This Deluxe Steam Deck Kickstand Makes A Huge Difference


A Steam Deck, viewed from behind, leans back on the attached Deckmate stand.

Photo: Kotaku

While the steam deck, Valve’s souped-up mini PC, offers a wealth of gaming experiences in a portable format, the lack of a kickstand was a sore spot. Enter the cover size: A simple, plastic bracket that allows you to attach not only a very handy stand, but also several other specialized mounting solutions to the rear of the deck.

The Deckmate is the brainchild of product design engineer Siri Ramos. Ramos has described how the Steam Deck Communities enthusiasm and support have helped them grow what was once a fun personal project into a fully featured product. Just to be sure, the community’s love for maker style small projects is already apparent by scrolling through it r/SteamDeck. The Deckmate evolved from a series of prototypes and early 3D printed parts into a professional-feeling end product. Now that I’ve been using it for a few weeks, it feels like a very natural extension to my Deck, one with a few surprises of its own.

At the center of the Deckmate “system,” as the creator calls it, is the “grip,” a simple plastic claw that, well, holds the back of the mini PC like a crab on a poor zombie. And like that head scratcher, this is a pretty seamless attachment, one that won’t interfere with the system’s standard protective cover. The grip can also hold two additional SD cards and, like a head scratcher, will probably want to stay where you put it. I’ve only transferred it to another Steam Deck once, and bending the plastic back to take it off feels like something I only want to do a few times.

The clips are visible on the top and bottom of the unit when looking at it from the front, but the color and texture of the plastic matches the Deck well. I hardly notice it anymore, and don’t feel it with my hands while playing.

A Steam Deck with the Deckmate grip attached will lie face down in the trunk.

The “grip” bracket snaps in tightly and provides the attachment point for everything else.
Photo: Kotaku

The grip bar itself doesn’t do much. Instead, several “assemblies” can be placed in the back of the device. These are locked in place with a pair of springs. Mounts available include that remarkably handy kickstand, adhesive “pucks” to attach a battery or USB-C hub, wall mounts, and even a 75mm VESA mount like the ones you see on the back of PC monitors.

While using one of my pucks for a handy USB-C hub that allowed me to connect several USB devices and an Ethernet cable to speed up downloads, the stand felt most essential to me.

You may not think of a standard that way; it is a very simple device and concept. But given the size and weight of the Steam Deck, being able to attach one to the back is akin to growing a third arm, especially when playing on a couch or bed.

This dawned on me when I decided to start Spider Man: Remastered a night. Lying in bed, with the kickstand in place, I could simply put the device in front of me to watch the opening cutscene, then pick it up when I was ready to swing around Manhattan Island. That might not seem so revealing if you haven’t spent too many hours on a deck, so let me give some context.

The Steam Deck sits upright with a Deckmate kickstand.

The Deckmate is compatible with the sun, although I am not.
Photo: Kotaku

The Steam Deck is about as heavy as it looks. It’s a great device! And when I play for any length of time, at least for me, my hands get a little spiky and then numb. Being able to put it down with the screen still facing me and giving my hands a break during non-interactive cutscenes allowed me to spend more time gaming. The kickstand also has a nice amount of customization. It can move a full 120 degrees, and it never feels like that notoriously thin piece of junk attached to the Nintendo Switch that always seemed to threaten to break off. The Deckmate stand is also ideal for placing the device on a desk and connecting a keyboard.

Read more: Yes, you can use the steam deck as a computer (here’s how)

An unexpected advantage is the high heat output of the Deck. Being able to prop it up with the exhaust fan pointing in a more vertical direction feels like a better way to put the device down while it’s downloading something or playing a graphics-intensive movie. If Reddit is to be believed, maybe there are too aromatherapeutic benefits until enjoying.

Another surprising use of the stand was that while I was in bed or on a couch, I could use it as a monopole, allowing it to support more of the unit’s weight. As a result, my hands didn’t do the job of both playing the device and holding it. Overall, with the standard accessory, the Deckmate just made the Deck a cozier machine for me.

While I felt the stand was the star of the show, others may find it more useful when mounting additional accessories on the adhesive pucks. As Deckmate’s site warns, the glue used on these pucks is virtually permanent. So if you want to attach a large battery pack or USB hub or whatever, keep in mind that you are creating a fairly permanent connection between the puck mount and the accessory. They become friends for life.

The back of a Steam Deck shows off a USB-C hub that is held in place with the Deckmate puck mount.

I have a lot to do there now.
Photo: Kotaku

There are a few other caveats. If you have some sort of smartphone-like cover wrapped around your deck, increasing the thickness, the base is gtear bar probably won’t fit around it. Lucky, a Deckmate Adapter which has the same 3M adhesive as the pucks, provides an alternative way to fix the g . to fastenrip to the back of a third party case. However, it may be impossible to resolve conflicts with certain docks. While Deckmate’s FAQ seems very optimistic about fitting in something like a JSAUX dockI found the grip bar just a bit too big and made it unstable when I was in my dock.

You can also only use one holder at a time, so if you want to use both the stand and charge the device with an external battery, you’ll need to choose which one attaches to the device. Granted, if you’re using the stand, you probably have a flat surface to put that battery down anyway.

The Steam Deck sits next to several Deckmate attachments.  The cord on the side shows traces of a dubious Photoshop.

The Steam Deck, with the handle attached, sits next to several Deckmate attachments (the rightmost puck is coupled to a generic USB-C hub).
Photo: Kotaku

If you’re using a USB-C hub, it’s critical to pay close attention to cable length, especially when making the final decision to attach a puck to the hub. In my case, I suspect I taped the puck a little too low on my hub, and as a result, the USB-C cable has a little too much tension when it extends all the way to my Deck’s single USB-C port. . I’ll probably try to reposition this, but since the glue is a single use, I’ll probably have to get creative. Moral of the story: Measure your cable lengths and use right-angle adapters where it makes sense.

Once detached, the kickstand and all puck-equipped devices fit easily into the storage case that comes with the deck. You can just put it in compartment at the bottom that many a Steam Deck user has found it creative used for. That said, if your accessory needs to expand to a gamepad, keyboard, and even other peripherals, you’ll need a bigger bag. For those times when you want to travel light, you can just loosen the Deckmate mounts and leave the barely noticeable “grip” bracket.

Deckmate parts fit snugly into the bottom compartment of the Steam Deck Supply Case.

Deckmate parts fit snugly into the bottom compartment of the Steam Deck Supply Case.
Photo: Kotaku

If you just want the stand, you’ll need the grip bar, which costs $20, and then the stand mount itself for an extra $15. Individual pucks are $7 each. You can also choose to buy the “full system” including the grip, two pucks, the VESA mount, a wall mount, and the case-agnostic adapter for $49. Though you can certainly find cheaper standard options on Amazon and elsewhere. , the Deckmate system feels sturdy and reliable. If you put the Deck down with the Deckmate stand, it will never feel like it will tip over (as long as the angle is set correctly). The size and build quality feel like a good match for the deck itself.

You can also follow the DIY route via download the digital files from Deckmate and print them yourself. I can imagine it will take some trial and error, but the files are free and distributed, as everything should be, under a Creative Commons license.

Overall, especially with its kickstand, the Deckmate is a great Steam Deck accessory that expands on where (and how) I can play games on it. It is of high quality, looks good and fits nicely with the DIY spirit of the device. With luck, we’ll see more unique, quality projects of this sort as the Deck settles into the wider gaming hardware landscape.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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