I won’t take my Steam Deck outside without this accessory

dbrand killswitch steam deck 7
Steam Deck with Dbrand Killswitch Case.
Jacob Roach/

I’ve been staunchly against buying a case for my Steam Deck since I first picked up the handheld. If you haven’t caught one, they are ridiculously big. Every time I gave someone my Steam Deck to check out, their reaction was the same: a laugh, followed by “It’s much bigger than I expected.” Why would you want to make it even bigger with a case?

That is, until I found a case that works perfectly for my Steam deck: Dbrand’s Killswitch. Not only does it protect your Steam Deck due to its sturdy exterior, but it also offers a number of other features that make the Steam Deck more useful for travel, docking, and handheld play.

However, it was not so in the beginning. DeBrand released Killswitch a little more than a year ago, but he quickly remembered the issue. The included kickstand, which I’ll get to shortly, originally used magnets that interfered with the Steam Deck’s fan. Dbrand offered customers a refund for the original version, but it is back with a new version of the killswitch that doesn’t use any magnets.

You can’t buy the older version anymore, but I wanted to mention it for a few reasons. If you buy one secondhand, make sure you are getting the newer version. Also, I want to clarify that I am testing the definitive version of Killswitch. This is important to point out because I’m setting out to emphasize how great Killswitch really is.

Let’s start with the case itself. If you take a look on Amazon, you’ll find a long list of rubber cases that fit the Steam Deck. lack of

, these are all weak silicone shells wrapped around your Steam Deck. Killswitch is not like that.

The Brandt Killswitch stands.
Jacob Roach/

It wraps around your Steam deck, but the killswitch is reinforced with a rigid backplate that you can’t move. it’s safe. DeBrand also takes care to only let the case touch the parts of the Steam Deck you’re actually holding, wrapping around the back, slightly up the sides and across the dips at the bottom corners of the device.

These grips are textured, and not plastic as on the Steam Deck. You don’t really realize how actively you’re holding on to Steam Deck until you turn on the killswitch. Instead of being held on each side, the Steam Deck hangs from the natural pressure you apply with your palms. It feels more comfortable to hold, and doesn’t add too much weight. DeBrand says the killswitch is as thin as a nickel, and based on my Very According to scientific testing, it’s actually a little diluted.

It wouldn’t have been enough to sell me on Killswitch, but it does a lot more. Dbrand offers a plastic cover that sticks to the top of the case and protects your Steam Deck’s screen, joystick, and buttons. As someone who travels a lot, this is a big deal. The case valve included with the Steam Deck is too large, easily taking over the role as your personal item on a plane, and thinner aftermarket options offer a loose fit and little or no protection.

Debrand killswitch with cover.
Jacob Roach/

The Killswitch is not only smaller than the handful of Steam Deck cases I’ve tried — it’s also much more protective. I can throw on a plastic cover and put my Steam Deck in a backpack without worrying about anything breaking. I’ve done the exact same thing probably a dozen times, and my Steam deck has been just fine. Dbrand also leaves a cutout for a USB-C port with the case, so you can charge the Steam Deck even when it’s stored.

So, the Killswitch is a sturdy protective skin for your Steam Deck, but it has another trick up its sleeve: a backplate mount. By default, the Dbrand includes a kickstand to support the Steam Deck, but you can remove the kickstand with a twist and attach the universal mechanical mount.

This mount is a little plastic that can click into the kickstand mount, and includes a strap that allows you to connect an external battery, USB-C hub, or anything else that can fit in the strap. I still think the Steam Deck with a power bank strapped to the back looks a bit silly, but there’s no denying that it’s a de facto way a lot of Steam Deck owners use their devices. The mount normally replaces the kickstand, but Dbrand includes a 3M adhesive patch so you can attach the mount to the kickstand if you want.

Accessory mount for Dbrand killswitch.
Jacob Roach/

Killswitch is great, and it’s the first time I’ve used an essential accessory in a Steam deck’s sea of ​​options (I’ve modified my Steam deck quite a bit, but that’s a different matter). It’s also very expensive at $60 for the base kit. You can get a case for half that price or even less.

The dbrand definitely makes the Killswitch feel worth it. The base kit includes a case, kickstand, and one of Dbrand’s dozens of skins for the Steam Deck. These are $20 to $30 on their own, and Dbrand allows you to choose any of its Classic or Premium skins for the same price. My bigger issue is that the killswitch itself doesn’t come with a cover. This is an additional fee of $15.

There are a number of accessories you can bundle with your KillSwitch, including a travel cover, tempered glass, stick grips, universal mount, and a dock adapter kit since the KillSwitch’s USB-C port is recessed with the case. By completely cheating, you’re looking at $118.

My only real issue with the Killswitch is how expensive it is. I would recommend the travel kit for most people, which costs $75 and comes with a cover and stick grips on top of the base kit. Still, it will be easier to recommend Killswitch if you can mix and match all the items available, for example, you can pick up the case and cover alone at a lower price.

However, I still think the Killswitch is an essential Steam deck accessory. I wish Dbrand sold accessories like the cover and dock adapter kit separately, but there aren’t any other Steam Deck cases that come close. It protects your Steam Deck in use and while traveling, and it offers many features that are not available on a Steam Deck alone. It’s not just a protective case – Killswitch makes your Steam deck more useful.

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