Valve Offers Refurbished Steam Decks, But There’s A Catch.

If you want a Steam Deck at a discounted price, Valve has started offering certified refurbished models of the popular handheld console. The discount is pretty good, but there are some caveats.

As of today, all three models of the Steam Deck are listed as certified refurbished. However, only the 256 GB and 512 GB versions are in stock. Those are going for $419 and $519, respectively. Not a bad deal since you’re saving over $100.

The big question is … who is tearing down these units and getting them ready for resale?

Although you can order a refurbished Steam Deck directly from the Steam storefront, Valve is not responsible for the labor that goes into cleaning up the pre-owned systems. You have to travel all the way down into the FAQ to find out who is responsible for the refurbishment work. It turns out that GameStop is turning these around in-house:

Are these the same refurbished Steam Deck units GameStop is selling?

No, GameStop’s refurbished Steam Decks have been refurbished in their own facilities, and they will come with a different warranty provided by GameStop.

I’ve heard and seen plenty of horror stories about GameStop’s “refurbished” consoles. It’s a role of the dice. Steam is trying its best to convince you that the pre-owned models meet a high standard:

Each Certified Refurbished Steam Deck has been thoroughly tested to the same high standards as our retail units. Every device goes through a complete factory reset, software update, and an extensive examination involving over 100 tests at one of Valve’s facilities. Among the tests are all controller inputs, the audio system, the screen, and internals. Battery health is also assessed to ensure proper functionality and longevity.

All refurbished units meet or even exceed the performance standards of new retail units. Although they may have minor cosmetic blemishes, they provide a reliable, high-quality gaming experience at a lower cost.

Regardless of which model you buy, the Steam Deck will come with the following:

  • The same one year warranty as a new Steam Deck (unless longer as determined by your country of residence)
  • A refurbished power supply – fully tested (may have minor cosmetic marks)
  • Carrying case and Quick Start guide

I’m no stranger to “refurbed” consoles from GameStop. I’ve owned a few, namely the Wii, 3DS, PS3, and an XBOX 360. Out of the four, only the 3DS was in good condition and didn’t need to be torn down and cleaned. The 360 and PS3 were full of dead bugs, rusty parts, and no evidence of refurbishment work aside from buffed and polished cases.

A good alternative for the Steam Deck is ASUS’s recently released ROG Ally. The handheld gaming rig has better specs than Valve’s hardware, but the price is about double. The Ally is only available via Best Buy.

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Mike Phalin
Mike Phalin
Longtime problematic entertainment journalist. The former workhorse for Dread Central,, and Fanbolt.

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