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Steam Deck teardown shows the hardware's insides, begs you not to do it yourself

Valve opens up the Steam Deck for you so you can see how it all works under the hood – and asks that you never, ever do the same.

If you were curious to know how Valve's incoming Steam Deck manages to do everything it does without resorting to some sort of technological alchemy, you'll be pleased to know that the company has released an official teardown of its upcoming handheld gaming PC.

Before the skilled hands get to work taking all the custom chips and massive batteries out of the console, though, the company spends a good minute warning you against opening the machine up yourself because you "might mess things up, like, profoundly".

The video details a lot of the handheld machine's hardware, and talks brave tinkerers through the process of replacing various components of the console. The warnings of the video's voiceover are pretty stark, and frequent reminders not to do this yourself are commonplace – especially when it comes to messing with that battery.

Valve noted that if you happen to puncture the battery inside that bad boy, you could risk starting a pretty horrific blaze. You've been warned.

Whilst there is scope for you to replace parts in the handheld as you would a normal PC, Valve recommended against it. “The Steam Deck is a very tightly designed system, and the parts are chosen carefully for this product with its specific construction, so they aren’t really designed to be user-swappable,” said Valve.

In particular, it warned against swapping out the SSD: "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 company explained. "An off-the-shelf SSD might have a different emissions pattern and could compromise wireless performance."

As you can probably tell by all the tech talk in the video, the Steam Deck is a powerful piece of hardware; Valve has yet to see a game Steam Deck can't handle and it was recently shown running The Witcher 3 without a hitch.

The Steam Deck begins shipping this December, and it's available in three configurations starting at $400.

About the Author

Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt


Dom is a veteran video games critic and consultant copywriter that has appeared in publications ranging from Daily Star to The Guardian. Passionate about games and the greater good they can achieve, you can usually find Dom listening to records, farting about in the kitchen, or playing Final Fantasy VIII (again).

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