Windows remains the favourite operating system among PC gamers and has access to more titles than any other platform.
However, Windows is expensive – especially when compared to free operating systems such as Valve’s SteamOS.
SteamOS is based on Steam’s Big Picture mode and can be installed on most PCs.
If you are a gamer who prefers a streamlined experience – similar to gaming consoles – a SteamOS gaming machine is a great option.
This approach is only recommended for dedicated gaming systems, as SteamOS does not have as much functionality as Windows or Linux systems.
We have outlined everything you need to know about building your own SteamOS gaming console below, including hardware selection, pricing, and available games.
SteamOS requires a 64-bit processor, 4GB of RAM, and 200GB of storage.
The budget build we put together meets the minimum requirements and will be able to handle most games in 1080p.
The Intel Pentium G4560 dual-core processor is a great value chip, and its hyper-threading and high clock speeds make it perfect for a budget gaming build.
We paired it with a Radeon RX 470 – a powerful graphics card with good overclocking potential and value.
Both an SSD and hard disk drive were included, as the performance gained from running your OS on an SSD is worth the extra cost.
Steam Console Build
|Processor||Intel Pentium G4560 3.5GHz||R1,096|
|Memory||Corsair ValueSelect 8GB DDR4 2,133MHz||R941|
|Graphics Card||HIS Radeon RX 470 IceQ OC 4GB||R2,899|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital 1TB 7,200RPM||R757|
|SSD||Samsung 750 Evo 120GB SATA6G||R872|
|Power Supply||Antec VP500P 500W||R637|
|Case||CoolerMaster MasterBox Lite 3||R666|
SteamOS and Peripherals
Installing SteamOS is straightforward and the operating system is compatible with most modern hardware.
Follow the steps below to install the free operating system on your PC.
- Download SteamOS
- Unzip the SteamOS file to a formatted FAT32 USB stick.
- Insert the USB stick into your target machine and boot off the stick.
- Make sure you select the UEFI entry, it may look something like “UEFI: Patriot Memory PMAP”.
- Select “Automated install” from the menu.
- The rest of the installation will automatically repartition the drive and install SteamOS.
- Once SteamOS is installed, your system will automatically reboot and create a backup of the system partition.
Once you have set up your Steam console, you can set up your peripherals – such as controllers and audio devices.
Controller options include Valve’s Steam Controller or an Xbox 360/One controller – which are supported by SteamOS.
The library of games available for SteamOS is constantly growing, with triple-A and indie games porting to the system from Windows.
There are currently over 2,200 titles which work with SteamOS.
If you are an avid game collector and purchase a variety of titles, you might find yourself limited by the smaller collection of games available.
For “casual” gamers or those on a budget, the limitations of the platform will not deter you.