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Steam Deck Docking Station
8.50 / 10
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Single HDMI output
- Occasional audio cut-out on HDMI
- Multiscreen features still to be enabled
Buy This Product
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Why is my Steam Deck not recognizing my Docking Station? ›
If there is still no display detected, unplug and replug the display cable, try a different display input port, check input selection, or try a new cable - they can sometimes be at fault. Try a different source and/or dock/dongle (laptop, desktop, phone/tablet - needs to have display out capabilities).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).Do you need a dock for Steam Deck? ›
Valve's Steam Deck Dock lets you easily attach peripherals and monitors to your Steam Deck, but it's not a must-have by any means.Why is my dock station not working? ›
Verify if the device is detected in Windows Device Manager and that the correct device drivers are installed. Ensure that the docking station is connected securely to the notebook laptop. Try to disconnect and reconnect the docking station to the laptop. Check the USB ports.How do I get my computer to recognize my docking station? ›
Use the keyboard shortcut Win+Ctrl+Shift+B. In Display Settings, click the Detect button.Can I use any USB-C hub with Steam Deck? ›
The single USB-C jack is multi-purpose: used for charging, peripherals, or even throwing the game onto a big screen at the same time. Any USB-C hub can be used to expand your options, or get our Steam Deck™ Docking Station when it is released.Can you use any USB-C charger for Steam Deck? ›
The Steam Deck charges over USB-C, so you can actually get a new charger that can service your phone, tablet, or perhaps even a laptop as well as the Steam Deck. The only thing you need to ensure is that you'll get at least 45W out of the charger to get the best performance.How much does Steam Deck dock cost? ›
The Valve Steam Deck Dock costs $89.99. For comparison, Jsaux's popular Docking Station for Steam Deck and Upgraded Docking Station cost $39.99 and $49.99, respectively.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 it OK to play Steam Deck while charging? ›
Yes. The author of this thread has indicated that this post answers the original topic. It is. After charging the Deck disconnects the battery when it's full, to reduce wear on it.How do I dock my Steam Deck to my TV? ›
- Plug the USB-C to HDMI adapter into the USB-C port on the Steam Deck.
- Plug the HDMI cable into a free port on your TV, and turn it to the corresponding HDMI channel.
- Turn on your Steam Deck, and get in the game.
While the Steam Deck's USB-C port can output video to its dock accessory, it isn't a full Thunderbolt port, so it doesn't work with the semi-standardized external GPU devices on the market.How much is the valve stem deck dock? ›
The Steam Deck Docking Station, as the unit is officially known, costs $89. While you can hook the Steam Deck up to an external display directly, the dock should make life a little easier if you want to play games on a bigger screen. You can simply use it as a charging station as well.Does the Steam Deck dock increase performance? ›
It's not visually perfect, but the tech is a genuine game-changer performance wise, enabling a huge framerate improvement over native rendering.Can you reset a docking station? ›
To re-set to the default factory settings, first power off the docking station, press the re-set button for more than 2 seconds, and then power on the docking station. Restores all parameters to factory defaults.Why is my USB-C docking station not working? ›
The device or dongle isn't connected to the correct USB-C port on your PC (or phone). The device or dongle is connected to your PC (or phone) using an external hub or dock. There are too many other devices or dongles connected to your PC (or phone) that use a USB-C connection.How do I connect my docking station? ›
Connect a laptop to a docking station
Usually, you connect via USB-C. For a MacBook, there are also docks you connect to the two Thunderbolt 3 ports, so you can expand your 2 connectors to up to 10. Put the USB-C cable of your dock in your laptop, connect all of the cables from your peripherals, and you're ready.
- 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. ...
- Place the Steam Deck on the dock, and connect the USB-C dongle to the port on the top of the Steam Deck.
On the Steam Deck, hold down the “Volume Down” button located along the top of the Deck. With this button held down, press the “Power” button.
How do I connect my stream deck to my TV without a dock? ›
Connect a USB-C hub or USB-C to HDMI adapter to your Steam Deck. Locate a free HDMI port on your TV, and connect an HDMI cable. Plug the other end of the cable into your USB-C hub or adapter. Turn your TV on, and select the correct HDMI input.How well does Steam Deck work on TV? ›
On default settings, the game didn't look great hooked up to my TV through the Steam Deck dock. I haven't played the PS5 version, but I could tell that the visuals were certainly a step down. The default maximum resolution was 1280 x 720, and even then, frame rates would swing between 30 and 60fps.