The Steam Deck, seen from the rear, rests on an attached Deckmate outrigger.

Image: my box

This time Steam deck, Valve’s souped-up mini PC offers plenty of gaming experience in a portable format, the lack of a stand is a sore point. Enter cover mate: A simple, plastic bracket that not only provides a very convenient stand behind the deck, but also allows you to add several other custom mounting solutions.

Deckmate is the brainchild of product design engineer Siri Ramos. Ramos explained how The Steam Deck community enthusiasm and support helped them turn what was once a fun personal project into a full-featured product. Certainly, the community’s love for small maker-type projects is evident from just spinning r/SteamDeck. Deckmate has evolved a number of times prototypes and early 3D-printed parts to a professional-feeling final product. After using it for a few weeks now, it feels like a very natural extension of my deck, with a few surprises.

At the heart of the Deckmate “system,” the “grip,” as the creator calls it, is a simple plastic claw that grips the back of the mini-computer like a poor zombie’s headgear. And like this title, it’s a pretty seamless addition that doesn’t intrude on the system’s stock box. The holder can also hold two spare SD cards, and like the main pocket, it wants to stay where you put it. I transferred it to another Steam Deck once, and bending back to remove the plastic feels like something I want to do more than once.

Clips are visible on the top and bottom of the device when viewed from the front, but the color and texture of the plastic blends well with the Deck. I hardly feel it anymore and I don’t feel it with my hands when playing.

With the Deckmate grip, the steam deck is placed face down in the hull.

The “holding” bracket is firmly attached and provides an attachment point for everything.
Image: my box

The handle bracket itself doesn’t do much. Instead, it allows you to place various “installations” on the back of the device. These are held in place by a pair of springs. Available mounts include pretty handy stands, adhesive “pucks” to secure the battery or USB-C hub, wall mounts, and even a 75mm VESA mount like you see on the back of PC monitors.

Although I use one of my drives for a convenient USB-C hub that allows me to plug in various USB devices and an ethernet cable to speed up downloads, the kickstand felt most important to me.

You might not think too much about a prop; this is a very basic device and concept. Given the size and weight of the Steam Deck, being able to strap one to your back is like having a third arm, especially when playing on the couch or bed.

This came to mind when I decided to shoot Spider-Man: Remastered one night. Lying in bed on the kickstand, I was able to put the device in front of me just to watch the opening scene, then pick it up when I was ready to swing around the island of Manhattan. If you haven’t spent a lot of time on the deck, this may not seem very revealing, so let me give some context.

The steam deck sits upright with a stand from Deckmate.

Deckmate fits the sun, although I don’t.
Image: my box

The Steam Deck is as heavy as it looks. This is a great device! Playing for long periods of time, at least for me, makes my hands prickly and then numb. Being able to put it down with the screen still facing me and give my hands a break during non-interactive cutscenes allowed me to spend more time in the game. The kickstand also has a nice amount of adjustment. It can move a full 120 degrees, and it never feels like that infamous flimsy piece of junk attached to the Nintendo Switch, always in danger of snapping off. The Deckmate kickstand is also ideal for placing the device on a table and connecting a keyboard.

Read more: Yes, You Can Use Your Steam Deck As A Computer (Here)

One unexpected benefit involves the deck’s high heat output. Being able to support the exhaust fan by pointing it in a more vertical direction feels like a better way to position the device when downloading something or playing a graphically intensive cutscene. If Reddit is to be believed, it might Aromatherapy benefits for enjoy it.

Another surprising use of the stand was that I was able to use it as a monopole while lying in bed or on the sofa, which allowed me to carry more of the weight of the device. As a result, my hands were unable to play the device and hold it. Overall, the Deckmate, a prop accessory, has made the Deck a much more comfortable machine for me.

Although I consider the stand to be the star of the show, others may find more benefit in mounting additional accessories on sticky discs. As the Deckmate website warns, the adhesive used on these discs is virtually permanent. So if you want to stick with a big battery pack or a USB hub or whatever, be aware that you’re making a fairly permanent connection between the drive attachment and the accessory. They will be friends for life.

The back of the Steam deck shows a USB-C hub held in place by a Deckmate disc.

Now I have a lot in there.
Image: my box

There are a few other caveats. If you have some sort of smartphone-style bag around your deck, thereby increasing its thickness, the main gthe tear-off bracket probably won’t fit around it. Fortunately, a Deckmate adapter that the same 3M adhesive as washers offers an alternative means of securing gmove behind a third party job. Conflicts with certain docks may not be resolved. Although Deckmate’s FAQ seems very optimistic about it being suitable for something like a JSAUX dockI found the handle bracket to be a bit large and made it unstable when sitting on the dock.

You can only use one mount at a time, so if you want to both use the mount and charge the device with an external battery, you need to choose which one to connect to the device. Granted, if you’re using a kickstand, you probably have a flat surface to place the battery on anyway.

Steam Deck sits alongside a variety of Deckmate attachments.  The cord on the side shows signs of neat Photoshop.

The Steam Deck sits next to a variety of Deckmate attachments with a grab bar (rightmost puck attaches to a common USB-C hub).
Image: my box

Critically, if you’re using a USB-C hub, you should pay attention to cable length, especially when making the final decision to stick a puck on the hub. In my case, I suspect I stuck the drive a little too low in the center, and as a result, the USB-C cable has a little too much tension when it reaches the single USB-C port on my deck. I’ll probably try to replace this one, but considering the adhesive is disposable, I’ll probably have to get creative. Moral of the story: Measure cable lengths and use right-angle adapters where it makes sense.

Once detached, the stand and any washer-equipped fixtures will fit easily into the storage box supplied with the Deck. You can just put it in section at the bottom there are many Steam Deck users found creative uses for That said, if your accessory needs gamepads, keyboards, and other peripherals, you’ll need a larger bag. For those times when you want to travel light, you can simply detach the Deckmate units and leave the barely-noticeable “grab” bracket.

Deckmate parts fit snugly into the underside of the Steam Deck's stock box.

Deckmate parts fit snugly into the underside of the Steam Deck’s stock box.
Image: my box

If you just want to buy the stand, you’ll need a working handle bracket for $20, and then the stand itself for an additional $15. Individual discs are $7 each. You can also purchase the “Entire System” for $49, which includes a handle, two washers, a VESA mount, a wall mount, and a case-agnostic adapter. While you can certainly find cheaper stand options on Amazon and elsewhere, the Deckmate system feels sturdy and reliable. By sitting the deck down with the Deckmate stand, it never feels like it’s going to topple over (as long as the angle is set correctly). Its size and build quality feel like a good match for the Deck itself.

You can also go the DIY route Downloading Deckmate’s digital files and print them yourself. I imagine this will take some trial and error, but the files are free and distributed under the Creative Commons license as everything should be.

Overall, the Deckmate, especially with its stand, is a great Steam Deck accessory that expands where (and how) I can play games. It’s high quality, looks good, and blends in nicely with the DIY spirit of the device. If successful, we’ll see more unique, quality projects like this as the deck fits into the larger landscape of gaming hardware.

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