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Disney’s Steam Deck controlled droids are coming back to Galaxy’s Edge

Perhaps these are the droids we're looking for, and they're controlled with Valve's handheld gaming PC, likely chosen for its Linux OS.

An image of three star wars bipedal droids

Disney using Steam Decks to control its Star Wars droids just makes sense. Back in October 2023, a candid video clip revealed cast members using Valve’s handheld gaming PCs to control droids in the wild. Now, these droids are set to make a return with the Steam Decks still serving as their primary controller.

It makes sense that the best handheld gaming PC and its Linux-based operating system have found homes outside of gaming. The Steam Deck can be utilized in so many different ways that it’s akin to how the Microsoft Kinect was initially touted as much more than just a camera.

An image of Disney imagineers holding Steam Decks used to control the Star Wars droids

If you want to get a closer look at these droids then you’ll find them randomly roaming Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland Park, Florida, during the Season of the Force event, running from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, June 2.

From the new images released of the droids, we get a better and more blatant look at the Steam Decks being used by cast members to control the droids. Each one appears to have a skin applied to add relevant theming to the usually all-black design. It’s a much better look compared to the initial clips from last year.

It’s also clear that an external power source is connected to the back of the Deck, allowing the cast members to stay out in the park and control the droids for longer than the typical 2-3 hours that a Steam Deck can handle.

While Disney is unlikely to ever come out and show exactly how it has modified the Steam Decks to allow them to control the droids, it’s hardly something we’ve not seen other modders accomplish.

The Linux-based SteamOS is a super flexible platform to use for a project like this, but the Steam Deck has a few other features that make it the perfect bit of gear for this project. A built-in screen, controls, and gyro put it miles ahead of any other system, and while the brilliant minds at Disney could have created a custom device, why go through the effort when the Steam Deck is right there, ready to use?

We can’t wait to see clips of these droids in action and love seeing new and creative ways that businesses and individuals are utilizing the Steam Deck.

If you plan to use your Steam Deck for more traditional activities, check out the best Steam Deck games that we think run great on Valve’s handheld.