Steam Beta Update Adds Xbox Controller Support

Published: January 5, 2017 8:12 PM /


Steam Controller Support Xbox XInput

The other shoe has dropped on Valve's initiative to expand its client-side controller support inside Steam. Back in October, we reported on Steam adding PlayStation 4 configurations to its Steam controller interface, with Xbox support coming at some point in the future. In an uncharacteristic move for Valve, this promised support has come promptly, with users of Steam's beta client already able to configure Xbox controllers on a per-game basis.

Valve's patch notes for the update reveal that there are some limitations on the functionality when compared to the other implementations. Because X-Input (the API that runs Xbox controllers on PC) lacks a way to distinguish between unique controllers, you won't be able to assign specific controllers to specific people and change button prompts for each controller separately. Instead, each game's controller configuration will be shared across all connected Xbox controllers. In addition, configurations can now be assigned based on the type of controller you're using at the time, and developers can map out different layouts that support each controller's unique functions and buttons.

This update also adds in generic X-Input controller support, and we've already seen some fun things done with that in the hours since the update went live. For example, Defender's Quest developer Lars Doucet was able to rig together support for the Wiimote using a preexisting driver.

Considering this is still a beta release, I look forward to seeing what else developers and gamers come up with, as well as what games take full advantage of Steam's integrated controller support going forward. For those interested in trying out the Wiimote driver, you can check out the link in Lars' follow-up tweet below.

What do you think of Valve's push for controller support built into Steam? Would you play traditionally mouse and keyboard heavy games with a stick if the right configuration came along? Will Valve add Novint Falcon support in a future update? Let us know in the comments below!

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Alex Santa Maria TechRaptor
| Staff Writer

Alex Santa Maria is TechRaptor's former Reviews Editor (2015-2020) and current occasional critic. Joining the site early in its life, Alex grew the review… More about Alex