Steam Deck to support multiple boots for different operating systems

Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck will be able to boot a variety of operating systems.

The company released an FAQ for the Steam Deck on Wednesday that answers some of the most common questions Valve has received about the PC gaming handheld. It previously stated that you will be able to install third-party operating systems on the Steam Deck. However, the FAQ goes into a bit more detail on the process and notes that the device will display a BIOS menu on boot capable of loading a different operating system.

“Multi-booting is supported – you can have multiple operating systems installed and choose which one to boot from. Users will have access to the BIOS menu, the FAQ says.

By default, Steam Deck will run Valve’s own SteamOS, which is based on the Linux operating system. But with the multiboot option, you can choose to install and load Windows 10, Windows 11, or another Linux distribution.

Of course, you will need enough space on your device to do this. The Steam Deck will arrive in three models from 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage capacities. Luckily, the product also comes with a built-in microSD card slot, from which you can boot an operating system, note Valve’s FAQ.

Although the Steam Deck runs the Linux-based SteamOS, it can also run Windows games, thanks to a technology called Proton. As a result, Valve promises that the handheld will be able to run the entire Steam library, despite having no Windows operating system on board.

Still, Valve’s FAQ says the handheld will have some limitations. For example, the handheld can technically be connected to a PC virtual reality headset, but the hardware hasn’t been optimized for VR experiences. So you’ll probably get lower performance if you do.

If you’re hoping to add even more power to the Steam Deck by connecting an external graphics card, there’s bad news: “No, external GPUs are not supported on Steam Deck,” the FAQ says.

The Steam Deck is coming in December for customers who pre-ordered the device from the Steam Store. If you order one now, expect the handheld to arrive after Q2 2022 due to high customer demand.

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