Steam Deck Buttons - Install Guide

Steam Deck install guide.  Image includes Steam Deck, pry tools, a screwdriver, and a cup to hold screws.

QUICK NOTE! ALL BUTTONS WORK IN THE NEW STEAM DECK OLED!  I'll update this guide when I have time to do so, for now please see a disassembly and installation from this livestream here. 

Installing aftermarket Steam Deck buttons isn't too hard.  Before you start, here's some things you should have on hand:

  • Screwdriver
  • Plastic Pry tools (no metal) 
  • A place for Screws. Try Decky's Modmate Screw Tray!
  • Tweezers 
  • A soft spot for your Steam Deck (mousepads are good!) 

Before you proceed, REMOVE YOUR SD CARD.

If you'd like to see a live install in video format, click here. A more concise video is in the works, this was just a live hang install. 

Step 1: Disassembly

Steam Deck flipped over showing 8 screw locations. 4 longer screws on the outsides, and 4 shorter inner screws on the inside of the shell.Flip your Steam Deck over and take out the back screws.  There will be 8 screws total.  The 4 outer screws are longer, and the 4 inner screws are shorter.


Image showing a steam deck being opened with a pry tool. Pry tool located around the back right trigger areaAfter removing the screws, begin prying the shell open starting from the back trigger area. Once the first clip is unfastened, gently work your way across the Steam Deck. The initial clip may be tough, but it becomes easier as you progress around the shell.


Step 2: Internals.  Right Side (DPAD)

Image showing the inside of a Steam Deck. Circled location of the power connector for the dpad side of the Steam Deck

Image showing the inside of a Steam Deck. Circled location of the power connector for the dpad side of the Steam Deck

First, disconnect the power from the board. We'll focus on the right side, the DPAD side of your Steam Deck. Gently pry the power connector up from the back. Handle with care as the connector is delicate; avoid pulling by the wires.


Inside steam deck prying out the right trigger assembly prying off Steam deck right trigger assemblyNow, let's disassemble the trigger assembly. Wedge your pry tool under the hinge, as shown in the photo. Holding the trigger provides more control, preventing the button and spring from dislodging. Once the hinge is loosened, tilt the entire trigger outward to fully release it.


Steam Deck right trigger assembly base removal. Image shows 3 screws and the base of the trigger assemblyLet's proceed to detach the base of the trigger assembly. Simply unscrew the three screws highlighted in the image, and the base will effortlessly lift away.


Steam deck ribbon assembly demonstration. This shows the connector releasing the ribbon cable by flipping the connector upwards.Steam deck ribbon cable placement. Right side of the steam deck showing 5 cablesNow's the moment to disconnect the ribbon cables. Gently lift the hinged door to free the cables, being mindful of their delicate nature. Refer to the image to identify which cables to detach – you can leave the cable marked with a red 'X' connected.


Image showing the 3 screws placement for the right side of the steam deck joystick moduleMoving on to the Joystick module: just unscrew the three highlighted screws to release it. After unscrewing, lift the module right out.


Steam deck right side of main board screw placement. Showcasing 4 screws to remove the main board.Image showing the removal of the steam deck main board. The removal process involves lifting the board and removing it from a pegNext up: removing the main board. Refer to the image for the screw locations. To lift the board, start from the bottom left corner. Tilt it up and to the right, freeing it  from the peg near the trigger assembly. And when you're freeing the board, give a nod to our trusty peg near the trigger assembly.. it's been holding things together for you!


Screw locations for steam deck right bumper assemblySteam deck bumper assembly removal, rocking the assembly to the rightNext up: the bumper assembly. After unscrewing, gently tilt the trigger assembly outwards and to the right. Take note of a tiny clip that assists in securing the trigger to the shell. It's circled in the second image.  If your deck is older, you may only have one screw to remove here.


Steam Deck Dpad and "..." buttons membrane placement.Great job! Just remove the membranes highlighted in the image to access your buttons. Note: The D-PAD membrane might be connected to the bumper assembly. It's fine to detach them for reassembly.

Steam deck shell with aftermarket buttons insideSlot in your new buttons and follow the steps in reverse to piece this side of your deck back together. The button backs have logos and text to help you easily identify the proper orientation during the install.  Please ignore the cake, it's a lie. 

A quick heads-up: Pay special attention to the "..." button's membrane. If anything seems off after reassembly, it's most likely due to this membrane shifting during reassembly.


Step 3: Internals.  Left Side (A,B,X,Y, etc..)

Steam Deck internals remove battery from main boardThis side is very similar to the other side, so we'll be moving more quickly with this half of the guide. First, let's disconnect the board's power.


Steam deck left trigger assembly removal. rocking the trigger outwards to removeJust like last time, release the hinge and remove the trigger assembly and it's base. 

Steam deck ribbon cable placement for the left side of the steam deck. Here are the ribbon cable locations for this side of the Steam Deck. Note there's one additional cable to detach compared to the right side you've just worked on.


Removal of the left joystick assembly of the steam deck. Image shows the joystick assembly sitting outside of the shell of the steam deck.Take out the joystick, just like you did on the opposite side.


Steam deck screw locations for the left side.And here are the mainboard screw locations, same as last time take note of the pin near the trigger area! 


Steam Deck left trigger side screw placement. Three screws total.Steam deck trigger assembly left side, heat shield pry upThis side presents a slight variation. Notice the tiny screw securing the heat shield? Unscrew it. After that, carefully lift the heat shield using the guidance point shown in the image. This will allow you to smoothly extract the bumper assembly tucked beneath.

Steam Deck left side a,b,x,y button membrane locationsSteam Deck aftermarket buttons showing inside the shell. A,b,x,yAll set. Just pull back the membranes and pop in your new buttons. While you're at it, tip your hat to Gordan's crowbar before positioning the membrane back in place.  And just like last time, simply follow this guide in reverse for reassembly. 

A quick heads-up: Pay special attention to the "Menu" button's membrane. If anything seems off after reassembly, it's most likely due to this membrane shifting during reassembly.

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