7 really dumb things people have done to the Steam Deck

Steam Deck distorted after being run through a wash
(Image credit: pocket_rip on Reddit)

The Steam Deck is a major gaming purchase. You've already sat and agonized over your choice between the Steam Deck or ROG Ally, made your decision and saved the $399+ to lay down on some serious gaming tech, and one would hope you're going to look after it. Unfortunately for some Steam Decks, their lives are brought to a premature demise by absent-minded owners or those eager to experiment by taking it apart like Dr Frankenstein. From getting mixed in the wash, to run over, to being chewed up by puppies — here are the 7 dumbest things people have done to their Steam Decks. 

1. The Steam Deck that turned in a chew toy

If anyone has had the responsibility of rearing a puppy, you'll know all too well the agony of losing items to sporadic chewing sessions, though when I had my own dog, the primary victims of his ruthless chomping were laundry items, specifically underwear, like socks. Fortunately, I've never lost anything as expensive as an entire Steam Deck, unlike this poor fellow on Reddit 'GegeTheGreat' who left his Steam Deck on charge to have a shower and came out to his puppy Pebbles having a veritable feast of triggers, bumpers and backplate. Perhaps the funniest part of this Reddit story is the photos show a dog who definitely wants second helpings. Perhaps he'll order a Steam Deck OLED for a premium version of the meal?

2. The Steam Deck that got dropped on a highway

Time for an RMA  (Image credit: not_that_guy_either on Reddit)

Valve's RMA process for Steam Deck's is pretty thorough and easy to use, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't cover having your Steam Deck thrown from a moving vehicle, let alone a motorcycle. Unfortunately in this guys case, losing his Steam Deck from his bag while out on a motorcycle ride resulted in more than just a loose trigger. He now has his own very expensive jigsaw puzzle. 

3. No, you can't put the Steam Deck in the washing machine

Used too much fabric softener perhaps?  (Image credit: pocket_rip on Reddit)

There are certain well known sacred commandments of laundry, passed down from generation to generation. Delicates shalt not go in the tumble dryer, red socks shalt not tango with the virginal white shirts, and thou shalt not mix your dark wash denim with $400 electronics. Unfortunately, this Steam Deck met the spin cycle head-on when its owner absentmindedly shoved it inside a washing machine amongst a bundle of clothes. Pocket_rip on Reddit said of their ordeal, "Tried to hide my Steam Deck in a wash load while carrying it through a rough part of town, forgot I hid it when going to put my clothes in the machine and washed my steam deck. No, it does not work anymore. It does, however, smell like Lavender now."

Somehow, I think this will need more than one bag of rice to fix.  

4. Steam Deck screws, the only thing that isn't better stripped.

The screws on the Steam Deck are a P.I.T.A (Image credit: LoonaaX on Reddit)

This scenario is a little less dramatic than the others, but I'm including as a cautionary tale. While it's a relatively simple process to replace the back plate on a Steam Deck or remove to upgrade the innards, the screws on the LCD model are an absolute pain in the deck and you can find yourself stripping the head incredibly easily if you don't approach the task slowly and use the correct tools. I've managed to do this myself and rescue with a rubber band on the end of a screwdriver, but this owner went to far in their quest while trying to upgrade the SSD of their Steam Deck. Even if Valve asked users not to do this. Not only did they strip the screw head, they tried to better the situation with wire cutters, and then a drill. "I thought the wire cutters could make like a hole to loosen up the screw until it falls out."

While you can almost guarantee a weekly 'stripped screw' post on the Steam Deck subreddit, Valve has thankfully replaced the screws on the OLED model for Torx type, which makes disassembly and reassembly a much less painful process. 

5. The Steam Deck that took a steamy bath, and survived!

This guy took Dave the Diver to immersive new heights (Image credit: smallmouthbackus on Reddit)

An oldie but a goodie, and a great example of why Homer Simpson was a wise man indeed when he declared "To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems." This Steam Deck owner dropped their handheld in the bath, and no they didn't drown their sorrows in a bottle or two of Chenin Blanc, they took the entire Deck apart and cleaned itl, bringing it back from the dead in a miracle not seen since Jesus turned water into 99.9% isopropyl alcohol. At least that's how I remember that story.

Dropped deck in bathtub. Cleaned every single part in 99% alcohol and survived! from r/SteamDeck

No, seriously, this guy took the entire Steam Deck to pieces and, in two hours, cleaned each part in 99% alcohol, put it back together, and it actually worked. An interesting tale for anyone interested in fixing their own electronics. The age-old advice of dunking your wet electronics into a bag of rice can actually damage your stuff further with rice dust, so it's always good to have a bottle of isopropyl alcohol (less than $10 on Amazon) in the house for cleaning gadgets. I wouldn't go as far as diligently cleaning a whole Steam Deck, but I've saved a couple of Xbox controllers with a similar method. 

6. The Steam Deck that was crushed "tis but a scratch"

Guess the screen protector doesn't work on trucks (Image credit: Rh1nestoneC0wb0y on Reddit)

The Steam Deck is a sturdy handheld, but perhaps not so sturdy it can withstand being ran over by a truck, as this person found out the hard way. They left their backpack leaning on the tyre of a truck to help a buddy reverse and the rest is history. There's only so much a screen protector can do afterall. 

7. The Steam Deck that died in the name of vanity

A beautiful atomic purple corpse (Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)

It would be remiss of me to mention all of these unfortunate Steam Deck mishaps without also mentioning my own stupidity and how I destroyed my Steam Deck in the name of aesthetics. Don't let my tale put you off from customization completely, as fitting a new backplate to your Steam Deck is relatively painless (as long as you don't strip a screw as above), but the front plate requires a level of technical prowess that I don't possess. If you're confident taking apart a Steam Deck and not completely destroying it, more power to you. In my case, the Steam Deck screen was destroyed beyond repair. I'll never know what went wrong, but the hairdryer probably did it. In any case, I now have a new Steam Deck that will never know terror like my first, no matter how much I want to fit JSAUX RGB lights to it.

Jennifer Young

Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.