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AMD's Adrenalin Software Appears to Work on Steam Deck

Steam Deck
(Image credit: Valve)

Twitter user @TheSmcelrea recently uploaded screenshots of AMD's Adrenalin software mysteriously working on Valve's Steam Deck. Based on the images, we can see the Adrenalin software appears fully functional in Windows 10, allowing access to some exclusive AMD features such as Radeon Chill and Anti-Lag.

Valve's Windows-based Radeon drivers do not implement AMD's Adrenalin control panel. Some of AMD's gaming notebooks also omit the software, including my own personal Dell G5 SE.

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Unfortunately, the Twitter user did not disclose how they able to install the Adrenalin control panel onto the Steam Deck. But, there is one of two potential ways we know of to get the Adrenalin Drivers onto the Steam Deck. 

The first one is the easiest and safest way, and that is to manually install Adrenalin from the Microsoft Store directly. However, it is almost always hidden from the Store's search engine, so you'll have to scour the web for a direct link to download it (the one above is sourced from Windows Central).

The other is to completely wipe the OEM graphics driver from the Steam Deck and replace it with one of AMD's vanilla drivers from its own website. This will grant you access to AMD's Adrenalin control panel.

However, this method is prone to potential problems. The vanilla drivers only support the main GPU itself, and won't support any custom parts or features Valve might have added to the Steam Deck -- like an additional skin temperature sensor, for example. So you might get Adrenaline support, but you might also see some wonky behavior.

Another issue, can be system instability since the Adrenalin drivers were not made specifically for the Deck. Sometimes devices need additional driver work from the manufacturer to ensure the device remains fully functional. If this is the case at all with the Steam Deck, then there is a chance instability will occur by installing drivers from the AMD website directly.

So if you want to replicate Smcelrea's work, we'd advise you to try the Microsoft Store method first, though you'll want to take care if you do it at all. Hopefully, Valve will add the Adrenalin control panel to its OEM driver in the future.

Aaron Klotz
Aaron Klotz

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.