Of all of the upgrades I anticipated to make to my Steam Deck over the yr since shopping for it, I had not anticipated to modify out the thumbsticks. That is maybe why I am nonetheless not bought on a thumbstick improve being of a lot profit to most steam Deck house owners. But alongside comes GuliKit with an Electromagnetic Joystick Module for Steam Deck equipment and I believed I must a minimum of give it a go.

I have been stunned by how simple it’s to modify out the thumbsticks on the compact handheld. Valve has made its handheld comparatively repairable for its measurement, supplies loads of spare elements through iFixit, and in the end I wasn’t too delay by the job forward when deciding to undertake a thumbstick transplant.

I will not go into element across the set up right here—a video is way simpler to observe—and you may watch me detailing the method of switching out the thumbsticks over on the PC Gamer TikTok account. It is solely daunting in the event you do not feel comfy with a screwdriver pointed at treasured elements or coping with fiddly connectors.

I am utilizing the second model of those GuliKit thumbsticks. They’re suitable with each Kind A and Kind B Steam Deck thumbsticks (you may must verify your machine to ensure which you’ve got earlier than putting in any replacements) they usually use much less energy general than the sooner model.

Electromagnetic Joystick Module specs

GuliKit's Hall effect thumbsticks awaiting installation in the Steam Deck.

(Picture credit score: Future)

Kind: Corridor impact
Compatibility: Kind A + Kind B
Worth: $30 | £35

What’s necessary right here is the why. Why trouble altering your thumbsticks in any respect? I have been considering on this lengthy and laborious since I’ve made the change, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is actually solely an improve price pursuing on a couple of events.

The primary is in the event you’ve already received stick drift or a damaged thumbstick and no quantity of fidgeting with the deadzone settings on the hand-held can suitably repair it.

GuliKit’s thumbsticks are undoubtedly superior to the unique ones included on the Steam Deck. They use what’s known as the Corridor impact to reduce the mechanical failure factors throughout the thumbsticks that may in any other case result in detrimental negative effects, reminiscent of stick drift over time. These Corridor impact thumbsticks use magnets to map out your actions, and with fewer elements coming into contact with each other, there’s much less to go fallacious over time or with regular use.

GuliKit's Hall effect thumbsticks awaiting installation in the Steam Deck.

(Picture credit score: Future)

The second is in the event you’re chasing a decrease deadzone and you’re unable to decrease your deadzone settings with the unique OEM sticks with out inflicting stick drift.


♬ unique sound – PC Gamer

Purchase if…

✅ Your Steam Deck is already affected by stick drift or a damaged thumbstick: This Corridor impact set is the plain decide to switch the unique Steam Deck thumbsticks, particularly because it’s typically cheaper than the OEM replacements.

Do not buy if…

❌ Your sticks are working simply fantastic: There are different upgrades I might make to the Steam Deck earlier than altering the sticks, specifically the SSD.

The advantage of Corridor impact thumbsticks is a smaller deadzone—that is the extent to which your thumbsticks will move earlier than registering a motion on the system. The Steam Deck is ready to 8192 by default with the inventory sticks, which is a reasonably large deadzone that acts as a kind of security blanket in opposition to stick drift. The bigger the deadzone, the much less doubtless it’s that mechanical variance within the sticks will end in drift.

That is the factor, it’s attainable to decrease the deadzone with the unique sticks, however you run the danger of inflicting drift relying in your explicit sticks and the way they had been manufactured. The default 8192 worth is a cover-all to make sure that any OEM sticks will stay throughout the manufacturing tolerances—some might be higher than others. With these Corridor impact sticks, you will be fairly sure which you can get a a lot decrease deadzone with out operating into points.

With the Corridor impact thumbsticks put in, you’ll be able to safely flip down the deadzone to 2000 and not likely run into any points. I would not advise eradicating the deadzone fully, as that results in undesirable motion, however you’ll be able to considerably scale back it with these put in.

GuliKit's Hall effect thumbsticks awaiting installation in the Steam Deck.

(Picture credit score: Future)

These are the one two use circumstances I can realistically consider that make this improve worthwhile. It is a area of interest improve, and also you’re doubtless higher off spending your cash on an SSD improve for the Steam Deck as an alternative. I even have a video on set up a brand new Steam Deck SSD over on TikTok, in the event you’re .

In these aforementioned circumstances, nonetheless, the GuliKit is an impressive alternative. I did not run into any points with set up and I’ve not had any points since. The total performance of the thumbsticks is retained, but they’re just a little snappier and, in idea, much less susceptible to breaking sooner or later. For that, and the actual fact you should buy a set of two Corridor impact thumbsticks for $30, $10 lower than the official alternative elements on iFixit (left and right), I might suggest anybody with a damaged stick go for these as an alternative of the actual deal.