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Steam Deck Windows Drivers Arrive, but Internal Audio Doesn't Work Yet

Windows on Steam Deck
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Valve has finally delivered Windows drivers for the Steam Deck. While the handheld launched without the full support for the operating system, resources for the GPU, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are all available.

Those who want the drivers can find them here. Note that audio drivers aren't ready yet, as they "Are still be worked on by AMD and other parties." That means you'll need to use USB-C or Bluetooth audio to get sound, because the speakers and headphone jack won't work.

Those who want to install Windows on Steam Deck will need to stick with Windows 10 for now;  Windows 11 requires a BIOS that supports firmware TPM support. Steam says this will arrive soon, but for now you'll need to use the older version.

Additionally, you'll have to install Windows on the entire SSD or boot from an SD card. The SteamOS installer that allows for dual-booting with another OS "isn't ready yet" and no timeline has been given. That, however, sounds to me like the ideal way to run the Steam Deck if you use PC Game Pass or want to access games on other launchers.

Of course, if you want to try Windows, you can still get back to SteamOS. Valve has published a recovery image here so that you can get back to factory settings.

Switching to Windows will allow support for other launchers, like the Epic Games Store and GOG. Games also won't have to run through the Proton compatibility layer, so some games may offer better performance on Windows. But Valve isn't offering "Windows on Deck" support, meaning that SteamOS features like suspending won't work, nor will the Steam and the "..." options button do anything.

For those who want to install Windows 10, we've published a tutorial here

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • ezst036
    This is quite the turned table here.

    On the Steam Deck, Windows is a second-class citizen. Linux is first-class. You don't see this very often.

    Edit: Just thought I would add - this is not a gloat. I wish all computer manufacturers supported both operating systems across the board more. HP, Dell, and yes Valve with this deck and any others. However that has not been the reality that we've seen over the years. We're getting there. We will get to the promised land.

    (Note, I'm not including Apple's walled garden. They set out explicitly to be exclusive of others)
    Reply
  • excalibur1814
    Excellent. Dual booting with Windows IS the best option available. Want to play ALL of your games? Windows AND Steam Deck software together for the win. Don't deny it. Those of us that have owned a oneXPlayer know what it's all about.
    Reply
  • Awev
    Luke, use the force. Or in this case, Steam Deck, use the Linux. Linux has utilities like GParted, so you can partition a Drive (Hard Disk or Solid State). The hand held PC lets you replace the included SSD with a larger one, and with the recovery image, you can re-install the Steam OS. So rip out the small SSD, replace it with something larger. Re-install the Steam OS, use GPart to resize partitions if needed, and create a new one for Windoze 10. In the BIOS when you start up the deck just pick the Steam OS to boot to then install a boot manager. What else do you have to worry about, all of the Windoze 10 drivers - except audio - have been release.
    Reply