Best Steam Deck alternatives in 2023

  • 11 min read
  • May 06, 2023
The Steam Deck is one of the best handheld gaming systems, but if you can't find one, or fancy something different, there are alternatives.

There are so many ways you can play games in 2023. You no longer need a solid gaming laptop for PC gaming or a console to enjoy the latest Xbox and PlayStation games. With the advent of cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce Now, and even Amazon Luna, you can simply grab a handheld gaming console and get right into the action and stream games from the cloud. Or, in the case of higher-end handheld hardware, play those games locally on your system. You even can play retro games on the go now.

It's why a device like the Steam Deck is at the top of many wishlists. It's an actual computing device with enough power to play and store games locally on a microSD card without an internet connection. If you know what you're doing, you can also make it great for cloud gaming.

But we get that the Steam Deck might not be for everyone. Heck, when compared to other handheld devices like the Logitech G Cloud, the Steam Deck does show some weaknesses. But don't worry, there are a lot of Steam Deck alternatives if you want to look elsewhere.

  • New_Project__2___1_-removebg-preview
    Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld

    The best Android-based alternative

  • Retail box for the standard Nintendo Switch model with Red and Blue Joy-Con
    Nintendo Switch

    Aternative for Nintendo fans

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    The 5-in-1 option

  • Razer Edge 5G
  • A render of the Razer Kishi v2 game controller in black color.
    Razer Kishi V2

    Use your own phone

Our picks for the best Steam Deck alternatives in 2023

Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld

The best Android-based alternative

An Android gaming system

$300 $350 Save $50

The Logitech G Cloud is one of the best Steam Deck alternatives. It might not be as powerful since it's primarily designed for cloud gaming, but it's powered by Android, letting you enjoy games from the Google Play Store. You also can play your Steam games via the cloud.


  • Powered by Android
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight and comfortable


  • Priced high for what it is
  • No LTE options

First on our list is a product that many have compared to the Steam Deck itself. The Logitech G Cloud as a handheld gaming console might not be as powerful as the Steam Deck, since it's essentially a mobile tablet using an older Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G chip, but we found many strengths that make it worth considering, especially if your primary way of playing games is through cloud gaming services or the Google Play Store.

One of the strengths of this device is definitely the overall design. The G Cloud is a much more compact and lightweight handheld when compared to the Steam Deck, which makes it great for long-term use. Some design elements on the G Cloud are lacking, though, including the controls, since there's no capacitive touch button or extra paddles like you'll get on the Steam Deck.

However, it does have something the Steam Deck doesn't have: better battery life. While the Steam Deck has a larger 40Wh battery compared to Logitech's 23.1Wh battery, the Steam Deck has a power-hungry laptop-grade CPU inside, so you'll get only about 2–8 hours of battery life. But you can get more than 12 hours on the G Cloud. Again, keep in mind that the Steam Deck is a full-blown computer and the G Cloud is a mobile tablet. Don't expect to download the latest AAA titles on the G Cloud, but if you want to enjoy cloud gaming services, older games through Android emulation, or just games on the Google Play Store, the G Cloud might be an option worth considering.

Retail box for the standard Nintendo Switch model with Red and Blue Joy-Con
Nintendo Switch

Aternative for Nintendo fans

When you want to play Nintendo on the go

While you can't play the latest PC games here, the Nintendo Switch shares the same form factor as the Steam Deck. It has detachable controllers and docks when you want big-screen gameplay. Plus, Nintendo has a lot of great games like The Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart,and Pokemon that will keep you busy for days.


  • Great for playing Nintendo games
  • Detachable controllers with motion racking
  • Has an OLED model
  • Switch Lite is great for portability


  • Can't play PC games
  • Older Nvidia Tegra-based CPU

Another option on the list is a console that you might be familiar with: the Nintendo Switch. Naturally, people have compared this device to the Steam Deck, but there are some obvious differences. Indeed, this isn't a device that's designed for PC gaming, but rather for enjoying mainly Nintendo titles. Still, it's cheaper than the Steam Deck, comes with the option for an OLED model, with a bigger and more vibrant screen, and is home to many great first-party and indie games. You can even find ports of many older console titles.

The Nintendo Switch has a few advantages over the Steam Deck. Similar to the G Cloud, it's more ergonomic, lighter, and slimmer. It even has a kickstand, so you can set it on the table and play with it using the detachable controllers (which the Steam Deck doesn't have). Other than that, it has a much simpler and easier-to-understand user interface and support for cartridge-based games that you can buy at retailers. And as a part of gameplay, you can detach that controller and enjoy motion tracking in some games, for a more hands-on and immersive experience. You even can dock the Switch to a monitor with the included dock, but on the Steam Deck, you'll have to buy your own.

There are some faults to the Switch when compared to the Steam Deck, though. It's notorious for poor battery life, considering the small 4,000mAh battery, and there's no quick charge support. Besides that, you'll be limited to playing mostly Nintendo games, although there are games from other publishers and indie developers. Many PC games aren't available on the Nintendo Switch, either, and even if they were, the performance wouldn't be great since the Switch has a nearly four-year-old processor under the hood.


The 5-in-1 option

A versatile handheld

$1149 $1249 Save $100

The OneXPlayer 2 is a handheld gaming console that's more like a computer than even the Steam Deck. It has detachable controllers and a catalog of different accessories that let you use it like a regular laptop. You can even use it as a tablet. All with the AMD Ryzen 6800U under the hood


  • Detachable controller
  • Can be used as a tablet
  • Has multiple accessories like a keyboard


  • Hard to find
  • Expensive

We can't forget some outliers in the market, one of which is the XAMMUE OneXPlayer 2. While you might not have heard of it, it's actually quite the mobile handheld. It's essentially a mini pocket tablet PC. It's not as powerful as a regular PC, but if you're not going to be playing the latest and greatest AAA titles on the highest settings, this is an excellent mobile computer.

The reason we've added this device to our list is that it's versatile. Unlike the Steam Deck, this product can be used in five different ways. In addition to the standard game console mode, it can be docked to a TV for a console or Nintendo Switch-like. You can also detach the controllers and use it on a table or in your hands like a tablet. You can even attach the magnetic keyboard and use it like a laptop. The 8.4-inch screen packs a crisp 2.5K resolution and is bigger than the Steam Deck's 7-inch screen, so it'll work well for any mode.

Keep in mind, though, that this isn't the most powerful handheld. It's using an older 8-core AMD Ryzen 6800U CPU that's using the Zen3+ architecture and RDNA2 graphics. This means it's not quite up to the specs of the Steam Deck. Still, with options for up to 32GB RAM and 2TB of storage, it should play most games without issue. This handheld even supports eGPUs, so you can get that true console-like experience if you want.

Razer Edge 5G
Razer Edge

For 5G gaming

Worry less about Wi-Fi

$360 $600 Save $240

If you want to enjoy gaming on the go, the Razer Edge and Razer Edge 5G are excellent gaming handhelds. They offer plenty of power with impeccable style and features like an OLED screen and a lightweight design. The Razer Edge offers support for Wi-Fi, while the Razer Edge 5G supports 5G exclusively on Verizon.


  • Great AMOLED display
  • Lightweight and easy to hold
  • 144Hz refresh rate on screen


  • Expensive for what you get
  • Controller isn't the most comfortable

Gamers on the go looking for a Steam Deck alternative will want to consider the Razer Edge. This is a great, comfortable handheld gaming tablet with support for 5G on some models through Verizon. It's probably not better than the phone you already own, but it's a solid option to consider if you're into cloud gaming and don't want to use your personal phone for playing games.

In concept, the Razer Edge is a lot like a smartphone. It has a 6.8-inch, 2400x1800 resolution display with up to a 144Hz refresh rate. This is an AMOLED screen that'll showcase more vibrant colors and smooth gaming. It also comes in two pieces. You get the Razer Edge itself, which is like a tablet, and the Kishi V2 Pro controller to attach it to. The tablet is also wider than a smartphone, which gives it a bigger Steam Deck-like appearance.

The controller is not as comfortable as what you'll get with the Steam Deck, but there are all the buttons you need for gaming, and you can detach it if you want. Best of all, it doesn't run on battery power, since it has USB-C pass-through charging. You also don't need to worry about pairing it, either; just plug it into the USB-C port on your tablet and it'll sync right away.

Under the hood is the Snapdragon G3x, which is an Arm-based chip. When we reviewed the Razer Edge, we didn't find this to be the most powerful chip, since it's older, but it's still solid enough to support cloud gaming and emulation. Performance is closer to a mobile phone, but we did get smooth performance in all the games we played. As for battery life, it depends on what you're doing, but it should be on par with the Steam Deck or even longer.

A render of the Razer Kishi v2 game controller in black color.
Razer Kishi V2

Use your own phone

Worry less about buying new hardware

You don't always need to buy a new device to play games via the cloud or through emulation like you would on the Steam Deck. Thanks to the Razer Kishi V2, you can simply slot your iPhone or Android into this controller, and fire up your favorite cloud gaming service to get into the action. In the case of Android phones, you also can emulate games and use the controller to play them.

You might need to buy a whole new device at all since a great Steam alternative can be your mobile phone. While you probably use your phone for things like texting, you also can also use it for gaming, too. Any Android or iPhone can emulate games, and you can use cloud services like GeForce Now to play console titles. And you can play those titles anywhere you go thanks to the power of 5G.

To make the most out of gaming on your phone, you'll need to buy a controller or controller grip. There are a lot of great controllers you can consider, but we really recommend the Razer Kishi V2 because you can just slot your phone into the USB-C port, fire up your favorite cloud gaming service or downloaded Android game, and get going. You can also charge your phone with the Kishi attached thanks to pass-through charging. It doesn't take too much effort, and you'll be playing games on something you already own. Since mobile phones have 5G and LTE connectivity, too, you'll have access to your games anywhere and everywhere without worrying about Wi-Fi like you would on the Steam Deck.

We suggest taking a look at our best Android phones, and best iPhones collections if you want to consider buying a phone for gaming. There are also phones specifically targeted at gaming, like the recent Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. Of course, not every phone ends up being as powerful as a Steam Deck might be, but if your primary intent is to play games from the cloud and you don't want to spend money on a whole new device, you can get a controller and start gaming.

Analogue Pocket

Retro option

For playing classic games

The Analogue Pocket is similar to the original Game Boy but has a modern screen and more comfortable controls. It plays all classic Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Atari Lynx games, and supports the cartridge either natively or via adapters without emulation. It's no Steam Deck, but it's a retro gamer's dream come true.


  • Great for playing classic games
  • Well-built
  • Great screen


  • Is currently hard to purchase
  • Doesn't support cloud streaming services

If you want to play some retro games, you can emulate, but why not do it on the Analogue Pocket? While this system isn't as powerful as the Steam Deck, isn't for cloud gaming, and doesn't play PC games, it is something we have to mention on its own because it's for those into retro gaming. It plays all the classic handheld tiles you can think of, without making you worry about emulation. Simply put your cartridge into the system and get going.

Officially, the Analogue Pocket is compatible with over 2,780 Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance game cartridges. If you buy adapters, you also can play Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Color, and Atari Lynx games too. The thing that makes this game console special, though, is the design. It is shaped similarly to an original Game Boy but comes with a better screen. It has a 3.5-inch LCD tuned to 1600×1440 resolution. The buttons onboard are also mappable, and you get bonus features like a microSD card slot. Charging happens via USB-C, and there's even a link port that you can use to link the handheld up to four others for multiplayer games.

Similar to the Steam Deck, you also can dock the Pocket Analogue. It supports 1080p output, and Bluetooth support for wireless controllers. There are also two USB inputs for wired controllers. Developers can also build games for the handheld thanks to a partnership with GB Studio, to build games with little programming language. You even can connect the Pocket Analogue to a PC as a MIDI device with a special cable. The console has a digital audio workstation built-in called Nanoloop, which is designed for music creation and live performances.

The main downside, however, is that it can be tough to come by. It was released in 2021 and the stock has been low ever since. However, you can "preorder" on the Analogue website.

Asus ROG Ally

Best incoming alternative

Great specs and everything else

The Asus ROG Ally is the best Steam Deck alternative. You can't buy one yet as more information is set to come on May 11, but this handheld console packs a lot of power. It has the new Ryzen Z1 CPU under the hood, an amazing 120Hz refresh rate 500 nit brightness screen, and is a really sleek device.


  • Has a 120Hz 500 nit screen
  • Runs on Windows
  • Has custom-built Ryzen Z1 CPU


  • Not yet for sale
  • Will possibly be expensive

The Asus ROG Ally isn't out yet, but it's one of the most exciting handheld consoles, so we had to include it. This new handheld gaming console promises to pack in everything you need for PC gaming on the go.

The thing that really sold us on the Asus ROG Ally is the CPU power under the hood. This device is powered by AMD's Ryzen Z1 Series CPU, which is specially made for handheld gaming, unlike the AMD CPU currently in the Steam Deck. It's built on a 4nm processor and has six cores and 12 threads. Then, there are four AMD RDNA 3 compute units for high performance and long battery life. Asus mentioned that this CPU will help the device handle any game you can think of from AAA games to lighter indie titles thanks to tweaks to the thermals, like dual fans, thin heatsinks, and high-friction heat pipes to ensure the device stays cool.

This Asus handheld is powered by Windows 11, which means you can access almost any game you can think of through any gaming service. The Steam Deck can run Windows, but it requires you to erase your device and start fresh since the primary operating system is SteamOS based on Linux. Another great aspect of the ROG Ally is the display. Unlike the Steam Deck which has a 16:10 aspect ratio screen, the ROG Ally has a traditional 16:9 FHD screen, with a 120Hz refresh rate. This should make gaming feel super smooth, without having to deal with a letterbox when playing games.

Finally, the design is more gaming-like than the Steam Deck. You still get features like the microSD card port, but other things like a fingerprint reader, curved shoulder buttons, support for haptic feedback, comfortable macros keys, curved sides, flat dome ABXY buttons, and a slip-resistant texture. We'll update this guide when the ROG Ally is available but suffice it to say, this is one to watch.

The Best Steam Deck alternatives: The bottom line

Right now, the best Steam Deck alternative is the Logitech G Cloud. We know that it's not as powerful as the Steam Deck and that it's best suited for cloud gaming, but it's a really sleek and portable system that's hard to not suggest if you're looking for something beyond your phone.

Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld

The Android-based alternative

An Android gaming system

$300 $350 Save $50

The Logitech G Cloud is one of the best Steam Deck alternatives. It might not be as powerful and is primarily designed for cloud gaming, but it's powered by Android, letting you enjoy games from the Google Play Store. You also can play your Steam games via the cloud.

Of course, the G Cloud is Android-based, but the ONEXPLAYER2 is better for PC gaming and comes with a versatile design. And we can't forget the Nintendo Switch, which is great for Nintendo fans, and even the Razer Edge, which is great for on-the-go cloud gaming. The incoming Asus ROG Ally has what it takes to be the true Steam Deck killer, but we can't really suggest it right now since we have yet to get our hands on it. But, whatever your needs are, there's a mobile gaming console for you.