One of the most vexing issues with Windows 11’s Steam Deck has been resolved

Valve has solved one of the primary issues with going this way – notably the audio side of the equation – for Steam Deck customers who wish to install Windows 11 on the portable instead of operating with SteamOS.

There has been a problem with sound drivers, which means that unless you use Bluetooth speakers, you don’t receive audio when you use Microsoft’s operating system on Valve’s tiny gaming PC (or a USB-C headset).

Now you may listen to music via the Deck’s built-in speakers since Valve has published Windows audio drivers (two of them) that fix the issue (or you can use headphones with the audio jack, rather than relying on a Bluetooth pair).

For audio support, you must first install the APU driver available on Valve’s Windows resources website, which you may get there along with the drivers themselves.

It’s a good start, but it’s just one step

I think it’s great to see that Valve isn’t only focusing on improving the Steam Deck as-is, but also considering individuals who may want to go an alternate path like installing Windows 11 on the portable device (or even Windows 10 for that matter).

It’s still a risky move to install Windows on the Steam Deck, even with the audio drivers smoothing out some of the rough edges.

Why? Even though the Steam Deck has only been officially supported on Windows for a few weeks, there are still several driver and other technical difficulties to be worked out (indeed, these freshly released audio drivers may still be buggy for some).

For one thing, SteamOS is designed for a smooth and simple experience with the Deck, but when you switch to Windows, things become a lot more complicated. Windows 10 and 11 may be installed through Steam, but this is not an easy task for those who aren’t tech-savvy. For those who are, we have an in-depth instruction on how to install Windows 10 and 11 using Steam.