Experience a new level of precise control for your favorite games. The Steam Controller lets you play your entire collection of Steam games on your TV—even the ones designed without controller support in mind.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (533 reviews) - 78% of the 533 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (7,579 reviews) - 81% of the 7,579 user reviews for this hardware are positive.
Release Date: Nov 10, 2015

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Recent updates View all (11)

June 16

Activator Update

The latest Steam Beta Client update includes a new feature for the Steam Controller called Activators.

Activators sit between inputs (such as a button on the controller) and binding outputs (such as a keypress). They control how the input is turned into output and provide a number of settings to control this. Some simple examples are long press, double press, binding cycling, toggles, and delays.

There is no limit to the number of activators that can be placed on a single input, so a button can have a normal press, a long press, and a double tap on a single button, each firing off different actions in a game.

Each activator can have its own haptic settings as well.

Here's a few simple ways that activators can make your existing configurations better :

  • You can use a Start Press activator and a Release Press activator to turn a toggle crouch into a hold crouch. Conversely, the toggle option will allow you to turn any action, such as a hold crouch, into a toggle.

  • Turbo can be set on Activators, meaning any button can have customized rapid fire. This can be combined with multiple activators, so single press for single fire, while a long press will engage turbo mode.

  • Use a Start Press Activator to switch to a new action set, with a Release Press on the same button to switch back to the original set. Using this technique Action Sets can act like an entire-controller mode shift. Also included in this update is the ability to copy any existing Action Set into the new set, making customization a lot faster.

  • Mode Shifts now also use Activators, so a mode-shift can be toggled on and off without continuously holding a button.

  • Activators can also cycle through a set of bindings. Put Stand, Crouch, and Prone on a single button and cycle through them with each press.

This update also includes better visualizations for settings such as deadzones, with more coming soon.

Note that due to the nature of this change, configurations that are altered under the new setup are not backwards compatible, so modified configurations made in the beta client will not be visible to the stable client.

144 comments Read more

June 1

June Update

We’re excited to announce that over half a million Steam Controllers have been sold. With every controller that comes online we get the opportunity to get more feedback on how to make the Steam Controller even better. We’ve been hard at work with the community, and wanted to share some of the recent improvements we’ve made together:

Play more new games out of the box
Developers are now fine-tuning their games to work great with the Steam Controller at launch. Recent examples include DOOM, XCOM 2 and Dark Souls III, and more are coming soon.

Same experience from desktop to couch
You can now configure and use the controller from your desktop, including the pop-up keyboard to communicate with your non-Steam programs.

Rumble Pass-Through
The Steam Controller can now use its Force Reactors to capture and reproduce the rumble effects from your favorite games.

Tune once, play anywhere
Create templates from your favorite settings and apply them across all your games.

Uninterrupted action
Create multiple “Action Sets” and switch between them on the fly. For instance, in GTA V or Just Cause 3 it’s easy to switch between walking, driving and flying controls with a single button.

Works great with any game
We’ve enhanced support for games purchased outside of Steam. Once you add the game to your library you can edit and share your configurations with your friends just like any other Steam game.

Steam VR Support
Full Steam Controller support in VR Game Theater mode, including using the motion controls as a steering wheel.

Coming soon: Even more configuration power
You will soon be able to use Activators to assign actions to press-and-hold, double click, toggle and more. For example, in DOOM you can cycle through all weapons by pressing a button or double tap it to bring up your BFG.

We'll continue to add features and functionality going forward, so be sure to keep giving us feedback on what would make the Steam Controller even better.

222 comments Read more

About This Hardware

Experience a new level of precise control for your favorite games. The Steam Controller lets you play your entire collection of Steam games on your TV—even the ones designed without controller support in mind. The Steam Controller features dual trackpads, HD haptic feedback, dual-stage triggers, back grip buttons, and fully-customizable control schemes. Find your favorite mappings in the Steam Community, or create and share your own.

A different kind of gamepad

We’ve improved upon the resolution and fidelity of input that’s possible with traditional gamepads. Built with high-precision input technologies and focused on low-latency, wireless performance, the Steam controller enables you to experience your games in powerful new ways.

Dual trackpads

The Steam Controller‘s dual trackpads enable the high-fidelity input required for precise PC gaming in the living room. Allowing for 1:1 absolute position input via virtual controls like a trackball, adaptive centering joystick, or steering wheel, these surfaces can be programmed to serve up whatever a game needs.

HD haptics

Haptic force actuators on both sides of the controller deliver precise, high fidelity vibrations measured in microseconds. Feel the spin of a virtual trackball, the click of a scroll wheel, or the shot of a rifle. Every input, from the triggers to the trackpads, can offer haptic feedback to your fingertips, delivering vital, high-bandwidth, tactile feedback about speed, boundaries, thresholds, textures, or actions.

Dual-stage triggers

With a satisfying digital click at the end of the trigger pull, dual-stage triggers can be used as analog, digital, or both types of input at the same time. Put your iron-sights on the sweep-in, and then fire with the reliable feel of a tactile switch, all on the same trigger.

Ergonomic control

Each of the Steam Controller’s input zones and buttons has been positioned based on frequency of use, required precision, and ergonomic comfort.

Hardware Specifications


  • Dual trackpads
  • HD haptics
  • Analog stick
  • Dual-stage triggers, each with 10° of travel, a magnetic flux sensor, and a tactile switch
  • Gyroscope and accelerometer sensors enabling tilt-to-steer racing wheel functionality and other motion-controlled input
  • Configurable controls
  • Local multiplayer capability, as supported by games
  • Wired or wireless (dual mode)
  • USB 2.0 via Micro USB port (cable included)
  • Estimated 5 meters of wireless communications range. Actual results may vary.
  • Provides up to 80 hours of standard game play using the included AA batteries during preliminary testing. Battery life will vary based on usage and other factors, such as type of batteries used.


  • Steam Controller
  • 2 AA batteries
  • USB wireless pairing dongle
  • Dongle extension dock included


Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (533 reviews)
Very Positive (7,579 reviews)
Recently Posted
Posted: July 29
Very good for couch-gaming.
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Posted: July 29
Great concept, I just wish it had better integration amongst the games I play. I don't care for running steam in big picture mode either. I pondered selling it, but decided to use it out on our HTPC. Works well with the track pad for simple tasks on the desktop, and my kid gets to play other games with the controller that were previously only Mkb. I hate to say it, but in my opinion I would skip this and just get a xbox 360 controller.
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Posted: July 29
Before using this, plug it into a PC and update to the latest firmware.

The haptic feedback sounds awful on a lot of games (at first I thought there was some broken motor or something inside the controller) but you can disable this via Advanced Settings. I would advise doing so.

It's an interesting little controller. I can't ever see it surpassing my Xbox controller for games like Assassin's Creed, but it's extremely customisable and allows me to play mouse-and-keyboard games like Civ and TellTale games from my bed. Don't expect to be able to type with any great speed on it, though.
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Posted: July 29
It takes quite some time to get used to it, but when you are.... what a fine piece of hardware! And the constant updates on its functionality makes it the best gamepad ever.
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Posted: July 29
I bought your colgate toothbrush, the one with tater controller and it made me feel like a piece of ♥♥♥♥!
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Posted: July 28
I'm too lazy to configure anything in this controller so like 40% of the time it just messes up

8/10 its good

[i've never used an xbox controller so i dont know if i would rather use this or that]
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Posted: July 28
The Steam controller. It's built well and looks nice. I've thrown it around and so far don't hear any plastic rattling around inside. I like that's it's wireless and you can program it to function however you please with ANY game. However, there are some points that can be improved upon.

There really should be a right analog stick to accurately play FPS games. The trackpad is accurate but feels odd when you're trying to make quick gun aiming movements by sliding your thumb across the trackpad's semi-slick plastic. There needs be actual rumble motors too, not just the haptic motors with their very light and squeeky rumble "emulation". The triggers should have more pressure resistance so you can accurately modulate gas and brake when racing as opposed to flooring it all the time. Additionally, the wireless dongle should be much smaller, like that of a wireless work mouse. The current dongle is about half the length of an old USB stick, which can get bumped and wear out the USB ports, at least when using with a laptop. I also want to safely keep the dongle plugged into my laptop when I move it around and put it in it's travel bag.

Other then many small points that need improvement, I like the controller a lot and have been using it almost daily. I feel like the main point of the Steam controller was to bring PC gaming to the couch and it has suceeded physically, and on the software side with the community made custom bindings. I'm looking forward to a revised Steam controller which addresses my points.
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Quiver of Foxes
Posted: July 28
Product received for free
Amazing Cant stop playing it just amazing no words
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Deadeye Dan
Posted: July 28
LOL, this controller may be the biggest troll ever!! Congrats!! Enjoy my $50, I worked hard for it.
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Posted: July 28
Not made for a big-handed person. X, Y, B and A buttons are very small, which makes the controller feel really awkward in hand after you've gotten used to xbox 360 controller, plus R1 and L1 buttons are probably worst I've ever felt. (the lack of feel is real) Also, not rechargeable battery in 2016? Come on valve...

Still, very honorable try from Valve.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Posted: July 7
*** Review in progress, need more testing time. ***trackpad review for FPS and strategy games will come soon. This is a basic review of the Steam Controller.

I’m currently testing the Steam controller with Spelunky, Talos Principle, and Civ 5. I bought the Steam controller as a substitution to KB+M because my right wrist hurts sometimes.

In terms of hardware
Build quality: The Steam controller doesn’t feel as cheap as some users have said. The buttons and trackpads don’t feel cheap. But the plastic casing of the body of the controller could be improved because it doesn’t feel as smooth as the 360 controller.
Weight: Without batteries the Steam controller feels about as heavy as a 360 controller. So the heavier feel while playing wireless might be an issue for long gameplay.
***Shape: The bottom half of the 360 controller has a downward curve which gives the user a nice comfortable grip. The bottom half of the Steam controller has an upward curve and feels awkward and uncomfortable for your palms.
Size of buttons: The buttons are smaller than the 360 controller which currently gives me less precision in platforming games like Spelunky, but maybe I’ll get used to it over time.

In terms of software
It currently feels like I’m in a beta test because there are few games with full support so you do have to do some configurations, but fortunately Steam users have set up configurations for most programs. And it’s pretty cool that users have configured hotkeys in non Steam programs like Itunes.

I appreciate the innovation the Steam controller brings to gaming. I recommend it to people who want to play KB+M games on the couch. For non couch gamers, the controller does not feel necessary.
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19 of 33 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: July 1
This is not a controller for everyone, and not a controller for every game. It works great for slower paced games, where twitch reactions are non existent. Puzzle games, story driven adventure games, and similar will play well, but action games and shooters will take some getting used to or will just not work very well (Mostly because the touchpad works about as well as a laptop touchpad, only with less surface space).

Sadly I cannot recommend this because xbox controllers work fine, and are more suited to almost every kind of game than this controller.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: July 21
It's a nice and casual replacement for mouse + keyboard that'll be worth your time and money once, or rather if, a second revision is ever released that would make the controller work as an actual controller. It's not bad so I don't really want to give it a thumbs-down, however it neither truly works as a console-style controller nor as a mouse replacement and most definitely not the "one controller to play them all" kind of thing many had hoped it would be.

Waste your time on my wall of text to find out why.


You won't feel like you completely wasted your money on the controller. The hardware is nicely built, solid and is rugged enough to take a plunge off your desk. It features 2 touchpads, 1 stick, a standard 4-button pad, double shoulder buttons, and unusually 2 grip buttons on the backside. It lies comfortably in your hands assuming you're a grown person with grown hands. All in all very comparable to modern console controllers though with a few twists and a definite focus on the touchpads.

Those pads are very similar to touchpads you find on laptops. And though they're not equal in fidelity compared to a gamer mouse with high DPI, they are pretty accurate and tactile. Using the controller's pads feels more responsive than using the average touchscreen anyway, possibly because of the faint haptic feedback the controller gives off (more on that in a bit). The other components are also well produced, buttons don't get stuck in the controller's case, the stick moves smoothly in place, it feels good in your hands and doesn't falter under your fingers either.

One of the bigger changes when compared to normal controllers is the haptic feedback. Rather than having the classic rumble feature where the controller shakes around in your hand, it features a very slight feedback, half sound - half haptics, which accompanies most touchpad inputs. The sound can be roughly described as a cat sharpening its claws on a rug, not loud or obnoxious but definitely audible. It seems off-putting at first but since the feedback comes in proportion to how fast you move across the touchpads, using the pads becomes a very natural mouse-like input over time.

Another big change compared to normal controllers is the layout of the Steam controller - and that is where most of my praise ends.
The button pad and the movement stick are both placed fairly inward on the controller and take some effort to reach, which makes the controller feel unnatural when playing console-style games.

Now, the controller is designed for touchpad use however a lot of games are built natively around classic (console-style) controller input, any Dark Souls for example. Native double stick inputs and strong use of the button pad will leave you unhappy with the controller's layout, guaranteed.
The touchpads (and everything else) can be configured to act as virtual sticks, d-pads and buttons to make up for that.
However, like trying to ride a kid's bicycle as an adult, emulating inputs onto virtual sticks and d-pads feels wobbly and unresponsive at times, for example adjusting the camera in Dark Souls III. Using the right touchpad as a virtual stick felt so consistently wrong, no matter what the config, I had to change back to my X360 controller.

On the other hand: playing games made for mouse + keyboard can work better than you'd think. I've enjoyed hours and hours of Civ with this controller, as most of Civ can be controlled with just a mouse. I can see other games work rather well in much the same way but in the end it really depends on how casually the game can be controlled; don't expect to do well in FPS games with this controller!

Oh yea, it can play sounds from some sort of internal speaker as well, though you really only notice that when booting it up or shutting it down.


The software IN the controller (the firmware) works just fine however a lot of the software AROUND it does not. Having the controller connected to your computer means every Steam game will launch in Big Picture mode. All the controller configuration options are found exclusively in Big Picture mode. I understand the controller is meant to be a companion to Steam machines and HTPCs and the like but it could have worked just fine without Big Picture mode. Big Picture wouldn't even be a problem if it didn't regularly fail or freeze when Alt+Tabbing or if it weren't so sluggish for the little it actually does or if the games recognized it as well as they do the normal Steam game overlay. Alas...

The configuration process can take anywhere from 10 seconds to literally hours (per game). Really depends on whether you use a pre-made config compiled by someone else or sit down and fine-tune every last aspect of the controller yourself. When I first tried to configure the controller I was positively surprised by how much you can actually configure and emulate. Want the buttons to translate into literally any other Direct-X input? You can! Wanna set deadzones and even cheaty fast triggers? No problem!
But then it hit me: I'd have to repeat this mildly arduous process for every game I'd ever play with a Steam controller, not just the general setup process but all the fine-tuning like deadzones, special button combos, etc. There really is no fast way to compile a config completely to your own liking. You'll have to download someone else's config and play around with that instead, slowly building a config that suits you OK.

Luckily most games will have at least one config scheme made by other players, so it's likely you'll not start at 0. Many games even feature a number of schemes for you to play around with.


It's nicely made and the hardware is of high quality. It's made for adult hands and doesn't make your fingers hurt even after longer play sessions (for me at least).

It's definitely NOT the controller to rule all controllers as many had hoped it to be. Instead it's a considerable contender to those weird keyboards with integrated touchpads. Because that's pretty much what it is: a compromise between PC configurability and console feeling presumably made as a companion to "entertainment station" PCs. Sadly though it doesn't excel in either regard nor does it make for a must have hybrid.

Most of that comes from the layout. It's just not compatible to today's controller layouts and you'll quickly notice that when trying to play console-style games that make use of the full controller. Casual PC-style games can work very well but don't expect it to work with very fast games or games that require high accuracy.

They should have shipped the thing with 2 touchpads, 2 d-pads, 2 sticks and a button pad, all the exact same size so you can modularly interchange them; set the layout of the controller as you please, not just in software but in hardware as well.

I feel like the configuration process should have been more modular as well, allowing you to quickly configure one of your pads, no matter which one, with config archetypes or some config snippets of sorts. As it is right now you'll either have someone else configure the controller for you or you'll go crazy setting everything up yourself.

Wait for a hopefully modular revision 2 (when/if ever) and get that instead.
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14 of 24 people (58%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: June 30
BEFORE READING THIS REVIEW, PLEASE NOTE: If you haven't used an Xbox controller, or other controller, extensively, please disregard the text in between this and the list of pros as the text in between is not applicable to you. You can see all of the pros the controller has to offer down below, I tried my absolute best to review it!

I am someone who has used an Xbox controller extensively - on PC as well as Xbox for 10+ years now... I would think there are many people out there like me who are intrigued in the Steam controller and what it has to offer.

I can see the Steam controller being fantastic and amazing, however after using it for 2-3 hours, I still felt lost and out of place. I simply could not transition from the feel and familiarity of the Xbox controller. Also, if it means anything, I really don't have that big of an issue going from Xbox to a Playstation or Gamecube controller. This was not the case here.

Every time I went to move the camera, I would move it too far, or too little, or slightly in a direction perpendicular to what I meant (Yes, I messed with the sensitivity a lot to try and fix this).

The buttons didn't feel right, the left analog stick is significantly smaller, and there are literally 2-3 times as many buttons in total.

The biggest change, and what I absolutely had 0 progress on in 2-3 hours, was the change from a Right Analog stick to the 'mouse pad', and the positioning of that 'mouse pad' and the 4 main buttons swapping.

Once again I want to stress that if you are not familiar to the point of no return on a controller already, I think this controller would be awesome.

It has several PROS:

-Amazing customization
-Unique, cool, enjoyable look and feel
-Sounds, also customizable.
-Freedom to map any button to anything you want
-Can be a mouse and a keyboard both in and out of games
-Plethora of buttons at your disposal:
------Start/Menu, Select/Back
------Power button/Steam button (Brings up steam overlay when in game, big picture when out of game)
------Two triggers (Both of which are ALSO buttons if you push them down all the way)
------Two bumpers (In between the top of the controller face and the triggers)
------Two 'paddles' (On the back side of the controller, on each side)
------D-Pad, which also acts has buttons on the top, middle, bottom and sides of it when pressed down
------'Mouse pad' (Basically like a touchpad on a laptop, but much better, also can be pressed down)

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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Posted: July 6
This controller may or may not work for you (quality is fine because I don't plan on skateboarding with it) but it works for me. I'm impressed.

• extremely satisfying to hold
• keyboard and mouse operate as usual while the Steam Controller in plugged in
• the glow of the steam logo is mesmorizing (even during day time)
• cursor works outside of games (can surf the internet, without a keyboard)
• extremely customizable (I'm playing FF8 on an emulator, thanks to the In-Game Overlay, the steam controller is programmed accordingly)
(I had no idea that a single analog stick or touch pad had so many variances that Steam can emulate)
• the controller makes little soft clicks whenever you move a stick or push a button (I don't know why I love this)
• it was extremely easy to setup
• comes with wireless and charging cables
• Great for RPGs, Third person shooters, real time strategy
• Don't listen to other people, the quality is great (make sure your hands are clean)
• Solid controller, doesn't show the least bit of wear or degredation
• Great for casual FPS's
• You can save your controller bindings and import them from game to game

• In-Game Overlay is very buggy with the steam controller options, it functions fine but easily crashes steam
• The touchpads were disappointingly difficult to use for FPS's. You can aim with precision over a small area. But when you have to drag the cursor a larger distance than that it becomes a hassle.
• Steam Controller only works when Steam is running (this was a big one, not a big deal since you can play non-steam short cuts through steam but this is still inconvenient)
I really can't think of anything else

If you're thinking about getting this controller, just get it.
It looks nice, plays nice, buttons can do whatever you want them to.
It even sounds nice.
Even if this controller won't get me to Global Elite in CS:GO, it's the perfect controller to use for anything else.
I didn't know you could cram so many features in a single controller (makes PS and XBOX feel outdated).

I can't sit at my computer without this thing in my lap.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
Posted: July 6
By far the best purchase I've made on steam.

This controller is lightweight, easy to set up and can easily be modified / configured to any button you wish. It took me a while to understand that I must have Big Picture Mode running when going to play any game so the controller can work properly. It may be a hassle but nothing too big.

Yes, this controller is awkward to handle on your first time playing any game but it becomes better to handle as time progresses.

Definitely recommend this.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: July 14
At first I want to mention, that this is my first controller. I've held xbox or PS4 controller in my hands before, but never used them regularly.
When the controller arrived, I was disappointed at first. Some buttons were to loud, some felt awkward and It looked very cheap. But when i connect it to computer it suddenly was more less fine. After few days everything is smooth and nice. I dont regret buying this.
The only negative thing for me is material which looks really cheap - I woud love to pay few bucks more in order to increse precision.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: July 26
I got a kill on CS:GO with a controller
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: July 27
The touchpad is a little bit unresponsive in the middle, but apart from that its great!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Posted: July 11
I've had this controller since the original early release last year, and I've had mixed feelings about it since then. Some games it works like a dream, and it fun to use, but others it can be an absolute nightmare to control; shooters in particular can be annoying.

Size - I love the size of the controller. I have big hands and so its nice to have a controller than fits to my hands so well.
Buttons - The triggers and bumpers are much bigger than the Xbox One, and so its easier to use from my experience. The back buttons are very useful as well. I don't use them as often as I should, but they do come in handy as useful tools for stuff like pulling up maps or quick saving.
Customization - There is no equal when it comes to customization. You can change everything about this controller in the options menu, which is great if you don't like a control scheme, or if the you need the to change stuff like sensitivity. You can even change your on and off noises.

Right Track Pad - This is my biggest and longest problem with the controller. The right pad, or camera pad, can be very tricky to use. Depending on how you make it in the options menu, it can alter your style. While this level of options are nice to have, at the same time, it can be infuriatingly annoying to get it to your liking. I've tinkered with the right camera for up to 30 mins before trying to get it to work for the specific game I want. I love and I hate this thing. I like it cause it gives you better precision sometimes, but I hate the amount of work you have to do in order to get that.

Overall, I think the controller is worth getting if you want an alternative to the Xbox controller. But if you aren't looking for a controller than you can customize, and just want to plug and play, then this is not what you want. But if you're tired of always using a M/K and want a controller than you can play almost any game with, then this is your best bet.
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