How to install a MicroSD card and use it to download games on Steam Deck

There are a few different versions of the Steam Deck that players can purchase for themselves. The clearest difference between these versions is their storage capacity, which in turn slightly raises the price of each version. There is a 64GB, 256GB and 512GB option when it comes to storage. In modern games, 64 GB will not be enough to download a single AAA game. While the latest options can hold up to five or six games, sometimes gamers just want more access. If gamers want more downloaded games, they can purchase and install a microSD card.

A microSD card is a small storage device that is primarily used to store files such as photos, videos, and other data. However, players can take advantage of this technology to expand their Steam Deck storage. There are several affordable options for players, varying in storage capacity and read/write times. Some 512GB models from name brands can be purchased for less than $60, for example.

Once gamers have determined what price point and storage capacity suits them, they can install the card into their Steam Deck and format it to store games. Below, players can find out exactly how to do this.

Installing the MicroSD card

With the microSD card in hand, find the slot for it at the bottom of the Steam Deck. This is located on the right side of the bottom of the device. Your Steam Deck can be turned on or off for this process. Make sure you hold the card the right way; There should be an arrow on the card indicating which way it should be inserted into the slot. As you insert the card, they must exert strong pressure to make sure it goes all the way into the slot. You will know the microSD card is fully inserted if it is not protruding from the bottom of the Steam Deck.

If you have done everything correctly, you will see a small icon appear at the top of the Steam Deck. If you inserted the card with Steam Deck turned off, you can turn on the device and see if the icon is at the top of the screen in the task bar. The icon looks like a square shaped mail. If you see that icon, press it and you’ll be taken to settings. If you don’t see it, remove the microSD card and try inserting it again.

In the settings, tap on the “System” tab on the left side under “General”. Here, you can see an option that says “Format SD card” which is what you want to click on. This will trigger a warning that simply assures you that formatting this SD card will erase all of your previous data. If it’s a new SD card, then you don’t have to worry. However, if the card has been used before, make sure all data is backed up to another device. Click “OK” to format the card.

installing games

This process can take different amounts of time depending on the storage capacity of the card. Once it is done, you can start installing games on it. However, before you do that, you want to enable the microSD card as your Steam Deck’s default storage location. Although, if you haven’t populated your Steam Deck’s pre-installed SSD, keep it as default. Then when it gets full you can switch to the microSD.

We recommend using the internal SSD to download games that you want to load faster. The microSD card does not have as fast read/write times, so games will take longer to load. With all of that done, go to your Steam library, select an undownloaded title, and choose to download it.

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