Steam is a PC gaming platform, which, to some people, equates to keyboard and mouse. Some PC games, however, can also be played with a gamepad. And with Steam’s own push into “lean back” gaming, the need for controller support in Steam has become even more important. Steam’s own odd Steam Controller solution, however, doesn’t exactly mesh with some gamers. Fortunately, there is another solution available: the PS4 DualShock4 controller. As promised, Steam has brought native support for Sony’s gamepad, allowing users to customize not just its buttons but even its gyroscope.
Unlike on consoles, there is really no set standard when it comes to supporting game controllers on PCs. It gets even more complicated when the game actually doesn’t have built-in support for a controller or if it has too many options to fit a gamepad. Steam’s solution, especially for games that use its API, is to allow users to map a controller’s buttons to keyboard or mouse actions.
As far as Steam is concerned, however, that was only true for its own Steam Controller. But at its Steam Dev Days last October, it promised to support one more. Fortunately, the PS4 controller is actually a close kin of the Steam Controller, in contrast to the Xbox One’s game pad. That allowed Steam to bring make the controller fully configurable just like its own.
Gamers interested in testing this out need to first make sure they’re running on the latest Steam client. They then have to enter Steam’s Big Picture mode to add the controller. Once that’s done, they can configure the controller to their heart’s content, using the exact same interface that the Steam Controller uses. They even have access to the built-in gyro as well as the trackpad.
The PS4 controller is just the first and Steam has promised more will follow. Chances are, the Xbox One is next, though it remains to be seen just how much that can be configured.