Last week Valve released the CAD files for the Steam Deck (opens in new tab) so that anyone can 3D-print their own system shell, but what good is a shell without the parts to put in it? Today we got some news on the parts front: Valve is following through on its promise to sell replacement parts for the Steam Deck, allowing users to do their own repairs at home, through a partnership with iFixit. As the happy owner of one of iFixit's fantastic toolkits, I'd say this is very good news.
"iFixit will be one of the authorized sellers of Steam Deck replacement parts – as well as replacement parts for the Valve Index VR kit," Valve wrote in an update on Steam today. "We are still hammering out the details, and will be sharing more info on this soon."
If you hop over to iFixit's parts store you'll find a variety of components on sale for game systems and other gadgets, from old iPods to Dyson vacuums. The Steam Deck and Index aren't in iFixit's store yet, but it sounds like that'll change not too long after the Steam Deck's launch. If you somehow snap off an analog stick or melt a trigger, iFixit will be one of apparently multiple places Valve will offer replacements.
On top of that news, Valve sent iFixit a Steam Deck to disassemble for a teardown video, which you can watch below.
Here are some highlights from iFixit's observations as it pulls the Steam Deck apart:
- The joysticks being removable with no soldering is a big plus, so if joystick drift ever crops up, it's not a huge ordeal to replace
- You can do the whole disassembly with just a Phillips screwdriver and a plastic spudger (assuming you're not also trying to remove the screen)
- The Steam Deck's components are labeled particularly well, which makes reassembly a lot easier
- If you're a chip nerd, you can read about everything on the motherboard here
- Replacing the battery is technically possible, but definitely won't be easy
I appreciate how deep iFixit goes when taking electronics apart and documenting how to repair them, especially when it means I can focus on testing games on the Steam Deck rather than opening it up myself. We're currently reviewing the Steam Deck at PC Gamer and will have more to say about it on February 25th.