Action Buttons (ABXY)
These are some common tools used to work on this device. You might not need every tool for every procedure.
256GB NVMe (Original Model), 256GB NVMe (Refreshed Model), 512GB NVMe (Original Model), 512GB NVMe (Refreshed Model), 64GB eMMC (Original Model), 64GB eMMC (Refreshed Model)
Repair Video Overview
The iFixit team tore down the Steam Deck ahead of its February 25th release date. Check out the video and blog post here!
The Steam Deck is a handheld, portable gaming console made by Valve. It’s very reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch Lite, Asus ROG Ally, AYA Neo, or OneXPlayer, with its 7-inch display bookended by two non-removable controllers that feature thumbsticks and haptic trackpads on both sides, with a full suite of triggers, bumpers, back buttons, and menu buttons—plus the standard ABXY and D-pad.
The Steam Deck runs a custom AMD APU on the 64-bit x86 CPU architecture and is designed to play your entire Steam library of games. The console runs SteamOS v3.0, which is a modified version of Arch Linux that supports Proton, allowing most Windows games to be played on SteamOS. The console also supports multi-boot with a user-accessible BIOS menu.
Valve revealed the Steam Deck gaming console in July 2021 after several months of rumors and announced that the device would begin shipping in December 2021. The Steam Deck succumbed to chip shortage delays, however, with the release date pushed to late February 2022.
And for all the tinkerers out there, you can find 3D files (STO, STL) if you want to print your own case or just want to experiment with the geometry/surface topology.
The most often replaced Steam Deck parts include the fan, thumbsticks, and bumper button assemblies.
The Steam Deck is a black, rectangular device with a screen in the center. Two square touchpad inputs can be found on either side of the screen. Above each of these touchpads rests a joystick. In the upper right corner, a traditional button array can be found (A, B, X, Y), with a directional button pad on the upper left. The shoulders of the Steam Deck feature two buttons each, for your typical R1, R2, L1, L2 triggers, as well as four additional buttons on the back (two on each side) for R3, R4, L3, L4.
There are three variants of the Steam Deck, with the main differentiating feature being the storage:
- The base model has 64GB of storage using an eMMC internal storage unit which using PCIe 2.0 x1.
- The mid tier model has 256GB of storage on an NVMe SSD using a PCIe 3.0 x2 or x4.
- The top tier model has a 512 GB NVMe SSD using PCIe 3.0 x2 or x4. It also features an anti-glare coating on the glass.
You can find which version of Steam Deck you have by navigating to the Settings menu and navigating to Settings > Model/Serial Numbers (under the Hardware header).
Note that, according to Steam, there is no discernable difference in performance between PCIe 3.0 x2 and x4 in this application.
Valve started shipping Steam Decks with refreshed internal designs in early 2023. Remove the back cover to check what version you have:
- An original Steam Deck will have a metallic motherboard shield and a fan with square sides, as seen here.
- A refreshed Steam Deck will have a black motherboard shield and a fan with curved sides, as seen here.
Release Date: February 25, 2022
Dimensions and Weight: 298 × 117 × 49 mm (11.7 × 4.6 × 1.9 in), 669 g (23.6 oz)
Display: 7-inch multi-touch IPS LCD (16:10, 1280 × 800 px, 60 Hz)
Operating System: Steam OS 3.0 (based off Arch Linux)
Processor: Custom AMD APU: 4-core, 8-thread Zen 2
Graphics: 8 AMD RDNA 2 CUs
RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM
Storage: 64 GB eMMC (configurable to a 256 or 512 GB NVMe) M.2 2230 SSD
Battery: 5200 mAh (40 Wh)
Sensors: Gyro, Ambient light sensor, Capacitive finger detection (thumbsticks)
Controls and Input
- A B X Y buttons, D-pad, L/R analog triggers, L/R bumpers, 4 assignable rear grip buttons
- 2 analog sticks with capacitive touch
- Two 32.5 mm square trackpads with haptic feedback
- 6-axis gyro
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Left and right speakers
- Dual microphone array
Expansion: microSD: UHS-I (supports SD, SDXC, and SDHC)
- 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 5.0 (support for controllers, accessories, and audio)
- USB-C port with USB 3.2 (supporting DisplayPort 1.4)