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Want to find the best Steam Deck cases for protecting your handheld? No one wants such a powerful handheld gaming PC to be permanently ruined from a single hard drop while out and about. Let’s dive into the best options for Steam Deck cases currently available on the market, and what downsides you should consider before buying any of them.
Why Get a Steam Deck Case?
First, let’s start with why you should get a Steam Deck case to begin with: to protect your handheld.
Make no mistake, the included Steam Deck carrying case is pretty good. It has padding and an arm strap for easy lugging around. The problem is, the included carrying case isn’t going to do anything to protect your Steam Deck while it is actually in active play and use.
For that, you’ll need to get a protective case for your Steam Deck. That’s what this guide is for!
Features Offered by Third-Party Steam Deck Cases
Let’s talk about the features you should be looking for in your Steam Deck case!
First and foremost, the most important feature will probably be the protective shell. Since the Steam Deck is frequently used as a handheld console, it’s at a higher risk of damage from physical shock and falls than something like your desktop PC would be. Getting a Steam Deck case with a strong protective shell is a great way to help protect your investment, especially if you’re spending a lot of time playing it outside of your own house.
One often-overlooked feature of the Nintendo Switch is its built-in kickstand for tabletop play. It’s definitely not the most optimal Switch gaming experience, but it is still pretty nifty to have a built-in stand for a tablet-sized display on a handheld like that. Getting a Steam Deck case with an added kickstand is a great way to add further flexibility to where you place and use your Deck, similar to the Switch.
Another great thing offered with some premium Steam Deck cases (you may have to get it separately with others) is a screen protector! Screen protectors are just another part of protecting your long-term investment, helping prevent scratches and other minor screen damage. You’ll need a sturdy case to prevent structural damage to your screen from a fall, though.
Finally, one of the more premium features of Steam Deck cases will be custom skins. If you want to add extra visual flourish to your Steam Deck, getting a case with an additional custom skin will cost a prettier penny, but also result in a much prettier system overall once you’ve finished installing your skin and protective case.
One Problem With All Steam Deck Cases
However, there is also a critical flaw that needs to be pointed out before anyone considers buying a Steam Deck case.
For every major Steam Deck protective case available on the market at the time of writing, the added padding makes the Deck incompatible with many Steam Deck docking stations, including Valve’s own.
A non Deck-specific USB docking station should work fine, though! In the article linked above, I’ve also recommended a USB-C docking station that won’t hold the Deck but offers plenty of ports and should work well with one of the listed kickstand cases below!
Best Steam Deck Cases
Best Budget Steam Deck Case: Benazcap Case for Steam Deck
If you just want an affordable protective Steam Deck Case, the Benazcap Case for Steam Deck seems like a suitable option. Retailing for under $20 at the time of writing, this case comes with a nice built-in kickstand and a full-body protective covering that doesn’t obstruct airflow or ruin the grips.
Best Value Steam Deck Case: JSAUX Kickstand Case for Steam Deck
If you want a slightly more premium-looking protective Steam Deck Case, the JSAUX Kickstand Case is another option worth considering for slightly above $20 at the time of writing. The expected protective case feature is here, as well as a built-in kickstand.
Unlike the Benazcap Case, this case leaves most of the back of the Steam Deck uncovered, but it’s worth noting that this section would be very difficult to have directly impact with the ground due to the protruding handles anyways. Visually, the design is more streamlined, but you may prefer the bulkier Benazcap Case if you’re squeamish about more of your Deck being uncovered.
Best Overall Steam Deck Case: Project Killswitch from DBRAND
My recommendation for the Best Overall Steam Deck case is going to come down to Project Killswitch from DBRAND. The expected protective casing and kickstand features are both there, but Killswitch also offers further feature additions and customizations.
If you’re willing to pay more for the privilege, you can get your Killswitch case decked out with extra features. This includes custom skins, a high-quality tempered glass screen protector add-on, and even a replacement Travel Cover to replace Valve’s included Carrying Case if you so desire.
Note: At the original time of writing (November 2022), this product has recently been relaunched due to a critical defect with a magnetic kickstand feature. All offending Killswitches have since been recalled and refunded, and currently new ones are available for pre-order and customization at the site linked above.
And that’s all!
I hope this article helped you find the best Steam Deck Cases for your needs, or even led you away from them if you see yourself as primarily a Docked user who won’t be leaving the house with a protective case fairly often. In any case (no pun intended), I hope the article was enjoyable and helpful!
Please feel free to leave opinions, questions, or concerns in the comments section below! I’d love to hear from you guys and help with any Steam Deck or PC gaming-related issues you might be having.
Until then or until next time, happy gaming! And don’t forget: if you slap an extra case onto the Steam Deck, it probably won’t fit on your Docking Station!