Valve just made customizing Steam Deck easier — what you need to know

an image of a steam deck shell
(Image credit: Valve)

Update: The Steam Deck can now run Windows — but there's a big catch, so you may want to hold fire if you're lucky enough to have the handheld PC.

The Valve Steam Deck won't come in a range of exciting colors, but if you're tempted to give your pre-ordered console a new look, we've got good news. The company has just released official CAD files to allow users to 3D print their own Steam Deck shells.

This could also open the door for modders and third-party manufacturers alike to work on countless accessories and cases for the Steam Deck. 

In a brief statement, Valve specified that the files for the external shell (surface topology of the device) are downloadable under a standard Creative Commons license. "This includes an STP model, STL model, and drawings (DWG) for reference," the company said.  

Valve Steam Deck CAD files

(Image credit: Valve)

Valve also noted that the CAD files could be useful to those who "just want to 3D print a Steam Deck to see how it feels." So if you haven't made up your mind on whether the Steam Deck is worth buying just yet, you can compare how the 3D-printed model size stacks up compared to other handheld consoles.

If you happen to own a 3D printer, you can access the CAD files through this page.

The first wave of Steam Deck pre-orders is set to arrive next week on February 25. The portable PC gaming machine will be powered by Valve’s own Steam OS operating system as well as a custom processor and graphics tech provided by AMD. 

And recently, tech YouTubers concluded that the Steam Deck could be worth the hype. Both LinusTechTips and Gamers Nexus recently got their hands on the production units and praised the machines for the gaming performance. Additionally, developers were also "surprised how well games work and how good it feels to play on" the machine

But while most of the Steam games library will be playable on Valve's new console, some popular games didn't make the list. According to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, Fortnite won't be making its way over to the Steam Deck due to issues with anti-cheating protocols.

Denise Primbet
News Writer

Denise is a Life Reporter at Newsweek, covering everything lifestyle-related, including health, relationships, personal finance, beauty and more. She was formerly a news writer at Tom’s Guide, regularly producing stories on all things tech, gaming software/hardware, fitness, streaming, and more. Her published content ranges from short-form news articles to long-form pieces, including reviews, buying guides, how-tos, and features. When she's not playing horror games, she can be found exploring East London with her adorable puppy. She’s also a part-time piano enthusiast and regularly experiments in the kitchen.