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Someone is playing Skyrim on Steam Deck with iPods, yes, really

We're all for creativity, but creating a Steam Deck mod to replace the handheld device's controllers with Apple iPods is quite the leap.

Steam Deck with iPod controllers

It’s always entertaining to look at the way Steam Deck owners find new ways to interact with their portable consoles. This one, however, might top all of the obscene Steam Deck mods we’ve seen, as one Reddit user has managed to get two iPods to replace the traditional controls. The surprising part? It kinda works.

While the Steam Deck is easily among the best handheld gaming PCs, the ferociously dedicated community is what keeps Valve on its toes, and I can guarantee they’re just as astonished by this latest development as us.

Reddit user nekomichi has posted to the Steam Deck community with two instances of taking classic Apple iPods and using them to control games. Admittedly, the first attempt, posted to the subreddit a week ago, showed very limited compatibility in Sleeping Dogs, but the most recent example shows that Skyrim, once again, is the way to go.

[Follow-up] Tired of playing on your Deck with proper controls? Why not play Skyrim with a pair of iPods as controllers instead? Guaranteed to spice up your gameplay with an extra layer of challenge!
byu/nekomichi inSteamDeck

I guess we can add this to the list of ever-growing ways to play Skryim, but even Bethesda never would have thought of this one. Granted, this isn’t supposed to be a feature-complete attempt at porting over the controls to the iPods, but even getting the basic controls working is very impressive.

It’s achieved by customizing the iPods using a firmware called RockBox. This allows them to be recognized as USB devices by the Deck. While this implementation is far from perfect, we adore the creativity and carefree thinking that leads to someone doing this with their Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck just turned two years old, and the work done by nekomichi goes to show why it has been such a special two years. It’s never just been about the games, it’s about the way the community has come together to find amazing new ways to creatively use the device.

We won’t be rushing to traverse Tamriel using our old iPods, but if you’ve got some lying around, perhaps you could see which games are best played with Apple’s long-forgotten music players.

If modding and iPod controllers aren’t your thing check out the best Steam Deck games instead, to see which ones run best on Valve’s portable powerhouse.