Tesla launches official Steam integration

Tesla owner Elon Musk said in July that the company was "making progress" toward integrating Steam into its cars, something he'd first expressed interest in back in February. And now it's happened: Full Steam store access is now available in new Model S and X cars.

"Access the Steam store directly from your Tesla," the new Tesla update notes state. "Buy and play immersive games that have been verified on Steam Deck. With Steam’s cloud synchronization, resume your game from your Tesla or any Steam device. To access Steam, tap the Application Launcher > Arcade."

Steam integration will be available on Tesla Model S and X vehicles from 2022 onward, and is currently in beta, so you may run into the occasional hitch or glitch, although hopefully nothing that will cause the car to catch fire or run over a child. It requires 16GB RAM, and also "premium connectivity," a subscription-based service that goes for $10 per month or $100 per year.

Musk said on his personal Twitter account that Steam "even works with keyboard and mouse" in Tesla vehicles, and also confirmed that "retrofit" for 2021 and base model cars will be offered as well.

(Image credit: Elon Musk (Twitter))

It's no surprise that Tesla vehicles are capable of Steam integration: They were capable of playing Cyberpunk 2077 back at the start of 2021, after all. Is it a good idea? That's a very different question. Talking on the phone while driving is either illegal or strongly discouraged in most jurisdictions because of justifiable concerns about "distracted driving," so I think it's fair to wonder whether putting a full-on Steam Machine into the middle of a car's dashboard is really a rock-solid plan. For a while you could actually play games in a Tesla while driving, which makes me wonder who exactly is making these decisions, anyway?

Steam integration isn't the only new thing in Tesla's most recent update. It also has a dog camera, a "Light Show" option, garage door functionality on the touch screen, and Zoom calling via the built-in cabin camera.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.