As we have noted many times before, most modern games, even on PCs, are more convenient to play with a gamepad. And we are not just talking about racing simulators and sports games. Gamepads are now a must-have tool for gamers. Valve seems to understand this as well, because the latest Steam update is dedicated to the presentation of gamepads in your library and on the platform in general.
First, Valve has improved the Center for Controller Compatible Games on Steam to make it easier to search by gamepad type. By default, Steam will filter based on the controller you’ve most recently played with, but you can also manually select to filter by any of the major gamepad models.
Secondly, on each page of the store you can now find more detailed information about three controller models with a significant player base: Xbox, DualSense, and DUALSHOCK. In general, the Steam API allows any of the more than 200 modern gamepads to work well with the game.
There’s also a new section for compatibility with controllers in your library, new filtering by device, and a separate gamepad configuration button. The Big Picture mode received the same updates.
Valve explains why they pay such attention to controllers. About 12% of active Steam users regularly use a gamepad. In some games, such players are the majority. For example, in many popular ball sports games, more than 80% of players use a controller, and in many popular complex role-playing games, more than half of them do.
In 2023 (through November), controllers were used in more than three billion gaming sessions:
60% – Xbox controller;
27% – PlayStation models;
Steam Deck, Switch Pro, and hundreds of other models shared the remaining percentage.
In 2019, 990 million sessions with controllers took place over the same period:
76% were Xbox controllers;
19% – PlayStation controllers.
In these four years, the number of sessions with PlayStation controllers has quadrupled.