Steam Controller Review

Steam Controller Review 2023

All-in-all, the Stream Controller is worth the price paid. It offers a long list of benefits that makes Stream Controller a one-of-a-kind gaming peripheral that may revolutionize and improve the way you game. Although, there are a few downsides of the Stream Controller, especially for new gamers; however, it is an ideal substitute for a keyboard and mouse for gaming.

There is no denying the fact that Steam Controller is not a new technology, but it is still a strong contender when gaming controllers come under discussion. 

With the passage of time gamer’s preference is changing, Xbox gamers prefer Xbox One Controller. On the other hand, DualShock4 is becoming a popular choice, primarily because DualShock4 fully supported by Steam.

So, gamers are now questioning the future of the Steam Controller, and whether or not it is a good idea to invest in a Steam Controller in 2023?

Reasons to Buy
  • Innovative touchpads that make most HD games easier to play.
  • Remarkable haptic feedback.
  • Fully customizable software.
  • Ergonomically friendly design.
  • Changeable AA batteries.
  • Compatibility with Mac, Linux, and Windows.
  • Community profiles allow you to find default controller configuration according to your needs.
Reasons Not To Buy
  • The non-steam gaming experience is not satisfactory.
  • Small face buttons.
  • The layout may be too complicated for new users.
  • Battery backup is not essential.
Reviewer Rating

An Overview of the Specs

When Steam Controller was first introduced in 2015, people were astounded by Steam Controller’s design. The dual trackpads, HD haptic feedback, and improved gamepad promise to have higher precision and low-latency that allows better gaming performance.

Steam Controller also offers other amazing features like Analog-stick, Dual-stage triggers, and a tactile switch. Various sensors, including a magnetic flux sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope.

The great thing about Steam Controller is that the controls are completely configurable and you can even select a profile from the community configured profiles. Therefore, you can choose a default controller configuration that better suit your needs. 

Steam Controller is jam-packed with amazing features that allow exceptional precision and control for your favorite single and multiplayer games.

The Steam Controller also supports multiplayer games. You can also operate it wired or a wireless, as Steam Controller supports dual-mode. The best thing is that the Steam Controller supports a far-spread wireless communication range. You can even control your game with your Steam Controller from a 5-meter distance. 

Steam Controller has Removable AA batteries that can be a positive feature. Because AA batteries can provide up to 80hrs gameplay battery life, however, having AA batteries can also be a massive issue. Not all batteries support an 80hr gameplay. It is also not essential that you will always have a backup. 

Steam Controller vs. Mouse + Keyboard

Mouse Keyboard Controller Gaming Illustration

However, the Steam Controller was designed to be a replacement for a mouse and keyboard, while its effectiveness differs depending on the user. Realistically, if you’re already seated at a desk with a mouse and keyboard in front of you, there’s little incentive to make use of the Steam controller.

If you have a Steam box or a living room gaming system, on the other hand, the Steam Controller is extremely useful because you don’t have to find some strange or uncomfortable answer to having a keyboard along with a mouse.

We believe that the Steam controller will be most beneficial to those who want more control over the customization or who have accessibility problems where using thumbs is much simpler than controlling a mouse. Fortunately, it supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which is quite helpful when it comes to usefulness.

That said, it’s not a bad controller; it’s just different, and how much usage you get out of it will vary greatly depending on your requirements. It takes a little more effort to use because it isn’t a conventional controller that’s functional out of the box for most games.

Only you can decide whether or not that is an endeavor you want to pursue.

What to Expect From Steam Controller?

Steam Controller is an innovative device that comes with two clickable high-resolution trackpads along with 13 buttons. These buttons include under the grip, shoulder, and face buttons. 

Steam has innovated the standard controllers by replacing the thumbsticks with innovative gamepads that allow the players to control mouse-heavy games efficiently. 

The Steam Controller is compatible with most Mac, Linux, and Windows games. However, you may struggle with the controls while playing non-Steam games.

The device is innovative, but can you say that it is easy to use, especially for the first-timers? No! Using the Steam Controller is a learning curve. The device does not feel comfortable to hold, and it takes quite a while to get used to the design and learn how to play with the innovation controls and small buttons.

The Big Picture mode allows access to comprehensive features, including trackpad or button mapping. Without the Big Picture mode, your Steam Controller will operate just like a two thumbstick controller. 

Is Steam Controller Worth Your Money?

Is Steam Controller Worth Your Money

It isn’t easy to give a one-word answer to this question. Why? Because different gamers have different experiences. Hence, different opinions about whether or not you should be investing in a Steam Controller.

Several features of Steam Controller convinced us that buying a Steam Controller is a fantastic idea. For TV streaming, Steam Controller can be a much better option as compared to traditional thumbstick gamepads. 

Steam Controller allows you to have freedom from your keyboard. So, if you are tired of connecting so many hardware devices, then you should select Steam Controller. The Wide range of buttons and controls allow easy input without the keyboard.

Initially, you might think that the Steam Controller is a complete waste of money. But hang on, it needs a bit of time to get used to the controls of Steam Controller. 

After learning how to use a Steam Controller, you will realize that Steam Controller performs very well with most of your games on Mac, Linux, and Windows. 

If you are a gamer who is looking for a controller that you can quickly get a hang on after a single-use, then prepare for disappointment. Beware! Stay ready for a learning curve. You will enjoy your gaming experience with Steam Controller after you have become a pro at using Steam Controller.

Steam Controller Review - FAQs

Why Was The Steam Controller Discontinued?

The intention behind the development of the Steam controllers was to revolutionize the couch-playing potential of games you play on the PC, so Valve took a long time making the controllers. Unfortunately, they were not received well by the public; this may be due to bad marketing and advertising. Users weren’t also pleased with the quality of the product. The final nail in the coffin was delivered when Valve ran into copyright infringement issues over the controller’s design.

Valve finally shut down steam controller manufacturing in 2019, and we are yet to see any updates regarding a revamped version of the device.


If you’re like us, you remember when we called this control device a “gamepad,” but that era appears to be over. We now refer to them as consoles, but that’s just another word for gamepads.

They appear in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all have the same essential components: a couple of sticks, triggers, a D-PAD, and start and options buttons. Some have more controls, such as the Xbox One Elite Controller, but they are still fairly typical.

Here shows up the Steam Controller that is unique among the others. Instead of the standard D-PAD and left stick, the Steam controller includes two touch-sensitive surfaces with haptic input.

The right one is typically assigned to control the game view, much like a laptop touchpad.

Playing FPS games or strategies using a controller is no longer difficult or annoying, but that’s the point. The Steam Controller pushes the traditional gamepad paradigm and demonstrates that you can do more if you truly desire.

What were the standout features of the Steam Controller?

The feature that stood out significantly on the Steam controller design was the trackpads that served as an alternative for the keyboard mouse used for gaming. Although the idea was fantastic, the users had difficulty adjusting to the change. However, many hardcore gamers and fans of Steam still appreciate the concept behind the Steam controller, and today, it has become a sought-after device.

Is There A Steam Controller 2 Coming?

For some time, there has been speculation that a Steam controller 2 is under construction. The buzz on the subject was further fueled when the news of Valve patenting a new elite game controller emerged. 

People are eager to learn about the details of this patent, although there are no updates about the release plans. Valve and Steam are yet to announce anything about a new controller, but there are some positive signs that it may be coming soon. 

Where Can We Buy Steam Controllers?

Buying a Steam controller was difficult even when it was launched in 2015; they were hard to come by and in short supply. The device was only available in a handful of countries. Now, in 2023, a few years after they were discontinued, scoring a new Steam controller is almost impossible. 

You can find Steam controllers on sale in offline game stores and Amazon and eBay. Usually, there is a small unsold stock or used. For the most part, Steam controllers are either sold out on major e-commerce websites or have been delisted.

Do We Recommend Steam Controller?

thumbs up

For first-timers, using the Steam Controller can be a bit of a challenge. However, for this very reason, you cannot ignore that comprehensive list of benefits of the Steam Controller. 

Back in 2015, the Steam Controllers were amongst the very few controllers that offered various features and a design that revolutionised and highly improvised the overall gaming experience. Even today, Steam Controllers hold a vital position.

We have our complaints about the design and the complex set of options that Steam Controller offers. We are also not impressed by the fact that although Steam Controller supports Big Picture Mode and other standard games. However, you may have face problems playing non-Steam games.

But does that restrain us from recommending the Steam Controller to you? Well, no! 

Steam Controller is undeniably an exceptional device with some innovative features. Although, using Steam Controller can be a bit of a hassle at first, but we highly recommend Steam Controller to beginner and intermediate level gamers. And also to players who are more open to exploring their options and learning to operate new devices with innovative technology.

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Lucas is an IT student completing his studies in Networking. He worked at Ycombinator as a research analyst. He loves to write about his technology experiences. He also enjoys traveling and captures the best moments with his Canon 5d lens. He is a review specialist at Reviewsed.