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Will Xbox Game Pass Run On Steam Deck?

Since Valve announced the Steam Deck, the internet has been divided. While it's true the Nintendo Switch is something of a Goliath in the portable gaming market — one that remained unchallenged for some time — Valve has made bold claims about the Steam Deck's performanceValve's portable also aims to fix the Switch's biggest issue: joystick drift. It looks like the handheld newcomer is poised to be the David to Nintendo's Goliath, but will its power be enough to dethrone the reigning champion of handhelds?

There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding between the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch. One of the critical features that could make or break the newcomer is its game library. While the challenger will enter with an impressive pre-existing catalog, there's speculation that the Steam Deck won't be able to run some of Steam's biggest titles. This could impact the outcome, but it doesn't mean it's game over for Valve's portable.

One of the many unanswered questions you may have about the Steam Deck is whether it will support Xbox Game Pass. Would that sweeten the deal? Here's what you need to know.

The Steam Deck might get a Pass this time

In a conversation with IGN, Valve designer Lawrance Yang said, "We don't think people should be locked into a certain direction or a certain set of software that they can install." With that in mind, gamers are free to replace the custom Linux-based operating system with whatever they choose, including Windows. If you have Windows running on your Steam Deck, you should be able to use Xbox Game Pass. However, as a user on Reddit pointed out, replacing the bundled OS would force you to "lose all the nice features of SteamOS like Pause and Resume, saving disk space for the lighter and smarter operating system," and more.

When Valve announced the Steam Deck on Twitter, a familiar face popped up in the thread to offer congratulations. Xbox's own Phil Spencer wrote that Valve was "getting so many of us excited to be able to take our games with us wherever we decide to play." He had no further comment as to whether Microsoft would directly support the device.

Ultimately, gamers should be able to get Game Pass to work on the Steam Deck. Whether Microsoft will support it in an official capacity remains to be seen.