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Turns out a simple Steam Deck mod means you can install a larger NVMe SSD

Shot of the Steam Deck fan against the shining Valve logo on the Deck's underside.
(Image credit: Future)
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Update June 26, 2022: Valve designer, Lawrence Yang, has explained the potential issues with this hack, warning that this Steam Deck SSD mod "will significantly shorten the life of your Deck." (opens in new tab)

Original story June 24, 2022: Going against the warnings made by Valve (opens in new tab), one Canadian modder has upgraded their Steam Deck's SSD to house a 2242 M.2 NVMe SSD, rather than the 2230 form factor SSD it comes with. While you might have been thinking about increasing the storage capacity of your Steam Deck, now you know its possible to go physically larger, too.

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Hot Hardware (opens in new tab) brought the modder's Twitter overview to our attention, where we learned that the new SSD "doesn't collide with anything on the motherboard or put any extra strain on any cables." Somewhat worryingly, though, the mod did "make the heat spreader bow a tiny bit."

Potentially this could cause issues with overheating later down the line, but they note that this didn't stop the backplate form clipping back on just fine. Which all sounds totally safe. Completely.

For anyone wondering which SSD the modder went with, its a 512GB KingSpec PCIe 3.0 x2 that tops out at around 1100 MB/s. Sadly there's still no way to jam one of the best NVMe SSDs (opens in new tab) in there, since they come in at a standard 2280 form factor, but at least the 2242's are a little easier to get hold of (opens in new tab) than 2230 NVMe SSDs are. Which could make sticking 1TB of storage into your Deck pretty simple.

Though there are ways to do that without modding the internals. You could always bag a super-sized microSD (opens in new tab) card and run off that instead.

In measuring the difference between a micro SD and the NVME SSD (opens in new tab) inside the Steam Deck, testers discovered that the micro SD load was a mere 2 seconds behind, while in others there was no measurable difference: it was just as fast. So if its speed you're concerned about, don't worry too much. 

But if you're desperate for more storage space, and aren't too concerned with voiding your warranty, a bigger internal SSD might just be the way to go for speedy loads.

If you're desperate for more storage space and aren't too concerned with voiding your warranty, a bigger internal SSD might just be the way to go.

Valve has made it incredibly easy to get into the Deck, with no proprietary screws or convoluted process involved in taking it apart. You simply unscrew and, with a little jimmying, all the insides are there for your technological amusement. 

Just make sure to slip out any SD card you might have in there first, or it will break.

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Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.