At, we utilize AI technology to assist in the creation of our content. However, we want to assure our readers that every article undergoes a thorough review and fact-checking process by our human editors before publication. Our goal is to provide accurate, helpful, and valuable information to our audience. Despite our best efforts, if you come across any inaccuracies or errors in our content, please reach out to us at [[email protected]], and we will promptly address the issue.

Steam Deck Vs Backbone: How The Portable Gaming Rivals Stack Up

Mobile gaming is exploding, and two devices leading the way are Valve’s Steam Deck and Backbone’s iPhone gaming controller. At first glance, the Steam Deck handheld and Backbone attachment for iPhone couldn’t be more different. But they share the goal of leveling up mobile gaming.

So how do they compare for design, performance, game libraries and overall user experience?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Steam Deck is the clear winner for power and game selection, while the Backbone offers greater portability and seamless iPhone integration.

For serious mobile gamers wanting PC-quality gameplay, the Steam Deck is worth the investment. But for more casual iOS gaming on the go, Backbone can’t be beat.

Hardware Design and Ergonomics

Steam Deck Size and Weight

The size and weight of a portable gaming device can greatly impact its usability and portability. The Steam Deck, with its sleek and compact design, measures 11.7 X 4.6 X 1.9 inches and weighs 1.48 pounds. This makes it easy to slip into a backpack or carry it around without feeling cumbersome.

On the other hand, Backbone’s slim and lightweight controller case offers a different approach. It is designed to seamlessly integrate with your smartphone, adding a controller and enhancing the gaming experience. The case adds minimal bulk to your device and fits comfortably in your hands, allowing for extended gaming sessions without discomfort.

Backbone’s Slim, Lightweight Controller Case

The Backbone controller case is a standout feature of the Backbone system. It securely attaches to your smartphone, transforming it into a handheld gaming device.

The case itself is slim and lightweight, without adding unnecessary bulk to your device. It is designed to fit comfortably in your hands, allowing for hours of gameplay without causing strain or discomfort.

The controller buttons on the Backbone case are well-placed and responsive, providing a satisfying tactile experience. The analog sticks offer precise control, while the triggers and buttons are clicky and responsive.

The overall design of the Backbone controller case is sleek and ergonomic, making it a joy to use for extended gaming sessions.

Backbone's Slim

Comfort and Playability Comparison

When it comes to comfort and playability, both the Steam Deck and Backbone have their strengths.

The Steam Deck offers a spacious layout, with well-placed buttons and a comfortable grip. The controls are responsive and offer a satisfying tactile feedback. 

The Steam Deck’s large display also enhances the gaming experience, allowing for immersive gameplay.

The Backbone controller case, on the other hand, offers a compact and ergonomic design. The slim profile and lightweight construction make it easy to hold for extended periods. The buttons and analog sticks are well-positioned and offer precise control.

The Backbone system also offers a seamless integration with your smartphone, allowing for a familiar and convenient gaming experience.

Ultimately, the choice between the Steam Deck and Backbone comes down to personal preference and gaming needs. Both devices offer unique features and a high level of comfort and playability. It is recommended to try out both systems to see which one fits your gaming style and preferences best.

Performance and Specs

When it comes to performance and specifications, both the Steam Deck and Backbone offer impressive features that cater to the needs of portable gaming enthusiasts. Let’s take a closer look at the key aspects that set them apart.

Steam Deck Processing and Graphics Power

The Steam Deck is powered by a custom APU developed by Valve, featuring a quad-core Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA 2 GPU. This combination allows for excellent performance and graphics capabilities, rivaling that of dedicated gaming consoles.

With up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, the Steam Deck can handle demanding games without compromising on smooth gameplay.

On the other hand, the Backbone leverages the processing power of your iPhone or iPad. By connecting your device to the Backbone controller, you can enjoy a seamless gaming experience with minimal latency.

While it doesn’t have the same level of processing power as the Steam Deck, it still delivers impressive performance, especially when paired with the latest Apple devices.

Backbone Leverages iPhone/iPad Capabilities

One of the unique advantages of the Backbone is its ability to leverage the capabilities of your iPhone or iPad. By utilizing the power of Apple’s devices, the Backbone can tap into a vast library of games available on the App Store.

With access to popular titles and a wide range of gaming genres, Backbone users have a diverse selection of games at their fingertips.

Moreover, the Backbone app provides additional features such as the ability to capture and share gameplay moments, connect with friends, and discover new games. This integration with the iOS ecosystem enhances the overall gaming experience and makes the Backbone a compelling choice for Apple users.

Battery Life

Battery life is a crucial factor when it comes to portable gaming devices.

The Steam Deck boasts an impressive battery life of up to 8 hours, allowing gamers to enjoy extended gaming sessions without worrying about running out of power. This is especially important for those who are constantly on the move or prefer gaming on the go.

On the other hand, the Backbone relies on the battery life of your iPhone or iPad. While this may vary depending on the device and usage, the overall battery life is typically shorter compared to the Steam Deck.

However, the convenience of using your existing device for gaming eliminates the need for an additional battery, making it a trade-off worth considering.

Game Libraries and Ecosystems

When it comes to game libraries and ecosystems, the Steam Deck and Backbone offer different options for gamers.

Steam Deck’s Massive Steam Library

The Steam Deck boasts a massive game library thanks to its integration with the popular digital distribution platform, Steam. With over 30,000 games available on Steam, players will have access to a wide variety of titles spanning different genres and themes.

From AAA blockbusters to indie gems, the Steam Deck’s library is a treasure trove for gamers of all kinds. Additionally, the Steam Deck allows players to install other game stores and platforms, such as Epic Games Store or GOG, further expanding their gaming options.

Steam Library

Backbone Limited to iOS App Store Games

On the other hand, the Backbone is limited to games available on the iOS App Store. While the App Store offers a considerable selection of games, it doesn’t compare to the vastness of the Steam library.

Players using the Backbone will have access to popular mobile games and exclusives, but may miss out on the extensive collection of PC games available on Steam.

Remote Play and Streaming Support

Both the Steam Deck and Backbone offer remote play and streaming support, allowing players to stream games from their PC or console to their portable devices. This feature enables gamers to enjoy their favorite titles on the go, without the need for powerful hardware.

Whether you’re in a different room or miles away from your gaming setup, remote play and streaming support ensure that you never have to miss out on your gaming sessions.

Software and Compatibility

Steam Deck’s SteamOS and Linux Compatibility

The Steam Deck, developed by Valve Corporation, runs on SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system designed specifically for gaming. This compatibility with Linux opens up a wide range of gaming possibilities for users.

Linux has a growing library of games available on Steam, and with the Steam Deck’s powerful hardware, gamers can expect a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.

Furthermore, the Steam Deck is not limited to Steam games only. Users will also have the option to install other game stores and platforms, allowing them to access a variety of gaming content. This flexibility gives gamers the freedom to choose their preferred gaming ecosystem on the Steam Deck.

Backbone Exclusively for iOS Devices

Unlike the Steam Deck, the Backbone is exclusively designed for iOS devices. It seamlessly integrates with iPhones and iPads, turning them into portable gaming consoles. This compatibility ensures that Backbone users have access to a vast library of games available on the App Store.

With the Backbone app, gamers can easily discover, download, and play their favorite games on their iOS devices. The app also provides features such as controller mapping and social integration, enhancing the overall gaming experience.

iOS Devices

Jailbreak Support

One notable advantage of the Steam Deck over the Backbone is its support for jailbreaking. Jailbreaking refers to the process of removing software restrictions imposed by the manufacturer, allowing users to have more control over their devices.

While jailbreaking can void warranties and potentially compromise security, it also opens up possibilities for customization and access to a wider range of software.

On the other hand, the Backbone does not officially support jailbreaking. This means that users may face limitations when it comes to modifying the software or accessing certain apps and features outside of the App Store.

Extra Features and Accessories

Steam Deck Peripherals and Docks

The Steam Deck offers a range of peripherals and docks that enhance the gaming experience.

For gamers who prefer a traditional gaming setup, the Steam Deck Dock allows you to connect your device to a TV or monitor, giving you a larger screen to enjoy your games on.

Additionally, the dock includes USB ports for connecting other accessories such as controllers or keyboards. This versatility allows gamers to seamlessly transition from gaming on the go to playing on a larger screen at home.

In terms of additional peripherals, the Steam Deck offers a range of options to suit different gaming preferences. From external controllers to gaming keyboards, there are plenty of accessories available to enhance your gaming experience.

These peripherals are designed to be compatible with the Steam Deck, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free gaming experience.

Backbone App Features

While the Steam Deck focuses on providing a comprehensive gaming experience through its hardware and peripherals, the Backbone app enhances the gaming experience through software features.

The Backbone app allows you to easily discover and connect with friends, join gaming communities, and share your gameplay moments. With features like instant replay and easy social media sharing, the Backbone app makes it simple to capture and relive your gaming highlights.

Additionally, the Backbone app offers a range of game-specific features, such as in-app chat and leaderboards, that add an extra layer of immersion to your gaming sessions. These features make it easier to connect with other gamers and compete in online multiplayer games.

Expandable Storage Options

Both the Steam Deck and the Backbone offer expandable storage options, allowing you to increase the amount of storage available for your games.

The Steam Deck features a microSD card slot, which allows you to easily add additional storage space without having to rely solely on the device’s internal storage.

The Backbone, on the other hand, offers expandable storage through cloud-based storage options. With a Backbone subscription, you can store your game saves, screenshots, and videos in the cloud, freeing up space on your device for more games.

This cloud-based storage solution ensures that you never have to worry about running out of storage space.

  Steam Deck Backbone
Peripherals and Docks ✔️
App Features ✔️
Expandable Storage Options ✔️ ✔️


When it comes down to it, the Steam Deck is the superior mobile gaming device in terms of performance, compatibility, and game library access. Its specs and Steam ecosystem provide a true handheld PC gaming experience.

However, the Backbone excels at enhancing iOS mobile gaming thanks to its light and portable design tailored for iPhone.

If you want the most powerful handheld with access to AAA games, the investment in a Steam Deck pays off. But for casual gaming on your Apple device, Backbone can’t be beat for seamless on-the-go fun. Either way, both devices take mobile gaming to the next level.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts