Steam’s Adding Controller Support For Entire Library

Steam will soon allow gamers to map out their own controllers.


Valve has always looked to innovate and bring big ideas to their digital distribution platform Steam. The client is easily one of the biggest sources to obtain PC video games and connect with friends when it comes to online gaming. Today, thanks to a post on Steam Community, we’re learning about what the upcoming Steam client beta update will bring for gamers. So far the biggest addition that will soon be available on Steam is the controller support for every game available through the online client.

Controller support has been a big hurdle that Valve has attempted to fully jump over. Not only does Steam play nicely with a variety of generic controllers, Microsoft’s official Xbox controllers, but they have also added support for Sony’s DualShock 4 and even released their own controller as an option for gamers to purchase.

With that said, the Steam library is massive and there’s plenty of video game titles that currently do not offer any controller support, leaving gamers to use a keyboard and mouse. Valve is looking to change that soon with an upcoming update.

This update will add controller support for every game within Steam and it’s done simply by allowing gamers to map out their controller to mimic keyboard inputs along with mouse movements. For the most part, this will justify smooth controller support for a number of great video games that were originally limited to the keyboard and mouse, but we suspect that there’s still a wide variety of video games which will be difficult to map outside of the keyboard and mouse setup.

Likewise, we’re interested in seeing just how this will change the key prompts that would ask players to select a certain key or combination of key inputs. Regardless, giving gamers the option to use a controller will likely be well accepted by the community.

Check down below for the full Steam client beta update notes.

  • Made the error clearer when you fail to install a game and don’t have enough disk space due to user quotas
Big Picture
  • Added support for using the overlay keyboard for games that have launchers
  • Improved display when running on retina enabled devices under macOS
  • Improved interactions between the Steam runtime and host distribution libraries, which should let Steam work out of the box with open-source graphics drivers on modern distributions. If using an older distribution or running into problems, use STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES=0 to revert to previous behavior.
  • Unify close-to-tray behavior with other platforms. If using a distribution that doesn’t have proper compatible tray support, use STEAM_FRAME_FORCE_CLOSE=0
  • Added idle detection, friend status will now automatically switch to Away/Snooze
  • Fixed Steam not obeying SIGTERM, Steam will now gracefully exit when logging out of a session
  • Fixed keyboard input and cursor switching in overlay for Vulkan applications
  • Update Vulkan loader in the Steam runtime to enable Xlib support
  • Updated libxcb in the runtime with a fix for DRI3-related crashes on open-source graphics drivers
Steam Controller
  • Added XBox 360, Xbox One, and Generic X-Input controller configurator support. This allows all recognized controller types to use the advanced mapping features of the Steam Controller Configurator. Note that because X-Input currently lacks per-controller means of unique identification, all controllers of that type will share personalization and configuration settings. As they share the same inputs, Xbox 360/One/Generic controllers will all see each-others configurations when browsing. Automatic conversion will be attempted when loading configurations from other controller types.
  • Unrecognized Generic X-Input gamepad style controllers will be recognized by the Steam Controller Configurator once their buttons have been assigned to match a generic gamepad layout.
  • Recommended configurations specified for a game by the developer will now attempt to assign based on Controller Type.
  • Added option to disable Guide Button issuing a Steam focus change. This is available through the Big Picture controller options menu. This allows better interoperability with other applications which use the Guide Button, such as PSNow.
  • Added Single Button simple button mode for trackpads. This allows a trackpad to be treated as a single giant button.
  • Fix for free-floating On Screen Keyboard running very slowly if a game was open but did not have focus or was running windowed.
  • Added independent horizontal/vertical scaling to joystick move and joystick mouse.
  • Joystick Move mode no longer shows mouse sensitivity option unless mouse output is selected.
  • Added additional support for third party PS4 controllers, including some HORI, MadCatz, and Armor pads and fight sticks.
  • Fixed a bug with PS4 triggers where they were being scaled incorrectly, leading to maxing out of the value too soon.
  • Added ability to change x-input controller order from the Controller Options menu – so in multi-controller setups of x-input games, the mapping of phyiscal controller to x-input index can be swapped around. Note that this currently only applies to controllers that have opted into Steam Controller Configurator support.
  • Fixed Configurator Switch Controller interface not showing controller icons.
  • Re-enabled Gamepad outputs for desktop configurations for users of third party programs which hook into applications via the desktop configuration.
Steam Overlay
  • Fixed incorrect colors in screenshots and In-Home Streaming for Vulkan applications on AMD hardware