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    Rate this article "Steam Controller hardware review"

    (4.27/5) 15 rates
    bojan_savic, 6 december 2018 16:56

    Steam Controller hardware review

    Exclusively discover what is Steam's gamepad for other joysticks if you are not relatives? : D

    The Steam Controller came in sale a few months ago, and although we got it the same time, we're only taking you a review when we finally absorbed the experience of using that alien gamepad. Unfortunately, this is not an epithet for praise, because the alien actually means something strange that requires adoption. The starting point of this unknown is based on two touch-sensitive round surfaces that simulate the d-pad keys and the right analogue bench of the classical controllers. Or more importantly - they emulate mouse and keyboard.

    The Steam Controller is guided by the idea that one move can handle two flies or two problem controllers - first: not working with PC games that do not have support for the controller; and others: to carry certain limitations on speed and precision in controlling. So we have a controller that is partly a practical gamepad and the other part of the touchpad with all its advantages. It sounds idiotic on paper, but is it really a dream blend?


    The answer is - in part. The touchpad is indeed a more precise way of controlling the right analog stick - in most games. This mainly involves camera management or targeting. You simply have more space to move than an analogue, and you have more modes of operation available to you. For example, if trackball mode is switched on, you can turn the camera faster by switching from the thumb to the touchpad edge (so-called swipe gestures) faster than holding an analog stick on a classic gamepad until your character turns in the desired direction. You can also adjust the amount of acceleration for each move and the shift sensitivity in general.

    The problem however comes when the touchpad needs to simulate the right analog stick for something other than camera control. Games in which the right analog controls the character, the so-called. twin stick shooters or rhythmic titles, the Steam Controller simply acts unnatural. It fades that sense of limitation on the analog stick because the touchpad can not rotate in a circle to feel where its edges are.

    Because of this, a haptic technology is inserted, with your thumb feeling mild touch-up vibration - all the more you move away from the center of it. But this solution is not a real answer, and many will be more frustrated than using it. The thing is, Hearing vibration is loud, even when you lower it to the lowest level.

    Vibration through HID technology is loud, not as ordinary vibration but as a crash under the touchpad.

    It's not a classic vibration sound, but closer to some kind of scolding that interferes with you during play. Unfortunately, you can be so loud to hear it and when you hold the earphones in your ears. Loud and "clickable" parts of the touchpad. This is especially the case for the left, which simulates the d-pad keys. The feel of the click is otherwise quite good, but the volume is closer to the mechanical keystroke than clicking the mouse.


    Ignore large round touchpads, the Steam Controller is essentially a controller like every other. There is an analog stick here, thanks to six available keys on the front, two buttons and two triggers on the top, and some new - two backlit keys. Analog stick is a bit smaller than on other controllers, but it is of excellent quality. Like on the Xbox One Controller, the edge is covered with a mesh rubber so I did not experience any slip of the finger at the edge, which is often the case with the DualShock 4 controller.

    The well-known XYAB keys are also at least 20% less than usual, which is awkward for games that you are looking for to use them in combinations. Tabacons or action games like Devil May Cry do not work best with such keys. After all, the keys are incredibly climatic and you can move them with your finger. This, of course, is no additional control option than just a poor quality of workmanship that contributes to the volume of the controller. You just have to cross your finger over the keys and you can hear how climate is.

    The upper L1 / LB-R1 / RB buttons are positioned in a curved forward position. It is not that your jug is stiffening of that, but you certainly did not get used to it. They do not even want them to do anything that they do not have a walk but just a click, in line with Xbox controllers. If you have not been paying attention to the volume of the controller, you know, after these keys, that this is a pretty loud controller. And Xbox controllers have a click on these buttons but this Steam is twice as loud about that.

    Triggers have a relatively short stance that does not give the true sense of control in racing games. They are not sensitive to those on DualShock 4, but at the end of the press they have click - heard, not how many other keys, but they still hear. However, the click is not meaningless so you can use it as an extra control. For example, you can set a separate action when the trigger is pressed down to the end and separate while you press it.

    The novelty of the Steam Controller is the two buttons on the back that are pressed with a ring and a small finger. The idea behind the introduction of these keys is to release the right thumb that you control on the touchpad and squeeze the XYAB keys. The thumb job on these two fronts is a problem with games that you need to manage your camera and use one of the keys to interact with the environment. The backspouts are therefore an excellent concept that I hope will become part of future gamepads from Sony and Microsoft. However, it should be said that these keys have the right purpose only when pressed - with the inevitable click; while holding them creates a strain on your hands, as if holding a gamepad firmly in fear to get you down.


    The Steam Controller is quite robust. It also has a DualShock and Xbox controller, and its shape is unusually oblong. While on other controllers, the thumb never bends more than 45%, the Steam Controller for the lower d and the lower edge of the right touchpad's thumb are bent at right angles, which is definitely enough to get used to.

    If you try to avoid bending so that you catch the controller a bit lower, then you face the problem of not lying best in your hands. This is not the case either when you put it in the position that best suits your palm, because then your thumb goes out of touchpad. Maybe it helps if you have less hands, but it even goes deeper if you are bigger, since my closer to a smaller group, and I still do not have the pleasure of holding controllers.

    I personally miss the feedback of the controller as a vibration. Haptic vibration does this work only partially. Vibrating on the touchpad does not give feedback about what is happening in the game, and vibration associated with the left analog stick is a nice thing but can not replace the classic rumble function. It is therefore strange to play racing games with a controller that does not have any feedback on the vehicle contact in the game.


    The controller is primarily wireless, although it can also be connected via a USB cable (not included in the package). As a wireless controller it works flawlessly - the signal range is excellent and battery life is excellent. The controller works even at a distance of five meters, does not notice any interference or when other objects are between it and the USB port. You do not even need to keep the controller in the direction of the computer. Two AA batteries are used, durability depends on them, but Duracells arriving in the bundle with the controller last for more than fifty hours of playing.

    Although the controller can not be physically adjusted, it is possible to do software with it wherever you fall into the mind.

    Although the controller can not be physically adjusted, it is possible to do software with it wherever you fall into the mind. From the aforementioned options of defining acceleration, through gyroscopic controls, autofire and the like, the Steam Controller is a paradise for those who like to spin on options. You can save all of these settings, and if you do not agree on the scheme, you have official and user settings. Officials agree with developers themselves, but they are only available for current, not older games.

    For a common user, so many adjustments may still be too much, since first you have to get familiar with game controls to figure out how a gamepad control scheme works and whether it is at his own liking. Although with little effort each game can be adjusted to be perfectly played by this controller, many players could spend more time spinning in control rather than enjoying the game itself.

    The stumbling block is that the controller works exclusively in the Big Picture mode of Steam. Those who have already used this mode know that it is not practical for multitasking and is confusing for some basic actions. For example, I could not find the option of adding games that are not on Steam. I am convinced that this option must also exist in Big Picture mode, but I have never been able to find it. To somebody who does not even know that such an option exists, gaming over the Steam Controller is even more difficult. Namely, this controller works only with games you run from Steam. Only then will you get the option to define the controls, but in some games it does not work. In others, you have to deal with self-control because some games do not support the controller and the mouse in combination.


    Almost paradoxically, the Steam Controller is good for games that are not good for the controller. These are strategic titles, management and tycoon games, MOBA titles, isometric hack'n'slash RPGs, PNC adventures and so on. It is also available for some less demanding MMO games, and is well-held in first and third-person shootings. Of course, it's not better than using your mouse and keyboard, but if you want to swim to the other end of the room and enjoy such games, then it's a solid alternative.

    The controller was definitely not created for taboos and sports simulations. Racing games can be played, but because of triggers they are not particularly enjoyable. Genre Action Adventure is also a questionable experience with this controller because its keys are not big enough and soft to allow quick action to be taken.


    The Steam Controller is currently only used by small niche players who are loyal to the PC platform and its specific genres, but at the same time would like to have the convenience of the console. For what this controller does best, there was never really a big interest. After all, with other controllers, with little help, you can emulate your mouse and keyboard using programs like JoyToKey or AntiMicro.

    Still, Valve decided to try something new, and it should be appreciated. Especially since in some respects, like the back buttons, the Steam Controller made a useful shift. The only question is whether you need a controller that is not best rounded when you can use better gamepads on the console on your PC. And those you do not need so much time to get used to.

    Rate this article Steam Controller hardware review

    (4.27/5) 15 rates


    This was really useful. Thanks!

    30 may 2020 21:08

    not bad

    7 december 2018 20:34

    Good one, wanted to know the steam controller difference with other ones

    7 december 2018 05:49

    I'd say it should work for some people, so I guess it passes

    7 december 2018 19:28

    this is the first time im seening about this product, not really into it but it might suit you

    10 december 2018 00:27

    Could actually be useful for some people. Good work!

    6 december 2018 17:22

    this article is "ok" Needs some work but its ok

    17 december 2018 07:52

    have xbox one and steam controllers , for me xbox better but sometimes use this one to, most in strategies

    13 july 2020 22:33

    Well presented nicely organized
    The topic is a bit irrelevant but in the domain

    6 december 2018 20:56

    "The stumbling block is that the controller works exclusively in the Big Picture mode" - this is a lie. The author does not seem to know the product first hand and just used info he found online, because this was a REALLY OLD misconception about Steam Controllers.

    7 december 2018 14:58