Did Valve just push a GPU fix to the Steam Deck ready for Starfield?

Steam Deck displaying Great on Deck page.
(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Valve has released a new beta update to the Steam Deck OS that has a GPU fix for an upcoming game. 
  • Given the mystery, it's fair to hope this game is Starfield, especially given the as-yet unconfirmed status of the game on Valve's handheld. 
  • The timing certainly fits with early access to Starfield due to begin on September 1. 

Well, well, well, what do we have here then? In a big week for gamers with Starfield finally getting out into players hands, Valve has just pushed a somewhat mysterious update to the Steam Deck OS that you'd be fair to hope is related to Bethesda's epic. 

As highlighted by GamingOnLinux the latest beta update for SteamOS on the Steam Deck contains a fix for a GPU crash on a mysterious, unnamed, upcoming game. 

It has to be Starfield, right? Maybe? Hopefully. 

The changelog for SteamOS 3.4.9 Beta is short:

  • Fixed a GPU driver crash with an upcoming game
  • Fixed hangs on reboot when switching from upcoming Beta OS releases.

Screenshot from Starfield Direct showcase

Is Starfield going to be playable on the Steam Deck?  (Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Despite its impending arrival, there's much we still don't actually know about Starfield. The recommended specs to play the game maxed out still haven't been made public, which makes you think they're absolutely crazy. But at the other end of the scale, we also don't know whether it's going to be playable on the Steam Deck, and to a lesser extent, the ROG Ally

With it being a Microsoft first-party title, and Windows now being a thing on gaming handhelds, you would hope that Starfield will have some kind of optimized mode to run on these lower-powered devices. The Steam Deck is of course a little less powerful than the ROG Ally, but it does run on AMD hardware, and we also know that AMD is best pals with Bethesda for Starfield's release

We've already hedged our own opinions on whether Starfield will be playable on the Steam Deck. Given its massive scope, it'll be a stretch, but there's obvious interest. Despite being available through Xbox Game Pass, Starfield is the number one wishlisted game on Steam and even now, is the third top selling game before it's even available. 

Whether this fix is indeed for Starfield, we'll have to wait and see. But given the radio silence to this point on Deck compatibility, it wouldn't take a huge leap of faith to imagine it is. Grab the latest build yourself through the system update settings on your Steam Deck and opt in to preview builds. 

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine