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Valve To Steam Deck Owners: Stop Huffing Its Vent Fumes

The company behind Portal, Half-Life, and Steam isn’t amused by all the vent smellin’

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An image shows a woman inhaling blue fumes from a Steam Deck.
Photo: Valve / Kotaku / Fizkes (Shutterstock)

Valve has a message to all you folks (myself included) who love huffing your Steam Deck exhaust fumes: Stop it. Please.

Have you ever taken a break from playing your Steam Deck to sample the complex fragrances emanating from its exhaust vent? If so, you aren’t alone. Since the release of the handheld PC, many owners have reported that they can’t stop sniffing the fumes that waft out of the Steam Deck during play. It’s become a bit of a meme among Steam Deck owners, with folks often posting online how much they enjoy the distinctive aroma. I’m one of those sickos, sticking my nose right above the exhaust and taking a big whiff each time I play. But someone finally asked Valve about this, and it turns out the company wants you all to knock it off.


On December 12, Reddit user Metapod100 shared a screenshot showing them asking Steam Support if it was “safe to inhale the exhaust fumes” from the Steam Deck’s top vent. The user pointed out that people enjoying the smell has become “somewhat of a meme” and admitted many folks really like doing it.

A screenshot shows the message Valve sent back when asked about the Steam Deck vents.
Screenshot: Reddit / Kotaku

Valve’s response had the same vibes of a school teacher telling kids kindly (but firmly) to stop eating paste.

“As with all electronics, it is generally not recommended you inhale the exhaust fumes on your device,” Steam Support said. “While there are no safety concerns with general usage, directly inhaling the device’s vent fumes should be avoided.”


Valve’s support team added that while they “understand” that it’s become a meme, they still want Steam Deck owners to “refrain from this behavior for the safety of your health.”

And that’s a totally fair, logical answer. But I’m going to ignore it. I can’t help it. Smelling the hot plastic-y (almost fruity) scent that my Steam Deck spits out after warming up is a habit I can’t shake. I love it too much. I’m sorry Valve. Please don’t be mad. (And also please release a Steam Deck-scented candle next Christmas!)