In brief: Steam includes a new beta patch that supports the Nintendo Switch’s original Joy-Con gamepads. The feature comes only a week after Valve added compatibility for Switch Online classic controllers. The business has gradually brought various controllers onboard through the years, and the list will probably keep growing.
This week’s Steam client beta adds support for Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers. The launcher is now able to recognize the dual gamepads as separate mini-controllers or paired as an individual controller. The update gives users more control options, rendering it valuable when playing local co-op games on PC.
The other day, Steam gained support for the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and Nintendo 64 controllers that Nintendo released within its Nintendo Switch Online service for playing classic games. The most recent Steam patch also contains unspecified improvements for all those controllers. Switch Pro controller support came in 2018. So now Steam supports almost every Nintendo controller.
To change between Steam’s beta and main branches, open the Steam client and check out Steam > Settings > Account. Look under “Steam Beta Update” and click “change,” that may open a dropdown menu containing beta options.
A notable feature of Steam’s Nintendo controller support may be the capability to automatically swap Nintendo button assignments to pay for the differences between Nintendo’s preferred button layout and Microsoft’s standard PC controller setup. So now, Xbox button prompts in PC games will correctly match the alternate positions of these buttons on Nintendo controllers.
Valve’s service added PlayStation 5 DualSense support in 2020. That patch included the controller’s indicator LEDs, rumble, trackpad, and gyro features. Since that time, the set of PC games using DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers has gradually grown, though they might need a wired connection. The Joy-Cons were the final official controllers from the console manufacturer that Steam didn’t officially recognize.
Nintendo’s Joy-Cons will gain native compatibility with Apple devices this fall when Apple’s iOS 16 launches. The beta already supports the controllers both individually and in pairs, potentially opening the entranceway for Backbone-like iPhone attachments utilizing them. Recent patents suggest Apple is focusing on a gamepad. Should they pan out, Valve will probably add Steam support for this aswell.