In this article, we’ll compare the Steam Deck 64 vs 256 vs 512GB to help you decide which model best fits your gaming needs.
Steam Deck is Valve’s handheld gaming device designed to comfortably take your PC gaming experience on the go. The device offers three storage options: 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB. While all three models come with the same features, the amount of storage you choose will significantly impact your overall gaming experience.
If you are in a rush, check out our key takeaways!
- Steam Deck is available in three different hard drive options: 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB.
- The 512 GB also features an improved anti glare screen.
- SteamOS takes up 10 GB of space on each device before you ever install any games.
- Indies titles are usually 2 GB or less, but open-world AAA titles can take up over 60 GB of space.
- Due to strategic manufacturing and availability, Valve is more likely to have higher storage models in stock and the 64 GB version on a waitlist.
- Key Takeaways
- What Storage Capacities are Available for the Steam Deck?
- Steam Deck 64GB: Pros and Cons
- Steam Deck 256GB: Pros and Cons
- Steam Deck 512GB: Pros and Cons
- How Much Storage Do You Need?
- Can You Upgrade the Steam Deck SSD?
- Actual Storage Space on the 64 vs 256 vs 512 GB Steam Deck
- Steam Deck Availability
- Steam Deck Game and Storage Requirements
- Price Comparison
- Steam Deck Overview
- Steam Deck Alternatives
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Storage Capacities are Available for the Steam Deck?
You can buy the Steam Deck from Valve in three different hard drive options: 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB. Other than the size, the 64 and 256 GB options are the exact same device.
In addition to the largest storage, the 512 GB version of the Deck comes with an upgrade anti-glare screen that works better in different light conditions, both indoors and outdoors.
Steam Deck 64GB: Pros and Cons
The Steam Deck 64GB is the base model of the device and is the cheapest of the three options. While the 64GB model is the most affordable, it has the least amount of storage, which impacts the number of games you can store on the device.
- Cheapest model
- All other features are identical to higher-storage models
- Limited storage capacity
Steam Deck 256GB: Pros and Cons
The 256GB model is the mid-range option, offering more storage than the 64GB model but less than the 512GB model. Like the 64 GB option, it has the standard screen cover on it.
- More storage than the 64GB model
- More affordable than the 512GB model
- Less storage than the 512GB model
Steam Deck 512GB: Pros and Cons
The 512GB model is the most expensive option and offers the most amount of storage. With a 512GB NVMe SSD, you can store more games, media, and files on the device.
- Highest amount of storage
- Enough storage to store a large number of games
- Upgraded anti-glare matte screen
- Most expensive option
How Much Storage Do You Need?
Choosing the right Steam Deck storage option depends on how many games you plan to store on the device. If you only plan to store a few games, the 64GB model may be sufficient. However, if you want access to a wider range of games, you may opt for one of the higher-storage models.
It’s important to note that the Steam Deck also includes a MicroSD card slot, which allows you to expand your storage capacity even further. If you plan on storing a large number of games, consider purchasing a larger MicroSD card to supplement or upgrade your device’s internal storage.
If you can afford it, the 512 GB option makes a lot of sense. It gives you the most flexibility to install AAA games on your Steam Deck, which the device has proven it is capable of playing. The Micro SD expansion is nice, but games don’t always run as quickly off of the external card. Having more space gives you more options.
Can You Upgrade the Steam Deck SSD?
Yes, you can upgrade the internal storage drive in the Deck with another one as long as you buy a valid M.2230 solid-state drive. The process only takes about 20 minutes, and you can follow the Youtube video below to get an idea of what needs to be done.
Click here to read about the best Steam Deck SSDs that are fully compatible with the device.
Actual Storage Space on the 64 vs 256 vs 512 GB Steam Deck
Another factor you should consider is that when you buy a Deck, the operating system takes up space on the hard drive. In fact, Steam OS takes up 10 GB worth of space on the Steam Deck.
That means that the true storage sizes are 54 GB, 246 GB, and 502 GB. This makes the smallest option feel even tinier when you say it like this!
Steam Deck Availability
Beware that you might not get to choose which internal SSD your Steam Deck comes with. Depending on inventory levels, some Steam Deck options may not be available. The 512 GB option has traditionally been the most available since Valve makes more profit off of each one sold.
The official Steam Deck store page will tell you the expected delivery date of your Deck if you place an order. Use this information to buy the Deck that will be in your hands quickest.
Steam Deck Game and Storage Requirements
The amount of storage you need on your Steam Deck will largely depend on the type of Steam Deck games you plan to play on the device. Some games have relatively small storage requirements, while others may require significant storage space.
To help you, below is a table of the most popular games for the Steam Deck and how much storage space each is required to install. The required storage space is how much the game takes up, plus how much extra the game needs for updates and files.
By matching up the games you plan to play, you can decide if the Steam Deck 62 vs 256 vs 512 GB model is right for you.
|Cult of the Lamb||4 GB|
|Cyberpunk 2077||70 GB|
|Elden Ring||60 GB|
|Fallout 4||30 GB|
|Grand Theft Auto V||72 GB|
|Hogwarts Legacy||85 GB|
|Marvel’s Midnight Suns||60 GB|
|Monster Hunter Rise||36 GB|
|NBA 2K23||110 GB|
|No Man’s Sky||15 GB|
|Persona 5 Royal||41 GB|
|Project Zomboid||5 GB|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||150 GB|
|Rogue Legacy 2||2 GB|
|Slay the Spire||1 GB|
|Stardew Valley||500 MB|
|The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth||500 MB|
|The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim V||12 GB|
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt||50 GB|
|Vampire Survivors||400 MB|
It’s of course also worth noting that video games with frequent updates, such as online multiplayer games, may require more storage space over time as updates and new content are released.
Here’s a breakdown of the price for each model:
- Steam Deck 64GB – $399
- Steam Deck 256GB – $529
- Steam Deck 512GB – $649
As you can see, it costs $130 to 4x your space but then $130 to 2x your space again.
While the 64GB model is the cheapest option, it’s important to consider whether the extra cost of the higher-storage models is worth the extra SSD capacity.
Steam Deck Overview
The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming PC developed and launched by Valve Corporation in early 2022. It is battery-powered that comes with a 7-inch screen. You can play most games from the Steam store on the deck, and over 7,000 titles are officially supported.
The Deck has a full controller scheme, two haptic mousepads, and four configurable rear buttons. This gives you the flexibility to play games in whatever format you want.
The Deck is also popular for game emulation. You can load emulators and ROMs onto it and play downloaded games from nearly any console. Playstation 2 games and anything earlier than that work really well on the console. Some PS3 and Nintendo Switch games are also supported.
There are different Steam Deck accessories on the market that you can purchase to improve your gaming experience, including screen protectors and protective cases.
Before we dive into the comparison, let’s take a look at some of the features that all three models of Steam Deck share.
- 7-inch touchscreen display
- Custom AMD APU with RDNA 2 graphics
- Full-sized controls including thumbsticks, D-pad, and ABXY buttons
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB-C connectivity
- MicroSD card slot for expandable storage
- Gyro controls for motion-based gameplay
Steam Deck Alternatives
While the Steam Deck is an impressive device, it’s not the only handheld gaming device on the market. Several alternatives offer similar features, functionality and capabilities, including the Nintendo Switch and the GPD Win 3.
When choosing a handheld gaming device, it’s important to consider factors like:
- compatibility and selection of games
- storage capacity
- price difference
Click here to read about all of the top Steam Deck alternatives.
When it comes to choosing the right Steam Deck storage option, it ultimately comes down to your individual needs and preferences. If you only plan to store a few games on your device, the 64GB model may be sufficient. However, if you want access to a wider range of games or plan on storing many games, consider one of the higher-storage models.
If you can afford it, you will never be upset with the 512 GB version of the Deck. Though it costs the most money, the extra storage gives you the most flexibility to load whatever stuff you want onto it.
Regardless of which model you choose, the Steam Deck is an impressive device that offers a unique and innovative gaming experience on the go.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I expand the storage capacity of my Steam Deck?
Yes, the Steam Deck includes a MicroSD slot, further expanding your storage capacity.
What games can I play on the Steam Deck?
The Deck is compatible with thousands of games on the Steam platform, including indie and AAA titles.
Is there any difference between the 64 vs 256 vs 512 GB Steam Deck other than storage size?
Other than the internal drive storage size, the only difference between the different models of the Steam Deck is that the 512 GB version features an anti-glare screen that works better in all lighting conditions.