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How to pre-order the Steam Deck

Valve’s Steam Deck is coming this year, and pre-orders are going live soon. Instead of a traditional pre-order system, Valve is using a reservation system with multiple safeguards against bots. To help you score a unit, we’re going to show you how to pre-order the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck is basically a gaming PC turned into a Nintendo Switch. There are three models available starting at $400.

Further reading

How to pre-order the Steam Deck

Someone playing the Steam Deck.

Valve is accepting reservations for the Steam Deck exclusively through Steam. It’s not exactly a pre-order, though. Instead, Valve is placing users who have placed a reservation into a queue, and as the units are manufactured, they’ll ship out in the queue on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations go live on July 16 at 10 a.m. PT.

You need two things to place a reservation. First, you need have made a purchase on Steam prior to June 2021 to reserve a unit in the first 48 hours. Valve is limiting the reservations to handle bots and scalpers that might create a new Steam account just to buy up units. In addition, you need to pay a $5 reservation fee. The fee counts toward the full purchase price.

There are three models available with different storage capacities. You have the option between a $399 model with 64GB of storage, a $529 model with 256GB of storage, and a $699 model with 512GB of storage and a premium anti-glare screen. Inside, they’re all identical outside of storage space. Here’s where to pre-order them:

The reservation fee is refundable if you change your mind before launch. If you cancel your reservation within 30 days, you’ll receive a refund to your original payment method. After 30 days, the fee will be returned to your Steam wallet. Similarly, if you can’t purchase a Steam Deck when your name comes up in the queue, Valve will refund your reservation fee.

Valve is limiting customers to a single Steam Deck unit, regardless of the capacity. In addition, reservations are only initially available in the United States, Canada, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. Valve says expanded availability is “coming soon.”

At the moment, Valve says the first invitations to purchase the Steam Deck will come this December. That said, Valve says that although it is making “every effort” to meet demand, it is “not able to guarantee availability” right now.

Tips for securing a Steam Deck pre-order

Factorio running on a Steam Deck.

Valve has taken a few measures to deal with bots and scalpers, which should make pre-ordering a Steam Deck a little bit easier. First and foremost, you need a Steam account with a purchase prior to June 2021 that’s in good standing. That means no bans and no community reports. Assuming you have that, you already have a leg up.

It seems like Valve isn’t really doing pre-orders for the Steam Deck. The reservation system doesn’t seem to have any limits, so Valve will likely continue to accept reservations even if the initial allocation sells out. Although Valve says that units will start rolling out in December, it could be longer before your name comes up in the queue.

If you want to get in first, make sure to log in to your Steam account through a browser and head to the Steam Deck page. You can secure a pre-order through the Steam client, but you can’t refresh the page as quickly. In addition, Steam occasionally has some hiccups, especially when it’s pounded with traffic. Your browser shouldn’t have that issue.

Finally, make sure you have a payment method set up and stored in your Steam account. In the Account Settings screen, you can set a primary payment method so you don’t have to worry about entering your information while you’re checking out.

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