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Entomologists, rejoice! There’s a Steam Deck D-pad just for you

You’re welcome, or I’m sorry

A directional pad for the Steam Deck that has bugs in it, made by Deckbuttons. The directional pads are sitting in autumnal leaves. Photo: Deckbuttons
Cameron Faulkner (he/him) is Polygon’s commerce editor. He began writing about tech and gaming in 2013, and migrated from The Verge in 2023.

Valve works extraordinarily hard to remove bugs from the Steam Deck experience with frequent updates. But a company called Deckbuttons is keen to add them, sort of. One of the resin-based directional pads that it makes contains actual bugs, which fulfills the desires of a certain... someone out there, right?

Each semi-translucent white directional pad, which can be implanted in a Steam Deck with an LCD screen or in the newer OLED model, sells for $39.99 (was $49.99) and contains a random bug (or multiple bugs) that Deckbuttons says were “respectfully collected after natural passing, discovered in serene settings like windowsills, tangled in spider webs, or peacefully outdoors.” It’s not often (or ever, come to think of it) that I can recall a company encasing once-living creatures into custom gaming accessories.

In case bugs aren’t your bag, Deckbuttons makes a bunch of other directional pad options that don’t include bugs. Sean Hollister, a pal over at The Verge, got his hands on some of its more tasteful button models, as well as a peek at how they’re made. While many of the face button sets are sold out, there are other gorgeous directional pads still in stock — and on sale in time for the holidays. They seem to range in price based on their complexity, but most are $24.99 each.

The process for installing one of these directional pads, as well as the Steam Deck’s other face buttons, isn’t particularly complex, nor is it thoughtlessly simple. Deckbuttons has a tutorial here that you can follow, including what kinds of tools you’ll need.

The next level of puzzles.

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