Steam Joy-Con Compatibility Completes Nintendo’s Controller Lineup

A new beta update to Valve’s Steam client adds Steam Joy-Con support for Nintendo Switch controllers, meaning they’re now officially supported as a way to play your PC games. This addition rounds out the list of compatible Switch pads, which includes the Switch Pro controller and Nintendo’s range of classic-style controllers.

The Steam client beta update for August 5 introduces official support for the small paired controllers that are the mainstay of the Nintendo Switch console. As with the Switch itself, you can use the controllers individually, where they’ll be treated like a mini-gamepad, or pair them together to enable full-size controller functionality.

While the Switch Joy-Con may not be the optimal way to game for most people, they do offer some pretty useful features. For example, instead of a traditional cross-shaped directional pad on the left, the Joy-Con features four distinct buttons much like the “face buttons” typically found on the right side of a controller. These separate buttons can come in handy for games that require strict directional precision, especially classic titles like Tetris or Pac-Man, where accidental wrong directional input can spell disaster.

This update also improves Valve’s support for Nintendo Online’s range of classic controllers, which has been officially rolled out to Steam. This range of controllers, which includes models based on the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64 and Mega Drive pads, require you to be a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber in order to purchase them, but if you have one you can now use it via Steam.

The update is currently part of the Steam client beta – to opt in and try out the newest features before its official release, including Joy-Con controller support, you’ll want to go to the Steam settings menu. There, click the ‘account’ tab and then click ‘Change…’ next to ‘Beta Participation’ and select the ‘Steam Beta Update’ option. You will need to restart your Steam client to finish the process.

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If you prefer to use an Xbox or PlayStation controller, you may want to take advantage of the Steam controller lighting options offered for both. Steam Survival Fest takes place during the first week of August, with discounts on a variety of games including several of the best survival games on PC. New legislation on the platform is changing the way developers can present their games, with new restrictions on Steam game art on the store.

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