Valve’s Steam Deck announcement has come with surprisingly few caveats. All FAQs seem to be answered with “If Steam can do it then so can Steam Deck”. Excitingly, this means that mods can run on the device. Everyone knows that Skyrim has been ported to every mobile platform you can grab, but you’ll only be able to add mods like Enhanced Blood Textures or SkyUI on Steam Deck. The same goes for all those amazing Stardew Valley mods, too. Yes. Please.
I’ve spent years modding PC games while fretting over the fact that mobile games and the Nintendo Switch are all locked down tight. As a picky player, I’d now much rather grab Stardew Valley on the Deck so I can download Lookup Anything (it even has direct Linux support) than have to play without that knowledge on the Nintendo Switch.
It’s an open system, so the game won’t even need to be on Steam to work. There’s a train journey in my future where I’m playing Minecraft Java while my phone version looks on and weeps. Sorry, phoney: you can’t add modpacks. You can’t give me a Minecraft full of quests and magic, or one that reminds me of just how terrifying it was the first time I ever played the game. I'm hugely excited at that notion. I can't play unmodded Minecrafton my desktop, never mind on my Samsung Galaxy. I might have to take longer train journeys just for the novelty.
This is going to get expensive, though. I’ll probably have to buy the Steam Deck with the biggest storage, as the base unit’s 64GB would soon fill up with additional Portal 2 levels and campaigns, or high-def Stellaris backgrounds, even with the extra microSD card slot filled. Dare I grab the 512GB unit, or just go for 256GB and pluck a fast, portable SSD?
The good news is that Valve are putting measures in place to help stop those pesky scalpers snap up all the reservations when they go live later today. If you want to be first in line, make sure you're logged into your Steam account at 10am PT / 6pm BST when they go live.