Valve has released a new software update in the beta branch for the Steam Deck, enabling ray tracing in the handheld gaming system. The beta update brings the system’s graphics drivers up to Mesa 23.1, which alongside fixing graphical corruption issues in some titles, also allows players to play Doom Eternal with ray tracing enabled.
The update was announced by Steam Deck developper Pierre-Loup Griffais, who posted a screenshot of the Steam Deck running Doom Eternal with ray tracing effects enabled. The performance overlay shows Doom Eternal running at 35 frames per second with the hardware-intensive feature.
Griffais has also revealed that the team is working on enabling DirectX Raytracing on the Steam Deck for the future, but the feature will likely take more time to develop owing to the limited hardware on the system. Doom Eternal was likely chosen for the ray tracing owing to how well-optimised the game generally is across a wide range of hardware.
What this means for other ray tracing games on the Steam Deck is currently unknown, but we’ll likely see future updates enable the feature for more games down the line.
SteamOS 3.4.6 Preview contains fixes for invalid rendering and performance improvements for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. Also comes with Ray-Tracing support for DOOM Eternal! pic.twitter.com/EViKO0Y4kk
— Pierre-Loup Griffais (@Plagman2) March 3, 2023