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Valve Posts Steam Deck Teardown, Warns Against Doing It Yourself

Steam Deck open
(Image credit: Valve)

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.


 

Andrew E. Freedman

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.

  • bollwerk
    I'm genuinely impressed with their decision to release this video. It was informative and friendly. They seem to show a clear respect for their customers here. I hope the device is solid build quality and reliable.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    "you could die if battery explodes. warranty wont cover that"

    if ur dead does it matter?
    Reply
  • TheOtherOne
    hotaru251 said:
    "you could die if battery explodes. warranty wont cover that"

    if ur dead does it matter?
    Not to you (the dead person) but it will probably matter a LOT to the family when they see writing on the walls for a big fat lawsuit against a company who didn't warn their users.
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    A whole load of 1Tb 2230 M.2 SSDs are about to be sold!
    Reply
  • atsuko24
    excalibur1814 said:
    A whole load of 1Tb 2230 M.2 SSDs are about to be sold!
    And then there will be a whole load of users complaining about their wifi signal. I'm inclined to believe what's said about the hardware by the OEM whilst showing you how to tinker with it.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    atsuko24 said:
    And then there will be a whole load of users complaining about their wifi signal. I'm inclined to believe what's said about the hardware by the OEM whilst showing you how to tinker with it.
    Well, someone who will mess up at that point wont be able to even reach that point without breaking stuff.
    That's the whole point of the video, someone who made a lot of repairs on small devices will be fine, you have the right to open it but if you don't know what you are doing you will break stuff.
    Reply