Steam Deck Mods Turn Valve’s Handheld Into Huge Nintendo 3DS

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The Nintendo DS and 3DS are famously tricky to replicate, but clever modders have found alternatives by adapting a Steam Deck.

These handheld Frankensteins often involve grafting a second screen to Valve’s portable powerhouse and require a generous helping of ingenuity and patience to create.

Reddit user TyePower shared their custom build to the Steam Deck sub-Reddit. TyePower created their Steam Deck Nintendo 3DS (maybe we need to abbreviate that to the SDNDS), by connecting a battery-powered 7-inch 1080p monitor to the Steam Deck via two sets of ‘Clamshell’ detachable mounts.

TyePower's Steam Deck Nintendo 3DS
image credit: tyepower

The results are undeniably impressive, with TyePower showing off The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D running on their creation.

With the hardware sorted, TyePower was able to use the, now defunct, Citra emulator on the Steam Deck to enable two-window-mode when playing 3DS games. TyePower then enabled the second screen with its maximum 1080p resolution via the Steam Deck’s desktop mode before extending the picture to the attached display.

With Citra no longer available after Yuzu’s legal issues with Nintendo, wannabe modders will need to find alternative methods of emulating DS and 3DS titles on their Steam Decks.

Trend Setter

Andrew's Steam Deck Nintendo 3DS

Inspired by TyePower’s creativity, Andrew from set out to build a Steam Deck 3DS of their own.

Andrew’s own journey to create a similar handheld device capable of playing the best Nintendo 3DS games was fraught with trial and error, with their initial screen choice failing to work after hours of fiddling and tinkering.

The back of Andrew's Steam Deck Nintendo 3DS

I love a story with a happy ending and, undeterred, Andrew persevered in the quest to create a 3DS using a Steam Deck and ultimately triumphed over adversity, as you can see in the pictures above.

Speaking about their experience of forging their bespoke device, Andrew said “well, we learned that even with patience, the right tools, and a little know-how, you shouldn’t try and reproduce every cool thing you see on the Internet”.

Wise words indeed.

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