Valve Opens Steam Deck Repair Centers for DIY Averse Gamers

Valve Steam Deck
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Until now, if you broke your Steam Deck, the only way to fix it would be to take your chance at the local electronics repair shop or try your luck with official parts from iFixit. But now, Valve has opened authorized Steam Deck repair centers, the company announced Friday.

People with hardware issues with their Steam Deck can contact support and then mail in their Steam Deck. "Once there, our team will diagnose the device, repair if needed, then ship the fixed unit back to you," the blog post reads.

If your Steam Deck is under warranty, repairs are free of charge. If a repair isn't covered, Valve says it will reach out and ask to fix up your Deck for a fee, but that users can also decline that fix and ask for the hardware back. Unfortunately, the blog post doesn't make clear who pays for shipping in this situation, though it sounds like getting your hardware back is free for in-warranty fixes.

In the post, Valve uses the hypothetical scenario that a Steam Deck's buttons stop working intermittently to demonstrate an in-warranty repair. In that case, the repair center would replace the button, test the unit and send it back to you.

But if it's out of warranty (Valve uses the example of a dog chewing a thumbstick off of your hardware), you could still mail it in, even if your initial warranty has expired. Valve hasn't listed prices for out-of-warranty repairs. It's also unclear if Valve's repair centers will make part swaps for a fee. One of the most popular DIY fixes among Steam Deck owners has been swapping out the fan with a model from iFixit, which some find quieter and less annoying.

Valve has not provided a complete list of repair services it covers, nor does it specify who runs the repair shops. (When I sent the left Joy-Con from my Nintendo Switch in for servicing in June 2020, it went to a third-party repair center, so Valve contracting this work out would not be uncommon.) Valve didn't respond to a request for more information ahead of publishing, but we'll update this post if we hear back.

The other option, replacement parts and guides from iFixit, are still an option. When Valve launched the Steam Deck, it warned users not to open the device, but with the full set of guides, there's nothing stopping you. But for those who don't have the knowledge or comfort, Valve's official services should make things a bit easier.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon