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Steam beta adds support for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Switch Pro Controller
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Steam already gives you several options when it comes to game controllers, including Xbox and PlayStation gamepads, but if you have your heart set on using Nintendo’s Switch Pro Controller, instead, it’s your lucky day.

If you have opted into the Steam client beta, you now have the ability to enable Switch Pro Controller support in the “controller settings” section of Steam. Additionally, if you prefer to keep the swapped-button layout of the Switch controller instead of the format used by the Xbox and other generic gamepads, there is a “use Nintendo button layout” option on this page.

Once this is done, all you have to do is connect your Pro Controller to your PC. Register it to your account, and you can also calibrate its internal gyro sensor in order to make it more accurate for PC games. You can fully remap the buttons based on the games you play, and preset configurations designed by the community are available as well.

“We think [the controller] is a great device with a great feature set that pairs nicely with your Steam catalog,” the Steam controller team said in an update post. “The d-pad is ideal for fighting games and platformers and your gyro enhances aim in your action [and] first-person shooter titles.”

The d-pad is certainly more reliable than the one on the Xbox One, which can be a little imprecise to handle the delicate movements needed in fighting games, and the subtle motion controls seen in games like Splatoon 2 could be great enhancements to PC games. The controller’s “triggers,” however, are much less springy than those on either the Xbox One controller or the PlayStation 4 controller, making it a less-than-ideal choice for shooters.

If you don’t have a Nintendo Switch, the Pro Controller probably isn’t the best choice for your PC games. Its $70 price tag is higher than its competitors, and though its battery lasts longer than the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4, it can’t hold a candle to the Xbox One. If you don’t like any of them, you can always try the Steam Controller, which makes use of trackpads in addition to an analog stick.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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