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Steam Deck user highlights Valve’s subtle hardware tweaks

A savvy Steam Deck owner has spotted a few subtle difference between new and older models, and the handheld gaming PC tweaks could make all the difference

Steam Deck on purple backdrop with Valve logo on screen and sparkles on left

The Steam Deck has only been around for a few months, but the portable gaming PC is already evolving. While some of Valve’s tweaks and changes aren’t noticeable or apparent, a fan has highlighted some subtle differences between an old and new Steam Deck, and the tweaks could improve the handheld’s hardware experience.

In a Reddit post, Steam Deck fan Athan614 compares a Q2 preordered unit to the latest version of the device, and Valve implemented some intricate changes. For starters, the right and left Steam and Settings buttons are now 1mm higher, and they now feature a satisfying tactile click.

The mushy feeling of the previous Steam Deck buttons is a gripe shared by many owners of the handheld, So, the fact Valve has actually fixed it shows the company is listening and responding to feedback. The face ‘B’ button apparently feels nicer on the thumbs too, as Athan614 says it no longer suffers from occasional stickiness.

Steam Deck: Up close shot of left hand side of device with Steam button in view

Buttons aside, Valve has also made some haptic improvements, as the device’s vibrations are seemingly stronger compared to the Q2 model. Our Steam Deck review says the handheld’s Haptic feedback could be doing with a bit more oomph, so perhaps we won’t need to wait for the Steam Deck 2 for a solution to that particular portable issue.

Valve says all pre-order customer will receive their Steam Deck before 2023, and it looks like newcomers will receive a better device to boot. Whether or not more changes will be made between batches remains to be seen, but the company is slowly transforming the tiny rig for the better.

Of course, the storefront giant still needs to win over desktop fans, as the official Steam Deck dock is nowhere to be found. Fans of versatility might feel inclined to wait around for the Valve vapourware, but alternatives like the Jsaux dock might help fulfil your gaming desk needs in the meantime.