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New Tesla Model S and Model X EVs Reportedly Won't Be Able to Play Steam Games

Other streaming services are unaffected

Tesla Model S touchscreen
  • Tesla added support for the Steam game distribution service a few years ago for the Model S and Model X.
  • Playing the newest PC games using the center display helped owners kill time while charging.
  • The service has reportedly been axed for new Model S and X vehicles.

Screenshots from the Tesla app shared on Reddit indicate that Tesla is dropping Steam support on new Model X (and possibly Model S) EVs. The Reddit user, who is awaiting delivery of a Model X Long Range, received a notification regarding the user's build. Under the header "Gaming Features," the alert reads: “Tesla is updating the gaming computer in your Model X and your vehicle is no longer capable of playing Steam games.”

Elon Musk has showcased the Steam software distribution service as a feature in Tesla models, using popular games like The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 prominently in the automaker’s marketing. The feature launched in 2022 for the redesigned Model S and Model X EVs. Steam is not available for the Cybertruck, Model 3 or Model Y, and there are Tesla-flavored caveats even for the S and X. 2021 models did not have enough RAM, and thus only 2022 or newer cars had access to the platform. Then, Tesla offered a retrofit for models that did not meet the RAM requirement, but per The Verge, it wasn’t cheap, at a whopping $2,200. For reference, a handheld Steam Deck OLED that can play a vast swath of Steam games costs $549 for the entry-level model. At the moment, it’s not clear to what extent Tesla models will lose access to Steam — whether this only affects upcoming Model X/S vehicles, or if an over-the-air update will revoke Steam privileges for current users. We have reached out to Valve, which owns the Steam service, for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

The change in course on in-car entertainment is part of a wider trend at Tesla, and one that has seen the automaker scaling back. Initially, Tesla and Musk axed the company’s entire Supercharger team before then rehiring a few key figures. Tesla has also recently shifted its focus toward other projects, though whether these projects include its long-awaited “$25,000 Tesla” or its promised robotaxi that will generate passive income for owners remains to be seen.

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Removing Steam integration is just the latest example of Tesla scaling back features and plans as the automaker reels from muted Q1 earnings. Hopefully, buyers and owners won't suffer as Tesla tries to find its footing in a rapidly changing EV market.

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