Valve’s Servers Shit the Bed Due to Steam Deck Demand

Valve’s Servers Shit the Bed Due to Steam Deck Demand
Image: Valve

Yesterday, Valve countered the upcoming arrival of the OLED Switch with its own PC-based gaming handheld console, the $US400 ($539) Steam Deck. Reservations opened today, and it seems the Steam store just can’t keep up.

Almost immediately after reservations for the Steam Deck went live at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, Twitter was flooded with frustrated posts from potential customers saying they couldn’t complete their reservation, often running into multiple errors or purchase screens that timed out before fully checking out.

While the announcement for the Steam Deck may have come as a small surprise, Steam’s user base has ballooned to more than 120 million monthly users in 2020, so it probably shouldn’t have been a big shock to see Valve’s servers falter when presented with such a huge influx of reservations.

For those currently still trying to reserve a Steam Deck, I have some advice: If you’re able to get to the point where you enter your payment information, when you finally confirm the purchase and you see the Working button, just let it go and don’t refresh. In my own case, I was actually able to snag a reservation despite closing my browser tab entirely after the Working button was cycling for about five minutes, so make sure to keep an eye on your inbox for an email confirmation.

Alternatively, if you’ve run into the issue where Steam says that you’ve attempted to make too many recent purchases, you’ll need to wait 10 minutes before trying again to finalise your purchase.

Some users (including myself) were even hit with an error claiming that their Steam account was too new to make a reservation — my Steam account is more than 15 years old, so that was puzzling. Valve’s original intention for delaying new Steam accounts from making Steam Deck reservations was to help ensure scalpers and other unauthorised resellers wouldn’t be able to scoop up the initial production run, which makes errors like that increasingly annoying.

While Valve began taking reservations today, the Steam Deck isn’t slated to begin shipping until December, which should give the company time to sort out orders and potentially better accommodate shipments based on the number of current reservations.

So if you haven’t had any luck snagging a reservation just yet, be patient, don’t refresh the order page, and keep an eye out on your inbox for confirmation.