Valve promised Windows support for its handheld-console, the Steam Deck, when it was initially announced last year. Fast forward almost a year and the Steam Deck has started shipping to its first set of customers but without any real support for Windows. That finally changes today. Valve has just released the all-important Windows 10 GPU, Internet, and Bluetooth drivers for the Steam Deck that make installing Windows an actually viable option.
While this is certainly good news, there are a lot of caveats tied to it. For starters, to install Windows, you’ll have to factory reset the Steam Deck and there is no dual-boot option as of yet so it’s either Windows or Steam OS/Linux, you can’t have both installed at the same time and switch between either whenever you please. You can’t have your cake and eat it too after all.
Speaking of which, Windows 10 is the Windows version of choice that Valve is pushing right now even though Windows 11 has been out for months at this point. That’s because the Steam Deck BIOS apparently does not have support for fTPM, which is a necessary requirement for Windows 11, though Valve promises that an update regarding this is in the works.
On top of all this, you cannot use speakers or any headphones/earphones because there are no audio drivers at the moment. Yikes. Bluetooth (wireless) and USB-C peripherals work fine, however, so you’re good on that front. Lastly, it’s important to note that this isn’t the official “Windows on Deck” experience that Valve promised, rather more of a DIY Windows installation with drivers you need to get and install on your own, so it’s more jerry-rigged than the official thing Valve has planned.
You can find the drivers on the Steam Deck Windows Resources page. Valve advises that if you get stuck, you can follow these Recovery Instructions to get back to a stable state. While the Steam Deck isn’t as buggy as it was at launch, it’s still a glorious mess so keep this option in the back of your mind just in case. That’s all for today, we’ll keep you guys updated in case something interesting happens with the ghetto Windows 10 on the Steam Deck.