Which Steam Deck Should I Get? Comparing the Options

What Steam Deck options are out there, and which one is right for you?

ESG Quick Review:

Main image courtesy of PCMag.

Just when you thought your PC gaming experience couldn’t get any better, Steam comes out with their version of a handheld device, the Steam Deck. Originally released in early 2022 by Valve, it runs its own OS on Linux, and users can not only game, but have access to other PC apps as well. While the big draw was finally being able to play your Steam games away from your computer, you can still always hook up the handheld to a TV or another monitor, mimicking the gaming console experience. It’s nice to have options!

If you’ve finally decided it’s the right time to get your hands on this amazing device, that’s great, but which Steam deck should you choose? And what do reviewers think of each model?

So glad you asked, because in this article, we’re covering:

  • Steam Deck options - with reviews
  • Top notch games you need to add to your library (so you can play them anywhere!)

Steam Deck options available now 

What’s the difference between the available models, and what do folks have to say about them?

steam deck game
Steam Decks allow you to take all your favorite games anywhere you want! Image courtesy of Eurogamer.

Now that the Steam Deck has been out for a while, there are a couple of different models you can choose from. The first step to determining which is right for you is to think about your preferences.

  • What types of games do you mostly play? 
  • Do they require amazing graphics and the fastest processor available?
  • How much storage do you need?
  • How often do you want to play games away from your PC?
  • Where would you be doing handheld gaming? Near a charger or not?
  • How large should your display screen be?

These are all legit questions to consider before you start looking at Deck options. Keep in mind, reviewers caution that you shouldn’t expect to get hours upon hours out of your charge, especially if you’re playing AAA games. But if you’re playing more 2D games or an indie title, you can probably get more out of your charge. They stress that this is designed to take your favorite games on the go, so don’t expect everything to look as amazing on the small screen as it does on your computer. For the price, this device consistently ranks as a favorite.

Dynageo on Reddit states, “…in handheld mode, if you're playing intensive AAA games and don't tweak for better battery life it'll last around 2 hours but I've played games that lasted around 7 hours as well.”

It’s not only fun to be able to play your favorite games away from your PC, but it’s comfortable to hold in your hands as well. This is a big bonus, especially if you’ve experienced tired fingers or cramps. 

Reddit reviewer ebitiba says “For my hands it's extremely comfortable. I can play for upwards of 6-8 hrs with almost no hand cramps. I love to play while sitting on the couch, then go lay down on the bed, then go outside the house...”

As long as you’re aware of that going forward, lots of folks wholeheartedly recommend picking up a Steam Deck. Let’s get to your options.

256 GB LCD

Costs $399.00

  • 256GB NVMe SSD
  • 1280 x 800 optically bonded LCD display
  • 7" Diagonal display size
  • up to 60Hz refresh rate
  • 7 nm APU
  • Wi-Fi 5
  • Check out the rest of the specs here

Reviewers seem to like that you can open this system right out of the box and start playing. They also like that you get a lot for the price point. 

Mhh91 says, “I have it and yes, it's definitely worth it. I also thought I'd only play a few games and then found myself installing everything under the sun because of how convenient gaming on the deck is.”

While DiabUK states, “The lcd model is at a great price right now, you won't get anything better for what they are asking unless you double what you spend.”


  • Cost
  • Great value compared to other gaming systems of the same price
  • Holds enough games for the average player
  • Comfortable to hold


  • Not a ton of storage, but does fine
  • Louder fan
  • Charge doesn’t last as long

steam deck featuring a game
Will you decide to go with a SD LCD, or the new OLED? Too many choices! Image courtesy of CNET.



Costs $549.00


Costs $649.00

  • 1TB NVMe SSD
  • 1280 x 800 HDR OLED display with premium anti-glare etched glass
  • 7.4" Diagonal display size
  • up to 90Hz refresh rate
  • 6 nm APU
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Get the remaining specs here!

While the LCD device is fantastic for the price point, Valve and Steam have recently (late 2023) come out with a new and improved model, the OLED with two tiers of storage and different prices.

It hasn’t been long, but it appears these are the upgrades gamers were looking for, including an amazing display, remarkable contrast, and a larger picture. You’ll also be happy to know that there’s an improved battery, offering 30-50% more life than the LCD. It also has faster downloads, more storage, it’s lighter, and the fan is bigger. 

As for reviews:

“In short, it is a triumph, a huge success, it’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.” -Cool-Arrival-2617

“It's a joy to use, cloud saves means that you carry your progress and some games are just amazing to play on.” -MuchStache

It seems like the upgrades are appreciated! Which size you get will depend on how much you intend to use it, and how many games you want your device to hold. While this is designed to be played anywhere you are, keep in mind you can also get a docking station for $79.00 in order to connect your SD to an external display and take advantage of charging power and a wired network.


  • Amazing contrast
  • Great screen
  • Quieter fan
  • Better battery life


  • Pricier
  • The cost may not be worth it for every gamer

Note: Additionally there are two models being phased out, the 64GB LCD and the 512GB LCD, and they’ll be on sale until they’re sold out. 

Top tier games you can play on your Steam Deck

Once you get your hands on one, download these games ASAP for a great experience on Steam Deck

Coral Island - $29.99

coral island on steam deck
What will you grow once you leave the big city and take up residence on Coral Island? Image courtesy of Steampowered

“Coral Island is a vibrant and laid-back reimagining of farm sim games. Be who you want and experience enchanting island living at your own pace—live off the land, and nurture animals.”

If you’re ready to play a relaxing, farm sim type game, then Coral Island is for you—not to mention it looks great on Steam Deck! Here you get to fix up your farm, decide what to grow, what animals to raise, forge friendships, and even restore the local coral reef. You get to decide how you look, who you interact with, and write your own story daily by checking out the caves, swimming in the reef, focusing on your farm, or hunting for insects! 

Hero’s Adventure: Road to Passion - $17.99

hero's adventure on steam deck
Learn to fight with the greats, but beware, anyone can turn into a friend or foe! Image courtesy of Steampowered.

“You will commence your journey as an underdog in the tumultuous Martial World and will be met with a wide array of choices as you navigate your own heroic saga.” 

This game is your adventure, and the choices you make will determine how you succeed in this world of martial artists. You’ll come across potential foes anywhere, and you can either choose to learn from them, or be defeated. Here you’ll learn the skills to master martial arts, explore cities and villages, and discover your own distinct ending! 

Farlight 84 - Free to play!

farlight 84 on steam deck
Want to try a game that offers no instant death and multiple revives? With Farlight 84 you can get instant revenge on a foe! Image courtesy of Steampowered

“Fast-Paced Hero shooter Battle Royale. Multi-platform interoperable. With flexible jetpacks, diverse hero skills, armed vehicles, a special in-game growth system and multiple revives, Farlight 84 brings you quicker battles with more compact mayhem and rampage!” 

Looking for something to immerse yourself in that’s also free on Steam? Then consider trying out Farlight 84! Choose from a variety of heroes, each with their own unique skills that are crucial in battle. There are all kinds of weapons and vehicles to help you traverse the terrain and take down your foes. Assemble your squad and dominate your opponents with skilled shooting, jetpacks, and the chance to return to the battlefield to complete the mission. 

So, which Steam Deck are you going to get?

Portable game playing has never been better with either the LCD or OLED Steam Decks. Depending on how much you game, and what types of games are your favorites, can help determine which Steam Deck is made for you. 

More from Esteemed Steam Games

Looking for something else? Search Esteemed Steam Games:

More from Esteemed Steam Games

Looking for something else? Search Esteemed Steam Games: