Top SD Cards for Steam Deck: Ultimate Guide to Boosting Storage and Performance

Storage space is essential for storing information, data, and important files in gaming. Frequent updates and the addition of features need unbound space for storage, making storage space an essential part of steam decks and gaming consoles.

With the advancement in gaming needs like storing multiple games in a single device, saving the progress in every game, installation of updates, and additional features make it essential for gamers to have expansive as well as expandable storage on their systems and devices.  A prolonged storage space enables a gamer to freely enjoy as many games as they want.

In this article, we will understand all about the storage requirements in a Steam Deck and how an SD card can boost the storage, performance, and gaming experience in Steam Decks.

steam deck sd card

In order to know more about the importance of storage space for gaming, first, we need to understand more about SD cards.

What are SD cards?

A Secure Digital card or SD card is a flash memory card used in various devices like mobile phones and digital cameras for availing a high capacity memory. They are generally the size of a postal stamp and weigh around two grams. It offers benefits like low battery consumption and high data transfer rates. Also, an SD card provides nonvolatile storage for information and data, so it does not require a connection to a power source to store or retain the data. Earlier SD cards came with a limited storage capacity, but nowadays, they provide storage of around 2TB of data.

Types of SD cards

SD cards can be broadly divided into three categories based on their storage capacity and functionality:

SD:SD cards are the oldest version that provides a storage capacity of around 2GB. They were widely used in the era of multimedia phones. These cards are compatible to be used in small devices that need minimum or basic storage space.

SDHCHigh Capacity SD cards or SDHC cards provide a storage space expandable up to 32 GB. They are suitable to be used in smartphones, tablets, and other devices that need average or decent storage space. These cards are apt to fulfill our everyday digital storage needs.

SDXCSDXC or Expanded Capacity SD cards provide an enormous storage capacity of about 2TB or 2000 GB. These cards are used in professional setups and devices like gaming consoles, Steam Deck, and other high-end devices.

Key specifications

A complete knowledge of SD cards can not be attained without knowing about the key specifications of an SD card. Following are some of the most prominent factors or specifications associated with an SD card:

1. Storage capacity

The storage capacity is the principal specification provided by an SD card. It defines the functionality, compatibility, and usability of a card. An SD card with limited or less storage is not suitable to be used in cameras, gaming sets, and other professional devices. SD cards are divided into different categories based on their storage capacity.

2. Speed class

The transfer speed is also one of the necessary aspects of an SD card. Basic SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards provide a transfer speed of around 12 mbps which is quite average when compared to high-speed and ultra-high-speed SD cards.

3. UHS (Ultra High Speed) class

Ultra-high-speed SD cards provide optimum transfer speed and can be further divided into two categories, i.e., UHS-I and UHS-II. UHS-I provides a transfer speed of 104 Mbps, whereas UHS-II SD cards provide a transfer speed of 312 Mbps. Gamers and players can choose an SD card with any of the specifications mentioned above that best fits the storage and speed requirements of their Steam Deck.

Best SD Cards for Steam Deck

However, when discussing the SD cards that are best to be used with Steam Deck, those mentioned in this article become the most unmissable ones. So, let us know about each one of these in detail.

1. SanDisk Extreme Pro

  • Capacity and speed

The first one is SanDisk Extreme Pro; it is undoubtedly one of the best in class SD cards providing a transfer and reading speed of around 200 Mbps. Moreover, they are also available with different storage capacities of 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1TB.

  • Reliability and durability

The ability to sustain harsh conditions makes SanDisk Extreme Pro a durable SD card that is temperature-proof, waterproof, shockproof, as well as X-ray-proof. Given these benefits and specifications, it is counted by many as a stable option in the SD card segment.

sandisk extreme pro

2. Samsung EVO Plus

  • Capacity and speed

The massive storage capacity provided by the Samsung EVO Plus SD card ranges from 64 GB to 512 GB. It also provides a transfer and reading speed of 130 Mbps. It is also one of the best-performing SD cards in its range.

  • Reliability and durability

The qualities like 6-proof protection make it waterproof, temperature-proof, X-ray-proof, magnet-proof, drop-proof, and wear-out-proof. These qualities increase the reliability and durability of these SD cards.

samsung evo plus

3. Lexar Professional 1000x

  • Capacity and speed

Lexar Professional 1000x is also a competitive option and a decent performer for SD cards to be used in a Steam Deck. It provides storage space ranging from 64 GB to 256 GB. The read transfer speed provided by it is around 150 Mbps, which makes it a considerable option.

  • Reliability and durability

The rigorous testing makes it a trustable and dependable option as an SD card to be used in a Steam Deck for better storage and performance.

lexar professional 1000x

4. Kingston Canvas Go! Plus

  • Capacity and speed

Kingston Canvas Go Plus is a robust alternative offering storage space between 64 GB to 512 GB with a transfer speed of 170 Mbps. It is a high-performing SD card apt to be used in a Steam Deck.

  • Reliability and durability

This UHS-I SD card is durable and sufficiently reliable to be used for storing games, adding the latest features and retaining the progress in the game levels in a Steam Deck.

kingston canvas go

5. PNY Elite-X

  • Capacity and speed

PNY Elite-X SD cards offer a storage space of up to 512 GB and a decent read transfer speed of 100 Mbps. It is undoubtedly a top-class high-caliber SD card ideal for use in a Steam Deck.

  • Reliability and durability

The reliability and durability offered by the PNY SD card are of high order and make it highly recommendable and dependable to be used in gaming devices like a Steam Deck.

pny elite x

Steam Deck Storage Considerations

While choosing the most compatible storage options for Steam Deck, it is equally important to understand the internal storage’s inbuilt storage features and capacity to efficiently balance the performance as well as storage needs of the device.

Internal storage options

Steam Deck is available in different models, providing various storage capacities. You can choose from the 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB storage models. However, when it comes to gaming, it is always considered that the bigger the storage, the better. Therefore Steam Deck also provides an expandable storage option of up to 2 TB. It allows the player to install as many games as they can from the game library of Steam Deck.

Managing game libraries

The Steam Deck game library is ever-expanding as their team keeps testing more games and enriching the game options suitable for playing. The first tab on the game library shows all the games that are most compatible with Steam Deck. The rest of the space in the library is taken up by a full catalog of different verified games. By following the given steps, you can easily manage your Steam library:

  • Step 1- Open the Steam game library.
  • Step 2- Select your game from the side panel of the library.
  • Step 3- After right-clicking on the game, go to properties and DLC.
  • Step 4- Now, you can add or remove the game or add on by ticking and unticking the column.
  • Step 5- After closing the window, the selected game or addition will automatically appear or disappear from your collection.

This way, you can effectively manage the game library on Steam Deck.

Balancing storage needs and performance

You can easily balance or manage your storage needs in Steam Deck. If you want some extra space for downloading more games on Steam Deck, you can use an SD card. Or you can easily manage the storage space by clicking on the ‘Storage’ option present in the ‘Settings’ menu. From there, you can analyze the consumption and usage of the storage space.

Sometimes, having full storage with a little too many games installed on the device can also affect the performance of the device. To declutter the storage by uninstalling some games that you haven’t played for a long time and are neither planning to, to improve the performance of the device, or to make some space for installing new and exciting games, you can go through the following steps:

  • Go to the Steam Library.
  • Click on the ‘Installed’ tab.
  • Now, click on ‘Menu’
  • In the Menu option, select ‘Manage’ and then ‘Uninstall’ to free up space on the device.

Formatting SD Cards for Steam Deck

Choosing the right file system

SD cards are widely used to increase the storage space on a Steam Deck, but you need to know the right type and format of SD card to use in Steam. It is ideal to use a micro SD card with an EXT4 file system format.

Step-by-step formatting guide

In order to format SD cards for Steam Deck, you need to follow the steps given below:

  • Go to the Settings option
  • Then go to the ‘System’ tab
  • Scroll down to find the ‘Format SD card’ option
  • Click on it and wait for the SD card to get formatted

This way, you can create new overall storage for your games.

Installing and Removing SD Cards on Steam Deck

Step-by-step installation guide

These are the steps to install an SD card on your Steam Deck:

  • You need to add the SD card to the SD card slot. The slot is present at the bottom of the Deck below the right corner of the screen.
  • The card goes into the slot in a face-up position.
  • Adjust the card properly in the slot.

Safely ejecting and removing SD cards

You can safely remove an SD card from your Steam Deck by switching it off and carefully taking it out from the SD card slot. After closing the slot you can switch on the Steam Deck and start playing the games stored in its internal memory.

Recommend Steam Deck Accessory to Enhance Gaming Experience

After collecting a considerable amount of information about Steam DEck and its storage capacity as well as features, it is time we become aware of the best Deck available in the market, i.e., the Ugreen Steam Deck Dock 6-in-1 USB C Docking Station with 4K@60Hz HDMI. It is, without any doubt, the most advanced, dependable and competent device for an unmatched and exceptional gaming experience.

keyboard in steam deck01

It has incredible features like:

  • 4K@60Hz video quality for an amazing gaming experience.
  • Two USB A 3.0 ports and one USB C 3.0 for an enhanced gaming experience with your friends.
  • 100W PD charging for playing an uninterrupted game without power loss.
  • Anti-slip silicon strip that offers a stable grip to keep the Deck from falling.

There are various benefits of using Ugreen Steam Deck Dock, like,

  • Outstanding video quality for a wholesome gaming experience.
  • The option to play with your friends provides greater enjoyment of playing.
  • The accessibility to play the game whenever you want without thinking about power shortage or loss.
  • Qualities like comfortable angle, 90-degree connector, and anti-slip design accentuate the comfort and thrill of gaming.


All in all, installing an SD card in the Steam Deck would enable you to expand the storage and install all the preferred and latest games. It also enhances the performance of the device. Having expandable storage also enables you to store the latest updates and features of the game.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use multiple SD cards with my Steam Deck?

Yes, you can use multiple SD cards with your Steam Deck to expand its storage capacity. The Steam Deck features a microSD card slot that supports high-capacity microSD cards, allowing you to easily add additional storage to your device. This is particularly useful for gamers who want to store large game libraries or media files. Simply insert the microSD card into the slot, and the Steam Deck will automatically recognize the additional storage. You can also easily switch between multiple SD cards as needed, providing you with flexibility and convenience.

2. What is the maximum storage capacity supported by Steam Deck?

The Steam Deck offers three different storage options: 64GB eMMC storage, 256GB NVMe SSD storage, and 512GB NVMe SSD storage. The maximum storage capacity supported by the Steam Deck is 512GB, which is the highest storage option available. However, the Steam Deck also features a microSD card slot that supports high-capacity microSD cards, allowing you to expand your storage capacity even further. With the ability to use multiple SD cards and up to 512GB of internal storage, the Steam Deck provides ample space for gamers to store their game libraries and media files.

3. How do I transfer games between internal storage and an SD card?

Step 1- Click on Steam

Step 2- Open Settings

Step 3- Go to Storage

Step 4- Select the game you want to move

Step 5- Tap on ‘Move content’

Step 6- Select where to move the game

Step 7- Confirm

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