The Steam Deck can be defined as one of the best hardware reveals of the year. Valve recently unveiled the new handheld PC that runs on Linux based SteamOS. While you might say Linux really? Well yes, Linux over the years has improved a lot and there are even a lot of games that support Linux systems. It even has Proton, a compatibility layer that lets you run games made for Windows. But of course, Windows is better when it comes to the user interface. And no wonder if you want to run Windows on Steam Deck. Here is a guide on how to install Windows 10 on Steam Deck.
Since Valve has stated that it is a handheld PC, you are free to install whatever operating system you wish to use. You might want to run Windows on the Steam Deck if you want to play games from other stores such as Epic Games or you just want to use Steam Deck as a regular PC but in a handheld form-factor. Whatever the reason may be, you can install Windows 10 on the Steam Deck easily.
How to Install Windows 10 on the Steam Deck
Windows is one of the popular OS and it would be even better to use it on a handheld device. And most users would prefer Windows over SteamOS. If you are one of those users, check out the detailed guide. Let’s start with the requirements.
Here is a list of things that you will need to install Windows 10 on your Steam Deck:
- USB Drive of 8 GB minimum
- Type C USB Dongle or Steam Dock
- Windows 10 ISO File
- Keyboard & Mouse
Download Windows 10 ISO
First, you are going to need to download the ISO file for Windows 10. The Windows 10 ISO files are available on the Microsoft website itself. You will need to purchase an activation key later on to activate the copy on the Steam Deck. You can download the Media Creation Tool to get the ISO file.
Create a bootable USB drive
You can create a bootable USB drive easily. On the PC that you have downloaded the ISO file, download Rufus. It is a free tool that you can use to create bootable USB drives. You can follow the steps from this guide to create a bootable Windows USB Drive. Though it’s a guide for Windows 11, the method to create a bootable drive is still the same.
Steps to Install Windows on Steam Deck
With the bootable drive ready it’s time to install Windows on your Steam Deck. Make sure to connect the Type C dongle to the Steam Deck and connect the mouse, keyboard, and the bootable USB drive. If you have ordered the Steam Deck, then well and good as it comes with a ton of ports and eliminates the need for dongles.
- Power on the Steam Deck and press the F2 button or any particular Function Key used to get to system BIOS menu.
- Plug the bootable USB drive on Steam Deck.
- Now, look for the Boot options, and enable USB boot. Also, make sure to keep the USB boot option at the top. This is done so that the system will boot right away into any OS that is on the plugged-in USB drive.
- With all of the settings done, select save and restart in the BIOS menu.
- The Steam Deck should now restart and look for a bootable USB drive.
- When it finds the drive, it will take a few seconds to boot into it and then show you the set-up screen.
- You can set the language and region during the setup.
- The setup will take you through various options such as naming your system, adjust privacy settings, manage Cortana and also ask you to sign in with a local or Microsoft account.
- With the setup nearing its completion, you will be ready to use Windows 10 right away on your Steam Deck.
And this is how you will be able to install and use Windows 10 on your Steam Deck.
Support for Windows 11 and anti-cheat
Well, Windows 11 has a different set of system requirements and Valve is currently working out to get TPM 2.0 on their Steam Deck. So we could soon or later see the support for Windows 11 right away for the Steam Deck. Valve is also working with BattleEye to figure out a way to get anti-cheat working and running fine on the Steam Deck and it could be quite soon. We hope to see all of it before the devices are ready to be shipped to the customers.
Well, this is how you can install Windows 10 on Steam Deck. If you plan to install Windows on your Steam Deck, it is best to purchase the higher storage space version as Windows will surely take up a ton of space on the 64GB variant. Well, you could make use of the external memory card slot, but why would you? Also, gaming on Linux has been around for quite some time.
There are so many people out there who prefer to game on Linux. And if you have doubts or problems, the vast number of members in the Linux community will be happy to help you with any issues that you might run into. As for the availability of other storefronts such as Epic Games and even game support for Linux, it could happen as more people opt to play on Linux systems and developers are willing to bring in more stuff for the Linux platform.