Steam Deck handheld is the Nintendo Switch alternative you’ve been looking for

Person playing Steam Deck, a handheld console

With the power of a PC in the palm of your hand, the Steam Deck is the most impressive gaming handheld ever.

The Steam library already has thousands of games available on PC and now, with the Steam Deck, you can take them with you on the go.

The little machine is a powerhouse, able to play either the latest big releases or quirky indie games. Specifically, that means an AMD-powered handheld gaming PC, with a 7-inch LCD display that ensures all games look crystal clear. The powerful battery offers up to eight hours of gameplay.

It’s got plenty of control options too, ensuring it’s an accessible handheld for everyone. On the front is the standard dual analog stick and button setup, as well as two trackpads like a laptop. The underside has four assignable grip buttons too, plus the screen offers touch controls.

With so many games available, you’re going to need plenty of memory. The Steam Deck is available in three versions with varying sizes of memory, but it also supports microSD cards. That means you can upgrade the storage to suit your needs, depending on which size and brand is right for you.

Steam Deck plugged into a TV

The Steam Deck connects to your TV. (Valve)

According to, SanDisk is the current king with the best SD card for Steam Deck when it comes to reliability and storage options, though other brands are compatible.

The Steam Deck uses a new version of the Steam operating system that’s designed and optimised for a handheld machine. That means it’s quick and simple to access your existing Steam library of games using whichever controller inputs you prefer and with quick access to the most important menu options.

The Steam Deck isn’t just a handheld though. You can hook up the machine to an external display and operate it just like a mini PC, similar to Nintendo’s Switch console. That means you can install drivers for other applications too for a fully customisable gaming experience.

There’s also a Steam Deck Docking Station available (sold separately) that props up the machine while it’s connected to external displays, wired networking, USB peripherals, and power. It will be available from late Spring 2022.

Multiple players can get stuck in. (Valve)

Not all of the games on the Steam store are compatible with the device, but Steam is gradually verifying the full catalogue. If you’ve already got a Steam library, you can check which games from your library are compatible so far.

When it comes to versatility and power, though, the Steam Deck is an incredible device that offers PC gaming anywhere. It’s available now in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe in three iterations: 64GB (£349), 256GB (£459) and 512GB (£569).

The two pricier options also come with a carrying case and an exclusive Steam Community profile bundle among other additions. For more information and to register to purchase, visit the Steam Deck website.