The best microSD cards for the Steam Deck offer the perfect balance of blazing-fast speeds, reliable performance, and ample storage. With this in mind, it doesn’t sound like a complicated decision. Well, for the Steam Deck, it is. Before anything, you should note that Steam deck is a power-focused gadget that runs high-end games and apps.
Valve’s most premium version of Steam Deck runs on a 512GB SSD. That’s quite powerful and fast, but still not enough to run the biggest games without hiccups. So, when adding another layer of storage, it’s wise to choose a MicroSD card that can match the device’s power. Speed, for one, is a big deal. Although the Steam Deck UHS-1 interface limits the maximum speed to about 100 MB/s, the MicroSD card you choose should be able to deliver at least that much.
Most entry-level MicroSD cards can only offer up to 30 MB/s, so looking for cards with higher speeds is essential. Speed aside, storage and A ratings are also critical factors. While you’ll find a 1TB card with decent speeds, One with A2 (Application Performance Class A2) offers better performance than the standard A1.
So, we took time to analyze and compare some of the top MicroSD cards for the Steam Deck and came up with pretty exciting results. Here are the five best MicroSD cards for the Steam Deck:
- Best Overall: Lexar Play 1TB MicroSDXC
- Best Value for Money: Samsung Evo Select 256 GB
- Best for Fast Speeds: SanDisk Extreme Pro 512GB
- Best Low-Cost Option: Amazon Basics MicroSDXC
- Best Standard Performance: Samsung Pro Plus 512 GB
Best Overall: Lexar Play 1TB MicroSDXC
- Compatible with Nintendo Switch, portable gaming devices, smartphones and tablets
- Fast transfer speeds for quick loading time with up to 150MB/s read
- Store more videos, movies, games, music and your favorite content with large capacity
- Loads apps faster with A2-rated performance
- Five-year limited product support
Offering the perfect balance of speed and capacity is the Lexar Play 1TB MicroSDXC. This high-performance MicroSD card is ideal for any Steam Deck gamer because it uses the UHS-1 interface. The card offers up to 150 MB/s read speed, above the maximum limit of what the Steam Deck can handle.
But that’s okay because it assures you’ll always get a smooth gaming experience no matter how heavy the game you’re playing. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Lexar Play card also comes with an A2 rating for its performance. Basically, an A2-rated MicroSD offers a minimum of 4000 IOPS for random 4K reads and 2000 IOPS for random 4k writes.
Perhaps what we love the most about this MicroSD card is its massive 1TB capacity. That’s enough storage to hold up to 50 AAA games and dozens of smaller titles. But if that’s too much for you, the card comes in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB storage options. So, no matter your budget or gaming needs, you can always find the perfect card from Lexar.
The high cost of the 1TB versions is a definite drawback here, though. Also, only the 128 GB option comes with an adapter, so you might want to buy that separately. You’ll also need to be careful not to buy a fake Lexar card. It’s not very common, but unfortunately, it does happen.
Check out Lexar Play 1TB MicroSDXC on Amazon.
Best Value for Money: Samsung Evo Select 256 GB
- ALL THE SPACE YOU NEED: Store tons of media on your phone, load games or download more apps on your tablet at top-notch speed, making transfers seamless and reliable
- FAST AND SMOOTH: With superfast U3, class 10 rated transfer speeds of up to 130MB/s¹,²and UHS-I Interface³ big apps load and run smoothly, while 4K video remains sharp with A2, V30, and USH-I...
- EXPAND AND STORE BIG: Find your perfect fit from 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB; Select the best capacity for all your memories. Speed class: U3
- YOU'RE FULLY PROTECTED: EVO Select Plus provides reliable storage and takes on life’s adventures with water⁴, temperature⁵, X-ray⁶, ⁷magnet, drop⁸, and wears⁹ out protection; Backed by a...
- FLASH MEMORY CARD: Performance and reliability you can count on from the flash memory brand; All firmware and components are produced in-house
The Samsung Evo Select 256 GB takes the crown as the best value for money MicroSD card for Steam Deck. When we say value for money, we mean you get all the features you want without breaking the bank. Samsung managed to deliver exceptional read speeds of up to 130 MB/s with this card. The card’s superfast U3 and class 10-rated transfer speeds offer three times the write performance of standard U1 cards.
It’s also rated A2 for application performance, so you know it can handle games and apps with ease. Additionally, its 256 GB storage capacity makes it perfect for various applications ranging from 4K UHD video recording to high-resolution photos and games. Plus, the card comes with a 10-year limited warranty that should give you some peace of mind.
The only issue we have with this MicroSD card is that it doesn’t have a 1 TB version. But 256 GB for $26.99 is not a bad deal at all. The card also boasts the six perks that come with all Samsung Evo select cards, including water resistance, drop proof, wear out proof, X-ray proof, temperature proof, and magnet proof.
Check out Samsung Evo Select 256 GB on Amazon.
Best for Fast Speeds: SanDisk Extreme Pro 512GB
- Shot speeds up to 90MB/s, transfer speeds up to 170MB/s [requires a compatible device capable of reaching such speeds, such as the SanDisk SD UHS-I card reader (sold separately)]. Based on internal...
- Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video(1) and sequential burst mode photography (1)Full HD (1920x1080) and 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video support may vary based upon host device, file attributes and other...
- Capture uninterrupted video with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class 30 (V30)(2). (2)UHS Speed Class 3 designates a performance option designed to support 4K UHD video recording with enabled...
- Built for and tested in harsh conditions(3): Temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and X-ray-proof (3)Card only.Operating temperature -13 F to 185 F (-25 C to 85 C)
- Rescue PRO Deluxe 2 data recovery software download offer (Registration required; Terms and conditions apply), for restoring accidentally deleted images
Speed goes beyond read and write, and the SanDisk Extreme Pro 512GB has it all. It’s one of the fastest MicroSD cards in terms of how quickly it can load games, thanks to its A2 rating. 15.6s loading the Shadow of the Tomb Raider on the Steam Deck? You bet! But that’s not all. The card also boasts maximum read speeds of up to 200 MB/s, powered by SanDisk’s proprietary QuickFlow Technology.
That means you can transfer large files in no time and get lightning-fast loading speeds in games. Additionally, the card is also U3 rated, meaning it can handle 4K UHD and Full HD video games without any issues. And because of its massive 512 GB storage capacity, you won’t have to worry about running out of space anytime soon.
The card is also waterproof, temperature-proof, X-ray-proof, and drop-proof. Plus, it comes with SanDisk’s Memory Zone app, which makes it easy to manage your memory. We didn’t quite see any downside with this card because it ticks all the boxes. But still, it will cost you around $86.00 for the 512 GB version.
Check out SanDisk Extreme Pro 512GB on Amazon.
Best Low-Cost Option: Amazon Basics MicroSDXC
- WIDE COMPATIBILITY: Compatible with smartphones, tablets, cameras, GoPro/action cameras, laptops, desktop computers, DSLRs, drones, Nintendo Switch/other portable consoles and much more. Includes SD...
- HIGH QUALITY STORAGE: Perfect for high resolution photos, for recording and storing Full HD/4K videos and any other data type
- ULTRA FAST: Read speed up to 100mb/s. Write speed up to 60mb/s (varies according to memory size). UHS, U3, Class 10 and A2 speed classes for an optimal smartphone experience
- LASTING RELIABILITY: Shockproof, IPX6 waterproof, temperature-proof (-10° to 80°), X-Ray-proof and magnetic-proof
- Note: Actual storage capacity shown by a device's OS may be less than the capacity indicated on the product label due to different measurement standards. The available storage capacity is higher than...
Not all of us have the budget to get an expensive MicroSD card. But luckily, you can still find great options that are both low-cost and reliable. The Amazon Basics MicroSDXC is a perfect example of that. This card is available in 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB storage options. We settled for the 256 GB version this time around because it offers the best bang for your buck.
A 1TB Amazon Basics card will set you back $149.99, while the 256 GB version is available for $24.76. And with all the features it offers, it’s worth every penny. The card has U3 and A2 ratings, ensuring smooth performance when loading apps and games. It’s also super fast, with read speeds of up to 100 MB/s and writes speeds of up to 90 MB/s.
The card is resistant to shock and also waterproof. Plus, you can enjoy the standard Amazon Basics warranty on your purchase. The one downside with this card is that it’s not quite as fast as the SanDisk Extreme Pro, but it still gets the job done.
Check out Amazon Basics MicroSDXC on Amazon.
Best Standard Performance: Samsung Pro Plus 512 GB
- YOUR NEW GO-TO CARD: Capture seamless 4K videos¹ on your compatible phone or drone with this micro SD memory card. Expanded storage gives you freedom to play more high performance, intensive games on...
- TAKE YOUR BURST SHOT: Stunningly fast U3, Class10 rated read/write speeds up to 160/120MB/s, let you shoot more photos faster² and 4K videos¹ look sharp with UHS-I Interface.
- ADD SPACE, KEEP IT ALL: Huge capacities of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB give you plenty of storage space for hi-res photos, must-have apps, and all the media you want. Get extra drone memory that will allow...
- YOU’RE FULLY PROTECTED: The Pro Plus takes on life’s adventures with water³, temperature⁴, X-ray⁵, magnet⁶, drop⁷ and wearout⁸ protection; Backed by a 10-year limited warranty.
- Performance and reliability you can count on from the flash memory brand⁹; All firmware and components are produced in-house.
This category was pretty intentional. Because standard gamers don’t need the extra speed and power of an ultra-fast card like the SanDisk Extreme Pro. But at the same time, they don’t want a budget card that lags behind in performance either. Our pick for this category is the Samsung Pro Plus 512 GB.
Performances-wise, this card is quite capable. It has U3 and V30 ratings, indicating that it’s perfect for apps and games. Plus, you get maximum read speeds of up to 160 MB/s and write speeds of up to 120 MB/s. Impressive right? But what really sets this card apart is its massive 512 GB storage capacity. For a standard card, that’s an insane amount of space.
But if you want much lower storage, you can get the 128 GB and 256 GB versions too. The other features are pretty basic; you get the usual water and temperature resistance, shockproof design, and X-ray proofing. But the best part is that you can get it for around $67.99, which is quite affordable considering everything it offers.
Check out Samsung Pro Plus 512 GB on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best MicroSD Cards For The Steam Deck: Step by Step
When choosing the best MicroSD card for the Steam Deck, these are the four things to consider:
- Storage Capacity
- Read/Write Speeds
- Durability & Reliability
Storage capacity is the most crucial factor when buying a MicroSD card. The Steam Deck can support cards up to 1 TB. That’s a lot of games, apps, and movies you can fit on one card. However, if your needs are more modest or you don’t have the budget for a 1 TB card, you can opt for lower storage options. But always ensure the card you choose has enough storage for your needs.
Read/write speeds are also significant when choosing a MicroSD card for the Steam Deck. Steam Deck supports apps and games that require fast loading speeds, so the card you choose should meet or exceed those expectations.
Check for the Class speeds your card should support – usually, it’s class 10 or higher. Read/write speeds can range from 50 MB/s to 200 MB/s, depending on the card. The faster the read/write speeds, the quicker your games and apps will load.
Durability & Reliability
Durability and reliability are key features to look out for when choosing a MicroSD card. You want to ensure that your data is safe and secure, especially if you’re using it to store games or other expensive applications.
Look for cards with high-end components, such as shockproof and waterproof designs. Some Samsung cards are X-ray proof too, so they’re great if you travel a lot and need to protect your card from the rigors of airport security.
Finally, price. Always check the price before purchasing a MicroSD card. You can find great cards at reasonable prices, so take your time to shop around and get the best deal for your needs. Often cards with more features and higher storage capacities will cost more. But at the same time, you don’t want to skimp on quality for a lower price, either.
What to Know Before Buying a MicroSD card for the Steam Deck
Before you purchase a MicroSD card for the Steam Deck, there are a few things you need to know. First, ensure the card is compatible with the Steam Deck; some cards might not be. Secondly, you should check the maximum speed of the card; this is especially important if transferring large files.
Also, when it comes to capacity, consider the type of data you will be storing and select the capacity accordingly. Lastly, look for cards with a good warranty, as you never know when something might go wrong.
Using MicroSD Cards for the Steam Deck: What it’s Like
Using a MicroSD card on the Steam Deck is an ideal way to quickly expand your device’s storage capacity. The Steam Deck supports up to 1 TB of expandable storage, and these MicroSD cards can provide a great way to add extra game space. Most MicroSD cards offer fast read and write speeds, making them well-suited for gaming applications.
Plus, they come in various sizes, so you can find the perfect card to meet your needs. And thanks to their durable designs, you can rest assured that your data is safe and secure. All in all, MicroSD cards are an excellent way to expand the storage capacity of the Steam Deck.