How To Install A MicroSD Card And Use It To Download Games On Steam Deck

You can always have more storage to play extra games on Steam Deck with some external help.


There are a few different versions of the Steam Deck that players can purchase for themselves. The clearest difference between these versions is their storage capacity, which in turn raises each version's price slightly. There's a 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB option when it comes to storage. In modern gaming, 64GB won't be enough to download a single AAA game. While the latter options can hold up to five or six games, sometimes players simply want more access. If players desire more downloaded games, they can purchase and install a microSD card.

A microSD card is a small storage device that's mainly used to store files, such as photographs, videos, and other data. However, gamers can take advantage of this technology to expand their Steam Deck storage. There are several affordable options for players, which vary in storage capacity and read/write times. Some 512GB models from reputable brands can be purchased for under $60, for example.

Once players have determined which price and storage capacity works for them, they can then go on to install the card onto their Steam Deck and format it to hold games. Below, players can find out exactly how to do this.

Installing the MicroSD Card

With the microSD card in hand, find the slot for it on the bottom of the Steam Deck. This is found on the right side of the bottom of the device. Your Steam Deck can be either turned on or off for this process. Make sure to hold the card the correct way; there should be an arrow on the card that indicates which way it needs to be inserted into the slot. As you are inserting the card, they should be putting a solid amount of pressure to make sure it fully goes into the slot. You will know the microSD card is fully inserted if it's not sticking out of the bottom of the Steam Deck.

If you've done everything correctly, you will see a small icon appear at the top of the Steam Deck. If you inserted the card with the Steam Deck off, you can power the device on and see if the icon is at the top of the screen on the taskbar. The icon looks like a piece of mail in a square shape. If you see that icon, then press it and you will be taken to the settings. If you don't see it, remove the microSD card and attempt to insert it again.

In the settings, tap the "System" tab on the left side under "General." Here, you can see an option that says "Format SD Card," which is what you want to click. This will trigger a warning that simply makes sure you know that by formatting this SD card, you will wipe all of its previous data. If this is a new SD card, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if the card has been used before, ensure that any data on it is backed up to another device. Click "OK" to format the card.

Installing games

This process can take varying amounts of time depending on how much storage capacity the card has. Once it's concluded, you can begin to install games onto it. Before you do that, though, you want to enable the microSD card as your Steam Deck's default storage location. Although, if you haven't filled up your Steam Deck's preinstalled SSD, keep that as the default. Then, when it is filled up, you can switch to the microSD.

We recommend using the internal SSD to download games you want loaded faster. The microSD card doesn't have as fast of read/write times, so it will take longer to load games. With all of that done, go into your Steam Library, select an undownloaded title, and choose to download it.

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