Valve launched the Steam Deck, a $400 handheld gaming device, before all of its promised features were complete — but one of the most important is now available. Because Valve has recently released the all-important GPU, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth drivers you’ll need to download and play games, you can now install Windows 10 on a Steam Deck and expect it to operate.
Importantly, you’ll need to wipe a Steam Deck to accomplish this; there’s no dual-boot support yet, and Valve claims you can only install Windows 10 because the Steam Deck’s current BIOS doesn’t appear to allow firmware TPM (which Microsoft infamously requires for Windows 11).
Oh, and because there are no audio drivers yet, your speakers and headphone jack will not work. For the time being, Bluetooth and USB-C audio are both viable solutions.
Valve’s Windows on Deck website may be found here, as well as the Steam Deck Recovery Instructions in case you mess up or encounter one of the Deck’s terrible issues. “Power down to get to the boot menu. Then, while holding the Volume Down button, press the power button,” Valve writes.
It’s worth noting that the Steam Deck isn’t as buggy today as it was throughout the review process, and updates aren’t as frequent: following launch, Valve built “stable” and “beta” release channels that you can access directly from the Deck interface. I’ve had a few crashes and games that have strangely stopped working the way they did days or weeks ago (looking at you, Vampire Survivors), but I’ve also played hours of Elden Ring and Into the Breach with no problems.
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Zephyr Lee, a writer with a deep passion for science and a talent for explaining complex ideas in an accessible and engaging way. I believe that writing is not just about expressing oneself, but about educating and enlightening others. I strive to create stories that are both informative and engaging, that educate readers and inspire them to think differently about the world around them. I believe that writing has the power to change the way we see the world, and I am honored to be a part of that tradition.