Valve has officially warned Steam Deck users to stop huffing the fumes coming from the gaming handheld’s exhaust ports.
The new response from the tech giant came from a reddit post where a user got an actual response from the company, after asking if the device’s exhaust fumes were safe to inhale.
“As with all electronics, it is generally not recommended you inhale the exhaust fumes on your device,” a Valve rep said. “While there are no safety concerns with general usage, directly inhaling the device’s vent fumes should be avoided.”
They added, “We understand that it may be a meme, but please refrain from this behavior for the safety of your health.”
When the Steam Deck launched back in early 2022, there were a number of users that posted about smelling its exhaust fumes – because it vents upwards, from the top of the device.
In comparison, the Nintendo Switch also vents from the top but generally – due to its lower hardware specs – runs a lot less hot even with more taxing games, so users of that device didn’t get blasted with exhaust fumes as much.
Since electronics are still generally new in the grand scheme of things, there’s no real data or studies done on the effects of electronics exhaust being inhaled by humans, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Personally, I always love the smell of fresh books, game instruction manuals, art books, and of course – fresh electronics. It’s more of a nostalgia thing I think, but perhaps the Steam Deck fumes meme came from this, with so many nerds pining for better times.
Valve’s Steam Deck has been wildly popular since release, so much so that the just launched an upgraded model with a gorgeous OLED screen – you can read all about that here.
This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry.