Steam Controller - Game Testing, Tips & Tricks

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#1 Edited by Sin4profit (3426 posts) -

Hello all who are curious about Valve's new Steam Controller! I'm creating this thread with the intentions of making a place for people to talk about their experiences with different games using the Steam Controller, what works, what didn't work, and any tips to help others wrap their heads around this thing as they slowly acclimate themselves to it.

A Few Tips

Saving Templates: When you First get the controller you're going to find that you can browse the community for configurations that may work for you. When you do find a system that works, it can be a pain configuring you're preferred layout for each game, however there is a way to save your own templates. If you create a profile you think would work well across a certain genre, FPS games for example, save that profile as a private profile and then search for THAT game's Steam App ID number in the SteamDB. Remember that number, find your Steam install folder and go into sub-folder "userdata"; do a search for "controller_config" and within that folder find the folder that matches your game's AppID number. Inside this folder is where Steam saves your controller profiles (.vdf files).C:\Program Files


The folder address should look something like this. [ ## is your Steam ID, %% is your game's ID number

You can then copy your profile and save it to the Steam Controller's "templates" folder.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\controller_base\templates

Save your profile here to select it for other games

Best Use Cases:

FPS: I have found using the gyro to be the key to precise accuracy in First Person games. I'm using a system i call 'three layer aiming" where, while using the right thumb pad, you swipe your thumb to do 180 degree turns (like scrolling the web browser on your phone), slide your thumb to do 90 degree, "room checks" and use the gyro for fine aiming. It sounds convoluted in writing but it's vary natural in practice.

Flight Sims: The gyro works great in flight sim games as you're able to use the gyro for precise steering while using the right pad as your first person camera, which is important for keeping your eye on your target (substitute for trackIR). I have found the left thumbpad to work great as a throttle when set to "scroll wheel" mode; clockwise turn throttles up and counter-clock wise throttles down. The grip buttons are great for modifiers, or "shift states" to get more functionality out of your available buttons.

Driving Sims: What I've found best to get the precision you need is to set throttle/brake to a touchpad, set to emulate an analog stick, and use it vertically to accelerate and brake. Then set the other touch pad up as an analog stick and use that horizontally to steer BUT don't steer from the center of the pad, instead place your thumb on the top rim of the touchpad, as your center, and steer from there (you may have to adjust sensitivity). The triggers are free to use as shifters or handbrakes.

Your Contributions

So these are a few things that i have found useful through a weeks worth of testing the Steam controller. I'm hoping to built upon this thread with other tips, tricks, workaround from the Giant Bomb community and also have others provide their experiences with individual games they've tested with the Steam controller in hopes of providing advice for those who own the Steam controller and to give others a place to decide if this thing may be worth picking up someday.

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#2 Edited by Sin4profit (3426 posts) -

Games I've Tested:

  • Alien Breed 2: Isometric shooter that mostly works well with the Steam controller. Emulating a game pad i set the right touchpad as "joystick move" and adjusted the settings so that the inner and outter deadzones were set all the way to the left with a circular deadzone. This created the response time i want out of twin stick shooters on the Steam controller as i was able to shoot in any direction just by rolling my thumb from the center of the pad. Unfortunately this setup didn't work as well when the game put me in a turret sequence as i had no deadzone to hold the turret in place. Didn't make the sequence difficult but it just didn't feel good. Also this control scheme didn't translate as well with other twin stick shooters as the same scheme didn't make Geometry Wars any better.
  • Alien Shooter [series]: An isometric mouse aiming game that works well with the steam controller. No need for the gyro, just the touch pad worked fine for this one.
  • Aliens VS Predator Classic 2000 [GOG version]: This was the first non-steam game i tested to see how well non-steam games work. To be clear, non-steam games have to run through steam by adding them to your steam library. Games require the Steam overlay to work, specifically Big Picture Mode so you can configure the game's profile. AVP worked fine, moment was way too fast using WASD for the joystick but when i switched to joystick emulation it was much more resonable.
  • And Yet it Moves: Works well, triggers to rotate 90 degrees and the grip buttons to do 180. Easy to wrap your head around.
  • Apotheon:Controls fine but the placement of the face buttons prove to be a problem as i'd constantly hit Y when i meant to hit X also the wide angle of the right pad's manual aiming can feel a bit awkward.
  • Arcadia: Could not get this janky Geometry Wars rip off to work. No matter what i tried i could only fire straight left and straight right unless my finger wasn't touching the right pad in which it would fire diagonally up/left.
  • Arma 3: Earlier when i looked at this game my custom binding in Arma wouldn't save so i had issues but after a resolved that i found the Stem controller to almost perfect for Arma. i managed to get a lot of the infantry movements included onto the Steam controller and the transition from on foot to driving vehicles is great, The problem i had was with flying vehicles. The gyro on the Steam controller is able to switch from Yaw controller (like a driving wheel) to Roll control (tilts like it was the bat wing), the problem is, i find on foot aiming bet with Yaw and flying best with roll but the only way i could get that would be to manually go into the Steam config and change the setting every time i got in and out of a flying vehicle. Wish steam would get you assign an axis for all three rotations of the gyro but as it is, pitch is locked and you can only choose between roll or yaw. All in all, it was interesting to see the depth of control i could get out of the Steam controller which worked really well for this game.
  • Beat Hazard: Bad experience with this game. I remember not being thrilled with this game when i first played it and the steam controller didn't improve my feelings towards it. I experimented with different types of control schemes and found it difficult to get my head around as it seems like the integrated 360 support didn't work right with the steam controller despite the steam controller being set to emulate a 360 controller. Again, it's hard to tell who's to blame.
  • BIT.TRIP Beat: This one i had a lot of fun with when i used the gyro to tilt the paddle up and down. It was the uniqueness of this control scheme that made it feel more refreshing than anything else and this is what i like about the potential of the Steam Controller. To make games feel unique and fresh again.
  • BIT.TRIP Core: This game is balls difficult but that's the game more than the controls. You, aim the thumbstick and push any button you want to fire in this brain twisting rhythm game. Control is simple and functional.
  • BIT.TRIP Fate: Experimenting with this one i found thee best way to play it is to use the triggers to move forward and backward and use the thumbstick to do the shooting. it works fine this way.
  • BIT.TRIP Void: A simple game i played mostly with the thumbstick. Works.
  • Booster Trooper: Another good example of the Duel Trigger functionality as i bound jump / boost to the right trigger. Early on i had problems with accuracy in this one but in the end i found increasing the gyro sensitivity, as mouse aim, and relying on that, rather than between the gyro and the right pad, were the way to go.
  • Bullet Candy: I don't know if nothing was working or the game was crappy as i could shoot, there was a point when i did a bomb blast but most of the time i had no offensive means and just floated around dodging enemies. Ignorance on my part, poor compatibility with the Steam controller, or a poor game, you'll have to be the judge on this one.
  • Burn Zombie Burn: The way this game controls works fine for the Steam controller, move with the thumbstick and most of the shooting is done by locking on to the closest target, the game isn't a twin stick shooter.
  • Capsized: Another 2D mouse aim game. I've learned that increasing the gyro sensitivity is the way to go and the right pad likely isn't needed or could be applied to other functionality. Much like with Booster Trooper i liked my jump on the left trigger withe my jetpack being a full pull.
  • Card Hunter: All mouse controls. Point, click, right mouse to check stats. The kind of thing the Steam controller was built for for those who want to play in a more leisurely fashion or from the couch.
  • Cook,Serve,Delicious: One of few games i've found that lets you select the Steam controller button layout but the official configuration seems to contradict the layout or doesn't do a great job of referencing the buttons. outside of that the game felt way more chaotic trying to play it with a controller. A lot of this can be better handled with better layout design for the ingredients in game but as is i found using the mouse to click on orders far better than selecting an order with the controller; too much to think about.
  • Cortex Command: Controller didn't work, defaults to Desktop mode but won't use the game specific configuration.
  • Counter Strike GO: This is where the Steam controller really started to shine for me. This is the game where a started to fine tune my Three layered aiming system using the right touch pad and gyro to cover a wide spectrum of sensitivity levels in what felt, to me, like a natural solution. even on a mouse it can be difficult for me to tell if half an inch is a 90 degree turn or a 30 degree turn and i have the tendency to tense up when i'm trying to aim precisely and would often overshoot my target. i didn't have this problem with my Steam controller config as i knew exactly what i needed to do for any given situation. i also found an interesting trick with using the left pad as a scroll wheel while also having a quick select for my knife and grenade at the same time (primary/secondary weapons are on the bumpers) Dunno how having the scroll wheel merged with a directional pad will be useful but it was a neat trick that i may find some use for. One problem i think most people will run into is with the face buttons, it's very common to hit the wrong button, due to the position, but this may just require getting use to the placement. Counter Strike is not a game i played a lot of, but with the Steam Controller i've been having a lot of fun going back to it.
  • Crimzon Clover: Simple Shmup control. Works as expected on the Steam controller. Also, i like turning the thumbstick's haptics on high as it feels more like a leaf switch on an arcade joystick.
  • Crayon Physics: Gyro drawing works fine for the pacing of this game.
  • Crypt Of The Necrodancer: The face buttons work best here, i tried the touch pads, with and without requiring a clicking, and it was too common to accidentally click the diagonals. Stick with the face buttons and reassign the combos to the other accessible buttons; Triggers, grip buttons, esc...
  • Dark Souls: I was able to use the right pad as camera movement making the camera much faster in dark souls but between adjusting the sensitivity through the game's options menu and the sensitivity through the Steam controller configuration the camera movement was a little jerky for fine movement. Outside of that, the game plays much like with a 360 controller only you'd have to be use to the face button placement before that's a good experience. Then again, you could always place those buttons elsewhere or configure a modifier state; i had the right grip button bound to block
  • DCS: only played a bit of Blackshark and had to do a lot of Alt-Tab since the Steam overlay didn't like my copy of Black Shark. The ability to switch between head look and cockpit activity on the right thumb pad made effective use of handling the cockpit interior controls, switched and what have you, but the fact that i couldn't invert the gyro's vertical axis in game or on the controller meant i couldn't really test the game as well as i wanted to. There's promise there, as there is with other flight sims using the Steam controller.
  • Deus Ex: Revision: With the fairly recent addition of Touch Menus to the Steam controller Deus Ex works pretty well as you can more easily select from your item bar and activate your augmentations. Also i like using the right grip as an anchor from which i can use the thumbstick to lean. Once you're comfortable with the Steam controller for FPS games it has a lot of benefits to this keyboard heavy game.
  • Diehard Dungeon: Duel trigger comes in usefull in this game as you are able to use half pull to aim shots and full pull to fire. Everything else plays out like a regular gamepad.
  • DiRT Rally: So Dirt Rally can be played like a normal gamepad racer with turning on the joystick and brake/accelerate on the triggers. The underhand grips make for a nice spot to have shifters or your E-brake. When trying to use the gyro it became more apparent how the gyro wasn't going to work well for sim style racing games. Though the gyro will give you more precision in your steering the problem comes from when you lose control of the car, when you enter a skid it becomes vary difficult to correct and sinc rally racing is all skids all day the gyro didn't work as well with this one so you're left with just using standard gamepad controls.
  • Divekick: Clicking the two pads for Dive and Kick makes the Steam Controller the best divekick controller you can get.
  • Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition: This edition, built for a gamepad, works fine, Just wish this version supported simultaneous keyboard / gamepad play so i could bind my action bar keys.
  • Door Kickers: I chose to use the gyro to draw out the pathing and found the duel triggers useful for setting waypoints and viewpoints on the left trigger. Had a good time playing this one while sitting back with a controller in my hand.
  • Downfall: Standard game controls, i experimented with "touch to fire" on the right pad but felt like i had more control using the standard joystick and face buttons.
  • Elite: Dangerous: Messed around with a few user configurations and nothing felt great but this is before i even knew the Steam Controller had a gyro, will have to go back for more testing.
  • Enemy Mind: it's a standard side scrolling shooter, joystick and two button configuration. It worked fine it just depends on how comfortable you get with the Steam Controllers face buttons which are fine. I was never super thrilled about their placement but you get use to them.
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2: This is a great example how how the Steam controller makes a game better. i've played ETS2 with 3 different controller types now, driving wheel, 360 controller and now the Steam Controller. This is where the Steam controller proves it's diverse enough to handle many situations other controllers cant. I'm able to use the gyro for smooth steering while using the right thumb pad for mouse look while shifting gears with the grip buttons and still have plenty of options to configure more buttons when needed. with a racing wheel you'd require a TrackIR or some odd controller configuration to look around in your cab and with the 360 controller it was difficult to look around while trying to steer at the same time, and i still didn't have enough buttons to do all i needed to do. The Steam controller feels like it was made for simulation games like this and worked amazingly well.
  • Flight Control HD: This one i felt like i would get much more mileage out of with a regular mouse when things got too busy. Using a combination of the thumbpad and gyro to draw pathing it worked fine but i felt like i could be quicker with a mouse.
  • Galak-Z: Works great with the Steam controller. Another case where the duel trigger comes in handy as a half pull on the right trigger controls your thruster and a full pull activates your boost. i also set the full pull on the left trigger to be my "full stop" (left trigger + right trigger, in game) which would hold my place and let me fire as a turret, though i haven't gotten much use out of that maneuver. Everything else works fine, the face buttons aren't a problem like in other games because your thumbs primarily rest on them while playing, as appose to your thumb shifting between the right pad to the face buttons.
  • Geometry Wars: It took awhile to get this one to work like it should but even then the wide angles of the touch pad made it difficult to fire precisely where you wanted to fire. Movement on the thumbstick worked as expected. It was functional but not ideal.
  • Gravitron 2: Worked ok with the trackpad quickly spinning my ship and the gyro carefully aiming when needed. You could use the thumbstick to rotate the ship but it goes far too slow to be useful.
  • Heavy Bullets: Was a fun one to play with the Steam Controller. It's a pretty simple FPS so, as long as you've gotten FPS games to work with the Steam Controller, it worked fine.
  • Hotline Miami: Another game that i feel like i could have been better at with a mouse, though i could just be out of practice. I don't like using the lock-on in HM, playing that way works just fine. Playing without the lock-on was functional though i felt like i could get more accuracy and quick reaction with a mouse.
  • Jamestown: One thing this game reminded me of is the fact that i don't like convexed thumbsticks. Weaving through bullets i've found my thumb to slip off a few times. Though, with amazon selling replacement controller parts, i'm wondering if an XBone analog stick could replace it. As far as the game, it's all on the thumbstick and bound the shooting to the triggers. Works just fine.
  • Left 4 Dead 2: Early test as i assumed valve would build native controls that would utilize all the unique features of the Steam controller into their game, but they did not. They didn't even have a recommended configuration. I'm sure if i tested it again i'd get result similar to CS:GO but i'm bad at Left 4 Dead and it makes me sad so i uninstalled it.
  • Lovely Planet: Early test and a good way to get you to acclimate yourself to touch aiming. i finished the majority of a section in this game, i think it was called Forest, after i learned about gyro aiming. It also helped having the jump on the same pad i was aiming. Early tests with touch only aiming forced me to get real good with touch aiming real fast.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: This one's an interesting one. i used a community made profile and they created this trick where you could soft pull the left trigger to go to third person aim and fully pull the trigger to go into first person aiming AND if you pulled the left trigger quickly it would go into binocular view. It was a little clumsy in spots but it was a neat trick to get three functions out of one trigger. Outside of that mostly everything else worked fine and, again, the gyro aiming worked great but navigating the menus were a real pain. Especially considering the game displayed keyboard keys rather than buttons for menu items. also the radial menus were a bit clunky but i set thee pad to activate on touch so to switch items i'd just tap one direction to cycle the items assigned to that direction. Menus super clunky but the gameplay itself was fine, this game was carefully made for a standard game pad and definitely still works best on one overall.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition: another example of the Steam controller shining through though i had some difficulty with the steam overlay in this one, i had to alt-tab to configure the Steam controller. this game proves that the steam controller can fix three issues with flight sims on standard controllers. 1: settable throttle, using the scroll wheel on the left pad i was able to fully adjust the throttle as apposed to standard controllers that rest at 50% throttle and force you to hold it in constant position. 2: you get more precise control from the gyro than with a stick and what's better is the gyro can be selectively activated by checking if your finger's touching the pad; not touching the pad and the gyro will deactivate so you don't kill yourself and all your passengers just because you needed to scratch your nose. 3: no need for TrackIR; as head tracking is very important in flight sims the right thumb pad works as mouse look in a way that will make you wish all flight sticks had tracking pads on them. I didn't fully customize the Steam controller to work, but did just enough to prove it could work, did a few take offs and landings and then hunted down another airplane and rammed'im, cause screw that guy.
  • Mount Your Friends: An interesting one as i was able to set left / right arms to the triggers and left / right legs to the grip buttons making for a more cognitive experience (defeating the purpose?). Likely to be easier to teach new comers the controls which is beneficial to this as a party game.
  • Nidhogg: Took a long time to get this one to work right but creating a wide deadzone on the thumbstick is what did the trick, though i'd still jump into an accidental somersault every now and again.
  • OlliOlli2: This game actually worked amazingly well with the steam controller, i customized my controller to be all touch based using the left pad to sweep tricks off of and the right pad is just one giant A button. Since it is all touch i'm simply tapping the pad to push and touching it to land. I did run into a problem trying to do a trick that required a 180 circle forward with a half circle back but it was easy enough to transition to the thumbstick for that one trick.
  • Pinball Arcade: Works great, i like being able to slowly pull back on the right pad and let go for plungers where on the 360 i had weird issues with fully expended plungers not firing as they should. outside of that this setup is about the same as on the 360 but i can tune the deadzones on the triggers for some great post passes. Also the 360 did this weird thing where when i pulled the triggers occasionally the table would nudge forward, i think it was a deadzone issue. Really pissed me off tilting during multiball from this.
  • Portal 2: Worked ok, also showed a layout of multi profiles applied to a single game, as in it switches profiles based on whether you are in a menu or in gameplay. This is a real useful thing but is dependent on the game devs to implement it into their games so the Steam controller will know what is gameplay and what is a menu.
  • Project CARS: Worked well, unlike Dirt Rally, if your car has grip the controller works fine, but just like Dirt Rally, once you lose that grip the gyro controls can be a bit awkward. i'd still argue it's better than a standard gamepad but it still won't replace a racing wheel anytime soon. [Update] Experimented with a new control scheme that was popular among the community profiles. To make up for the short throw of the triggers for acceleration, this profile set the throttle and brake as up/down, respectively, on the right touch pad. This made for a great deal of fine adjustment in acceleration though it was often difficult to tell where the throttle stops and the braking started. Also, i had set the steering, in game, to it's lowest sensitivity and used the outer rim ( top being center ) of the left touch pad like a steering wheel.With all assists off, this gave me a great deal of control without being as unwieldy as the gyro is with steering.
  • Ovadirga: this is a game where you just point and click. So the track pad and trigger work fine here.
  • Race the Sun: Man, the menus in this game were a pain to work with. i was able to steer the craft with the gyro but i don't know that it provided any real benefit to the game. Was just a novel way to control the game and the thumbstick or triggers worked fine.
  • Receiver: I was hoping to have some interesting solutions with the Steam controller's emulated PWM (pulse width modulation) for the awkward running mechanic (hold W to walk, tap W to run) but the best i could do is hold the grip button to switch W to turbo fire. You still run the risk of trying to peer over a ledge only to accidentally double tap the W key, falling to your death, as if you're some cyberpunk hero who can't tie his shoes. So the Steam controller doesn't improve the crappy running mechanic in this game BUT it does improve the mechanical interactions with the guns. It's easier to wrap your head around the distinguishable controls on the Steam controller rather than just remember what key did what minute action. I'd be pulling magazines out into my left hand with the left grip button and loading them into the gun with the right grip. It visually made more sense than what the game originally offers on keyboard. The inventory management was handled via the, fairly recently added, Touch Menu but is only made less awkward by the fact that you can limit your inventory slots. Also i was able to do some dumb-fun stuff like spin the revolver cylinder via doing a spin on the touch pad if i wanted to play some Russian roulette.
  • Rocket League: Was your standard control set up and the position of the face buttons could prove to be a problem for some. Other then that it worked fine.
  • Running with Rifles: This is a game that i think works best with the Steam controller. Even with mouse and keys i had to reconfigure the controls as best i could but with the Steam controller i full like i have full control of everything this game is trying to do, though driving was a little awkward. Also i don't think it has gamepad support of any kind
  • Star Wars Tie Fighter: Spent a lot of time with various versions and it works pretty well, at least better than a 360 controller, though trying to aim with the gyro and the thumbstick at the same time causes some movement confliction. Once a started using the thumbstick for basic flight and activated the gyro with the right thumbpad it worked ok but ideally i'd want the thumbpad and gyro to work in tandem. In the end i couldn't find a configuration that could replace a HOTAS setup but even setting that up with these old games is it's own mind melt.
  • Super Meat Boy: Standard controls, thumbstick, button and trigger. worked fine for me
  • Super Splatters: Plays well as just a regular game pad game.
  • Super Time Force Ultra: Basic platform shooter controls works fine as a gamepad.
  • Tabletop Simulator: Blah, i don't think anything can polish the turd that is this games control scheme. No better or worse, maybe some will find it more convenient but if you've ever wanted to simulate what it's like to be a crane machine that plays board games give this one a look.
  • Terraria: Wasn't really into using the Steam controller with this one but maybe it just required a little more fine tuning. it's mainly the aiming to pick blocks and the menus that i found a little cumbersome but maybe i need to go back and mess with it some more.
  • The Binding of Isaac: Steam controller doesn't seem to work with Flash. You can, however, change your Steam controller's default desktop settings to get it to work with this game but you're probably just better off playing Rebirth.
  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth: I experimented with no-click touch pad shooting but found using the face buttons to be the way to go. It works fine and you have plenty of buttons to activate your special abilities.
  • The Golf Club: This was a fun one to experiment with. The regular gamepad mode worked fine where you would slide your thumb back on the pad and quickly slide it forward to swing but i found the most fun was using the gyro, emulated as a mouse. It isn't a Wii Golf, full arm swing, experience as you're just rotating the controller in place to swing. Problem. was finding consistency with the swing. Aparently if you pull the mouse back too far it will delude the power of your swing. My character was posed for a full swing and only pulling off 50% power if a rotated beyond the "full swing" pose. Also it was too easy to accidentally swing before you intend to merely knocking a ball off the tee. Fun to play with the Steam controller but the consistency isn't there
  • Ultra Street Fighter IV: Nope
  • War Thunder: Got War Thunder working with Big Picture and was able to play some, "simulation battle" games with, "full real" controls, which is as, "max sim" as War Thunder can get. I had a great deal of fun with it as it provided a package that is A: not possible on traditional game pads and B: requires a lot less setup as a HOTAS plus head tracker. I was able to do my flying with the gyro and thumbstick for yaw, look for enemies with the right touch (enabling mouse look). i use the scroll wheel function on the left touch to control the throttle and i use the left grip as a modifier that grants me access to trim, gear, flaps and wing smoke! Took me a few test flights but i was eventually able to get off the ground and land where i came from pretty consistently before i started playing the single player missions.
  • Wasteland 2: Directors Cut: So the Directors Cut version of this game added some really nice gamepad controls that work well with the Steam controller as well. i'd recommend using the gamepad control rather than Kb/mouse even though i've finished the game with a Kb/mouse.
  • Wing Commander [GOG Version]: Learned how to get DOSBox games to work with the steam controller and this one worked pretty well though i didn't spend enough time with it to get creative with the bindings

[Update: Oct.25.15] Added Darksouls and updated my look at War Thunder and Project CARS.

[Update: Oct.29.15] Added Apotheon, Ovadirga, Diehard Dungeon, Super Splatters, Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition, Wing Commander, Galak-Z, and updated Arma 3 and Star Wars Tie Fighter.

[Update: Oct.30.15] Added Heavy Bullets, Receiver, Jamestown, Card Hunter, Crypt Of The Necrodancer.

[Update Nov.2.15] Added And Yet it Moves, Arcadia, Alien Breed 2, Capsized, Booster Trooper, Alien Shooter, Mount Your Friends, Divekick, Crimzon Clover, Beat Hazard, The Binding of Isaac + Rebirth, Bullet Candy, BIT.TRIP Void + Core + Beat + Fate, and updated Deus Ex: Revision

[Updated Nov.3.15] Added Project Zombiod, Cook,Serve,Delicious, The Golf Club, Cortex Command, Super Time Force Ultra, Hotline Miami, Nidhogg, Door Kickers, Crayon Physics, Flight Control HD, Gravitron 2, Burn Zombie Burn.

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#3 Edited by Mike (17344 posts) -

I've been talking to Sin4profit behind the scenes on this one and told him I'd help out as much as I can with this topic, and with the PC community in general as everyone is figuring out their new controllers. I'm going to be adding games to this list with my own subjective findings about how they work and what kind of configurations I'm using.

I have to say though, that the level of customization already possible with the Steam Controller is unprecedented in the world of controllers. There are so many options that I can't even name them all from memory, and I admit that there are some options and modes that I'm not even completely clear on what they do yet. Valve is also pushing out Steam Client beta updates as often as twice a day with controller updates in them, so things are changing and improving fast as we approach the 10 NOV official controller launch.

I'm going to try and test more keyboard & mouse focused games. There will be some games that have native gamepad support in my list, but that is chiefly because I was playing them anyway so it was easy to add a few words about them. The d-pad does feel very good, and that is mainly due to the thoughtful customization options that Valve has included for it. It will take you practice in order to get good with this d-pad over the more traditional pads you may be used to, but I think everyone should at least try to give it a shot!

  • Pillars of Eternity: Works wonderfully under the standard keyboard and mouse template. Not much to say here other than I recommend binding your most often used keys to the face buttons and grips. Right touchpad used as mouse. I also set the right touchpad to act as Left Mouse Button with audible feedback when double tapped - (not fully mechanical clicked, just two light taps like on a laptop track pad). Once you adjust the mouse speed and haptic feedback to your liking, with a little practice you can be extremely quick and accurate using the touchpad as a mouse or trackball (complete with adjustable friction.) I like using the right paddle grip as LMB, it feels easy and natural to grip the button when I need to click and drag with the mouse. Alternatively, you can use RB or RT for this. Or all three! I would say the game is just as easy and natural to play with this setup as it is with mouse and keyboard. I think one can expect this type of experience with essentially any similar RPG. This is one of the things this controller was made for!
  • Divinity: Original Sin: See my notes above for Pillars of Eternity. Most of the same things still apply, it works wonderfully. I wouldn't hesitate to play through the entire game with a Steam Controller, and I probably will soon.
  • Call of Juarez: Gunslinger: Works perfect under the Gamepad template. I added Gyro aiming at very low sensitivity, only active when my thumb is touching the right touchpad. What this does is allow me to pitch or rotate the controller slightly when I'm aiming, and gives me very fine and accurate control of my point of aim just by slightly moving my controller in a very natural feeling movement. I think this is use of the gyro is going to be one of it's most popular uses, once you get used to it with a few minutes of practice, you'll be pulling off headshots faster and more reliably than ever before. It's that good.
  • Mercenary Kings: Works great. In this game, I elected to use the left touchpad in d-pad mode with clicking in required to actuate the pad, with blending turned on (so you can have down and right pressed at the same time.) The rest of the buttons can be configured however you see fit. I liked having the grip paddles set to run and jump.
  • Spelunky: Works! I used a similar setup to Mercenary Kings, with the touchpad as a d-pad with clicking and haptic feedback. Grips configured to run and jump.

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