Valve’s new Steam client beta update adds Steam Joy-Con support for Nintendo Switch controllers, meaning they’re now officially supported as a way to play PC games. This addition completes the list of supported Switch pads, which includes the Switch Pro controller and Nintendo’s line of classic-style controllers.
This Steam Client Beta Update Official support for the small paired controller that serves as the backbone of the Nintendo Switch console rolled out on August 5. Much like the Switch itself, you can use the controllers individually — they’ll be considered mini gamepads — or pair them together to enable the full-size controller’s capabilities.
While Switch Joy-Cons may not be the best way to play games for most people, they do offer some pretty useful features. For example, instead of the traditional cross-shaped directional pad on the left, the Joy-Con has four different buttons, much like the “face buttons” on the right side of the controller. These separated buttons are useful for games that require strict directional precision, especially in classic games like Tetris or Pac-Man, where accidental wrong directional input can spell disaster.
This update also improves Valve’s support for the Nintendo Online Classic Controller family, which is officially implemented in Steam. This range of controllers, including models based on the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64 and Mega Drive pads, requires you to be a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber to purchase – but if you have one, you can use it right now through Steam.
Currently, the update is part of the Steam client beta – to opt in and test out the latest features, including support for the Joy-Con controller, before its official release, you’ll need to head to Steam’s settings menu. There, click the Account tab, then click Change… next to Beta Participation and select the Steam Beta Update option. You must restart the Steam client to complete the process.
If you prefer to use an Xbox or PlayStation controller, you may want to take advantage of the Steam Controller lighting options available for both. Steam Survival Fest will take place in the first week of August, with discounts on a range of games including some of the best survival games on PC. New regulations on the platform are changing the way developers are allowed to showcase their games and put new restrictions on Steam game art on storefronts.