Steam Deck - what kind of memory card to buy?

steam deck vs. memory microsd card

Valve's portable Steam Deck console has already reached millions of gamers. However, its cheapest version at 1,899 zloty has only 64 GB of built-in memory for games - which is not enough to install even one game like GTA V or Cyberpunk 2077. However, every model of the Steam Deck is equipped with a microSD card slot. This way we'll install any big game and won't be forced to install games to have free space for new titles.

In theory, you can replace the Steam Deck's built-in M.2 2230 SSD memory with a larger one, but this is a solution only for scribes and people who are well versed in reading documentation and taking such precision hardware apart. MicroSD memory cards are by far the best solution for expanding the Steam Deck's game storage.

What microSD cards are compatible with Steam Deck-?

A microSD memory card that will work with Steam Deck must have the UHS-I standard. This is a very popular standard for memory cards. Both microSDXC and microSDHC cards will work with Steam Deck. However, it is better to look at SDXC cards, as such are available in capacities up to 2TB. MicroSDHC cards have a maximum capacity of 32GB. Steam Deck is equipped with a UHS-I interface, but UHS-II and UHS-III cards will also work, but at UHS-I throughput.

Best microSD cards for Steam Deck

It makes the most sense to buy a 256 or 512 GB microSD card for your Steam Deck, that way you can fit enough games on it. Here is our ranking of the best microSD cards for Steam Deck:

  • Samsung Pro Plus - quite expensive, but very good microSD card with great speeds
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro - the fastest microSD card for Steam Deck
  • SanDisk Ultra - one of the cheaper options
  • Kingston Canvas Go! Plus - good speeds and low price
  • Samsung EVO Select 512GB - available only on Amazon, at a good price

For example, if we choose Kingstron 512GB then we can buy the model "Kingston Canvas Select Plus MicroSDXC 512 GB Class 10 UHS-I/U1 A1 V30 (SDCS2/512GB)". - Its price starts at 250 PLN in Polish online stores.

How to transfer games in Steam Deck to a memory card?

If you bought a microSD card for your Deck then you may want to transfer some games to it, instead of downloading them all over again. How to do it. Click on the STEAM button and from the menu select Settings/Options. Scroll down and select Storage/Storage and here you can click Y to start moving games from the built-in drive to the memory card, or the other way around. Or you can click X to select and choose a standard place to install new games and programs.

When you remove the micro SD card from the Deck the games installed on it will disappear from the Steam Deck, and when you put it back in it will reappear. So you can have several memory cards for different games and swap them. The maximum capacity of a microSD card for Steam Deck is 2TB (terabytes), but as of 2022 such cards are not available for sale. A 1TB microSD card costs about PLN1,200, and the most recommended are 512GB cards, which can be purchased for as little as PLN250.

By Viktor Greenwood

I have been interested in IT since 2005, and I have been working in IT since 2010. I like to solve problems, and in my free time I like to run in the wilderness.

3 comments

  1. Beware of steam deck listings on allegro or olx, plenty come with an external microsd card, there is nothing wrong with that, but the cheapest 65GB deck costs only £1899

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