Deckmate review: Steam Deck’s new secret weapon

Steam Deck DeckmateDexerto

Deckmate might look like a bunch of plastic gadgets to pop all over your Steam Deck, but the benefits are going to appeal to only a handful.

Opening up the full Deckmate kit, you’re met with an abundance of plastic, wrapped in other plastic. It’s a unique, if incredibly niche bit of kit and comes with some bizarre choices included in the full kit.

We ask this because it’s not like the Deckmate is poorly built, or completely useless. It’s a genuine attempt at making accessories for the Steam Deck by a once-member of the community that Valve has built around the handheld.

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However, it’s an absurdly good idea. Create a system that will allow anyone to use their already purchased, or planned purchases, with the Steam Deck. It’s solid, blends in well with the device, and has some practical use.

Design and features

Deckmate standDexerto

The core piece, a grip that clips onto the Deck, is what you’ll be clipping the rest of the Deckmate into. Aside from the slot on the back, this piece allows you to store two microSD cards while you’re on the go.

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A huge issue with this bit of the system is that while the SD cards feel secure, there’s no cover for them. With no little lid to clip over the top, there’s a massive issue with potentially lost microSD cards. If the Deck or even the Deckmate itself were to drop, it could be a Velma looking for her glasses situation to find the microSD card with all our games on it.

Alongside this, the Deckmate’s other attachments include a rather stiff stand. It has this unquestionable sturdiness to it, making us wish it were a wider piece of plastic, similar to the OLED Switch. However, it took some effort to ‘accidentally’ get it to topple over once propped up.

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Vesa mounts?

The most curious pieces are the VESA mounts. We’re completely unsure what, or who they’re for. They’re not bad, in fact, they’re actually solid little mounts. The idea of popping them onto an arm, and then using that rather than a dock to view the Steam Deck, seems like a bizarre choice to make.

Deckmate is filled with these excellent ideas, but we’re just completely unsure why VESA mounts would even be a thing to consider chasing after. The Steam Deck has multiple things that it needs assistance with. We’re not saying that Deckmate should provide a full, protective case, but things like additional slots, or another included puck would be a better addition than these VESA mounts.

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It seems like solving a problem that just never existed, to begin with. The Steam Deck’s screen is too small to use outside of a portable or last-ditch effort at creating a dual-screen setup.

Universal pucks

Deckmate systemDexerto

With all this negativity, we are forgetting the universal pucks that come with the kit. These are where the Deckmate’s execution comes together. They’re two generic-looking pucks, that have adhesive on them. You can attach them to external chargers, drives, or other accessories.

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Of course, you want to ensure that things are going to fit correctly, but for the most part, it’s an ingenious way to make the Deckmate universal to everything. Though, as the Steam Deck requires around 45W to charge properly, getting a decent charging bank is needed – the one for your phone might not match up.

Verdict – 4/5

Deckmate is an all-around great little idea, and the further on it goes, we’re sure the better the attachments will get. The idea lives and dies by how useful they are, and despite the fairly odd inclusion of the VESA mounts, we’re fully onboard to see where the modules go next.

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