Is the Steam platform worth it? 4 Reasons Why You Should Buy This PC Gaming Handheld

The Steam Deck provides easy, portable access to your Steam library, an all-in-one mobile gaming solution that can double as a full desktop computer in a pinch if you connect a keyboard and mouse.

If you already own a gaming laptop, you probably don't need a Steam Deck, but it's useful for more than just mobile gaming.

The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming computer made by Valve, the company behind the Steam platform. It has the same hardware as any other gaming PC, just packed into a smaller package with a built-in screen and game controllers.

It's similar to handheld consoles like the Nintendo Switch, but it can play PC games and provide easy access to your Steam library. It runs SteamOS, Valve's Linux-based operating system. Advanced users can also access the full Linux desktop mode.

The Steam Deck is a portable gaming computer, so it has a lot of uses. You may want to consider purchasing a Steam Deck if you:

  • Have a large Steam library that you want to be able to access when you're not at home.
  • Don’t have a gaming PC yet and you’re working on a budget.
  • Don't have a gaming laptop, and you want to be able to game on the go.
  • Traveling a lot, you're tired of playing games on your phone.
  • Have fun tinkering with Linux.

While the Steam Deck has many positive qualities, it's not for everyone. Here's why you probably don't want it:

  • You already have a powerful gaming laptop.
  • You own a gaming PC but are not interested in mobile gaming.
  • You don't have any Steam games, and you don't want to buy any.
  • You want to play the game at the highest graphics settings.

The Steam Deck allows long-time gamers to take their large Steam libraries with them on the go, but it's also a solid choice as a first gaming PC for those who primarily play games on their phone or console.

Here are some reasons why I think you might want to consider buying a Steam Deck.

Steam Deck is primarily aimed at gamers who already use the Steam platform, so if you've already accumulated a large Steam library, this is an easy choice. Steam Deck provides access to the entire Steam library, allowing you to download games directly to your device or stream them from your gaming PC. Many Steam games are even optimized specifically for the Steam Deck.

While the Steam Deck isn't the most powerful portable gaming device, it's affordable compared to the competition.

If you need a new gaming PC on a budget and don't mind not being able to play brand new games at the highest settings, the Steam Deck is an excellent choice.

You can also connect it to an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard, so in addition to its primary use as a mobile gaming PC, it can easily function as a budget gaming PC for the home.

If you travel a lot or spend a lot of your free time playing games on your phone, you might want to consider the Steam Deck. The Steam Deck isn't as portable as a gaming phone, but it's lighter and easier to carry than a bulky gaming laptop.

It also offers a simple interface and storefront, so there's no steep learning curve if you primarily play games on your phone or mobile console and this is your first gaming PC.

If you're a fan of Linux, or you've always wanted to give it a try, the Steam Deck is a great place to start. It uses Valve's custom SteamOS as the main operating system, but savvy users can boot into a full Linux desktop, which includes a package manager and everything else you need to get started.

The Steam Deck has many uses besides playing Steam games. You can use it to access streaming services, run game emulators, stream games via Xbox Cloud Gaming or PS5, and even connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard and use it as a desktop computer.

The Steam Deck is an interesting piece of hardware, but it's not for everyone. Here are some reasons why you might not want to buy a Steam Deck.

If you already own a powerful gaming laptop, you're unlikely to get much use out of the Steam Deck. Steam decks are smaller and lighter than gaming laptops, so you'll want to consider what might offer enough advantages to warrant the investment.

For example, it's easier to play with a Steam Deck on a plane than trying to use a bulky gaming laptop, and the Steam Deck's battery generally lasts longer. In other situations, like a hotel room, there's no real benefit to having a Steam Deck compared to a more powerful gaming laptop.

Steam Decks offer the best value to established PC gamers with large Steam libraries, but only if you're interested in mobile gaming. If you don't find yourself in a situation where you're both away from your gaming PC and don't have enough downtime to play PC games, you're not taking full advantage of your Steam Deck.

There are other uses for Steam Decks, though, so you should consider apps like relaxing on the couch while streaming games from your gaming PC to your Steam Deck.

If you're used to the freemium model common to mobile games, you won't find many Steam games with this style. Steam has some good free games, but for the most part, if you don't already have an established Steam library, you'll need to purchase the game through Steam.

Valve runs several deep discount sales every year, and you can also find cheap Steam games through sources like Humble Bundle, which will help you build a game library quickly. However, it's important to remember that purchasing the game will require additional expenses beyond purchasing the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck doesn't have the most powerful hardware, so it can't run brand new games at the highest settings. Frame rate settings in particular tend to be limited. Some games run at 60 FPS, while others run at 30 FPS. Competitors like the Asus ROG Ally have more powerful hardware that can run games at higher settings, resolutions, and frame rates, but they also cost more.

The Steam Deck is available in three configurations with similar hardware but slightly different specs. If you're on a budget, the base Steam Deck model is the best choice, as the two OLED models only offer a better screen and a small increase in performance. If you want the best screen and slightly better performance, choose one of the OLED models.

Here are the available Steam Deck models:

256GB LCD screen 512GB OLED 1TB OLED
storage 256GB NVMe SSD 512GB NVMe SSD 1TB NVMe SSD
exhibit 7-inch LCD screen 7.4-inch OLED 7.4-inch OLED
refresh 60 Hz 90 Hz 90 Hz
auxiliary power unit AMD Aerith 7nm AMD Sephiroth 6nm AMD Sephiroth 6nm
network wireless network 5 Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6
Battery 40 watt hours 50 watt hours 50 watt hours
price $399.00 $549.00 $649.00

There were rumors of a possible Steam Deck 2, but Valve released the Steam Deck OLED as a fringe upgrade. Steam Deck 2 seems likely due to the success of Steam Deck, but if you're using Steam Deck now, it's not worth the wait.

If you want the most powerful system and don't need a portable gaming device right now, it might be worth waiting, or if you need a more powerful portable PC gaming system and don't need one, you might want to consider an alternative like the Asus ROG Ally. There are no budget constraints. Beyond that, Steam Deck LCD and Steam Deck OLED models can meet your mobile gaming needs.

No one needs a Steam Deck because there are so many other ways to enjoy mobile games. Steam Decks are useful and provide a lot of entertainment, but they're not necessary. You can play all the same games you play on a Steam Deck on your desktop computer or gaming laptop, so a Steam Deck is more of a convenience than a necessity.

There are also many fun mobile games you can play on your phone and handheld consoles like the Nintendo Switch, so there are alternatives to the Steam Deck in addition to PC games.

If you're an avid PC gamer and want an easy way to play games when you don't have access to a gaming PC, or you're in the market for a gaming PC on a budget, the Steam Deck has a lot to offer you.