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Valve Steam Controller

Valve Steam Controller

from  $73.99+
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84 Engadget Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
84

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

The Steam Controller is an innovative, powerful evolution in gamepad design, but it's not very intuitive. Expect to struggle through an arduous learning curve to master its combination of touchpads, gyro sensors and new grips. It won't be easy, but if you put in the time, it's worth it.

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Pros
  • Innovative touchpads enable gamepad control experiences for mouse-heavy games
  • Customizable software allows controller to emulate, keyboard, mouse, gamepad and more
  • Community profiles make it easy to find a default controller configuration that works for you
Cons
  • Steep learning curve
  • Face buttons are a little small
  • Hard to use with non-Steam games
84 Engadget Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
84

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

84
 

User Reviews

90
John
A lot of people have knocked this. I get it. It will take some time to adjust....read more
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Score Breakdown

 
64
Average Critic Score
Product Review
Engadget
But there's no getting past it: Using a gamepad with two clickable touchpads feels weird as a stand-in for a traditional gamepad. And it takes some serious adjustment. It requires a lighter touch, for one, as the Steam Controller's dual pads are plenty sensitive.
Product Review
IGN
Looking ahead, Valve is confident that players will like the controller, but the team is willing to admit that players will have to learn to adjust.
Product Review
Wired
The trackpads are bent inwards and the handles curve up so that only the dead centers of your thumbs make contact with the pads, leading to greater accuracy.
Product Review
The Verge
I tried Portal 2, Trine 2, and Metro: Last Light using the controller, and I must admit the controls weren't immediately intuitive. Pressing buttons on the back of the controller to jump, for instance, felt pretty unnatural after spending decades using my thumbs.
Product Review
Maximum PC
Again, I’m admittedly an anti-console gamer. I can’t nor have I ever wanted to play games with a console controller because it’s mouse and keyboard or nothing at all for me. The Steam Controller, however, is the closest I’ve ever come to being mildly satisfied with a console controller.
Product Review
Kotaku
It's familiar enough to be accessible (I believe they tried less conventional designs before they went with a form factor similar to existing gamepads), but much more precise for (say) anything WASD+mouselook.
Product Review
Time
Notice how precisely and quickly he’s able to turn and stop precisely when finessing the view, acing 180-degree turns while jumping and dropping objects right where he wants them or hurling them onto platforms just so.
Product Review
ExtremeTech
Think about using your thumb to draw a bounding box around tiny units in an RTS, or to attempt a deny in Dota 2. On the other side of the gaming spectrum, would you rather play, for example, Rogue Legacy with actual analog sticks, or with thumbs on a trackpad?
Product Review
Forbes
I do love the symmetry and the fact that it’s so customizable and hackable. This is really what makes the entire SteamOS/Steam Machine project interesting. It takes the concept of a console and makes it much more open-ended, much more mod-friendly.
Product Review
TechRadar
Tangling up an AT-AT with my tow cable in Shadows of the Empire was difficult, frustrating at times, but I could sense miles of gaming depth just below the surface. If it catches on it could be a sea change for all gaming, not just on PCs.