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Steam Deck SSD Can be Swapped, Upgraded

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Don’t expect a plug-and-play situation, though.

One of the major appeals of a gaming PC over a game console is that you can swap out and upgrade the parts in a PC to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of new games. I’d even go as far as to call such a practice a necessity; no matter how hard you try to future-proof your rig, it’ll probably still be outdated in a few years. This has been a point of concern for potential owners of Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck; as the device is, effectively, a portable gaming PC, if you can’t swap out the parts, it’ll hit that same wall in just a few short years.

Thankfully, according to Valve themselves, the device is upgradable. Or at least, the SSDs are upgradable. The M.2 2230-sized SSDs used in the Steam Deck’s builds aren’t soldered directly to the board, so you can, in theory pull them out and pop in fresher, more powerful ones. That being said, while the SSDs are technically replaceable, the console wasn’t designed to be taken apart and put back together willy-nilly.

According to the Steam Deck’s official specs, the SSD is “not intended for end-user replacement.” This means that while you can take it out, you really shouldn’t unless you absolutely, positively know exactly what you’re doing. “The repairability is something we did actually focus on and try to make it as repairable as possible. But, it’s really meant for people who know what they’re doing, and have experience doing it,” Valve hardware engineer Yazan Aldehayyat told IGN.

If you’re not 100% confident in your ability to swap parts (and I know I sure ain’t), you’d probably be better off expanding your Steam Deck’s memory using the microSD slot. Hey, they make microSD cards these days that can store up to a terabyte, so you won’t be spoiling for storage.