A surprising device that has encouraged me to explore my library
Valve’s Steam Deck has become the surprise hit of 2022. Launching in February 2022, it became a fast favourite device for those who could get their hands on one of the consoles.
While Australians still can’t order the deck officially through Valve, they are now able to pick up a Steam Deck through a variety of online retailers - making it easier than ever to pick one up.
If you’re feeling impatient, or just willing to pony up the cash for the deck now - here’s what a few things I discovered by getting my hands on the Valve’s new portable gaming console.
Prepare to see your Steam library in a different light
When I ordered the steam deck, I was planning to play through Death Stranding: Director’s Cut, jumping between my gaming PC set up and the deck.
While Death Stranding runs great on the deck after some simple tweaks, I found myself not enjoying the experience in handheld form.
Instead, I gravitated to playing a game on the deck that I hadn’t thought about in years: Dead Cells.
Dead Cells has been out on the Nintendo Switch since its launch in 2018, but there’s something about the joy of being able to sync easily with my PC cloud saves that has me jumping over to boot it up everytime I pick up the deck.
It’s the perfect bite-sized roguelite experience to enjoy on the couch, and when I want a more serious run, I can save my progress and jump onto my desktop.
The mix of cloud saves and wanting more bite-sized gaming experience has completely turned my backlog on its head - now my deck is full of roguelites and turn-based strategy games that I can pick up and play on the go.
Mod your favourite games
Sure, I can play Stardew Valley or Slay the Spire on my Nintendo Switch, but I can’t bring in all the cool mods and steam workshop additions into the switch versions of the game.
You can with the Steam Deck, and that alone makes it an exciting prospect to play around with.
Youtube is now filled to the brim with guides on how to mod games on the deck from getting World of Warcraft to work with full controller support to booting up your Skyrim playthrough complete with 300+ mods.
The longevity of being able to mod your favourite portable games cannot be understated.
It’s a good option for those who don’t have a gaming PC
You won’t be getting 4k/60fps with the steam deck while docked, but it can be a great option for some tv or gaming monitor if you don’t have a next gen console or a gaming PC.
With a few tweaks you can get some solid performance out of quite a few games while docked as long as you’re willing to compromise on some graphics settings.
Starting at around $840 which is more than a PS5 or Xbox Series X, the Steam Deck isn't going to be in the price range for everyone, but for a pretty magical gaming experience on the go it's been well worth it for me.