If you have a Steam Deck then I highly recommend expanding your storage space with a micro SD card. The Steam Deck comes with three different internal storage options: 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512GB. 64 GB might be enough for a handful of indie games or perhaps a library of retro games, but it’s likely to fill up mighty quick. Also remember that Steam OS takes up roughly 10 GB. Even the 512 GB sized variant will only fit a limited number of AAA games–for example Elden Ring takes up 60 GB and God of War is 70 GB. Sooner or later (and likely sooner) you’re likely to need additional storage. A good micro SD card is the answer.
You can potentially upgrade the internal storage drive but this is a little tricky. It involves opening up the Steam Deck (there’s lot of fragile clips that could snap), swapping out the drive, and then getting everything back together without breaking anything. You’ll also need to flash a Steam OS image onto your new drive. All this is certainly doable but there’s risk involved. Let’s face it–the last thing you want is to accidentally your fancy new Steam Deck! It’s also worth noting that the Steam Deck uses 2230 NVMe drives which can be a bit expensive and difficult to find.
The easy solution is to just pop a micro SD card into that sucker! One terabyte cards are plentiful and will give you a massive storage boost. Micro SD cards are getting cheaper every day and the upgrade will take all of 3 seconds.
Which Micro SD card is best for the Steam Deck?
There’s lots of card brands out there. I’d strong advise avoiding any cheap knock offs–it’s just not worth it. You might save a few bucks but the failure rates on low quality cards can be very high. Make sure to buy from a reputable dealer and test your card out as soon as it arrives. There’s a lot of SD card counterfeits out there–the box and card might look like a brand name but it might be your actually getting a card Scamsung.
Valve recommends using a micro SD card with at least UHS-I Speed Class 3 or higher for the Steam Deck to ensure smooth performance. Specifically, they suggest using a microSD card with a minimum sequential write speed of 60 MB/s. Most modern micro SD cards should easily meet these requirements. You’ll have best results with an SDXC card. The SDXC standard was designed for high-capacity requirements. It offers faster read and write speeds and has a maximum capacity of 2 terabytes.
In my opinion, currently the best micro SD cards for the Steam Deck are the SanDisc Ultra, the Samsung Pro Plus, or the SanDisc Extreme.
- a very solid, well reviewed card
- Up to 150MB/s read speeds (faster than the Steam Deck can even handle btw)
- budget friendly
- comes in a number of sizes including 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB. (For what it’s worth I’d go with the 1 TB)
- also very well reviewed, very reliable
- Up to 160MB/s read speeds
- comes in 256 GB, 512 GB but NOT in 1 TB. If you need more than 512 GB then look elsewhere.Samsung Pro Plus
- premium card
- durable – advertised as temperature-proof, water-proof, shock-proof and x-ray proof
- Up to 170MB/s read speeds
- more expensive than the other two options
- comes in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB
I’d recommend going with the SanDisc Extreme Pro if you can afford it. If you’re budget minded the other two are very good choices. All the above cards have stellar reviews and a proven track record. I for one went with a 1 TB SanDisc Ultra and I’ve been very happy with it thus far.