The Steam Deck has captured the market in a very short time. And now that this device is readily available compared to the reservations fiasco in the past, people are thinking of picking it up. But is the Steam Deck even worth it? We have compiled many reasons for making the Steam Deck worthy of your money.
The Steam Deck is an excellent handheld PC/Console and totally worth it. If you are looking to play games on the fly, then you shouldn’t look further. The feature set of this device, the backing of Valve, and the way it has grown over the years really show how perfectly designed piece of hardware this is.
Let’s take a detailed look at all the factors that make Steam Deck worth it for people who like handheld consoles.
Before we get into anything substantial, the biggest thing that sets the Steam Deck apart from the sea of handheld PC devices is its price.
We have no idea what trickery Valve pulled off here but the prices of this device are unbelievable, especially considering other devices in this category.
The Steam Deck has three options, and even the lowest variant is a competent machine. Although the storage may be lower in the cheaper variant, it can easily be equipped with a bigger NVMe SSD or a fast SD Card, and poof; you got yourself a mighty machine.
All the other handheld PCs, like the Ayaneo, usually come at a much premium price; compared to them, the Steam Deck is a winner for sure.
This is an easy one! Portability is the name of the game here. The ethos behind this console category is the ability to take your game along with you. You are not bogged down by the whole table and chair setup of your traditional PCs, you can essentially take it with where ever you want.
You can play on the couch, you can play on the commute, you can play in your bed, and you can even play on the john! The freedom to play anywhere is a blessing, and Steam Deck is your perfect sidekick in every kind of setting.
Consoles like the Nintendo Switch have their own libraries of games, you can not play them anywhere else other than the console itself.
The best thing about the Steam Deck is the fact that you do not have to buy games specially for it. Your existing Steam Library goes along with you.
Theoretically, this means that once you are done playing on your PC at home, you can resume the same game on the Steam Deck without having to buy it again. And with cloud save features enabled, you can keep playing the same save file.
Steam has the biggest collection of games and if you are an avid gamer with a huge library already then this smooth transition will be much easier for you. Steam also has ongoing sales with games being heavily discounted so you can grow your library without hurting your wallet too much.
Insane Customization – Steam OS
The Valve proprietary Steam OS is a godsend for a device like this. It is a Linux-based system that is perfectly optimized for the Steam Deck. You can tweak it to great lengths to match your playstyle and consumption. It provides such an insane level of customization.
You can change the refresh rate and framerate at the system level, change the power draw of the device, monitor your system, and so much more. This customization can also help in lowering the battery consumption, which only adds to the portability aspect.
As a side note, you can even dual-boot Windows on this device for a familiar OS experience. The Steam OS is also being updated all the time, and some wonderful features have been added that really changed up the way your experience Steam Deck.
There is an endless array of things you can do on the software level on this handheld.
There is a slim chance that Steam Deck will ever replace your desktop/laptop, but for many, this is a viable option. The Steam Deck comes with a Desktop Mode, essentially a “Windows” type interface you can use like a regular computer.
Hook it up to an external display, plug in a keyboard and mouse, and you got yourself a portable PC. Of course, it won’t have the same robustness as a PC, but you can easily perform menial tasks like web surfing, online doc/excel type work, and general computer work.
Consequently, if you do not require a heavy machine for your daily use, then having the Steam Deck can comfortably replace your computer.
Modern games are getting much more demanding as of late and this can be a point of concern for the Steam Deck. The hardware inside this machine isn’t made to run everything at ultra graphics settings. You will have to lower your settings to suit this device. And since this is a Linux device, many games aren’t optimized for it.
Luckily, Valve is on the mission to make most games “Deck Verified” and even the developers are jumping on this trend seeing the success of the console.
Currently, more than 9000 games are verified for the Steam Deck, and many games lie under the playable category, where you might have to adjust the settings to make them playable.
The compatibility library is ever-growing, and even the most demanding games are eventually getting the Deck Verified badge.
The only thing you should be aware of is that because the anti-cheats in most online games aren’t compatible with Linux, you won’t be able to play these games online. You can play them offline but online play is where things get a bit dicey for the Steam Deck.
This is where the Steam Deck is the king. Steam Deck has elevated the emulation game so much recently, it has become the go-to device for most emulation fans. You can play almost all of the historical consoles on this device, especially with the introduction of the EmuDeck which neatly installs all the emulators in a single piece of software.
Except for poorly optimized emulators like the RPCS3, most emulators work exceptionally well on this machine. You can take any of your past favorite console games on the fly. You just need to know how to install them, and you are good to go.
We have covered Steam Deck emulation extensively on our website, like playing Breath of the Wild on the Steam Deck.
Steam Deck Community
With the Steam Deck making its way into the hands of millions of users, the community has started to truly take shape. The easiest example of this is the tons of custom control setups made by the community for many games, which you can swiftly apply if they sit well with your playstyle.
On top of that, there is a plethora of Reddits and specially-made websites that cater to the needs of this device. There is a nice brotherhood of sorts that has formed under the banner of the Steam Deck and that is a rare occurrence.
The fellow Steam Deck-ers are always there to guide you through your troubles. It’s good to know that someone out there is facing the same problem as you, and they are friendly enough to assist.
As with any popular device, the accessories and modding aspects also become mainstream. There are many companies out there that are making accessories for the Steam Deck like docks that you can plop your device into and plug all of your peripherals too. There are cool skins available that really jazz up the Steam Deck.
And since this is technically a PC, you can plug in everything you already have like controllers, mice, keyboards, and displays. You can get amazing cases for the Steam Deck that are much sturdier than the one included.
There are even analog stick replacements that could potentially counter the dreaded stick drift problems. Steam Deck can also be easily opened, and you can add better SSDs, amongst other things.
The potential is massive here, and the world is having a field day by designing nifty things for this device. This is another factor that makes buying a Steam Deck absolutely worth it.
It all boils down to your use case. If you are a gaming fanatic, then there is no downside to having this handheld. You can bring your game library anywhere you want, especially those annoying family outings.
If you do not have time to play games at home or have to travel a lot for work or otherwise, then this machine is an easy sell. If you are a casual gamer who doesn’t want to own a massive PC and get dirty with the settings, then the Steam Deck will make playing games comfortable for you.
Don’t have the money to buy a gaming laptop or just a computer to carry out casual usage; then Steam Deck can be the perfect PC replacement for you.
There are many instances where the Steam Deck makes perfect sense. With this handheld, it feels like you can have your cake and eat it too and get another cupcake as well; it is just that amazing.
Be wary; if you are a heavy user, then buy a Steam Deck as a secondary device to your primary PC as it will never replace the ruggedness of a desktop.
The Steam Deck is worth every penny it asks for. Very few devices out there achieve the same level of prowess as this handheld and at this price. If you have the moolah then we do recommend you take the leap, you won’t regret it.