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:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (525 reviews) - 78% of the 525 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (8,035 reviews) - 81% of the 8,035 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.

179 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwW6uB-tvqY
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.

237 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

Overview

  • 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.

In-box

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

Requirements

Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mostly Positive (525 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (8,035 reviews)
Recently Posted
orcolvert
Posted: August 23
Very sensitive take's a little getting use to but is a great conrol pad.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ClemHFandango
Posted: August 23
I will admit that I am not a fan of mouse and keys, I think my fingers are too lumpen to correctly use them! However, the steam controller offers a brilliant way of giving an alternative method. I would say that it is very easy to pick up and play, but takes time to master, you will need to take time to set up some controls, but like with anything, it is well worth taking the time and effort as the rewards are worth it. Well done steam.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bakk
Posted: August 23
Works very well for most games and it's much better than normal controllers for games which require aiming. It also has great haptic feedback so you can feel exactly how much input you're sending to the game. The touchpads may take some time to get used to but after that it's really good.
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Riverstone
Posted: August 23
Best game pad ever made for PC.
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Ic3_Fyr3
Posted: August 23
Hi. I bought the Steam Controller in April and it has been really useful in many games, although very annoying in others.

Pros

  • The feeling; it is a large controller, much larger than the PS3/PS4 controllers I'm used to, but it fits perfectly.
  • The buttons on the back; These buttons replace the A and X buttons, which I found useful in Castle Crashers.
  • The Big Picture usage; The controller is good for navigating Big Picture, especially because games in your library have tags on the logos showing if they have controller support, which I find good to know if I want to play a game with my controller.

Cons

  • Big Picture Overlay; Now, I know that I mentioned Big Picture in the Pros section, but the In-Game overlay just is not good at all. I like being able to text my friends in the tiny tect windows like I can without a game open or with the old Steam In-Game overlay. But to do it in the Big Picture one, there is a lot of confusing stuff (at least to me, I've had Steam for a little over a year now, and I'm used to using the regular overlay). Also, you cant just click your friend and then choose Join Game or Invite to Game/Watch, but instead you have to do some other thing which I just don't bother with, especially in Terraria, which we play a lot.
  • The touch pads; Now don't get me wrong, the touch pads were a great Idea and addition to the controller, but if you're gonna make the controller compatible with FPS games, don't. The sensitivity on the Touch Pads is way to high and if you even just touch them a little. everything goes crazy. Trust me, I've tried turning sensitivity down, but that makes them too slow, and if you're trying to play CS:GO, being in the menu for a long time isn't very fun. Which, btw, Steam says CS:GO has controller support, but on the main menu the controller does nothing. So, for some games like Terraria, CS:GO, Borderlands 2, Portal 2, etc. just use a console controller like XBox or just use your keyboard and mouse.

Well, that's about it. I give the controller an 8/10. I recommend buying this, but having a backup controller handy just because some games are unplayable with the Steam Controller.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gizmo24
Posted: August 23
I received the Steam Controller along with the Link for my birthday and so far I am having a great time with it but it isn't without quirks and flaws. Hopefully this review will help people out who are undecided.

Before I made the decision to get the controller I did a lot of research in the form of checking reviews on Steam as well as reading reviews and watching videos. The main thing that I learned is that a lot of the negative comments come from people saying it isn't like a traditional gamepad - and they aren't wrong, this thing is nothing like an Xbox or PS4 controller, that isn't a bad thing however. When I finally got mine and opened it up the controller definitely feels alien at first, the buttons aren't where you expect them to be (resulting in a frustrating initial gaming sessions) and the track pads are weird.

Once I got a better feel for the controller and started messing around with configurations, that is when the strengths of the controller really shines through. Absolutely everything is customisable and not only can you share these but you can download other people's set-ups if you'd prefer - I would however recommend playing around with configurations as it is very satisfying when it all comes together.

The biggest thing I feel that the Steam Controller has going against it is that it may be too different for people who just want to pick up a controller and play. Stick with it however and you definitely won't regret it. I am considering picking up a 2nd controller to go with it for multiplayer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MoeHartman
Posted: August 22
The Steam Controller is a weird but surprisingly functional controller, and for some games it's even quite useful. The biggest distinction between this and most standard USB controllers is obvious just from looking at it: the two touch pads it uses in place of a d-pad on the left and a control stick on the right. This is both a benefit and a hindrance. It is surprisingly decent at emulating mouse controls. Although I haven't tested that functionality extensively, it will definitely open more possibilities for games that would traditionally require a mouse and a keyboard. On the other hand, the touch pads aren't very precise, so if you want to use the left touch pad as a d-pad, you'll really have to practice at it, and even once you get experienced, you'll still be better off using another controller. The other main difference is the addition of two additional buttons on the back of the controller, although these have not been heavily utilized in control schemes that I've used. Other than these differences, it's a good device that is similar to your standard device. The form factor is good, fitting well in my hands and being well sized, and the buttons all feel good to use. It's well manufactured. Ultimately, the deciding factor in making your purchase should be how much you play games on Steam, as that's where it's most useful. It may have limited compatibility with other platforms, but on Steam it makes things so easy. Nearly every game is compatible right out of the box, and thanks to the Steam community, the rare games that don't natively support gamepads usually have community configurations ready to go, and you can create your own custom configs as well. Using configurations has a bit of a learning curve, and there are some titles that just won't work right no matter your configs, but with a bit of practice, it becomes easy. If you don't play on Steam much, then I'm surprised you're here at all, and I can't recommend the controller, but it's great for use on Steam, and if you have a Steam connected TV, it's ability to mimic a mouse and keyboard might even be essential.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shadefreeze
Posted: August 22
cheap designe and feel. also not a fan of touch controllers .. it takes away all of the accuracy. steam controller= a no go. buy the ps4 or Xbox controller and use those instead.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Daruud
Posted: August 22
A sleek controller that gives alot of room for modifications to fit your playstyle, and a lot of different genres. I am quite new to this product but have had good experiences with it so far.

I do wish however that the steam controller community continues to grow and makes it easier to add different presets that gets automatically assigned when you run the game you have modified it for.
(Not sure if this has come out yet) Maybe the controller will get its own workshop in the future :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dar Bear
Posted: August 22
It takes a little getting used to but it's a nice controller as far as I'm concerned. I love the fact that it's very customizable and the gyroscope makes a lot easier for me to aim in certain games! The left and right bumper in the back is a nice addition for buttons and I didn't accidently hit them, which at first I felt was going to happen. The fact it also comes with a wireless dongle is very nice as well. Hell my Xbone controller didn't have that option and I don't want to spend $20 for one. Just bare in mind that you should throw any and all comparisons with the Xbox controllers into the water; it's neither one of those. It does its own thing in an unique way.

There are some downsides though. I didn't like the fact that the left trackpad was so huge that it felt really wonky as a d-pad. Fortunately you can set it up to make the input smaller but the texture throws it off for me. I also have huge hands so it felt a little small, but again it could be that I'm not used to it quite yet. Last but not least, I didn't like that I had to go into Big Picture mode to set it up per game. I rarely use that mode because it's inefficient, and it's just easier for me to use the standard UI. I hope Valve does something about that in the future.

Otherwise I recommend this controller for those who are used to controller input but want a slight edge in aiming as far as mouse and keyboard use is concerned.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
214 of 229 people (93%) found this review helpful
16 people found this review funny
Recommended
Posted: August 7
This is awsome for my boy who is 5 as he is really into gaming like myself, unfortunately i have a broken neck and can only do basic gaming but this steam controller along with my mouth controller make it brilliant for my son & I to enjoy a good relationship through gaming as the controller emulates mouse and keyboard as well as your normal controller needs.

Thanks steam it's most likely that i'll purchase several of these for backup as nothing lasts forever.

Happy gaming.

Peace.
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57 of 65 people (88%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Recommended
Posted: August 3
I had been thinking about buying a new controller and I saw this on sale a little while back and said sure, yolo.

Initially I was mixed between disappointed and impressed by the dual touch pads. I really liked the idea of two touch pads so I wanted to like the controller even though it felt really weird in my hands. It certainly took time to get used to, but I'm glad I did, because I tend to have a much more enjoyable experience gaming experience because of it (and notice the word tend).

PROs
Feels like a good quality build - it's lightweight yet durable.

Extremely customizable - you can map pretty much anything anywhere. Have your joystick send d-pad commands or key(board) presses, it doesn't freaking care. You can also set a hotkey that changes what inputs will be sent (e.g. holding the left grip could turn your d-pad into a joystick input if you wanted). There are also community templates that are uploaded, and generic templates you can customize yourself. Lastly, you can save your configurations to your steam cloud so you won't need to worry about losing them.

Grips - Two buttons where your fingers already are. This is super convenient for many reasons (easy reloading, jumping, mode switching, etc)

Gyro (physically turning the controller to send input) - I'd never used one on a controller before and it is just an awesome thing. With a small amount of tinkering with the settings, I immediately noticed how much easier it was to aim precisely. I couldn't imagine a first person game (or anything that involves aiming really) without it now.

Touchpads - Relatively precise, but mainly good for swiping and getting the general angle of things. I did notice that after using them for a little while now I can navigate my computer using the controller fairly easily. In game however, combine a touchpad with the gyro to be golden.

Haptic Feedback - It's pretty much everywhere. But in a good way. The gyro gives you haptic feedback so you know how much input you're sending, the touchpad does the same, the d-pad can also do the same, the joystick can "click" (haptic feedback) when you set certain thresholds, and you can set how much haptic feedback you want from each thing (or none if you hate it). It goes on. Moral = easy to feel how much input you're sending.

How it holds - I personally like how it fits in the hand. My hand's are probably between small and medium closer to medium, but some controllers make my hands feel jammed up especially when my fingers are touching and it's just weird. But more of this will be in the cons.

CONs
This list probably isn't going to be as long but overall I like the controller so that makes sense right?

Physical Button Layout (personal con) - The d-pad/touchpad thing is on the outside, and the joystick is on the inside. This is inconvenient for me, because typically you use a joystick to move, and for many games I can usually handle most of the other inputs with my right-thumb (including d-pad), depending on the game obviously.

With the dpad being on the outer edge my thumb can't get to it, so I'm currently trying to get used to having the left touchpad act as a joystick while treating the joystick as a dpad. The main problem is, without this setup, it's difficult to keep moving while continually sending inputs from both the d-pad and buttonpad. TLDR this con = the button layout is a mind never gonna give you up to my playstyle Edit Note: This isn't an issue with most games, and there are other solutions you can come up with yourself (e.g. hold a grip to have the buttonpad send d-pad input, or even something more complex)
--update: upon getting used to this I now prefer to use the d-pad as a joystick (for movement) and the joystick as a d-pad.

Customization - I saw someone post it as a con in some other review that too much customization was bad because it takes time to fine tune each configuration. I agree to an extent, it can be tedious to get that layout and you may spend a decent chunk of time just trying to get the controls how you want them, but you may also end up with very intuitive controls.

Force Big Picture Mode - I like big picture mode when I'm just finna chill n game n shooot, but this may be a turnoff to people. However, I did just run the Witcher 3 from .. not... big picture mode... and it auto overlayed the ... big picture mode... overlay... without having to turn on big picture mode. So you'll be forced to use the overlay but at least you won't have to enable it before entering a game. Or something. This was a grammatical disaster, sorry?

Overall
I would recommend this to anyone who games often with a controller. If you, like, occasionally sit down on the couch to play... Plants Vs. Zombies? or something, this may not be for you, as it will definitely take getting used to.

Congratulations if you made it through this review, I'm surprised I did. I'll update this if my opinion changes.

EDITS: Clarity
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93 of 127 people (73%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: August 2
After using the controller for 3 months I would like to add my views to the mix.

PROS
I love its big bold chunkiness - it feels awesome in my hands!
I love its configuration abilities - to be able to swap around what every button does within game really adds plus points to the controller
I love that it's made for steam! - it just works!

CONS
It needs a second thumb stick
The trigger buttons have a design flaw - the mechanism underneath the physical button is too flimsy and has broke for me the same button twice leading to having to wait for a replacement

Conclusion
A really good idea which has a few flaws that could do with ironing out for V2
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267 of 418 people (64%) found this review helpful
442 people found this review funny
Recommended
Posted: August 3
It smells good.
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68 of 98 people (69%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: August 6
This is the Linux of gamepads. If you're willing to put the time into setting it up for EACH game, and you're playing in Steam, you'll probably enjoy it. Only time will tell if I wind up using this more often.

It doesn't really replace a XBO/360-pad properly, out of the box, so don't buy this as a potential replacement.

Observations from the first couple hours of use:

PROS:
- Feels good in the hand, overall.
- The single analog stick feels great. Grippy.
- Wireless is optional. I wasn't sure about that going in, but sure enough, you can play it wired, without batteries.
- The right touchpad uses a clever combination of tactile haptics, and input behavior to simulate a trackball... and it really feels like one. Bravo to whoever got this going. The best part of this thing.
- Adorable, configurable musical ditty on power on/off.
- When the stars align, and you get a great config... it can be a really decent alternative to a traditional gamepad.

CONS:
- Solid, except for the triggers. They're easily the weakest part.
- The XYAB buttons are positioned very poorly. Unless you have much larger hands, they're far too much left for comfortable use. Which is why I said this isn't a 360 replacement -- it feels more focused on being an FPS/mouse replacement, where it generally excels.
- Can't use rechargeable AA batteries that are charged via the USB port. (So I've heard, at least.)
- Out of the box, every game, you'll almost certainly be A) picking an input config from the community, B) tweaking that config, C) wondering why the ♥♥♥♥ it's not working, D) fiddling with ♥♥♥♥ everywhere, E) giving up OR finally playing. Or if you're adventurous, F) hunkering down for a bit and creating your own config.
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19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
Posted: August 3
Different angle to avoid repetition of reviews:

Do you like tweaking your rig and the settings of each individual game to get the most out of them?
If so then you may well like the steam controller. The customisation options are endless - there's so many amazing things you can do. Even hours into a game i still like to tweak things a little bit to maxmise efficiency or even just experiment.

This controller has a steep learning curve - you will most probably hate your first couple days with it (as seen in many steam reviews here). Its like when you watch someone play a racing game who isnt a gamer - they swerve all over the place and it seems ridiculous. This will be you when you first try the steam controller. I think that's a good reason why you never really see this thing at gaming events for the public - it has a bad first impression.

If you're willing to accustom yourself to it and learn how to set it up for you (six weeks in and im still discovering new features - it can be overwhelming) then you might well think that this is the best controller ever made like I do. However if you dont want to go through that or are an impatient person then you might well think that this is the worst controller ever made.
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42 of 65 people (65%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: August 1
First, I bought this controller at a discount during the latest summer sale, figuring it might be worth the discounted price. It's not. It's uncomfortable to hold, updating it was a problem, and the worst sin? It insists I use the "big picture" mode in steam "for best results". Which is fine, ignore it and just use it in games, right? No. It REQUIRES you to go into that mode to update the device drivers. There is absolutely no reason for this that I can think of.

Which, as a PC player, is something I did once and will never again in life do. It makes everything more cumbersome and iritating.

This device is most likely going in a box and coming out (maybe) for car racing games and the like the few rare times I feel like playing them.
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13 of 20 people (65%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
Posted: August 1
It takes a little bit of transition time, but I think it's a pretty good controller.
The touchpad rumble is really responsive, and somehow totally changes how the pads feel while in use.
I love how rediculously customizable the controllers button mapping can get, fine enough to give fiddling with SFM some real consideration, but that's just me.
The 'ergonomic' design takes some getting used to, it doesn't hold in the hand like a 360 controller, and certainly not like a PS4 controller, you gotta just roll with it and it grows on you.
Did I mention it has a hello and goodbye beep? Little tunes and whatnot, purley a e s t h e t i c but a very nice touch.
The batteries really put the weight where it should be, feels nice in the hand.

All in all, if you're interested in trying an alternative controller, and you're the kind of person that wants some freedom to do more than just play games with their controller, AND have a spare $50 that you decide to just use, (or if it's on sale like when I got it), I'd say it's worth it.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
Posted: August 19
i rather like this controller it works well with %90 of games i used it on. can be a bit difficult to use in fps games. the only con i have with the controller is that it doesnt work outside of steam unless you launch the program through steam big picture mode. i wish it would work like a xbox 360 controller by default untill you use steam to change it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
Posted: August 18
TL:DR
The controller is great! with a couple slight hiccups, but always improving. When was the last time you had a controller that updated? XD It's on sale right now go get one!!!
TL:DR

Have had it since shortly after its availability the learning curve was a little different than going from say PS to XBOX or Vice Versa. I have been gaming a long time and have used just about every controller there has been and have had to adjust many times, so this wasnt really a problem for me.

I love my steam controller and hate it when I have to sometimes use a KB&M or an old xbox 360 controller (which I preferred over the ps3 design, I havent touched a console since I went full pc though so I know nothing of the current gen console controllers) I came from consoles so I was never into KB&M, the steam controller is an awesome thing for the presicsion I couldnt get with a controller, and the movement I could never get with a KB.

The only gripe I have with the controller is its clunky integration with steam, I may be a niche case though, but I dont use Big Picture mode as I am sitting right in front of my PC and I have more then one monitor to work with, plus its a really clunky and obnoxious program. Also since I sit in front of my keyboard I would rather use that to type than the controller; Which only works smoothly if you click with the mouse in most games. (I have never been fond of console type text input, maybe there is an option to turn this off that I am missing.) My gripe seems to be with BPM more than the controller its self it would seem.

All in all I love my steam controller I would never go back, the customization is absolutely brilliant, it has improved immensely since its release and when I first got it, and I am excited to see how they can improve it in the future, this thing is chock-full of hardware and features, the only problem this controller may have is how customizable it is... it can be a little intimidating at first...



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