch-like strap to secure a battery or hard drive to its back, a kickstand for hands-free use, and a protective cover for Valve’s official Deck docking station.