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The best Steam Deck alternatives in 2024

Whether your best Steam Deck alternative is a device with more performance, better portability, or something cheaper, we've got plenty of recommendations.

Custom image for Steam Deck alternatives guide with a Switch OLED, Lenovo Legion Go, and ASUS ROG Ally all on a yellow background

The best Steam Deck alternatives come in all shapes, sizes, prices, and performance levels, each offering a different take on a handheld gaming experience. With so many to choose from, though, how can you be sure which device is the perfect fit for your needs?

Following hours of benchmarks and tests with some of the best portable gaming consoles out there, we folks at Pocket Tactics regularly have assembled this list of the best Steam Deck alternatives so you can confidently choose a system for your setup. Whether you’re after a big brand competitor from ASUS or Lenovo or something a little more specialist from the likes of AYN or GPD, we’ve got you covered.

Why you can trust our advice ✔ At Pocket Tactics, our experts spend days testing games, phones, tech, and services. We always share honest opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

ASUS ROG Ally

The best Steam Deck alternative for most.

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ASUS ROG Ally specifications:
OS Windows 11
CPU Ryzen Z1 Extreme (8 cores / 16 threads) Ryzen Z1 (6 cores / 12 threads)
GPU Z1 Extreme: RDNA 3 (12 compute units) Z1: RDNA 3 (4 compute units)
RAM 16GB LPDDR5 (6,400MHz, dual channel)
Display 7.0-inch IPS (1920 x 1080, 120Hz)
Battery 40WHr
Storage 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD microSD card slot
Weight 608g
Size 28.0cm x 11.1cm x 3.24cm
Reasons to buy
  • Well-rounded specs
  • Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
  • microSD card issues
  • Poor battery

Despite the continually growing number of Windows handhelds, the ROG Ally remains the best Steam Deck alternative out there. While it doesn’t excel in any particular category relative to its competitors, ASUS’ system offers a gaming experience greater than the sum of its parts.

The ROG Ally is available with a choice of two processors, the Ryzen Z1 and Ryzen Z1 Extreme. While similar in name, these chips each boast markedly different performance due to their difference in spec. So much so, that we only recommend picking up models equipped with the Z1 Extreme, as the Z1’s value is considerably lower. If your budget can stretch to the more powerful CPU, though, you can expect frame rates that either match or exceed the Steam Deck.

Superior specs don’t stop at the processor with the ROG Ally, as it also comes with a sharper 1080p display with a higher refresh rate of 120Hz. There’s sadly no OLED option available, but its IPS LCD panel is about as good as you can get for this display type. Better still, this resolution is a sweet spot for performance and battery life, not putting too much strain on either front.

Out-of-the-box storage for the ROG Ally tops out at 512GB, but this can be easily upgraded with another off-the-shelf PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 2230 SSD. You can add further space for games via the microSD card slot, but be aware that there are reports of the reader malfunctioning. ASUS has since deployed a patch that should have addressed these issues, so be sure to download any updates as they come, and exercise caution when playing particularly demanding games.

Lenovo Legion Go

The best big-screen Steam Deck alternative.

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Lenovo Legion Go specifications:
OS Windows 11
CPU Ryzen Z1 Extreme (8 cores / 16 threads)
GPU RDNA 3 (12 CUs)
RAM 16GB LPDDR5 (7,500MHz, dual channel)
Display 8.8-inch IPS (2560 x 1600, 144Hz)
Battery 49.2WHr
Storage 512GB/1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD microSD card slot
Weight 854g (640g with controllers detached)
Size 29.88cm x 13.1cm x 4.07cm
Reasons to buy
  • Large sharp screen
  • Versatile detachable controllers
Reasons to avoid
  • Awkward resolution and software
  • Bulky

Taking inspiration from the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch, the Legion Go is one of the more ambitious and versatile alternatives to Valve’s handheld. With its detachable ‘TrueStrike’ controllers, built-in kickstand, and high levels of performance, the scale of its ambitions is only matched by the size of its display and chassis.

Featuring an 8.8-inch IPS panel, the Legion Go has one of the largest screens you’ll find on a handheld, complete with a suitably large pixel count of 1600p. Crisp as games look at this resolution, you need to prepare to downscale to 1200p or 800p as pushing up to 1600p can prove too much for the Ryzen Z1 Extreme, despite its otherwise strong capabilities.

Detaching the controllers from the Legion Go makes for a more relaxed portable gaming experience if you have the space to rest the machine on a nearby surface. However, the handheld also has ‘FPS Mode’, which transforms one of the controllers into a would-be mouse when combined with the included base which is useful for both games and light work.

Legion Space does offer plenty of customization but it’s much more fiddly than Valve’s offerings on the Steam Deck, but this could improve over time with future updates. The only other gripe that brings the Legion Go down a peg is its weight, measuring 854g, which can make it somewhat uncomfortable to use for prolonged periods.

AYN Odin 2

The best Steam Deck alternative for Android games.

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AYN Odin 2 specifications:
OS Android 13
CPU Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
GPU Adreno 740
RAM 8GB (Base) / 12GB (Pro) / 16GB (Max) LPDDR5X
Display 6.0-inch IPS (1920 x 1080, 144Hz)
Battery 8,000mAh
Storage 12GB (Base) / 256GB (Pro) / 512GB (Max) (UFS 4.0) microSD card slot
Weight 420g
Size 22.5 x 9.8 x 1.7cm
Reasons to buy
  • Powerful performance
  • Stellar battery
Reasons to avoid
  • Divisive design
  • Reliant on streaming

Android gaming doesn’t get any better than on the Odin 2. While much of what makes this handheld so fantastic to game with comes down to its specs, its performance wouldn’t shine as much as it does if not for the work AYN has clearly put into the device’s delicious design.

At the heart of the Odin 2 lies a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, the same SoC found in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Paired with at least 8GB of RAM, this combo naturally makes short work of even the most demanding Android games like Genshin Impact and Diablo Immortal.

The inclusion of Hall effect joysticks makes playing games on the Odin 2 a responsive joy, with nary a hint of drift. Annoyingly, the face buttons and D-pad don’t match up to the device’s joysticks. While they still provide a decent experience, some will find them uncomfortably small and they are prone to minor rattling.

The 8,000mAh battery provides hours upon hours of playtime and charging is easy and speedy thanks to support for 65W Quick Charge 5.0. The only real fault the Odin 2 has as a Steam Deck alternative is that you need to use cloud streaming services like Nvidia GeForce Now to play your library of PC games. Thankfully, it handles this task like a champ too.

GPD Win Mini (2024)

The best compact Steam Deck alternative.

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GPD Win Mini (2024) specifications:
OS Windows 11
CPU Ryzen 7 8840U (8 cores / 16 threads) Ryzen 5 8640U (6 cores / 12 threads)
GPU 8840U: Radeon RX 780M (12 CUs) 8640U: Radeon RX 760M (8CUs)
RAM 8840U: 32GB/64GB LPDDR5-6,400MHz 8640U: 16GB LPDDR5-6,400MHz
Display 7.0-inch IPS (1920 x 1080, 144Hz)
Battery 44.24Whr
Storage 8840U: 512GB/2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD 8640U: 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD microSD card slot
Weight 520g
Size 16.8 x 10.9 x 2.6cm
Reasons to buy
  • Latest Ryzen APUs
  • Physical keyboard
Reasons to avoid
  • Expensive
  • Lacks innovation

Don’t let the size of the Win Mini (2024) fool you as this is one Steam Deck alternative that punches well above its weight, despite its size. Not only has GPD managed to squeeze plenty of performance into this lean machine, but opening up the clamshell chassis reveals a built-in keyboard and trackpad alongside its face buttons and Hall effect joysticks for a truly versatile system.

New for the Win Mini (2024), GPD has upgraded its display to include variable refresh rate (VRR) support. Despite its prevalence among gaming monitors, this feature is surprisingly rare among handhelds, with the Steam Deck and ROG Ally being some of the only other examples. In a nutshell, it keeps screen tearing at bay, regardless of your frame rate, making for a much smoother gaming experience.

Benchmarking the Win Mini (2024) reveals its surprising strength as a small but mighty gaming system. According to GPD, you can expect an average frame rate of 64fps in Forza Horizon 5, using the game’s ‘High’ preset. Of course, you can boost this even further by activating AMD FSR in games that support the upscaling tech.

The only major drawback of the Wini Mini (2024) is its price. Starting at $879 via Indiegogo, in lieu of Ryzen 5 8640U availability for now, it’s one of the more expensive Steam Deck alternatives on the market. However, an increased price for such a bespoke design isn’t a surprise and is something that many other handhelds on the market simply don’t offer.

Retroid Pocket 4 Pro

The best budget Steam Deck alternative.

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Retroid Pocket 4 Pro specifications:
OS Android 13
CPU Mediatek Dimensity 1100
GPU Mali G77 MC9
RAM 8GB LPDDR4X
Display 4.7-inch LCD (1334 x 750, 60Hz)
Battery 5,000mAh
Storage 128GB (UFS 3.1) microSD card slot
Weight 251g
Size 18.4 x 8.2 x 1.5cm
Reasons to buy
  • Affordable
  • Nice size
Reasons to avoid
  • Limited performance
  • Cloud streaming

It’s difficult to find a budget alternative to the Steam Deck but the Pocket 4 Pro is about as close as you can get. Costing just $200, it’s a surprisingly nippy Android handheld that can serve as a PC in a pinch through cloud streaming services. As its name suggests, it’s surprisingly great at retro gaming too.

Just because it’s relatively cheap, doesn’t mean that Retroid skimped on the build quality of the Pocket 4 Pro. Housed in its plastic chassis you’ll find a set of analog triggers and Hall effect analog sticks, which feel great across all genres of game but particularly shine in racing titles. While its 4.7-inch display is on the smaller side, as its 750p resolution, you can connect it to an external display and output 1080p video via its USB Type-C port.

The Pocket 4 Pro is one of the smaller Steam Deck alternatives on the market too, weighing in at just 251g, and with dimensions that make it genuinely pocketable in some pants. Naturally, this does make it somewhat unwieldy for those with larger hands, but most should find it comfortable to hold.

Given its price, you shouldn’t expect flagship-level performance but the Mediatek Dimensity 1100 SoC packs enough punch to see you through a bout of Android gaming and handles streaming with no problem. Just bear in mind that if you already have an expensive smartphone, you may already have a gaming device that’s just as capable as the Pocket 4 Pro, if not more so.

Nintendo Switch OLED

The best Steam Deck alternative for console gamers.

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Nintendo Switch OLED specifications:
OS Horizon
CPU Custom Nvidia Tegra X1
GPU Custom Nvidia Tegra X1
RAM 4GB LPDDR4
Display 7.0-inch OLED (1280 x 720, 60Hz)
Battery 4,310mAh
Storage 64GB microSD card slot
Weight 420g (320g with controllers detached)
Size 24.2 x 10.2 x 1.39cm
Reasons to buy
  • Vivid OLED screen
  • Physical games
Reasons to avoid
  • Pricey
  • Replacement anticipated

No list of Steam Deck alternatives would be complete without the Switch OLED, which emerges as our favorite version of Nintendo’s console for several reasons. The first, naturally, is its OLED panel, making it one of the cheapest devices to feature the display technology. Colors and contrast are simply sublime on this screen and make for a marked upgrade over more expensive LCD alternatives.

We suggest picking up the Switch OLED over the Lite as should you encounter any dreaded bouts of stick drift, you’ll only need to replace the faulty Joy-Con rather than the entire system. This does naturally increase the price, within $50 of the 256GB Steam Deck LCD, but the extra cost is well worth improving the longevity of your device.

One advantage the Switch enjoys over every other Steam Deck alternative is an ecosystem of physical games. Not only is a library of cartridges awesome to collect, but you’ll be able to sell them should you wish rather than be forever stuck with a digital license. However, the Nintendo eShop is ripe with downloads should you prefer.

It’s worth noting that we’re expecting a Switch 2 in the near future, which could see the Switch OLED and other models fall in price. However, until that time, Nintendo’s console remains the best handheld console out there.

How we chose the best Steam Deck alternatives

In separating the best Steam Deck alternatives from the crowd of would-be alternatives, we take performance, price, and several other factors into consideration.

Going up against the Steam Deck is tricky business, as Valve’s handheld is a versatile system that offers so much value regardless of whether you opt for the LCD or OLED model. As such, we’ve mostly focused on devices that may cost more but will offer features or frame rates that the Deck simply doesn’t or is incapable of offering.

While the most direct alternatives to the Steam Deck use Windows 11 as their operating system, there’s still plenty of functionality to squeeze out of the Android alternatives. Cloud streaming services have come a long way in terms of quality, not forgetting the mountains of mobile titles and retro games at your disposal through Google’s operating system.

If after all that you’re still struggling to decide on a handheld, our guide to the best gaming phones has plenty of devices that can compete when it comes to performance and play. We’ve also got something for nostalgia fans, with our guide to the best retro handhelds.