Popping the best microSD card for Steam Deck into Valve’s handheld gaming PC opens up a world of possibilities, regardless of which model you’ve gone for. After all, even the 512GB version will only just fit Call of Duty: Warzone, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla before it struggles with storage. Fortunately, there’s no need to swap out the SSD for a bigger one, as it’s pretty easy to expand the storage with an affordable microSD card. If you’re using one of the best Steam Deck cases, you might need to remove it first. Then simply pop open the slot on the bottom of your Steam Deck and add up to 1TB of storage from Samsung, SanDisk, or Lexar.
To help you expand your on-the-go Steam library of the best Steam Deck games, we’ve picked out the best microSD cards for Steam Deck in 2023. Using the handheld PC’s memory card slot could even save you some money, meaning you’ll be able to pick up more of the best Steam Deck accessories or a Steam Deck dock to create a perfect portable setup.
Here are the best microSD card options for Steam Deck:
1. SanDisk Extreme microSDXC
Naturally, the best microSD card for Steam Deck should be as big as possible without sacrificing its read speeds – no disrespect to loading screen tips, but we’d rather be playing the game. The SanDisk Extreme microSDXC 1TB model can’t hit its 160MB/s read speed ceiling because of the Steam Deck’s own limitations, but it still performs better than its competition with heights of 100MB/s. This is the sweet spot with the Steam Deck’s own limitations in mind.
Western Digital claims that the SanDisk Extreme microSDXC card is waterproof, shockproof, and even x-ray proof. We don’t recommend putting any of those claims to the test, but it also comes with a lifetime warranty if you do, which is more than most alternatives. If 1TB is a bit too rich for your taste, it also comes in 512GB, 400GB, 256GB, 128GB, 64GB, and 32GB flavors, although you might struggle with anything in double-digit territory.
2. Samsung EVO Plus or EVO Select
Different names, different colors, but the same specs under the hood: the Samsung EVO Plus and EVO Select are virtually identical. Amazon has exclusive rights to the Select in some countries, but with the same speeds, classifications, and warranties, it’s worth shopping around for the cheapest one available. Better yet, they’re sometimes available in multi-packs.
Write speeds are slightly slower than SanDisk’s alternative, but read speeds contend with the best at 100MB/s. This is plenty for running indie games on the Steam Deck without a hitch.
3. Lexar Play
You’ll save the most money by dropping to a 512GB, 256GB, or even a 128GB model, but the Lexar Play is often the cheapest 1TB on the market thanks to sales. It’s designed with smartphones and the Nintendo Switch in mind, but it’s up to the job of running your Steam library without issue.