Today, 8:03 AM · 28 replies and 1672 views.
Hi No you don't need to launch via Steam.
You will need SteamVR installed and running, but you can start Elite Dangerous by making a shortcut to EDLaunch.exe and starting it that way.
That's what I do because although I bought my ED through Steam, it won't recognise my Saitek X52Pro if I launch through Steam.
No problems if launched directly via EDLaunch.exe.