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The Steam Controller Guide Explains how To Connect and Use an External Controller with Steam Deck!

How to Use External Controllers on Steam Deck

The Steam Deck bridges the gap between portable and desktop systems, offering full compatibility with standard gaming peripherals and the ability to pair with additional controllers wirelessly or via USB and Bluetooth.

You can bring your whole Steam library with you everywhere you go with the Steam Deck. Valve put in a tonne of time and effort, and the result is fantastic seamlessness with the core Steam experience.

The system has nearly all of the features of the PC software.

Steam Deck Operation Tutorial

Although the Steam Deck’s built-in controls are extensively modifiable, they aren’t necessarily designed with comfort in mind. There are, thankfully, alternate routes to take.

The Steam Deck supports both wired and wireless controllers, and numerous controllers may be connected at once so that friends can play couch co-op together.

The Steam Deck Supports Both Wired and Wireless Controllers:

Wired: A wired USB connection is required for this method. Any USB-C hub or dock will allow your Steam Deck to identify any compatible controller when plugged in.

Wireless Controllers: To use this approach wirelessly with your Steam Deck, you’ll need a Bluetooth controller that’s compatible with the device. Xbox controllers, PlayStation controllers, and Nintendo Switch controllers are all viable alternatives.

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Which gamepads work with Steam Deck?

Many different kinds of controllers are supported by SteamOS, and compatibility may be fine-tuned by adjusting a number of settings. The following controllers have been verified to work with Steam Deck:

  1. Manage Steam Device
  2. DualShock 4 for PlayStation
  3. DualShock 5 with Surround Sound
  4. Gamepad for Xbox 360
  5. Handheld gamepad for the Xbox One
  6. Controller for Xbox 360, Series X/S
  7. A gamepad or other XInput controller in general
  8. Gamepads that use DirectInput

Although not officially supported by SteamOS, Valve claims that various input devices may still function. In light of the possibility that your preferred pad is compatible with the mobile workstation, giving it a try is likely a good idea.

Tips for playing Steam Deck with an Xbox controller

It can be difficult to pair a Bluetooth device, but SteamOS makes it a breeze.

The following instructions should feel familiar if you’ve ever used Windows 11 without an Xbox Wireless Adapter to pair a wireless Xbox controller.

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Find Bluetooth in Steam Deck’s Menu of Settings.

To pair the controller, first, turn on Bluetooth and then press and hold the pairing button.

While watching the screen, look for your controller and press the A button to pair.

Bear in mind that the original Xbox One controller isn’t Bluetooth compatible, so don’t go out and buy one just so you can use it with the Steam Deck.

Since Valve’s method is so similar, you shouldn’t have to spend too much time customizing the pad’s layout, either.

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