clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steam Deck needs a kickstand

How else am I supposed to play Zero Escape while lying on the couch?

Close up photo of Steam Deck hand-held gaming device on stone surface Photo: Chris Plante/Polygon
Chris Plante co-founded Polygon in 2012 and is now editor-in-chief. He co-hosts The Besties, is a board member of the Frida Cinema, and created NYU’s first games journalism course.

The Steam Deck needs a kickstand and I’ll be damned if I don’t shout this into oblivion, hoping my frustration wills said kickstand into existence.

Why? Because the Steam Deck has a gargantuan collection of low-impact visual novels that can be played with simple taps on the touch screen. And it has tons of shmups with Tate mode (vertical screen) options. And for 2D retro games I’d rather use my own Bluetooth controller. Okay, I admittedly have niche tastes, but I’m not alone!

What’s so odd about the Steam Deck lacking a kickstand is that Valve has otherwise borrowed some of the best design ideas from the Switch and added some great touches of its own, most crucially four remappable pedals on the back of the device. And yet, no kickstand, something Nintendo itself recently improved for the Switch OLED.

I recognize adding a kickstand won’t be as simple as adding Nintendo’s original, flimsy bit of plastic. The Steam Deck seems too heavy and large to be supported by anything superficial. And the revised kickstand of the Switch OLED, which runs the length of the device, would block the vents on the back left of the Steam Deck.

There must be a solution, right?

Earlier this month, Valve released the Steam Deck CAD files, allowing people to create their own Steam Deck shells and, more importantly for me, begin to design accessories. When I spoke with Valve reps, they mentioned these CAD files as the solace to my woes. So reader, it’s on us to make the world we want.

Now for me to learn how the hell 3D printing works.