Well Played, Suspect! – Forensic Examination of the Handheld Gaming Console “Steam Deck”

Eichhorn M, Schneider J, Pugliese G (2024)

Publication Language: English

Publication Status: Accepted

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Future Publication Type: Conference contribution

Publication year: 2024


Publisher: Elsevier

Book Volume: 48

Pages Range: 1-10

Event location: Zaragoza ES

URI: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S266628172300207X

DOI: 10.1016/j.fsidi.2023.301688

Open Access Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsidi.2023.301688


The video game industry has been experiencing consistent growth, accompanied by an increase in
the number of players. After the remarkable success of the Nintendo Switch, it comes as no surprise
that various other manufacturers have ventured into developing their own handheld gaming consoles.
As a consequence, it is likely that these types of devices will be found more frequently in households
in the near future and that they will start to play a more important role in forensic investigations. In
light of this, we conducted a forensic examination of Valve’s recent Steam Deck console to assist
forensic investigators in retrieving and interpreting digital evidence obtained from such devices.
The Steam Deck console runs on SteamOS and ships with a custom version of Valve’s highly
popular Steam gaming platform. Our examination encompasses exploring the console’s architecture,
the SteamOS operating system, and the pre-installed cross-platform Steam client. Using differential
forensic analysis, we systematically identify forensically relevant artifacts on the handheld console
and report on their locations and contents. Based on our findings, we developed Autopsy plugins for
the automated extraction of forensic artifacts from images taken of Steam Deck devices.

Authors with CRIS profile

How to cite


Eichhorn, M., Schneider, J., & Pugliese, G. (2024). Well Played, Suspect! – Forensic Examination of the Handheld Gaming Console “Steam Deck”. Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation, 48, 1-10. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsidi.2023.301688


Eichhorn, Maximilian, Janine Schneider, and Gaston Pugliese. "Well Played, Suspect! – Forensic Examination of the Handheld Gaming Console “Steam Deck”." Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation 48 (2024): 1-10.

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