Steam Deck teardown video suggests Valve will make replacement parts after launch

While Valve very much suggests you shouldn't crack open the Steam Deck, it also plans to supply parts in case you need to replace them.


There’s a lot of very carefully crafted and placed electronics and design inside the Steam Deck. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to open it up and see for yourself. In fact, while Valve warns that you probably shouldn’t do that unless you absolutely have to, they were also kind enough to post a teardown video on how to do it. More than that, Valve’s teardown video stated that if you should need to replace parts on the Steam Deck, it plans to make them available directly soon after the platform launches.

Valve posted its teardown video of the Steam Deck via the Valve YouTube channel on October 6, 2021. While Valve does heavily suggest that you should not crack open the Steam Deck due to the careful arrangement of the components inside, it also provides detailed instructions on how if you need to get in there. Perhaps more interesting is that Valve stated it will open a source for replacement parts sometime after the Steam Deck launches.

The Steam Deck teardown video goes into how to remove the backing of the device to get into the internals, how to disconnect the wires and battery, and how to take out the sticks and SSD. It’s during the stick segment that it mentions the point about replacement parts.

“Be aware that the whole assembly is custom: the stick, the board, and the cap,” the video explains. “Replacing these will require matching the custom parts exactly. Stay tuned in the coming months for a source for replacement parts - thumbsticks, SSDs, and possibly more.”

That is to say that it seems Valve has plans for a first-party replacement part shop after Valve launches the first batch of Steam Decks in December. Though Valve has also said it’s building the Steam Deck to avoid stick drift, this should also come as somewhat of a relief to anyone worried about components breaking and needing to swap them out on the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck is looking like a pretty solid device and though Valve stressed that you should never dig around inside if you don’t have to, it’s nice to know the company has put together some measures to help out should you need them. We’ll have more details on replacement Steam Deck parts likely after it launches. Stay tuned for further details and coverage.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      October 6, 2021 10:49 AM

      New video from Valve about taking your Steam Deck apart:

      • reply
        October 6, 2021 10:55 AM

        Looks pretty easy to access and replace the SSD. Just need to remove the back panel and a plate.

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          October 6, 2021 12:40 PM

          Dont forget the heatsink

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            October 6, 2021 12:49 PM

            That's the "plate" I was referring to. It's also not really a heatsink, just more of a shield to protect the components.

      • reply
        October 6, 2021 11:41 AM

        Interesting way to say "we fully support your right to repair but you could FUCKING DIE so leave it to the professionals, please"

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          October 6, 2021 1:09 PM

          Seems more like a preemptive “we told you not to” for people who don’t know what they’re doing and fuck it up

      • reply
        October 6, 2021 11:46 AM

        That didn't look even close to as hard as they made it out to be, lol. Way easier than an iPhone or Macbook Air battery/drive swap

      • reply
        October 6, 2021 12:06 PM

        fuck yes, got the cheapest one (december) and can do the SSD now

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          October 6, 2021 12:16 PM

          looks like the $130 difference in price can be made up with a $50+ M.2 2230 SSD (still gotta see specs of course, but this is great news

          • reply
            October 6, 2021 2:55 PM

            Also wait and see that it falls within their power consumption specs, doesn't cause interference with the wireless hardware that is adjacent, etc. I'm sure someone will post a list shortly after it comes out

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              October 6, 2021 3:26 PM

              oh absolutely, this is gonna be a fun box to play in

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        October 6, 2021 1:05 PM

        I haven’t followed the steam deck at all, but the fact that they not only designed it to be user serviceable but are basically putting out video tutorials on how to service it yourself is amazing and needs to be applauded

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          October 6, 2021 1:13 PM

          thy really are being SUPER customer forward here, it really is great

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            October 6, 2021 1:23 PM

            I wasn’t even thinking of getting one but now maybe I will :o

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              October 6, 2021 1:24 PM

              It is apparently gonna be WIDE OPEN

              • reply
                October 6, 2021 1:31 PM

                I plan to emulate ALL THE THINGS on this, absolutely not my AAA gaming device.

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                  October 6, 2021 5:37 PM

                  RetroArch and NullBear DC are probably the first things I'm installing lol

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                    October 6, 2021 8:03 PM

                    i am thinking Os/2 with a nice amiga emulator

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                    October 6, 2021 8:10 PM

                    Retroarch definitely. I've also started writing a gamepad-controlled fan mission loader for Thief & Thief 2.

        • reply
          October 6, 2021 2:15 PM

          They explicitly say that it isn't user serviceable, but they're also "if you want to void your warranty then we're not going to stop you, also there is risk of making your Steam Deck explode lol"

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            October 6, 2021 2:20 PM

            That is 100% “the lawyers made us say this”

            They then go on to show you step by step what to do and how to do it, and also mention that they’re going to sell spare parts directly to customers

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              October 6, 2021 2:31 PM

              That is 100% what the hardware engineers believe. The first thing they came out and said in interviews was "Jesus Christ do not do this". In seperate interviews Gabe said "yeah sure you can do that".

              There was actual back and forth visible to the outside where engineers came back with "its possible but definitely not advisable", so I can only imagine how much debate there was on the inside (I can ask!).

              Re: selling spare parts, those are presumably aimed at repair shops, the same ones that also do iPhones, laptops, game consoles, etc. Nothing is stopping individuals from buying them, certainly, but they pretty clearly want to let people know that you can fuck up your Deck.

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                October 6, 2021 4:44 PM

                It’s all still CYA but they’re still letting it totally be a thing. I mean they literally made and released a step by step video showing you exactly how to do it.

                Contrast that with what Apple does by glueing in critical parts, using proprietary / obscure screw heads, and straight up disabling features if it detects an unauthorized change

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                  October 6, 2021 5:02 PM

                  Nobody is comparing what Valve is doing with Apple. Valve is doing the right to repair thing where they make very clear that you can fuck this device up because of the way its put together, but you also bought it so its within your rights so buyer beware

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                    October 6, 2021 5:09 PM

                    I’m comparing them to illustrate what’s on the other side of the spectrum.

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                    October 6, 2021 5:29 PM

                    Every single person who watched this video said, yep this is certainly nice compared to Apple.

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                      October 6, 2021 5:34 PM

                      I should be clear. Nobody has the expectation that Apple would do this so they would never make a video such as this.

                      Comparing a company making PC hardware with Apple is kind of a useless comparison since its a given. Nice for sure ofc

          • reply
            October 6, 2021 2:44 PM

            It doesn't void the warranty. That's basically not legal to do and hasn't been since the 70s, regardless of how many "warranty void if removed" stickers you see.


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              October 6, 2021 2:48 PM

              Opening it doesnt, that is. Obviously if you damage it that's on you.

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        October 6, 2021 1:19 PM

        I love that they go over the importance of anti-static measures and then fuck up for the video.

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          October 6, 2021 1:26 PM

          how so? i missed it

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          October 6, 2021 2:21 PM

          They even call it out lol

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          October 7, 2021 6:30 AM

          Sigh.. I never ever took any anti-static measure while handling electronics for the last 30 years and never had a problem.

          • reply
            October 7, 2021 6:56 AM

            That doesn't mean they're not important. You just got lucky.

            • reply
              October 7, 2021 6:59 AM

              Well I guess I do touch the metal case before handling it but that's about it. I must be the luckiest guy.

              • reply
                October 7, 2021 7:21 AM

                Or you could live in a humid area.

            • reply
              October 7, 2021 7:23 AM

              add me to the lucky list. no need for 'em in either climate i've lived & worked in (northeast & pacific northwest).

      • reply
        October 6, 2021 1:32 PM

        Am I turning colorblind or is that the worst possible choice for font color for the messages that show momentarily?

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          October 6, 2021 1:33 PM

          No, it definitely needed more contrast to be read that quickly.

        • reply
          October 6, 2021 1:38 PM

          yeah, that yellow on white was rough

      • reply
        October 6, 2021 2:24 PM

        Loved the cut of this video's jib.

      • reply
        October 6, 2021 2:51 PM

        I want one of those milled companion cubes.

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        October 6, 2021 4:29 PM

        Major fuckin' props to Valve for making a video like this with all the warnings and stuff. It's rare you see a hardware manufacturer do this ever.

        • reply
          October 6, 2021 9:09 PM

          Didn’t Sony do a PS5 tear down video?

          • reply
            October 6, 2021 9:11 PM

            They did indeed. Though they also expect end users to at least take off the side panel to install an SSD and do basic dust cleanup.

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              October 6, 2021 9:47 PM

              Yeah, easy to do when size isn’t a concern. Sony made user expansion on the PS5, PS4, and PS3 braindead simple, easily accessible with the slots or trays keeping users away from any sensitive parts.

              Different story with the Deck. I assume that prioritizing user expansion would have made it even larger since it would have to be its own protected slot or tray instead of having the SSD nestled within everything else.

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                October 6, 2021 10:25 PM

                Or would have required a more custom form factor, like the new Xbox.

                I think they made a good choice.

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                October 7, 2021 7:35 AM

                Hell adding a hard drive to the PS2 was braindead simple too

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                  October 7, 2021 8:13 AM

                  Yup. Still have my Linux kit for it.

        • reply
          October 7, 2021 6:24 AM

          Dell has these for every computer they make. Not on YouTube, but still...

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        October 6, 2021 4:54 PM

        "Remember, if you have followed these directions correctly, you've done absolutely none of the preceding steps"

        • reply
          October 6, 2021 5:15 PM

          Filed under "we want fewer support tickets/warranty requests from people lying to us about opening their deck." Good call.

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