Try to fix Valve’s Steam Deck at your own peril

Valve has long been a proponent of open hardware and software, but its latest video makes a case to the contrary for the upcoming Steam Deck. The game company has posted a Steam Deck teardown video that shows how to pry open the handheld console while simultaneously urging you to keep the system shut. It’s certainly possible to get in — it’s just that you might just cause more problems than you solve.

As Valve explains, the Steam Deck is tightly packed with highly customized parts, including the thumbsticks. While the company is promising replacements for various parts in the “coming months,” there are chances you’ll damage the system on your way in through static electricity or other mishaps. There can also be consequences to using off-the-shelf parts. A stock SSD might interfere with the handheld’s thermals, for instance. You might even compromise the integrity of the console just by opening it, according to Valve.

This likely won’t deter you if you insist on fixing your Steam Deck yourself. Valve clearly expects at least some unofficial repair attempts given its parts plan. However, it’s evident the Half-Life maker wants you to rely on Valve’s own technicians, or at least third-party pros, in the event the Deck breaks. This machine isn’t the poster child for right to repair advocates, even if it’s easier to fix than other devices.

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