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The best Steam Deck cases

Protect your precious Steam Deck with a hardened sleeve or carry case upgrade

The best Steam Deck cases, surrounding a Steam Deck, on a table. The RPS Steam Deck Academy logo is added in the bottom-right corner.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

You could say that the best Steam Deck case is the one you get for free, and to be sure, I have no qualms with Valve’s bundled carrier. Especially not the one you get with the 1TB Steam Deck OLED, which adds a neat mini-case in the form of a removable liner. Still! As you’ll see here, you do have a choice of worthwhile upgrade options, ranging from conventional hard cases with extra accessory storage to clever protective sleeves that combine impact resistance with improved handheld grip. The best way to avoid Steam Deck damage is to not drop it in the first place, as Sun Tzu probably said.

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Basically, even if a microSD card remains the first and foremost accoutrement a new Steam Deck owner should invest in, a better case can be worthwhile too. Especially if you plan to use yours as Gabe Newell intended: roaming free, away from the soft furnishings and stable surfaces of home. Personally, I prefer a slimmer, more satchel-friendly shield than the basic bundled case, but that’s not the only route to take if you value storage and protection over portability.

Read on for some of my tried-and-tested Steam Deck case picks, and if you’re a regular road warrior, you might want a peek at our Steam Deck battery life guide as well. This includes how long you can expect your Deck to last with a bunch of different games, plus some tips on stretching out your uptime.

Best Steam Deck cases

Dbrand Project Killswitch

The best Steam Deck case overall

A Steam Deck inside the Dbrand Project Killswitch Steam Deck case.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

Protecting your Steam Deck in transit doesn’t have to mean interring it in a bulky cloth-wrapped sarcophagus. The Dbrand Project Killswitch is the Steam Deck equivalent of a top-end smartphone case, wrapping a tough silicone layer around the handheld and clicking a lightweight (yet strong) plastic cover over the screen. When you’re ready to play, just pop the cover off and you’re away – the silicone case stays in place, pulling double duty as rubbery hand grips.

It's a smart design, especially as it also adds a mounting point for the included kickstand on the rear. More importantly, it works very well as a case. My own Steam Deck was left spotless and scratchless after knocking around in a bag for a while, and the Killswitch’s front plate wraps around the delicate shoulder buttons a bit more thoroughly than the similar JSAUX ModCase (below) does.

Really, there’s nothing to complain about, except for perhaps a convoluted buying process. I recommend just getting the Travel Kit, which includes both the front cover and a set of Dbrand’s fine Steam Deck stick grips. There’s a cheaper Essential Kit, but it doesn’t include the cover by default, and while you can add it as an extra it brings the total cost to just five cents less than the Travel Kit. At that point, you may as well nab yourself the grips... unless you own a Steam Deck OLED, which has grippier thumbsticks to begin with. See? Convoluted.


The best modular Steam Deck case

A Steam Deck inside the JSAUX ModCase, with its front cover attached,
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

Like the idea of Dbrand’s Project Killswitch, but lack the funds for it? I’ve found the JSAUX ModCase to be a perfectly respectable low-cost alternative. The silicone isn’t as stubbornly grippy and the plastic front cover doesn’t envelop the shoulder buttons quite as well, but it kept my Steam Deck just as ding-free in practice, which is ultimately the point of a case.

It’s also more modular, something that Valve’s standard case is plainly not. The basic package includes a kickstand and an adjustable power bank fastening strap, and if you want your Steam Deck case to be as flexible and multipurpose as possible, you can swap these out for all manner of clip-on accessories. A USB hub, auxiliary cooling fan, and M.2 SSD enclosure are all among JSAUX’s mod options, with a complete set of extras bringing the price up to $170.

Still in budget territory? Maybe not. But with just the basic kit, you’re still getting a nifty and practical little Steam Deck case.

JSAUX Carrying Case

The best hard carry case for the Steam Deck

A Steam Deck inside the JSAUX Carrying Case. A headphone cable and several microSD cards are inserted into its folding storage pocket.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

There’s little point in swapping your official Steam Deck for another simple, zip-open hard carry case – without anything else to offer, that would be a purely aesthetic change at best. Thus, the JSAUX Carrying Case aims to upgrade your capacity for accessories, storage, and other handheld PC bric-a-brac.

This makes heaps of sense. Valve’s cases, including the fancier OLED case, don’t really leave room for much else besides a cleaning cloth. JSAUX’s Carry Case, by contrast, squeezes in folding pocket for SD cards, earbuds, or headphone cables, as well as a hidden compartment underneath the main Steam Deck tray for longer cables, slimline power banks or USB hubs.

I tested the Medium capacity model, which keeps the hidden compartment quite shallow in exchange for less bulk; you’ll need the pricier Large design if you want to take chunkier accessories with you. Even so, I could fit in everything I wanted short of my UK power adapter, and it all stayed snug and secure, with zero worries that something plastic might shake loose and scratch the Steam Deck’s screen or something. The added storage makes this more of a backpack hog than a silicone skin, but as an inexpensive upgrade for hard case traditionalists, there’s not much else to gripe about.

Steam Deck OLED 1TB carrying case

The best official Steam Deck case

A Steam Deck inside the multi-layed case that Valve bundles with 1TB Steam Deck OLEDs.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

Whelp. Awks. I am fully aware that putting Valve’s own Steam Deck OLED 1TB carrying case here undermines the argument for switching to a third-party case in the first instance, but... it’s a list of the best Steam Deck cases, right? And this is one. It just is. I’m sorry.

While it doesn’t change the protective qualities (or shrink the considerable dimensions) of the standard bundled Deck case, it does make two major improvements to overall practicality. First, it can be fastened shut by both the usual zip and an added Velcro strap. This is so that, should you pick up the case by its handle while absentmindedly leaving the zip undone, your Steam Deck won’t tumble outwards to its demise. This has never happened to me and yet honestly, it sounds like something I would do, so the strap’s extra security is very welcome.

Second, it hides within the main case a smaller, more form-fitting case that can be removed and used by itself. If you don’t want or need to pack a bunch of accessories, JSAUX Carry Case-style, then this is brilliant: it still provides firm, full-body protection from knocks and scrapes, but is a fraction the size of the main case. I happily took my Steam Deck OLED on a couple of transatlantic flights using the inner case alone, and it did its job faultlessly.

It’s still not as flexible as a modular silicone case, nor a capacious as the JSAUX Carry Case, and its exclusivity to the top-spec 1TB Steam Deck OLED is a shame. Still, got to give credit where it’s due.

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