- Troubleshoot your device and then contact Steam Support.
- Wait for an answer from Steam Support.
- Back up and factory reset your Steam Deck.
- Ship it to a Steam Deck repair center with the prepaid shipping label.
- Wait for an email from Valve notifying you that your Deck has been repaired or that you’ll receive a replacement.
The Steam Deck is an incredible gaming machine, and machines break. If and when your Steam Deck malfunctions, you will most likely have to go through the Steam Deck RMA process. Here’s how to return your Steam Deck to Valve for repair or replacement.
Step 1: Troubleshoot Your Steam Deck
The first thing you should do after finding that something’s wrong with your Deck is troubleshoot the device. The Steam website’s Steam Deck troubleshooting page includes many ways to troubleshoot your device and, hopefully, make it work again.
If none of the procedures listed on the troubleshooting page helped and your Deck still refuses to work, or if your issue is tied to a hardware malfunction —such as a damaged or broken analog stick, cracked screen, etc.— you should contact Steam Support, explain your issue to them, and see whether it’s covered by the warranty or not.
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Step 2: Contact Steam Support
Before you contact Steam Support and initialize the Steam Deck RMA process, we recommend checking the Valve Hardware Warranty webpage. There you can find the section titled “Exclusions.” Read it and check whether your issue is excluded from the warranty.
Note: If you’re living in an EU country, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, or The Province of Quebec in Canada, the limited warranty listed on the Valve Hardware Warranty webpage “does not apply to you,” according to Valve. Instead, you’re entitled to a warranty provided by your country. For instance, the EU requires a minimum warranty period of 2 years, as opposed to the standard Valve hardware warranty that lasts “one (1) year starting from the date of shipment.”
Even if the issue is not covered by the warranty, Valve can still repair your device, but they’ll charge you. If you aren’t ready to fix your Deck yourself —more on that later— we still recommend contacting Steam Support and checking just how much the repair is going to cost you before visiting a third-party repair service.
You can contact Steam Support by visiting the Steam Deck page on the Steam Support website. Once there, click the “Contact Steam Support” tab, and fill out the form.
In the form you have to provide your shipping address and your Deck’s serial number. Also, make sure to describe your issue as detailed as possible. You can even make a photo depicting the problem in case it’s hardware-related if you want, which we recommend doing if possible.
Your Steam Deck’s serial number is located on the back of the device, on the lower right-hand side, just below the QR code. The serial number starts with “FX,” “FW,” or “FV.” In our case, as seen below, it starts with “FW.”
Step 3: Wait For an Email From Steam Support
After you send the ticket to Steam Support, the waiting game starts. You can wait a couple of days, maybe a week. If you’re lucky, there’s a chance you’ll receive an answer in a matter of hours.
Whichever the case, the email confirming that your Deck is eligible for a free repair or replacement, or that Valve can repair your Deck for a price in case the malfunction isn’t covered by the warranty, will also include a prepaid shipping label along with other necessary documentation. According to the Steam Deck return policy, this is the case “[i]f you live in United States of America, Canada, the EU, or the UK and purchased your hardware from Steam.”
Step 4: Back Up and Factory Reset Your Steam Deck
Before shipping your Deck to a Valve repair center, back up the device if possible. We have a guide on backing up your Deck if you need guidance.
You should also perform a factory reset, if possible, before shipping the device. To perform a factory reset, press the Steam button and then go to Settings > System > Reset to Factory State.
Valve repair technicians will almost certainly wipe your storage clean during the repair process, so you shouldn’t expect Valve to return your Steam Deck with your games and settings intact.
Step 5: Send Your Steam Deck to Valve’s Repair Center
Now it’s time to pack your Deck and send it to Valve’s repair center. Be sure to read the “Valve Hardware Return Packaging Guide” in full and follow the guide to the tee because there are rules to follow. For example, you have to store your Deck inside the original travel case that came with the device or wrap it inside a protective foam or bubble wrap. Also, you must insert every RMA form you received from Steam Support inside the package. Again, we urge everyone to read the guide in detail and check it multiple times before shipping the package to avoid potential issues.
Step 6: Wait for a Response From Valve
Now, it’s again time for the waiting game. You should receive a tracking number alongside the prepaid shipping label so you’ll know once your Deck arrives at a repair center.
Once the repair service finishes fixing your Deck or once Valve decides that, due to one reason or another, they will send you a replacement instead of repairing your original device, you should receive an email informing you that your Deck, or a replacement unit, will be shipped soon.
That’s it! Now all you have to do is wait for your Deck or a replacement unit to arrive.
What About Requesting a Steam Deck Refund?
Suppose you purchased your Deck and aren’t satisfied with it for one reason or another. In that case, you are eligible for a refund “within 14 days from the day on which you or a third party indicated by you (other than the carrier) receives the Hardware purchased.” You can find out more on Steam’s Hardware Return Policy page.
Alternatively, Repair the Deck Yourself
If you, for whatever reason, want to repair your Steam Deck yourself instead of returning it, you’re free to do it. Just know that if anything happens, the warranty won’t cover the malfunction you cause during the repair process.
You can find a bunch of different replacement parts for the Deck on the iFixit online store. For repair guides, we recommend visiting iFixit’s Steam Deck repair page.
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