Tesla cars are ditching one of the most popular entertainment features

Some owners might find one of their in-car features becomes no longer accessible

Tesla Model 3 Performance
(Image credit: Tesla)
Quick Summary

New Tesla cars appear to no longer come with a built-in Steam Beta app for gaming.

Existing owners can still use the app, but it might spell the end of much in-car gaming for Tesla. 

Despite years of drawing attention to the gaming prowess of its cars' infotainment system, Tesla has seemingly changed its tune to at least some degree.

It's been noticed that Tesla no longer lists Steam as a compatible option for its gaming suite, and it's apparently contacted those taking delivery of new Model S and Model X cars to that effect:

"Tesla is updating the gaming computer in your Model X and your vehicle is no longer capable of playing Steam games. All other entertainment and app functionalities are unaffected."

This might not be huge news for many drivers of the brand's best EVs, since the number of people who actually game in their car seems like a relatively small niche for now, but it's still quite a climbdown.

Back in 2022, Tesla was boasting about its Steam Beta app, and Elon Musk was fond of comparing the cars' gaming power to consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

For it now to lose the Steam app altogether will enormously shrink the number of games that you're able to play on its built-in screen. 

As far as users can tell, though, this is a bit of a mixed rollback - the app isn't available to new owners, but those who already have it installed in their cars seem to still have access.

Tesla hasn't said much publicly about the situation, so there's no reason to necessarily believe that your Steam Beta app will disappear from your car anytime soon if you already have it.

Still, it doesn't exactly bode well for the future of in-car gaming for Tesla, with the allure of being able to connect a controller to play while you wait for your car to charge, for example, seemingly not enough.

It's not the car-maker interested in gaming, either - Sony has repeatedly shown off its Sony-Honda Afeela, a car that can be driven itself by a PS5 DualSense controller, and also features that system's gaming capabilities built-in. 

Time will tell, then, whether Tesla's retreat from compatibility with Steam proves an error in judgement, or if there simply aren't enough people who particularly care for it to matter all that much. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.