The Steam Deck packs surprising power for a portable device, capable of running demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Dead Space Remake. Now the laptop is flexing its muscles in ways I never imagined, as it now supports ray tracing.

You’d be forgiven for thinking we’ll have to wait for Steam Deck 2 to see ray-tracing support on a Valve handheld, but the current system has included the necessary hardware from day one. However, there has been no software support for the feature so far, following the recent SteamOS 3.4.6 Preview release.

Shortly after the release of the official patch notes, Valve code Pierre-Loup Griffais took to Twitter to share a screenshot of Doom Eternal’s ray tracing running on the Steam Deck. They were even kind enough to share performance indicatorswhich shows the game running at 35fps while showing some RT reflections.

Testing the game myself with ray tracing enabled, I’m not sure this is how I’d prefer to play. Even lowering the settings to “Low” and lowering the game’s resolution didn’t help my framerate much. That being said, I strongly suspect that Valve will work to optimize and improve performance where they can, and I remain very impressed that they achieved this on the Steam Deck in the first place.

Doom Eternal is currently the only game that supports ray tracing, but it likely won’t be the last. Give it a few months, maybe even weeks, and we might see even more of Steam Deck’s best games with fancy RT effects.

Picture credits: Pierre-Loup Griffais

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