Valve's Steam Deck is (mostly) ready to run Windows

The drivers you need are here, but there are also a few catches.

Sponsored Links

Valve Steam Deck
Engadget

It's now realistic to install Windows on a Steam Deck, provided you're wiling to live with certain limitations. Valve has released Windows drivers for the handheld's Bluetooth, graphics and WiFi, helping you use the system properly if the Linux-based SteamOS isn't to your liking. The developer has also shared instructions on how to install Windows on its gaming machine.

As you might gather, though, it's not a simple process. Audio drivers remain "in the works," so you'll have to rely on a Bluetooth or USB-C audio device. You'll have to install Windows 10 (Windows 11 support is coming through a BIOS update), and there's no dual-boot option at the moment — you'll have to replace SteamOS entirely.

Valve warned that it can't provide support for Windows users. You can revert to SteamOS using a USB recovery drive if necessary.

Turn on browser notifications to receive breaking news alerts from Engadget
You can disable notifications at any time in your settings menu.
Not now

The limitations might make a good case for buying a Windows-native alternative like the Aya Neo or GPD Win 3. If you prefer the Steam Deck hardware and don't mind the lack of a safety net, though, this might be the moment you've been waiting for. Windows not only promises more performance thanks to native code (no Proton here), but access to Destiny 2 and other games that were previously off-limits.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.
View All Comments
Valve's Steam Deck is (mostly) ready to run Windows