Valve has released a teardown video of the Steam Deck, highlighting both the SSD and the thumbsticks. And while the company is showing you how to do this, it is also very clear that it doesn't think you should.
"We at Valve really don't ever recommend that you open it up," the narrator says, pointing out that the handheld is a "very tightly designed system," with carefully chosen parts that Valve didn't intend to be swapped out. It goes as far as suggesting that you could die if the battery explodes due to damaging it. And that damage won't be covered by the warranty.
The screws are "self-tapping" and are easy to strip or over-torque, the video warns, and removing the case "immediately weakens it" and makes it less resistant to drops.
There are also the standard electrostatic discharge warnings, which PC builders and upgraders may be familiar with.
If you do get in, the thumb stick asembly seems easy enough to replace, though the entire mechanism is custom.
The SSD uses an M.2 2230 slot on all models, including the 64GB with eMMC storage. Valve suggests a drive that you buy could consume too much energy or cause electromagnetic interference with other key components.
"Our SSD is located very close to our wireless module and was specifically chosen and tested to not interfere with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth," the video narrator states. There are also components below the SSD, and at least one screw you need to take out to remove a shield that covers the drive also holds down the thermal module, which could lessen thermal performance.
Valve specifically suggests using a microSD card to increase your storage.
If you want further instructions on opening your upcoming Steam Deck, check out the video above. Though as the video concludes, perhaps you shouldn't.
"Remember, if you have followed these directions correctly, you have done absolutely none of the preceding steps," the narrator says. But hey, at least we know.
More information on sourcing replacement parts will be made available later, so it's clear Valve knows some people won't heed its stern warnings.
As the narrator acknowledges, the Steam Deck is your PC once you get it. But since Valve clearly knows it can't stop anyone from opening the device when it arrives starting in December, it clearly chose to get out ahead of things.