The latest Steam client beta update reveals that controller support is coming to all Steam games, with users able to map keyboard and mouse controls to various controllers.
With each and every year, it seems as though the scope of Steam, Valve’s digital distribution service, grows – and it’s not just because of the service’s tempting sales. Instead, an ever-growing library of games and an increasing flexibility of use has made Steam the go-to gaming method for millions of gamers. Now, it looks as though things may get even better for Steam users, with controller support arriving for all Steam games.
This news comes courtesy of an update to the Steam client beta, which offered an extensive look at what Steam users can expect in the near future. The beta update has added configuration support for Xbox 360, Xbox One, and other generic X-Input controllers, meaning that users will be able to map keyboard and mouse controls to these devices. Therefore, even those games without an in-built controller support should still allow controller use.
It’s not the only time that additional controller support has been added to Steam of late. In October of last year, Valve engineer Jeff Bellinghausen revealed that Steam was to offer up native support for the DualShock 4 PS4 controller. With this new support via the beta update now cemented in place, it certainly gives Steam gamers plenty of options when it comes to playing their favorite games.
That’s not to say that every single game is specifically built for use with a controller, of course, and gamers would be hard-pressed to find an efficient way to play every game effectively with an Xbox 360 controller in hand. However, it’s still a coup for Valve, and the response from Steam users to the news has been generally positive. After all, offering up more choice to gamers is normally appreciated, and those players with a massive Steam library could take this as an opportunity to give their mouse and keyboard a rest.
The beta update notes also confirmed of a number of other fixes. Big Picture users have a couple of improvements coming, with added support for using an overlay keyboard for games with launchers, and an improved display for retina-enabled MacOS devices. Meanwhile, there should also be plenty of improvements for Linux Steam users.
At the moment, Valve is yet to confirm exactly when this update is due to land for all users. However, it hopefully won’t be long before players across the world are able to choose a perfect controller for use without too much head-scratching about mapping out controls. In the meantime, let’s cross our fingers that there won’t be any more awkward Steam outages any time soon.
Here are 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
- 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-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.
- Fixed incorrect colors in screenshots and In-Home Streaming for Vulkan applications on AMD hardware