Players Report Valve’s Priciest Steam Deck Is Prone To Cracking

The nearly $700 Limited Edition Steam Deck OLED was released in November 2023 and came with all the improvements found in the normal OLED Deck, but also sported a translucent plastic shell. But this pricier, limited variant seems to be cracking due to overly-tight screws and possible issues with the special plastic used to create its transparent shell.

Since its initial release in 2022, Valve’s portable PC, the Steam Deck, has been a massive success for the company and helped usher in a new era of portable, Switch-like PC devices. In late 2023, to help stay at the top and beat out the new competition, Valve released the Steam Deck OLED, an upgraded version of the device with a fancier screen, more storage, and a better battery. Alongside this, Valve released a limited edition upgraded version of the OLED Deck that cost more than other versions—$680—and came with extra decorative touches, like colored vents and a transparent shell. However, this priciest version of the device seems to be prone to cracking, according to many on Reddit.

Over on the Steam Deck subreddit, you can find many different owners sharing photos and stories of discovering tiny cracks in the back of their fairly new Limited Edition OLED Steam Decks. The cracks tend to be found near screws in the back of the device.

“I woke up this morning to an unfortunate surprise,” posted one user on April 1. “The plastic shell next to the vent cracked and now the section near the SD card slot is wobbly. I’ve never dropped my deck and I always store it in the provided case when not in use. I’m hoping it’s not a quality issue with the translucent shell material, so I’m posting this in case other people with the LE experience the same thing.”

An image shows the cracked back of a Steam Deck OLED.

Others took to the replies, chiming in to say that they had found similar cracks in their Limited Edition Decks, too.

“Wow. I have these cracks too it turns out. That is some bullshit right there,” one user replied.

“I checked mine and it happened to me as well. Oh no,” posted someone else.

Looking around the subreddit, I found plenty of posts and comments where people claim to have checked their LE OLED Steam Decks and discovered tiny cracks on the back.

While some owners have reported Valve has been unwilling to replace devices or offer free fixes, others claim to have had better success after sharing the numerous posts, images, and threads about the cracks with the company—seemingly showing this is a widespread issue involving the plastic and not just a case of someone dropping their Steam Deck. At the moment, it seems a bit hit-or-miss. Kotaku has contacted Valve for more information.

As for what to do to prevent this, the most popular fix is to loosen the screws on the back of the Steam Deck slightly to avoid undue stress on the plastic. Some folks have claimed that the screws on the Steam Deck OLED’s back are sometimes overly tight leading to cracks.

Thankfully, the cracks are small and appear to only be cosmetic. I’ve not seen any evidence that these cracks are causing serious damage or making the device unplayable or anything like that. However, I can understand that after spending nearly $700 on a new device, tiny cracks forming in the back of it for no reason might be very frustrating.


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