Valve Reports Surge in Steam Controller Usage with Xbox Controllers Leading the Way

Valve has released a new report highlighting a significant increase in the use of controllers among Steam users. Since 2018, the average daily usage of controllers has tripled, rising from 5% to 15%. This trend shows a clear shift from traditional mouse and keyboard setups to more console-like gaming experiences.

Xbox Controllers Dominate

According to the report, 59% of all controller sessions on Steam are conducted using Xbox controllers. This includes various generations, from the classic Xbox 360 model to the latest Xbox Series X|S controllers. The plug-and-play nature and ergonomic design of these controllers have likely contributed to their popularity.

PlayStation controllers account for 26% of the usage, and Valve’s own Steam Deck is used in 10% of controller sessions. The remaining 5% consists of a mix of third-party and other brand controllers, including the Nintendo Switch Pro controller.

Steam Input Adoption

Valve notes that 46% of these controller sessions utilize Steam Input, a service designed to enhance controller compatibility and functionality. Despite its convenience, this figure suggests that a significant number of users still rely on third-party tools for their controller needs. Recent updates to Steam Input have introduced features like improved gyro aiming, virtual menus, and enhanced support for various PlayStation and Xbox controllers.

Recent Enhancements and Future Plans

Valve has been actively improving controller support, including the introduction of a new controller configurator and support for the Japanese HORIPAD controller. The company has also collaborated with Sony to enhance support for PlayStation controllers, ensuring compatibility with new third-party licensed gamepads.

The release of the Steam Deck in 2022 marked a significant step in Valve’s efforts to cater to controller users. Although the Steam Controller, launched in 2015, was discontinued after a few years, Valve has hinted at revisiting the concept in the future.

With the ongoing enhancements and the increasing trend of using controllers on Steam, it will be interesting to see how this impacts the future of PC gaming. Will the mouse and keyboard setup eventually become a niche preference, or will it continue to coexist with the growing popularity of controllers?