Valve’s Steam Deck is a powerful handheld PC that can run many games from the vast catalog of Steam games, and it has a stellar accessory scene. It’s only improved since its release in early 2022, and good news: Most Steam Deck accessories should work or fit just fine on the new Steam Deck OLED. With the exception of being 1 mm thicker, the OLED version has the same physical dimensions as the original model.
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.
Note: While the Steam Deck OLED’s screen is bigger than the original Steam Deck, the size of the glass covering the display on both models is identical, so these screen protectors are great for whichever Steam Deck you buy.
The Steam Deck comes with up to 512 GB of SSD storage if you buy the $449 LCD model (or the $549 OLED model). Although, for being Valve’s higher-end models, that’s not a wealth of storage, given that PC games routinely come in 30-60 GB install sizes. For those who buy the $349 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.
Many people jibe with the feel of Valve’s thumbsticks on the Steam Deck. But if you dislike how slippery they can be, simply pop some of these affordable grips from Skull & Co on top of your Deck’s sticks. For $9.99, you’ll get three sets of thumb pads in the color of your choice that lengthen the height of your sticks, not to mention add grip. Keep in mind, however, that they may prevent the Deck’s capacitive thumbstick feature from working as intended.
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, like this one from Jsaux for $12.99. You can just follow your taste and budget here, and you should end up with a decent stand.
If you’re willing to open up your Steam Deck to add even faster storage (at your own risk), Corsair’s MP600 Mini 1 TB M.2 SSD is a relatively inexpensive way to get fast storage. It costs under $90, and you’ll likely need some tools, like this iFixit Essentials tool kit for $30, to open up your Steam Deck.
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.
If that’s too costly, Anker makes this significantly cheaper wireless (and rechargeable) keyboard that’s selling for $17.99 at Amazon. We haven’t tested this one, but it seems to be great for the basics, plus it’s very thin.
Cosmetics may not be considered an essential part of your Steam Deck kit, but they’re still nice to have. The Steam Deck is already a pretty handsome handheld, but the impressive variety of skins from Dbrand can make the Steam Deck and its OLED counterpart really pop. Skins for either version of Valve’s handheld are available for $49.95. The selection includes several solid pastel colors in addition to limited edition patterns and leather finishes.
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 $79.
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 $59.99. 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 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 Mechanism offers a VESA mount and a wall mount in its ecosystem of Deckmate accessories (Note: I’ve confirmed that this fits on the Steam Deck OLED). We suggest getting the Deckmate $49 “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. (Note: Polygon readers can automatically save on the cost of shipping if you purchase this, or anything else at Mechanism’s site by clicking this link.)
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.
Mechanism recently added a phone mount to the Deckmate’s skill set. The $29 accessory includes an arm that snaps into the Deckmate frame. It supports any phone, thanks to its strong construction, and it includes a low-profile, circular magnet you can adhere to the back of your phone.
If you’re looking for a VESA mounting solution for your Steam Deck (one that’ll work perfectly with the Deckmate), consider a static monitor arm like the Wali monitor mount, which is available on Amazon for around $28. The Wali monitor mount can be a little difficult to adjust, but we found that smaller mounts intended for tablets or even the Nintendo Switch just aren’t up to the task.
It’s important to remember that common monitor arms with gas springs, like this model from Huanuo, are designed to hold stuff much heavier than your handheld. So, unless you’re planning to add some extra weight, or use the arm fully extended, your best option to mount your Steam Deck at eye level is a static monitor arm.
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 kinds of 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. And good news: if you have a Steam Deck OLED, you’ll be able to wake it from sleep via Bluetooth.
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 45 W 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’ 24,000 mAh battery with a 140 W USB-C output speed. This is ridiculously overpowered for the Steam Deck’s needs, and we previously recommended the company’s cheaper 65 W option, but it’s out of stock. It costs $99.99, 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 has a 24,000 mAh cell, but with just a 45 W charging rate. It costs $54.00 at Amazon.
Best Steam Deck 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 can confirm that this case fits the Steam Deck OLED.
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.
If you’d prefer something more cosmetic than functional, you might want to check out the transparent back plates by Jsaux. Available in a variety of colors for $21.99, each back plate is easy to install and offers an intimate look at the guts of the Steam Deck. It may not have a kickstand or hand grips, but is one of the most striking mods currently available for Valve’s handheld.
Spigen’s Rugged Armor Pro is a semi-hard case with a pocket, which automatically makes it better than Valve’s case that ships with every Deck. Additionally, it secures the Deck inside with a strap, and if you’re worried about losing your console, there’s enough room in its pocket for a Bluetooth tracker, like an Apple AirTag. This models seems to be out of stock currently, so we’re investigating replacement options.
Update (Feb. 28): Checked prices for accuracy, and added a section for Mechanism’s new phone mount for the Deckmate.