popping the best sd card steam deck on Valve’s gaming laptop opens up a world of possibilities, regardless of which model you’ve chosen. After all, even the 512GB version will only fit Call of Duty: Warzone, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla before you run into storage issues.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to expand storage with the best sd card for steam deck from brands like Samsung, SanDisk or Lexar. Those of you who don’t want to dive deep under the hood to install an NVMe SSD in your Steam Deck can use the microSD card slot on the bottom to fill up to 1TB of storage, at least until a 2TB card finally arrives. to the shelves. You maybe You can even use one you’ve previously used with your smartphone if you don’t mind formatting it, but first you’ll need to make sure it has good read speeds and enough storage; fast write speeds are a bonus.
Generally speaking, microSD cards are a bit slower than the eMMC storage found in the base Steam Deck, so you’ll want to keep all of your favorite games on the device. That said, microSD cards allow you to take more games, movies, TV shows, and software on the go.
Here are the best Steam Deck SD cards:
SanDisk Extreme microSDXC
Naturally, the best SD card for the Steam Deck should be as large as possible without sacrificing its read speeds; no disrespect to the loading screen tips, but we’d rather be gaming. The 1TB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC model struggles to hit 160MB/s read speeds, but still outperforms its competition with heights of 100MB/s. This is the sweet spot considering the Steam Deck’s own limitations.
Western Digital claims that the SanDisk Extreme microSDXC card is waterproof, shockproof, and even X-ray proof. We don’t recommend putting any of those claims to the test, but it also comes with a lifetime warranty if you do, which is more. than most alternatives. If 1TB is too rich for your liking, it also comes in 512GB, 400GB, 256GB, 128GB, 64GB and 32GB versions, though you might struggle with anything in double-digit territory.
Samsung EVO Plus or EVO Select
Different names, different colors, but the same specs under the hood: the Samsung EVO Plus and EVO Select are virtually identical. Amazon has exclusive rights to the Select in some countries, but with the same speeds, ratings, and guarantees, it’s worth looking for the cheapest one available. Better yet, they are sometimes available in multiple packs.
Write speeds are slightly slower than the SanDisk alternative, but read speeds rival the best at 100MB/s. This is enough to run standalone games on the Steam Deck without issue.
You’ll save the most money if you switch to a 512GB, 256GB, or even 128GB model, but the Lexar Play is often the cheapest 1TB on the market thanks to sales. It’s designed with smartphones and the Nintendo Switch in mind, but it’s up to the job of running your Steam library without a hitch.
SD card classifications
When you look at an SD card, you might see what looks like a bunch of gibberish. Just like gaming monitors and their unruly chain of letters and numbers, each of these has a meaning and Steam Deck has limitations.
For example, Steam Deck adopts UHS-I, which maxes out at around 100MB/s read speed and 90MB/s write speed. You’ll be able to use the faster UHS-II standard because it’s backwards compatible, but you won’t get the higher read and write speeds. Since you’ll need to format the microSD card for the Steam Deck’s operating system, it’s not worth spending more on a branded UHS-II unless you’re also plugged into the Linux ecosystem with other devices.
Why not try the best external SSD for gaming?
The higher the V rating, the better. V30, V60 and V90 show what the minimum sustained write speed is, being 30 MB/s, 60 MB/s and 90 MB/s respectively. Write speed isn’t as important as read speed, since you’ll want to download your games early, but no one likes to wait.
The number that appears to be circled (it’s actually the letter C) is the speed class. Class 10 is the fastest and the default recommendation for HD video recording, but this is less important for the Steam Deck.
The ‘A’ number is the performance class of the application and naturally A2 is better than A1. Both are designed for smartphone operating systems, like Android, which means the standard is less relevant to Steam Deck gaming performance, but it could help when you’re jumping from one piece of software to another.
Can I use my Nintendo Switch SD card?
The short answer is yes, but you can’t switch the SD card between devices on the fly. The Nintendo Switch uses microSD cards that are the same form factor and fit in the Steam Deck, but you’ll need to format them, which means you can’t store PC and Switch games at the same time. You’ll also want to consider the specs of any microSD cards you own, as they may not reach the heights that Steam Deck demands.