Steam Deck now supports Windows

Valve has now released one of the major Windows drivers for the Steam Deck, allowing users to switch operating systems with relative ease.

It’s clear that Valve is relying heavily on SteamOS 3 to be a successful and widely accepted gaming operating system thanks to the success of its steam deck portable gaming pc. Still, the company doesn’t stop anyone from installing Windows on the Deck, if they prefer, and there’s even some official support coming lately.

While Steam Deck users will still miss out on some of the device’s key features when they eventually install Windows on it, Valve has no intention of letting them dry out. In fact, the company recently released a major suite of audio drivers for Windows users, bolstering the Deck’s support for Microsoft’s core operating system across the board.

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Although Steam Deck has supported Windows for quite some time, several aspects of the operating system were not quite right or not usable at all. Audio, for example, seems to have had some issues that users couldn’t fix on their own, and it was up to Valve to decide whether or not to do it. Windows fans will be excited to hear that Steam Deck now has official Windows audio drivers ready and available for download.

However, Valve still recommends that users stick with Windows 10 over Windows 11 for now, as the newer Microsoft operating system requires a different BIOS version than is currently available. The release of audio drivers for Windows marks a major checkpoint in Valve’s support for various operating systems on the Deck, and most of the interesting features, such as Steam Deck’s 40Hz refresh rate, should now be readily available on Windows as well.

Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that using Windows on Steam Deck will lead to a loss of performance. Users who want to have the smoothest and most efficient experience may want to stick with SteamOS 3. There is also the matter of getting support from Valve. The company has announced that the Windows drivers will be shipped unmodified, meaning Windows users cannot rely on official support channels if something goes wrong.

The fact that Valve provides official software releases for a competing operating system wasn’t a given, but the company’s goals aren’t too hard to decipher. Steam Deck may have already boosted Linux gaming more than anything before it, and Valve is definitely going to try and position SteamOS 3 as a gaming-focused Windows competitor. Whether it eventually becomes successful, however, is another look at worms.

MORE: Valve continues to tease future projects via games like Aperture Desk Job

Source: Valve


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