Contrasting "traditional gamepads," Valve's peripheral uses two trackpads, rather than the dual-analog setup common to consoles. Balancing the lack of physical sticks, Valve's controller uses haptic feedback, "allowing precise control over frequency, amplitude, and direction of movement."
The controller additionally features a touch-enabled surface with a high-resolution screen. The screen can also be clicked as a button. When a player taps the touch screen, its display overlays on top of the game itself, eliminating the need to look down at the controller during gameplay. According to Valve, "The screen allows an infinite number of discrete actions to be made available to the player, without requiring an infinite number of physical buttons."