Your Steam Deck pre order spot has been reserved and the hype is at an all-time high. Thinking back to the good old days of sporting a Nintendo GameBoy, you start to remember the plethora of accessories needed. Magnifier lights anyone?
Granted, the Steam Deck is neck-deep in features for its respective price points. Whilst it looks like a Game Gear, it doesn’t need Duracell’s back stock to power it up. We’ve been thinking about the best accessories for the Steam Deck gamer on the go, and we’ve come up with some practical solutions for Valve’s new audience.
Products at a Glance
Want to hook up your Steam Deck to your hotel TV? Need a keyboard and mouse without the wireless and compact enough to take on the go? How about a decent memory card for taking your library to locations with no internet? Don’t worry, here’s some of the best products on the market at the moment to meet your Steam Deck needs.
Best Steam Deck Accessories in 2021
Space saving gaming headset solution on the go
Wireless Bluetooth connectivity
No replacement for a high-end gaming headset
We all want the perfect gaming headset. Personally, I love my Sennheiser EPOS GSP 370s, but they’re not exactly the most practical headset when it comes to commuting and gaming away from my desktop. Enter the Wireless Razer Hammerhead Earbuds. Featuring 60ms low-latency Bluetooth 5.0 auto-pairing, these touch-enabled earbuds are perfect for an on-the-go gamer.
Razer is known for creating aesthetically pleasing PC gaming peripherals that are ergonomically sound and full of the features gamers need. The secure in-ear fit of Razer’s Hammerhead wireless buds are made for comfort and added grip, with the long charging stem on each bud doubling as a ‘sound’ anchoring point.
Players can expect around 15 hours battery life out of these bad boys, ensuring players will be more worried about their Steam Decks running out of, well, steam before Razer’s wireless earbud solution. The IPX4 water resistance grading also puts players’ minds at ease knowing they can commute in all weather conditions with their Hammerheads kept intact
Fastest read/write speeds on Steam Deck
Held back by Steam Deck limitations
Our very own Joel Loynds hand-picked this SD card for its ‘best out of bad situation’ positioning. The issue with Steam Deck external memory management is its limitations on read/write speeds with its UHS-1 grading. Given these issues, Joel goes on to explain why this is the best choice for Steam Deck:
‘Originally intended for mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch, a large capacity makes up for the Steam Deck’s apparent limitation to just UHS-I, a downgrade from UHS-II.
This card sits at a V30 rating, ensuring you get the 30mb/s write speeds for transfers, so don’t expect any downloads or anything to this storage device to be lightning quick. However, being able to throw on near enough a dozen or so AAA games and then the rest with nothing but indie titles is surely more than enough to give the slow speeds of UHS-I a pass?’
Most gaming laptops and desktops sport less than 1TB in storage these days, so the Lexar Play 1TB has more space to play with. Hopefully, SD cards overall will be functional for less demanding games to be moved to external storage so that faster internal storage can be utilized for AAA heavy hitters.
Zero Noticable Latency
Right Handed Only
HyperX has won my heart with the Pulsefire Dart wireless mouse. It doesn’t look like much, with the only RGB lighting being positioned in the HyperX logo, but this is the best wireless gaming mouse that’s also cost-effective. With a 90-hour battery life with RGB off, this has to be the best wireless mouse option for Steam Deck enthusiasts.
Qi wireless charging is another great feature of the Pulsefire Dart, it’s just easier to pop the mouse on a charging pad than plugging it in at the end of a good session of Unreal Tournament (Yes, I know what year it is). The Pixart 3389 Sensor isn’t messing around either, with no noticeable difference when compared to some of the best wired mice.
The best feature of this mouse is the ergonomics, providing you are happy using a right-handed mouse of course. It feels great in palm and claw hand positions, with the icing on the cake being subtly padded out synthetic leather side grips. It has a nice weight to it, by no means heavy, but it feels like there’s a decent piece of kit in the palm of one’s hand. Players won’t get the usual performance-enhancing RGB, but the HyperX Pulsefire Dart delivers in every area
Compact for on the go gaming
Cherry MX red switches
Missing number pad
Although there are various 65% wireless keyboards in a cheaper price bracket, the Asus ROG Falchion has so many worthwhile design choices that it made the list. It features Cherry MX Red Switches, the standard of pro gamers worldwide, providing solid tactile feedback, and helping in the fight against ghosting.
The next best feature of the keyboard is the wireless functionality, which sports 1ms latency and a USB 3.0 adapter that is hardly noticeable when plugged in. The polycarbonate dust cover also doubles up as a tray for the Falchion, which is another small yet brilliant feature that gives this 65% keyboard its place in this list. It features cutouts for the media touchpad and charging port, and let’s not forget rubber feet to keep the Falchion grounded.
The RGB on this keyboard is quite bold and vibrant whilst not taking up too much space. Sarah from WePC has stated that the keyboard was left on for a week with the battery still going strong. With the Falchion sporting the same brand design fellow ASUS ROG products share, this keyboard looks the part and delivers in almost every aspect.
Provides necessary connectivity on the go
Doesn't physically dock Steam Deck
Think about what you’d like to do when going round to see friends and family, or staying in that boring hotel room for the evening. You’ll want to show off the Steam Deck on a TV, right? Right! Enter the Lention USB-C Hub. It’s a great little device that can be classed as a portable docking station, allowing players to plug in their mouse, keyboard, and display for traditional PC gaming on the go.
Supporting 4K HDMI @ 30Hz and 1600P and lower at @60Hz, this is the best solution for a Steam Deck dock on the road that isn’t going to take up half of your backpack. Its dual USB-C ports allow for USB-C charging whilst the other is for data transfer. They don’t support video, but Lention allows for both ports to work simultaneously.
Other ports include 2 x USB 3.0 A and an SD/Micro SD card reader. They also support UHS-1 like the Steam Deck does, which comes in handy when juggling SD cards for larger steam libraries (which is most people, right?)
Things To Consider
Can you recommend a power bank for Steam Deck?
Although most USB-C compatible power banks will charge, one that is above 45w will be ideal. Otherwise, the battery won’t be able to charge whilst in use. The Omni 20C+ 100w Portable Power Bank is a great option if you’ll be on long commutes for the foreseeable.
Can I use any keyboard or mouse? Wired or wireless?
Yes. A wireless option has been given here due to convenience and ease of use when on the move.
Why didn’t you recommend the official Steam Deck Dock?
Information on this hasn’t been released yet at the time of writing, but even so, we wanted to feature easy to carry peripherals.
Can I use any Micro SD card?
Most Micro SD cards are compatible, but not using a UHS-1 certified card may result in very slow read and write speeds that are less than ideal for gaming.
Can I Only Use Bluetooth Earbuds/Headsets?
No, Steam Deck supports 3.5mm stereo jack input so the choice is yours!
Ultimately, these are all non-essential items and the choice is yours when it comes to what peripherals you’d like to use. All products featured, however, will suit Steam Deck users who are heavy travellers or anyone who wishes to use their Steam Deck docks in various locations.
Our favorite product on this list has to be the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Bluetooth Gaming Earbuds purely due to how much Steam Deck users will be using them when on the go. It’s always wise to have a good audio solution when commuting, plus they are compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices.