The Steam Deck is compatible with ray-tracing, but only on Windows
Thanks to its AMD processor and IGPU, the Steam Deck is compatible with ray-tracing, but this technology does not seem to be able to be used in game unless Windows is installed on the console.
The Steam Deck is one of the most powerful portable consoles thanks to its AMD RDNA2 chip, the same architecture found in the next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles. One of the biggest new features of this generation has been the addition of ray-tracing technology on compatible games, and it seems that the Steam Deck is also compatible.
In a new YouTube video, the founder of Digital Foundry, Richard Leadbetter, wanted to check if the console was capable of playing games in ray-tracing, this technology which makes it possible to display dynamic light effects. The games are then more beautiful, but above all consume a lot more resources.
Also read: Steam Deck – Windows is much less efficient than SteamOS, wait before installing it
You can play ray-traced on the Steam Deck
As Digital Foundry shows in their video, it appears SteamOS does not allow players to use in-game ray-tracing options. On Quake II RTX, Control, Metro Exodus Enganced Edition, and Doom Eternal, the menu containing the options for ray-tracing are grayed out. However, the journalist realized thatafter installing Windows 10, the drivers finally managed to recognize the RDNA 2 cores integrated into the APU and unlock all ray-tracing options. As a reminder, you can now even install Windows 11 on a Steam Deck console.
However, although ray-tracing is now enabled, the games no longer seem really playable. In effect, the definition must be lowered to 540p on most games to hope to reach 30 FPS. To reach 60 FPS, you will have no choice but to lower the definition to 252p, which you can imagine, is not of much interest.
It will be necessary wait for AMD to make its FSR 2.0 technology compatible, an equivalent of Nvidia’s DLSS, to hope to obtain correct performance using ray-tracing. More and more players will soon be able to try the console, since Valve recently announced that it is stepping up the pace to deliver to you as soon as possible.