Valve releases Windows drivers for the Steam Deck

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Those who happened to install Windows onto their Steam Deck handhelds might have run into some issues, mostly involving driver support, as Valve hadn't yet officially released the Steam Deck drivers at launch. Now that a few weeks have passed and more customers have gotten their hands on the Steam Deck, Valve has finally released the drivers necessary for users to fully turn their Deck into a handheld Windows gaming device. These drivers add support for the GPU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and SD card reader, with support for speakers and the 3.5mm headphone jack to come at a later date.

  • GPU driver
    - download here, run setup.exe to install.
  • Wi-Fi driver
    - download here, run install.bat to install.
  • Bluetooth driver
    - download here, run installdriver.cmd to install.
  • SD Card reader driver
    - download here, run setup.exe to install.
  • Audio drivers
    are still being worked on by AMD and other parties. This document will be updated once those drivers are made available.
    • Until those drivers are available, speakers and the 3.5mm audio port will not provide audio
    • USB-C or Bluetooth can provide audio in the meantime

Additionally, dual boot support is not available yet either, despite the Steam Deck having the capability to do so. Valve claims that the option to dual-boot will be packed in with SteamOS 3. For now, if you want to run Windows, you'll have to fully commit to it instead of SteamOS, by getting into the boot menu via holding volume down and power at startup. You'll also need a USB-C hub or USB-C to Ethernet adapter, as you won't have access to the drivers during the initial setup, according to Valve.

Anyone interested in running Windows on their Steam Deck will also have to rely on others for troubleshooting, as Valve won't offer support related to "Windows on Deck", merely providing a reset guide for users to revert back to SteamOS. For now, only Windows 10 is officially supported--but again, support is on the way, with an incoming BIOS update that will allow users to also install Windows 11. For now, there's no ETA on when any of those features will launch.

Thanks to Proton and developers adding official Linux ports of their games, there's a wide variety of games natively available on SteamOS. However, installing Windows does allow access to the remaining titles that don't boot, or are unsupported, including Halo Infinite and Gears of War 5.


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Spider_Man

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So is this the start of digital only driven gaming devices.

I thought they would have blocked windows shitty OS as your just asking for piracy.
 

64bitmodels

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So is this the start of digital only driven gaming devices.

I thought they would have blocked windows shitty OS as your just asking for piracy.
well actually it started with the ps5 digital and xbox series S back in 2020. the fact they were made at all is the writing on the wall
 

tech3475

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Well it actually started with the iphone, android, J2me phones, and the psp go.

Well it actually it dates back further, especially if you include phones.

Got a 9110 which I installed "9 lives" on using a serial cable.

Depending on how far you want to go, there were concepts as far back as at least the 80s such as the GameLine for the Atari 2600 where you downloaded games, but these were rentals.

Within the context of the Steam Deck though, the SD is really just following the standard set by your typical desktop/laptop over the last decade or so.
 

Tweaker_Modding

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well actually it started with the ps5 digital and xbox series S back in 2020. the fact they were made at all is the writing on the wall
it started even earlier than them as there is the xbox one sad (xbox one s all digital) that released in 2019 and there was the psp go from 2009 that ditched the umd drive and relied on digital downloads from the ps store
 

Guacaholey

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Pricing



Was it not obvious there would be Windows drivers?
By far one of the cheapest handheld PCs relative to the specs. Because Valve owns Steam and gets a something like a 30% cut from sales they can afford to to sell the product for $400. I expect similar handheld PCs to go for twice that.
 

64bitmodels

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it started even earlier than them as there is the xbox one sad (xbox one s all digital) that released in 2019 and there was the psp go from 2009 that ditched the umd drive and relied on digital downloads from the ps store
true, but those were revisions that weren't made at launch
the Xbox Series and PS5 shipped with 2 discless variants by their side. it's normalized at this point and the only console where physical is an option for all systems is the switch
 

diggeloid

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I get that people want to see how well it could run windows, but exactly does the data show?
The fact that it runs worse only means that those voices will call out for better drivers and features rather than go back to steamos.

Even with better drivers, Windows on the deck is still going to be an inferior experience unless Microsoft goes in and tries to one-up Valve on their own hardware (unlikely).

For example, one killer feature that Steam OS has is quick suspend/resume. Windows has never had a good implementation of this, even when Microsoft's own hardware (the Surface line) would have benefited greatly from it. Try that in the middle of a game on Windows, and it will probably crash.

Plus look at what Valve did with Elden Ring: they actually optimized that buggy ass game themselves before the developers did, so that it runs great on the deck. I can't imagine Microsoft ever doing that on Windows, and those same types optimizations can't be done by Valve on Windows.
 
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Taleweaver

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Even with better drivers, Windows on the deck is still going to be an inferior experience unless Microsoft goes in and tries to one-up Valve on their own hardware (unlikely).

For example, one killer feature that Steam OS has is quick suspend/resume. Windows has never had a good implementation of this, even when Microsoft's own hardware (the Surface line) would have benefited greatly from it. Try that in the middle of a game on Windows, and it will probably crash.

Plus look at what Valve did with Elden Ring: they actually optimized that buggy ass game themselves before the developers did, so that it runs great on the deck. I can't imagine Microsoft ever doing that on Windows, and those same types optimizations can't be done by Valve on Windows.
Strong points, and I agree with them. :)

But i didn't state that to be proven wrong, but to point out that people are going to be installing windows on it come hell or water high.
 
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Chris_Dai_Gyakuten_Saiban

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Steam OS 3 as it stands is in need of work still, but if they can polish it more and make sure that it isn't a repeat of Steam OS 2.0 then there will be almost no need for Windows on Deck, save for a few games that aren't compatible, but who knows Valve might make it so that the games that aren't supported, playable, and improving Steam OS 3 overall then there will be no need for Windows.
 
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Xzi

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Steam OS 3 as it stands is in need of work still, but if they can polish it more and make sure that it isn't a repeat of Steam OS 2.0 then there will be almost no need for Windows on Deck, save for a few games that aren't compatible, but who knows Valve might make it so that the games that aren't supported, playable, and improving Steam OS 3 overall then there will be no need for Windows.
They could always update Steam Deck to SteamOS 4 if/when that ever becomes available, too. Tons of updates to come for SteamOS 3 before that happens regardless, and you know the community/mod support for this thing will be insane as well.
 
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