Steam Deck DIY Replacement Parts Revealed Early And They Start At Just $5 (Update)
Valve deserves a lot of credit for how it went about designing and launching the Steam Deck, a handheld gaming console that's essentially a portable PC. It may resemble a Switch in form, but its DNA is entirely PC, and with it comes a refreshingly high level of DIY repair options. Leaving little to the imagination, the folks at iFixIt posted a catalog of replacement parts and pricing ahead of schedule.
We actually weren't supposed to see the catalog yet, let alone place orders just yet. It's not clear if iFixIt is working with Valve on an official repair program or some kind of partnership, but whatever the case, Steam Deck owners will have a large selection of replacement parts at fairly reasonable prices.
Heading into the weekend, iFixIt went live with its catalog of Steam Deck repair parts and then said it didn't mean to flip the switch just yet. Regardless, it vowed to honor orders already replace.
"Earlier today we published some pages related to our upcoming parts launch with Valve. These went live earlier than we planned, so we ended up taking them down. If you did get a parts order in, we'll honor it. 💙 Stay tuned for the real launch soon!," iFixIt wrote.
Now on Monday morning, the listings are still (or again) live, most with inventory that can purchased. It's a fairly robust catalog of parts at mostly affordable pricing, save for a few components like the motherboard—that will set you back $349.99 and is the most expensive replacement part by far. It does include the soldered AMD Aerith SoC, though.
Here's how it breaks down...
- Steam Deck Fan: $24.99
- Steam Deck Right Thumbstick: $19.99
- Steam Deck Left Thumbstick: $19.99
- Steam Deck Back Plate: $24.99
- Steam Deck Front Plate: $24.99
- Steam Deck Left Bumper Button Assembly: $6.99
- Steam Deck Right Bumper Button Assembly: $6.99
- Steam Deck (512GB) Screen: $94.99
- Steam Deck (64GB or 256GB) Screen: $64.99
- Steam Deck Action Button Rubber Membrane: $4.99
- Steam Deck D-Pad Rubber Membrane: $4.99
- Steam Deck Left Daughter Board: $34.99
- Steam Deck Screen Adhesive: $4.99
- Steam Deck AC Adapter: $24.99
- Steam Deck Steam Button Rubber Membrane: $4.99
- Steam Deck Speakers: $24.99
- Steam Deck Motherboard: $349.99
- Steam Deck Right Daughter Board: $29.99
- Steam Deck Battery Adhesive: $4.99
- Steam Deck Left Trigger Button Assembly: $7.99
Curiously missing is a battery replacement, at least for now. There's a placeholder listing for a new battery, and iFixIt told The Verge that while it doesn't have a battery option to offer on day one, it is "committed to working with Valve to maintain these devices as they age. Battery replacements are going to be essential to making the Steam Deck stand the test of time."
While pricing looks pretty good overall, the sum of the individual replacement parts is still more than what the Steam Deck costs, which is a credit to Valve's aggressive pricing out of the gate. Plus there are things you would need that are not listed, like ribbon cables. Should something like a trigger button assembly crap the bed, though, users are looking at a relatively low cost of repair if going the DIY route.
In addition, it might be possible to improve upon the Steam Deck experience. For example, a user in the aforementioned Twitter thread claims that the Steam Deck fan they ordered from iFixIt "completely fixed the whine" that the stock fan was emitting. And while more costly, owners of a 64GB or 256GB model could conceivably buy a 512GB replacement display for its anti-glare screen (it just won't be a very cost effective upgrade).
Update 5/23/22 - 12:15pm ET:
And just like that, iFixIt announced today that official Valve replacement parts and repair guides are now available for the Steam Deck.
"When it comes to repairability, Valve didn’t stop at the bare minimum. Making replacement parts and repair information available to users is an important part of designing a long-lasting device that will stay out of the landfill," iFixIt said.
The repair site also said it hopes other companies will take a page from Valve's book and keep the right-to-repair movement going.