Your Steam Deck Needs a Genuine Valve Docking Station—Here's Why (2023)

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Despite having the same features as its various third-party competitors and being more expensive, the official Steam Deck Docking Station has a key advantage: reliability.

Capable of turning a Steam Deck into a full game console, with HDMI and DisplayPort outputs and three USB 3.1 type-A ports for game controllers, the Steam Deck Docking Station does have a few niggles. There is occasional audio cut-out and the unavoidable manual USB connection, not to mention a few features yet to be unlocked. The rubberized seat to steady the Steam Deck is a nice touch, and overall this is a quality, reliable USB docking station worth every cent.

Key Features

  • 6-in-1 docking station
  • Fits the Steam Deck perfectly
  • Molded rubber seat prevents scratching the Steam Deck
  • Easy to hook up and use
  • HDMI and DisplayPort outputs with 4K support

Specifications

  • Ports: 3x USB-A 3.1, Gigabit Ethernet, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4
  • USB Power Delivery: USB Type-C
  • Power supply included: Yes

Pros

  • Weighty so won't tip
  • Rubberized surface prevents Steam Deck tumbles
  • Plenty of USB ports for extra storage, cabled controllers, even keyboard and mouse
  • Ethernet port a useful feature
  • Dual monitor outputs

Cons

  • Single HDMI output
  • Occasional audio cut-out on HDMI
  • Multiscreen features still to be enabled

Buy This Product

(Video) Steam Deck Docks on Amazon Are A SCAM (mostly) | Here's What to AVOID!

Your Steam Deck Needs a Genuine Valve Docking Station—Here's Why (9)

Steam Deck Docking Station

Valve’s Steam Deck PC gaming console launched slowly, and its official dock also took some time to come along. But you can now purchase the Steam Deck Docking Station--the big question is, should you use Valve’s official hardware or a third-party alternative?

Why Do You Need a Steam Deck Docking Station?

If you are one of the lucky owners of a Steam Deck portable console, you may have considered giving it a semi-permanent home beside your TV.

Thanks to the device’s USB Type-C port, it can output video and much more besides. You can connect it to your TV and generally soup up your Steam Deck. But while a basic USB Type-C to HDMI adapter is useful, it gets a bit messy. What you need is a Steam Deck Docking Station.

But with many dock options on the marketplace, finding the right device for your Steam Deck can prove challenging, especially with Valve’s delay in releasing its own.

I’ve had experience of both the JSAUX Docking Station, a popular alternative designed with compatibility in mind, and the official Steam Deck Docking Station. Only one of those devices is not complete trash.

Unboxing the Steam Deck Docking Station from Valve

The docking station ships in a modest little box with a black and white design, not dissimilar to the Steam Deck’s internal packaging. Think the wraparound that accompanied the Steam Deck’s carry case, or the box for the PSU, rather than the brown cardboard outer packaging.

Your Steam Deck Needs a Genuine Valve Docking Station—Here's Why (10)

Inside the box is the Docking Station itself and another PSU. Aside from some insulating packaging and a small connection guide, that’s it.

To be honest, the Docking Station is a funny-looking thing. It’s a lump of black metal and plastic with a 6-inch USB Type-C cable flopping about. It matches the Steam Deck, however, and hopefully, you won’t know it’s there until it’s time to unplug and go.

Steam Deck Dock Ports and Specification

If you’re looking for a way to connect your Steam Deck to your TV semi-permanently, you need a dock that stands the device, expands the connectivity, and looks reasonably good. In short, something that is more akin to the Nintendo Switch dock than simply a stand with a USB to HDMI adapter.

The Steam Deck Docking Station expands your port selection with three x USB-A 3.1 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and two external display outputs. One is HDMI 2.0, and the other is DisplayPort 1.4. Output can be up to 4K at 60Hz, or 1440p at 120Hz refresh rate. Multi-Stream Transport for multi-monitor support and FreeSync support are planned but not yet enabled.

The 6-inch USB-C cable on the back of the docking station connects to the matching port on the top side of the Steam Deck, and features a low-profile 90-degree connector.

(Video) Official Steam Deck Dock Not Working on TV FIX
Your Steam Deck Needs a Genuine Valve Docking Station—Here's Why (11)

Also on the Steam Deck Docking Station is a USB-C Power Delivery passthrough input. This charges the Steam Deck as well as powers the docking station.

The Steam Deck Docking Station measures 117mm x 29mm x 50.5mm (6.97 x 1.14 x 2 inches) and weighs around 120 grams (4.23oz).

Hooking Up a Steam Deck to the Dock

The basic set up of the genuine Steam Deck Docking Station is run-of-the-mill. You unbox, attach the power supply, connect Ethernet, HDMI, and any external drives or controller dongles, then place the Steam Deck in the “seat.”

The Steam Deck Docking Station is heavy enough to give your Steam Deck a safe place to sit. The rubberized surface means it’s unlikely to fall off and the dock is almost certainly not going to topple over. It won't get scratched by the dock, either. One thing to note--if you have a grip case or any high-profile case enhancements, they may need to be removed before placing your Steam Deck in the dock.

Your Steam Deck Needs a Genuine Valve Docking Station—Here's Why (12)

After connecting the USB Type-C cable to the Steam Deck, and powering it on, the device should detect the dock. At this stage, an update should commence (something that didn’t happen with the JSAUX dock), specifically for the dock hardware.

After this is done, you’re ready to play. It really is that quick—a far swifter experience than the one that follows (choosing which of your 900 Steam games to play).

Brief Comparison to the JSAUX Docking Station

The JSAUX Docking Station is available as a 5-in-1 and a 6-in-1 Steam Deck Dock alternative, with HDMI 2.0, 4K@60FPS support, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports (or three USB 3.0 ports on the 6-in-1 model), and full-speed USB-C PD port.

It is largely similar, and you might prefer it for two key reasons. First, the JSAUX docking station is cheaper than the Valve dock.

At the time of writing, the 5-in-1 dock is listed at $39.99, whereas the 6-in-1 dock is listed at $49.99. Conversely, Valve lists the Steam Deck Docking Station at $89, with a two-week turnaround.

Your Steam Deck Needs a Genuine Valve Docking Station—Here's Why (13)

It’s easy to see why the JSAUX Docking Station might be chosen ahead of Valve’s official hardware. However, you need to know something before you “save money.”

The JSAUX Docking Station sucks.

I’m not joking. Out of the box, all appears well, it has the ports you need, and connects without issue to the Steam Deck. The promise of console-style gaming is upon you.

(Video) You're Too Late To Your Own Party Valve | Ivoler Steam Deck Dock Review

But in my case, the JSAUX Docking Station stopped working less than a week after installation. The first warning I got was from the Steam Deck display, informing the power supply was “slow.” Switching on the TV, I found that the HDMI signal was not being picked up.

As my Steam Deck, TV, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch are all connected to a surge-protected power system, there was only one explanation. The JSAUX dock was faulty. Now, I had a bad feeling that returning the device would turn out to be a major PITA. As it turned out, however, it was very simple; further research revealed I was not alone in receiving a defective unit.

So much so that there was always the chance that the replacement might also be troublesome. The solution? Don't chance it. Buy the official Steam Deck Docking Station from Valve.

Playing Games Through the Steam Deck Docking Station

Presumably, if you’re reading this, you already have a Steam Deck, and you’ve appreciated the evolution of Steam OS and its “Big Picture Mode.”

Nothing will prepare you for just how console-like the Steam Deck becomes when docked. I’m talking full-on Xbox Series or PlayStation vibes, from the full-screen boot animation to the delivery of your library of games.

Your Steam Deck Needs a Genuine Valve Docking Station—Here's Why (14)

For the full Steam vibe, I attached my Steam Controller (yes, I kept it) to the docking station. The controller’s tiny USB dongle slotted into the dock, the controller sitting in my hand, playing Half-Life 2… it was like my life was suddenly sponsored by Valve. All I needed was a faucet implanted in the back of my neck.

In short, hooking up the Steam Deck to its docking station for HD (or higher) gaming is great. There is no detectable latency (although this will depend on your TV or monitor’s available modes) although there is a well-documented problem with occasional audio cut out. I’ve referred to Reddit on this, and it appears to be an HDMI issue that needs patching.

Reliability and Longevity vs. Cheaper Hardware

By this point, the official docking station has been running longer than the cheaper alternative. This alone is a point in its favor.

Sadly I wasn’t able to give the JSAUX dock any real testing. While I tested it with Zool (an old 90s game re-released on Steam), Call of Duty: WWII, and Half-Life 2, nothing I tried was particularly taxing. It’s a mystery what happened to the dock, but the Valve docking station for Steam Deck is clearly a superior product.

Of course, when buying electronics, you tend to get what you pay for. Low prices usually mean shortcuts have been made. Valve has had a long time to get the Steam Deck Docking Station working, and there’s a good chance they’ve had a look at the competition, too.

Your Steam Deck Needs a Genuine Valve Docking Station—Here's Why (15)

If you’re desperate for a Steam Deck dock and can’t afford the Valve option, I’d recommend saving your money and being patient rather than saving time and money on any third-party alternatives. Having a device set up for TV gaming with family and friends that suddenly doesn’t work simply isn’t worth the saving.

The Steam Deck Dock That Works

The Valve Steam Deck Docking Station works reliably, delivers power and connectivity, and just does the job. DisplayPort output is a nice feature, and while multi-monitor support is yet to be added, this is a minor grumble.

It detects updates, USB is responsive, and charging is reliable. Yes, there is a problem with the position of the USB Type-C port on the Steam Deck, and by placing it alongside a docked Nintendo Switch, you can appreciate Nintendo’s design choices.

(Video) Valve Steam Deck USB-C Port Replacement, the first?

But the Steam Deck is not a Nintendo Switch. It’s essentially a portable Xbox Series or PS5, and as such, needs a docking station to meet those elevated requirements.

Third-party docks don’t cut it. That's why Steam Deck owners need the Steam Deck Docking Station from Valve.

FAQs

Can I use any dock for Steam Deck? ›

You can use any dock you like. The work we've done to make Steam Deck and Docking Station compatible extends to other third party hubs and docks.

Does the Steam Deck come with a Docking Station? ›

What does Docking Station come with? The box comes with a Docking Station and power supply (same as the one we ship with Steam Deck).

Does the Steam Deck need a dock? ›

Deck can be plugged in to your TV

Just plug in your peripherals, or use the docking station, and you're ready to go.

Does any USB-C work with Steam Deck? ›

Steam Deck works great with a variety of USB-C docks or hubs. Most users will be plugging in a USB-C charger for PD passthrough, as well as peripherals, controllers, and external displays.

How much is the Steam Deck dock going to cost? ›

The Valve Steam Deck Dock costs $89.99.

Does any USB-C to HDMI work with Steam Deck? ›

The Steam Deck doesn't have an HDMI port, so you can't use it with your TV right out of the box. It does have a USB-C port though, which means you can connect it to your TV with the help of either a USB-C to HDMI adapter or a USB-C dock that includes an HDMI port.

Is it OK to play Steam Deck while charging? ›

It is. After charging the Deck disconnects the battery when it's full, to reduce wear on it. The icon will get a checkmark when this happens, then the Deck is exclusively running on adapter power. Yes.

Does the Steam Deck dock increase performance? ›

Steam Deck does offer tools to push image quality a bit further on a 4K set, most notably AMD's FSR 1.0 scaling which produces a small but noticeable detail improvement over bilinear upscaling without introducing excessive aliasing.

What USB-C docks work with Steam Deck? ›

Best Steam Deck docks with HDMI output and USB ports in 2023
  • Official Steam Deck Dock. ...
  • JSAUX Steam Deck Dock. ...
  • YYDSTDK Steam Deck Dock. ...
  • NewQ Steam Deck Dock. ...
  • iVoler 5-in-1 Hub Steam Deck Dock Stand. ...
  • Anker USB-C 7-in-1 hub.
Dec 20, 2022

How do I set up a Steam Deck dock? ›

Here's how to do it. Connect an HDMI cable from your dock to the monitor or TV. Connect the USB-C charger to a power source, and to the dock's rear USB-C port. You want to use the USB-C charger that came with your Steam Deck, unless the manufacturer states otherwise.

Is 64GB Steam Deck worth it? ›

It is very much worth it, the micro SD card slot loads extremely fast! The only concern with the 64GB model today is that at this point in time, the shader files cannot be set to an alternate location.

Can Steam Deck run games from SD card? ›

So yes, a microSD card is fine. Better than fine, if you go for one of these: cards I've tested for real-life load times in Aperture Desk Job and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and have made the cut on performance. This should go without saying but they're all fully compatible with the Steam Deck, as well.

How many steam decks sold? ›

KDE's David Edmundson in a talk at the Akademy 2022 conference discussed the Steam Deck and the work KDE is doing to improve the device. During the talk (at 29:45 in the video) Edmundson revealed shipments for the Steam Deck have surpassed one million units.

Will the Steam Deck last? ›

The Steam Deck can last 6+ hours if you're playing less graphically demanding games like “Celeste,” but higher-end games quickly exact their toll.

Is the Steam Deck high end? ›

Before we go any further, it's really important to establish that the Steam Deck is not an entry level portable gaming device. At £569 ($649) RRP, the top-end Steam Deck with a 512GB NVMe SSD – the version being reviewed here – costs more than a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X (£449/$499 RRP).

Is Steam Deck cheaper than Switch? ›

Switch: Price. When it comes to price, Nintendo's Switch offers a more affordable portable gaming solution with prices ranging from $200 to $350. Meanwhile, the Steam Deck ranges in price from $399 to $650.

Is the steam dock worth it? ›

If you're using it at home as a replacement for a high-quality PC to play games, then the Steam Deck is a no-brainer purchase. If you're attempting to use it as a travel device, however, it's important to consider its limitations, and how and when you'll be using it most.

What is compatible with the Steam Deck? ›

Every confirmed game verified for the Steam Deck
  • [TDA03] Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After — Episode 03 Remastered.
  • 100 Hidden Birds.
  • 100 Hidden Birds 2.
  • 100 Hidden Frogs.
  • 100% Orange Juice.
  • 60 Seconds! Reatomized.
  • 7 Billion Humans.
  • 80 Days.
Nov 21, 2022

Videos

1. How To Stop Lag On Steam Decks When Docked!
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2. STEAM DECK Update Goes Wrong! But, Valve is QUICK
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3. Funalot Steam Deck Dock - Case friendly, Gigabit ethernet, 100w PD & More!
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4. Which Is The Best Steam Deck Dock? Valve vs JSAUX vs iVoler Review
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5. Official Steam Deck Dock Available, No More Reservations, & Major Software Updates
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6. Steam Deck Dock! the HARD truth
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