If you buy a Steam Controller right now, you need to install that Steam Beta client in order to get the best experience possible. In fact, the controller doesn’t even work as it should with the regular release, so the “need” part is pretty important. Only Valve knows why all of these improvements that have been made to the Steam Beta client don’t land in the Stable branch, but we’ll have to just accept that.
The Steam Controller also needs firmware upgrades and these are delivered only with the help of the Steam Beta client. Moreover, the new client brings a couple of fixes for SteamOS, which is an interesting fact in itself.
What’s new in the Steam Client Beta update
According to the changelog posted by Valve, an issue in the previous Beta Update which caused some games to freeze on the server browser screen has been fixed, the client is no longer requesting nonexistent large avatars for official game groups, the Web Browser navigation when using a Steam Controller in Big Picture Mode has been refined, a dead zone issue when a trackpad was used in Mouse mode has been fixed, the Steam Button is now launching Big Picture when Steam is focused, and time tracking has been improved.
Also, a crash that occurred on exit in some games on the Linux platform, the “Restart System” is no longer erroneously applying pending updates without the user being prompted for a new update, and Bluetooth settings button is no longer showing up on Steam even if the system isn’t Bluetooth-capable.
In order to get the new update, users will have to participate in the Beta from the Preferences menu.