The Steam Beta client is the only version providing full support for the Steam Controller right now, so if you have one of these, it’s important to upgrade as soon as possible. Each new update for the client had some sort of improvements for the controller, so it looks like the developers are focusing a lot on this piece of hardware.
Despite all of these upgrades for the Steam Controller, the gaming device is ready to be used right now. All the basic functions are present and working almost perfectly, but the Steam developers are working to extend the support for other games outside of the distribution platform.
The Steam Controller is a controller just in Steam
If you take a look at how the system sees the controller, you’ll notice that it’s actually similar to a mouse and keyboard. This means that if you try to use the Steam Controller in a game that’s not running through Steam, you’re going to have a bad time.
Fortunately, the Steam client allows users to add non-Steam games so that they can be started from the library. It’s a compromise, but it also allows for the use of the controller, in a few restricted scenarios for now.
“Added better support for non-Steam games and applications that cannot use the Steam Overlay such as browsers, command line tools, emulators, etc.. While these applications won’t currently support some functions such as touchmenus, xinput, and controller HUD functionality, these applications will now be better detected and use their Non-Steam Game configuration when in focus,” reads the entry in the changelog.
Developers have also corrected the deadzone for the controller, the gyro feature has been refined, shortcuts for non-Steam games will also try to use the designated configurations, and various other fixes have been implemented as well.
All of these Steam Beta updates will be gathered in a single stable release, which should arrive very soon.