An external MicroSD card installed in your Steam Deck can extend your hard drive space and allows you to store more games and media files. In this post, I’ll show you the Best Steam Deck MicroSD cards that you can buy today.
No messing around, you can buy any of these options and you’ll have a perfect SD card for your Deck!
The best MicroSD cards for the Steam Deck have a good read/write speed, are shock resistant, and give you a good size per dollar value.
If you want to learn more, I’ll review some key features that make these cards perfect for portable and mobile gaming below.
What is the Best MicroSD Card for the Steam Deck?
In terms of features, price, and durability, these are the best Steam Deck Micro SD cards you can buy today:
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512GB Price: $129
When it comes to extra storage for your Steam Deck, the SanDisk Extreme card is a perfect option. It offers up to 160MB/s read speeds and writes up to 90MB/s. It comes in plenty of options for sizes, with 512GB being the highest. Plus, it’s A2-rated, meaning you will enjoy exceptional Deck performance.
SanDisk Extreme comes with RescuePRO Deluxe data recovery software, which you can use to recover lost files with your computer. It is temperature-proof, shockproof, waterproof, and X-ray-proof.
SanDisk Extreme is also compatible with Android phones, drones, or action cameras. It is excellent for shooting 4K UHD videos and capturing fast-action or high-resolution photos. Launching games on the Steam Deck with this MicroSD card will be almost as fast as the native internal hard drive. Solid performance all around on this memory card.
- SanDisk Extreme offers up to 160MB/s read speeds to save time launching games and media files.
- It is rated A2 for faster loading and Deck performance.
- Built for and tested in harsh conditions.
What I Like About Sandisk Extreme
The Sandisk Extreme has over 360,000 positive ratings online! That number alone should tell you how awesome and reliable it is. I have a few of these things for different devices in my house, and it was the first MicroSD card I looked up when I needed one for my Steam Deck. I recommend the 512 GB or 1 TB option.
Samsung Pro Plus
512GB Price: $109
The Samsung PRO Plus is a microSD card designed for the Steam Deck and other demanding electronic devices. It gives you extra space for your Deck to play high-intensity games easily.
The Pro Plus is almost as good as the Sandisk Extreme above. It has read speeds of 100 MB/s and write speeds of 90 MB/s. This is a little slower than the Sandisk, but Samsung gets excellent heat dissipation on their cards and this lower speed is part of the reason why. For a large game, this difference in speed will only be a few seconds at most.
One of the reasons I like the Samsung Pro Plus is because of its durability. Samsung promises you can remove and install this card over 10,000 times without worry. And they have a 10-year product warranty to back it up.
The Samsung Pro Plus is available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB options.
- Fast read speeds of 100 MB/s
- Very durable and reliable.
- Can withstand up to 72 hours in seawater.
What I Like About Samsung Pro Plus
Samsung is a household name that should give you good confidence in the product. The Pro Plus is a higher-end card from the company and it will give you plenty of storage space for highly intensive games on your Steam Deck. The 10-year warranty is a nice feature too – Sandisk only gives you 5.
Samsung EVO Select
512GB Price: $85
If you want a more affordable microSD card, consider the Samsung EVO Select. It comes in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB options. This card provides a great experience in terms of extra storage space for your Steam Deck.
The Samsung EVO Select will allow you to do more: load and download games at lightning-fast speeds. It is designed to resist water, magnets, high temperatures, and more. It is also durable and compatible with other gadgets.
The higher space models have the same read and write speeds as the Pro Plus models above. Therefore, I recommend a 512 GB option. If you are going small on the EVO Select, know that you will lower your read and write speeds.
One other thing to note: the EVO Select is the exact same model and specifications as the EVO Plus model by Samsung. Select is exclusive to Amazon to use. However if you see a Samsung EVO Plus card in the stores, it will be the exact same thing.
- Different transfer speeds depending on size.
- Protection from water, temperature, X-ray, magnets, and drops.
- Same as the Samsung EVO Plus MicroSD cards.
What I Like About Samsung EVO Select
For beginners who are looking for a bit more value, the EVO Select is the right card for you. It has adjustable transfer speeds that match the size of the card and how much you want to do with it. All of the other specs are largely the same as the Pro Plus lineup, but with a slightly better price.
PNY Elite-X Class
256GB Price: $43
The PNY Elite-X Class is my pick for a lower price MicroSD card for your Steam Deck. Though the read/write speeds are not the highest on the market, it’s still good enough for your console.
The Elite-X Class comes as high as 256 GB for storage capacities, and offers read rates of up to 100MB/s. I wasn’t seeing quite this high of a speed, but it was enough to make me recommend this card.
The PNY Elite-X Class is compatible with many devices, including tablets, smartphones, action cameras, drones, camcorders, laptops, and computers. It has over 11,000 positive ratings.
- Compatible with a wide range of devices, including the Steam deck, Nintendo Switch, and more.
- Read and write speeds of up to 100 MB/s
- The included SD adapter makes it easy to transfer files between devices.
What I Like About PNY Elite-X Class
I like that PNY Elite-X Class is easy to install and format. It comes with an SD card adapter, making it an excellent deal for the price. This is a good budget card to try out if you don’t have much to spend.
Amazon Basics microSDXC
1 TB Price: $99
The Amazon Basics microSD card is the most cost-effective choice if you want 1 TB worth of space without spending a lot of money. It even includes an SD adapter for devices, like older computers, that need it.
The Amazon Basics card supports read speeds up to 100MB/s and write speeds up to 80MB/s. While slightly lower than some premium options, it still delivers performance that is quick enough for most uses.
One of the stand-out features of the Amazon Basics microSD card is its durability. It’s shockproof, waterproof with an IPX6 rating, and can withstand temperatures ranging from -10° to 80° Celsius.
- Includes an SD adapter for maximum capability with your computer or laptop.
- Read speed of up to 100MB/s and write speed of up to 80MB/s.
- This microSD card is shockproof, waterproof (IPX6 rating), temperature-proof (ranging from -10° to 80° Celsius), X-Ray-proof, and magnetic-proof.
What I Like About the Amazon Basics microSD Card
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Amazon Basics microSD card. It’s proven to be reliable in my Steam deck. The fact that it’s been tested in harsh conditions gives me the confidence to take it on all my adventures.
For its price, the performance is impressive. While it may not be the fastest card on the market, it meets the needs of everyday use.
Why do you need a MicroSD card for the Steam Deck?
The Deck has three internal storage size options: 64, 256, and 512 GB. However, it also has a microSD slot that you can install an SD card in to expand the hard drive. For most people, this means keeping the operating system and core files on the built-in solid-state drive (SSD) and storing additional games and media files on your SD card.
If you install a MicroSD into your Steam Deck, you can expand your available space and store more games locally on your device.
MicroSD Requirements for the Steam Deck
Mostly, any MicroSD card will work fine in the Steam Deck. Even more basic models will do a good job. It may take a few seconds to install a game or load it up when you want to play it. After the game starts, everything will run fine.
Note: All microSD cards will work, including microSDHC and microSDXC.
If you want the best experience, though, here are some requirements you should look for.
Transfer speed measures how fast your Deck’s internal hard drive can read from or write to your external SD card. Faster speeds are better because you’ll have faster load times when launching games. Once your Steam game launches, however, you shouldn’t need much transfer speed.
My recommendation is to buy an SD card that supports transfer speeds of 100 MB/s or higher. A card of 130 or 160 MB/s is even better.
The size of your card determines how many additional games and files you can load into it. My suggestion is to buy the biggest SD card you can afford. Nobody is ever disappointed after buying a bigger card, but you will notice if you didn’t go large enough!
All MicroSDs have a standard performance and class rating that denotes how durable and quality they are. Cards with a high rating are less susceptible to shock and can be used regularly in more applications.
The SD Association does a better job than I explaining these numbers.
I recommend a card with C10, U3, and V30 features included.
Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What microSD cards are compatible with the Steam Deck?
Any UHS-I MicroSD card will work, including Expanded Capacity (XC) and High Capacity (HC) carts.
What size of microSD card should you buy for the Steam Deck?
Because you will be storing full games on your card, go for a larger one that can hold most of your library onto it. 256 GB is the lowest I would recommend, and a 1 TB card would be even better.
Can you use UHS-II SD Cards in the Steam Deck?
UHS-II microSD cards are compatible, but you will not be able to get the read and write speeds that are advertised for those cards. UHS-II cards support speeds of up to 312 MB/s, but the specs in the Deck will not get more than 150 MB/s.
What is the capacity range of microSD cards that can be used with the Steam Deck?
Only microSDXC cards in the 64GB to 2TB range can be used in the Steam Deck.
How do you format a microSD card on the Steam Deck
To format a microSD card on the Steam Deck, plug the card into the slot on the bottom of the Deck and use the Steam Deck itself to format the card. The Steam Deck will guide you through configuring your microSD card in the ext4 format.