Popping the best Steam Deck microSD card 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 best SSD for a bigger one, as it’s pretty easy to expand storage with a trusty microSD card. Simply pop open the slot on the bottom and stick up to 1TB from Samsung, SanDisk, or Lexar.
To help you expand your on-the-go Steam library, we’ve tested the best Steam Deck microSD card options in 2023. Using the handheld PC’s memory card slot could even save you some money, as you’ll be able to pick up one of the best Steam Deck dock options without pairing it with an external drive.
Here are the best Steam Deck microSD cards:
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 flavours, although you might struggle with anything in double-digit territory.
2. Samsung EVO Plus or EVO Select
Different names, different colours, 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.