One of the conveniences of playing games through Steam is the app’s built-in controller support. The client automatically recognises dozens of controllers when you connect them to your PC, and more are added all the time — including the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Elite controllers. Steam even supports the Series X’s dynamic trigger rumble feature and the Xbox Elite’s extra buttons and paddles.
Unlike some input devices, you’ll need to configure a few settings before you can use your new Xbox controllers to play through your giant Steam library. First, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Elite controllers only work if you’re running the latest Steam app beta. Full support should roll out to the stable version soon, but if you want to use them immediately, you have to opt into the Steam beta:
- Open Steam.
- Go to Steam > Settings > Account.
- Click “Change” under the Beta participation section.
- Select “Steam Beta Update” from the drop-down menu.
- Click “OK,” then reboot and update Steam.
Next, you’ll need to connect the controller to your PC. You can do this by plugging it in via USB or via Bluetooth:
- Press the Xbox button to turn on the controller.
- Hold the “Pair” button down for three seconds to put the controller into pairing mode. The Xbox button will start flashing.
- On your PC, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.
- Make sure Bluetooth is turned on, then click “Add Bluetooth or other device.”
- Select your Xbox controller from the list of available devices.
- Wait for your PC to set up the controller and download any necessary drivers.
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With Steam updated, the controller connected, and drivers installed, you should now see your Xbox controller listed in Steam’s connected devices. But before you start playing, turn on Steam’s Big Picture mode, then go to Settings > Controller settings and make sure “Xbox Configuration Support” is toggled on so you can customise your controller’s button layout, and use features like the Series X controller’s trigger rumble.