Valve is aiming to make its Steam Deck handheld gaming PC ready for Windows 11. While we’ve known for weeks that the Steam Deck can run Windows, it wasn’t clear how well this would be supported by Valve, or whether an option for a Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) would be enabled to get Windows 11 on the Steam Deck.
Now, Valve has confirmed it has been heavily focused on Windows support. “There’s work looking at TPM just now,” says Greg Coomer, a Valve Steam Deck designer, in an interview with PC Gamer. “We’ve focused so much on Windows 10, so far, that we haven’t really gotten that far into it. Our expectation is that we can meet that.”
Valve is working with AMD to make sure that TPM is supported at a BIOS level, and that the Steam Deck is ready for Windows 11. “So there’s nothing to indicate to us yet that there’ll be any issues with Windows 11,” explains Coomer.
That sounds encouraging for the ability to install Windows 11 on the Steam Deck once it launches later this year. While the handheld device will ship with SteamOS, a custom version of Linux, Valve will support Windows installations.
So why would you want Windows on the Steam Deck? Valve is still working on getting games with anti-cheat to run out of the box on this handheld, and it’s not guaranteed that titles like Apex Legends, Destiny 2, PUBG, Fortnite, and Gears 5 will work without Windows. “We’re working with BattlEye and Easy Anti-Cheat to get support for Proton ahead of launch,” says Valve.
The Steam Deck uses Valve’s Proton software to get a lot of officially unsupported Windows games to run on the device, but anti-cheat has been the biggest headache for Proton in recent years. Windows support avoids the obvious compatibility issues here, but it will bring with it an interface that isn’t tailored to a 7-inch screen, and lots of unknowns until we see just how well the OS works on the Steam Deck.