Steam Decks are shipping out now. While plenty of folks will simply use the device as intended, others will embrace the open nature of the portable PC for things like emulators and custom parts. While you certainly can make modifications and repairs to the device, Valve recommends that you don’t.
Last October’s look inside the Steam Deck showed off its inner workings, with a prominent message from Valve cautioning folks not to disassemble it themselves. Valve’s partnership with retailer iFixIt enables you to purchase replacement parts should you need them. While the right to repair is being supported in that way, the company line is still to trust a professional.
This was reinforced by Valve engineer Pierre-Loup Griffais in an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun. “It’s best left to professionals,” Griffais responded when asked about at-home repairs. “At the end of the day, it’s a PC that that you own, but we recommend repairs are left to pros or returned to Valve for anything that goes wrong.” Griffais’ words seem to be for more inexperienced folks, and it is a fair warning.
Despite the newness of the product, Steam Decks are already experiencing serious drift issues, according to some who’ve already gotten their hands on one — it’s the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con issue all over again. You can expect to see plenty of online tutorials about how to deal with the problem yourself, but do take note of Valve’s words before you go poking around.