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Here's how to pre-order your Steam Deck (it's a bit complicated)

The fact that this will be complicated is good, as it might mean scalpers won't take them all.

Published onJuly 15, 2021

  • Valve has announced details for how Steam Deck pre-orders will work.
  • You’ll need to put down a deposit starting July 16 and then pay for the rest in December.
  • Once you decide which model you want, you won’t be able to change your mind.

Earlier today, Steam parent company Valve surprised us all with the announcement of a new handheld gaming PC console. The Steam Deck looks like a Nintendo Switch but packs way more power under the hood — enough to play most AAA titles.

At first, Valve said that pre-orders would start tomorrow, July 16, with shipments happening sometime in December. However, the company provided no other details. Now, though, we have the full procedure for Steam Deck pre-orders, and they’re a bit complicated.

See also: The best gaming laptops you can buy

We’re going to get into what to do in a second, but keep in mind that it’s good this isn’t easy. The laissez-faire systems put in place by Sony and Microsoft for the PS5 and Xbox Series X are a big reason why it’s so difficult to get them. Valve making things more complicated could prevent scalpers from taking all the Steam Decks — at least in theory.

With that said, here’s what you’ll need to do.

Steam Deck pre-orders: How it will work

Steam Deck

Starting tomorrow, July 16, 2021, at 10:00 AM PT (1:00 PM ET), Steam Deck pre-orders will open exclusively through the Steam store. Valve refers to these pre-orders as reservations.

You’ll need to select which of the three variants you want (64GB, 256GB, or 512GB). Once you make your selection you cannot change your mind, so be sure to choose wisely. Regardless of which configuration you choose, you’ll pay $5 for the reservation. That $5 is all you’ll need to spend for now.

When inventory becomes available in December 2021, Valve will notify people who placed reservations that it’s time to buy. Notifications will go out in the order in which they were received, so you’ll want to get your Steam Deck pre-orders in as quickly as possible.

Once you get that notification, you’ll head back to the Steam store and pay off the rest of the console (with a $5 credit applied from your reservation). Shipments will then roll out.

Keep in mind that there are several pre-requisites to making a reservation:

  • Your Steam account must be in good standing and located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or the European Union.
  • You must have made a purchase from Steam prior to June 2021. That means new accounts or accounts that have never purchased anything will not be able to place a pre-order.
  • Steam Deck pre-orders are limited to one per person.

For a full FAQ on the pre-order process, click here. Otherwise, good luck with getting this exciting device!

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