Steam Will Let You Use a Controller for Every Game Soon
Even ones that don't natively support controllers.
Steam's latest client update, currently available in beta, lets you use your Xbox controller for any game on the platform.
The update allows you to map keyboard and mouse controls to any Xbox 360, Xbox One, or generic X-input controller, meaning even games without in-built controller support should work fine. The functionality was already introduced for PS4 controllers in 2016.
In addition, the patch introduces support for some third party PS4 controllers and fight sticks.
Of course, not all games are suited to gamepads, but they should at least recognise inputs from console controllers now.
There's no word on when the update will be finalised and released to all users, but if you want to access Steam client beta releases you can do so by going to the settings menu within Steam, then choosing 'beta participation.' In the meantime, take a look at the complete patch notes for the latest update below.
In other PC gaming news, hardware manufacturer Razer has revealed a concept laptop with three screens, while GeForce has announced a new version of its game streaming service.
Steam Client Beta Update Patch Notes (January 5)
- Made the error clearer when you fail to install a game and don't have enough disk space due to user quotas.
- 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.
- 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-other's 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 PS Now.
- 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 physical 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.
- Fixed incorrect colors in screenshots and In-Home Streaming for Vulkan applications on AMD hardware