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This article is for users who want to be able to play most PC video games with a controller instead of having to use a keyboard and/or mouse.
Most videogames on the PC are designed to be played using a keyboard (usually, WASD controls) and a mouse. However, not everyone is used to using a keyboard to control a game and might even be more comfortable using a console contoller to play. Thankfully, Steam's PC gaming features have a solution for this.
Steam's Controller Settings
For this tutorial, you will need to have the Steam application downloaded onto your PC and have a either USB-compatable controller or a wireless bluetooth controller.
1. Open Steam and go to the Settings section under the Steam tab.
2. Click on the Controller tab and click the General Controller Configuration button.
3. In the Controller Settings window, check the boxes to activate the configuration support for whichever types of controllers you will be using. For example, if you are using an Xbox series controller, check the Xbox Configuration Support box. This will ensure that Steam applies the correct configuration whenever the computer detects the controller.
Also, for users that want to set up a Nintendo Switch controller, there is an option to use the Nintendo button layout as to not confuse yourself when reconfiguring the controls.
4. Finally, you can use this window to make sure that the computer is detecting your connected controllers properly. You can also change the specific settings for each controller and recallibrate them if needed.
Customizing The Controls
Now that Steam recognizes your controller, it's time to start editing your games' controls.
Changing the Key Binds
1. Go to your Steam Library and open the game you wish to play. Locate the in-game control settings and take as many screenshots as necessary of the keyboard controls.
2. Open the Controller Configuration for the game you wish to play.
3. At the bottom of the configurator window, press the Browse Configs button. From here, you will be able to import controller mappings that were already made by several different sources. You can use configurations that you've created for other games, you could experiment with configurations created boy others in the Steam community, or if the game has it available, you could used the recommended configuration created by the developers of the game.
For this tutorial, click on the Templates tab and open the one the template for keyboard and mouse controls. An the bottom of the preview screen, click the Apply Configuration button.
4. Now that we have the right template, we can change the controller settings however we please. For each button on the controller that you want to change, click the symbol corresponding to it to change the key bind. This will allow you to set any button on your controller to be inputted as if you are pressing a certain key on the heyboard. To help stay organized, you can also leave labels that explain what each input will control in-game.
Adjusting the Sensitivity
For games that require some more precise control, you can also adjust the overall sensitivity of your controllers analog sticks. For example, when not using a keyboard and mouse, most games of the first-person shooter genre have the player move around with the left stick and aim with the right stick. Steam refers to this type of input as "Joystick Mouse." To make sure that the analog sticks are as responsive as they need to be, there are plenty of additional settings that can be adjusted when using the "Joystick Mouse" configuration.
Feel free to experiment with these settings to make your gameplay experience as comfortable as possible.
In case anything was unclear, here is a short video demonstrating the customization process.
As you can see, this tutorial only covers the basics of what is offered from Steam's controller settings. Everything explained here is all you will need to know to start playing with your preferred controller, but there are still plenty of options and settings that will allow dedicated players to fine tune their controls and have a better gameplay experience.