Home Video Games This Deluxe Steam Deck Kickstand Makes A Huge Difference

This Deluxe Steam Deck Kickstand Makes A Huge Difference

This Deluxe Steam Deck Kickstand Makes A Huge Difference


A Steam Deck, seen from the rear, leans back on its attached Deckmate kickstand.

Photo: Kotaku

While the Steam Deck, Valve’s souped-up mini PC, provides a wealth of gaming experiences in a transportable format, the dearth of a kickstand has been a sore spot. Enter the Deckmate: A easy, plastic bracket that allows you to connect not only a very useful kickstand, but additionally a number of different specialised mounting options to the again of the Deck.

The Deckmate is the brainchild of product design engineer Siri Ramos. Ramos has described how the Steam Deck neighborhood’s enthusiasm and assist has helped them develop what was as soon as a enjoyable private undertaking into a completely featured product. To be certain, the neighborhood’s love for small maker-style tasks is clear simply from scrolling by way of r/SteamDeck. The Deckmate advanced from a sequence of prototypes and early 3D-printed elements to a professional-feeling closing product. Now having used it for a number of weeks, it looks like a really pure extension of my Deck, one with a number of surprises of its personal.

At the middle of the Deckmate “system,” because the creator calls it, is the “grip,” a easy plastic claw that, effectively, grips the again of the mini-PC like a headcrab on a poor zombie. And like that headcrab, it is a fairly seamless attachment, one which doesn’t intrude with the system’s inventory protecting case. The grip can even maintain two spare SD playing cards, and like a headcrab, is more likely to need to keep the place you place it. I’ve transferred it to a different Steam Deck simply as soon as, and bending the plastic again to get it off looks like one thing I solely need to do a handful of occasions at most.

The clips are seen on the highest and backside of the machine when it from the entrance, however the coloration and texture of the plastic blends in effectively with the Deck. I hardly discover it anymore, and don’t really feel it with my fingers when taking part in.

A Steam Deck with the Deckmate grip attached lays facedown in the case.

The “grip” bracket snaps on snugly and supplies the attachment level for every little thing else.
Photo: Kotaku

The grip bracket itself doesn’t do a lot. Instead, it permits for a wide range of “mounts” to fit into the again of the machine. These lock into place with a pair of springs. Available mounts embody that remarkably useful kickstand, “pucks” with adhesives to lock a battery or USB-C hub, wall mounts, and even a 75mm VESA mount such as you see on the backs of PC screens.

While I used certainly one of my pucks for a useful USB-C hub that allowed me to plug in a wide range of USB gadgets together with an ethernet cable to hurry up downloads, the kickstand felt most important to me.

You won’t assume a lot of a kickstand; it’s a really fundamental machine and idea. But given the dimensions and weight of the Steam Deck, having the ability to connect one to the again has been kind of like rising a 3rd arm, particularly when taking part in on a sofa or mattress.

This dawned on me after I determined to fireplace up Spider-Man: Remastered one evening. Laying in mattress, with the kickstand in place, I might simply relaxation the machine in entrance of me to observe the opening cutscene, then choose it up after I was prepared to start out swinging round Manhattan island. That could not appear so revelatory when you haven’t put in too many hours on a Deck, so let me give some context.

The Steam Deck sits upright with a kickstand from the Deckmate.

The Deckmate is suitable with the solar, although I’m not.
Photo: Kotaku

The Steam Deck is about as heavy because it appears. It’s an enormous machine! And taking part in for prolonged durations of time, at the very least for me, kinda makes my fingers get prickly after which, numb. Being in a position to set it down with the display nonetheless going through me and provides my fingers a break throughout non-interactive cutscenes has allowed me to spend extra time gaming. The kickstand additionally has a pleasant quantity of adjustment. It can transfer a full 120 levels, and it by no means looks like that notoriously flimsy piece of junk connected to the Nintendo Switch, which at all times appeared to threaten to snap proper off. The Deckmate kickstand can be splendid for setting the unit down on a desk and connecting a keyboard.

Read More: Yes, You Can Use The Steam Deck As A Computer (Here’s How)

One sudden profit entails the Deck’s excessive warmth output. Being in a position to prop it up with the exhaust fan pointing in a extra vertical path looks like a greater approach to set the machine down whereas it’s downloading one thing or taking part in a graphically intensive cutscene. If Reddit’s to be believed, there may additionally be aromatherapeutic advantages to get pleasure from.

Another shocking use of the kickstand was that, whereas laying in mattress or on a sofa, I might kind of use it like a monopole, letting it assist extra of the load of the machine. As a consequence, my fingers weren’t doing the work of each taking part in the machine and holding it. Overall, the Deckmate with the kickstand accent has simply made the Deck a extra cozy machine for me.

Though I discovered the kickstand to be the star of the present, others may discover extra utility in mounting further equipment onto the adhesive pucks. As the Deckmate’s web site warns, the adhesive used on these pucks is nearly everlasting. So if you wish to adhere an enormous battery pack or USB hub or no matter, bear in mind that you just’re creating a reasonably everlasting bond between the puck attachment and the accent. They’re going to be pals for all times.

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

I’ve received rather a lot occurring again there now.
Photo: Kotaku

A number of different caveats exist. If you may have some type of smartphone-style case wrapped round your Deck, thereby rising its thickness, the bottom grip bracket most likely gained’t match round it. Fortunately, a Deckmate adapter that sports activities the identical 3M adhesive because the pucks provides an alternate means by which to lock the grip to the again of a third-party case. It could also be inconceivable to resolve conflicts with sure docks, although. While the Deckmate’s FAQ appears very optimistic about it becoming into one thing like a JSAUX dock, I discovered the grip bracket was only a bit too huge and made it unstable when sitting in my dock.

You can even solely use one mount at a time, so if you wish to each use the kickstand and cost the machine with an exterior battery, you’ll have to decide on which is getting connected to the machine. Granted, when you’re utilizing the kickstand, you most likely have a flat floor to relaxation that battery down anyway.

The Steam Deck sits next to various Deckmate attachments. The cord on the side shows signs of an iffy Photoshop.

The Steam Deck, with the grip connected, sits subsequent to varied Deckmate attachments (the right-most puck is adhered to a generic USB-C hub).
Photo: Kotaku

Critically, when you’re utilizing a USB-C hub, it’s best to pay cautious consideration to cable size, particularly when making the ultimate resolution to stick a puck to the hub. In my case, I think I adhered the puck a little bit too low on my hub, and because of this, the USB-C cable has a bit an excessive amount of stress when reaching all the best way as much as my Deck’s single USB-C port. I’m seemingly going to attempt to reposition this, however on condition that the adhesive is a one-time use factor, I’m most likely going to need to get artistic. Moral of the story: Measure your cable lengths and make use of right-angle adapters the place it is sensible.

Once indifferent, the kickstand and any puck-equipped gadgets will simply match within the storage case the Deck comes with. You can simply tuck it into that compartment on the underside that many a Steam Deck consumer has discovered artistic makes use of for. That stated, in case your accent wants prolong to a gamepad, keyboard, and but different different peripherals, you’ll want a bigger bag. For these occasions you need to journey mild, you may simply detach the Deckmate mounts and depart the barely noticeable “grip” bracket.

Deckmate parts fit snugly in the underside compartment of the Steam Deck's stock case.

Deckmate elements match snugly within the underside compartment of the Steam Deck’s inventory case.
Photo: Kotaku

If you simply need to get the kickstand, you’ll want the grip bracket, which runs for $20, after which the kickstand mount itself for an additional $15. Individual pucks are $7 every. You can even choose to purchase the “Entire System,” which incorporates the grip, two pucks, the VESA mount, a wall mount, and the case-agnostic adapter for $49. While you may definitely discover cheaper kickstand choices on Amazon and elsewhere, the Deckmate system feels sturdy and dependable. Sitting the Deck down with the Deckmate kickstand, it by no means feels prefer it’s going to topple over (so long as the angle is ready proper). Its measurement and construct high quality really feel like a great match for the Deck itself.

You can even go the DIY route by downloading the Deckmate’s digital recordsdata and print them your self. I think about it can take some trial and error, however the recordsdata are free and distributed, as all issues must be, underneath a Creative Commons license.

Overall, the Deckmate, notably with its kickstand, is a good Steam Deck accent that expands the place (and the way) I can play video games on it. It’s top quality, appears good, and meshes properly with the DIY spirit of the machine. With any luck we’ll see extra distinctive, high quality tasks of this type because the Deck settles into the broader panorama of gaming {hardware}.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here