Steam beta gains initial DualSense + Series X controller support, more robust support to come

Steam is the go-to client for PC gamers worldwide, and while many use keyboard and mouse exclusively, some titles just are better with a controller. Well, the latest Steam beta release packs support for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 DualSense controllers, but what all is supported right now and what type of experience can you expect? Keep reading to find out.

While Series X has full support, DualSense is a ways off still

The biggest thing here is that this is initial support, not full support. While the Xbox Series X controller is fairly similar to previous generations, mostly mixing a few Elite features in and adding a share button, the DualSense option from Sony is a completely new offering. There’s never been anything quite like the DualSense controller, and that means full support could take a while to come.

Right now, Steam beta only has rudimentary support for the DualSense controller, mostly meaning it’ll function like a previous-generation PlayStation 4 DualShock controller, and not the latest-generation DualSense. Notably, according to the release notes, “advanced features such as rumble, trackpad, and gyro are not yet supported.” Sadly, that means that the special trigger feedback level isn’t supported yet, but honestly, that’s not a huge deal right now.

While DualSense isn’t fully supported, it’ll be a while before PC games are ready to take advantage of it

The thing you have to remember is: PC games aren’t built with next-generation consoles in mind at all times. Sure, some games like Black Ops Cold Ware are built around all platforms at once, and are already optimized for DualSense, but most titles aren’t yet. Sony is the only company offering anything resembling the technology, so games have to be specifically targeted in order to take advantage of the controller’s unique features.

Because of this, most PC games just aren’t ready to utilize the advanced features of the DualSense controller yet. And, that’s okay. We’re still a ways off from having full support in Steam, and by the time that arrives, hopefully games will be ready to offer support for Sony’s latest controller natively.

How to sign up for Steam beta

If you’re ready to take full advantage of your Series X controller, or initial support for DualSense, then you’ll have to install Steam beta. That’s pretty simple, but do keep in mind that this is beta software, so bugs and hiccups are to be expected. If you just want an “it just works” experience, then your best bet is to stay away from beta and wait until support comes to the official release, which is likely to be in a few weeks or months.

Are you someone who likes to run beta software? I know I am, and installing Steam beta is pretty straightforward. Just head on over to this landing page for full instructions, but in reality, it’s nice and simple to opt into Steam betas. Essentially, just go to “Steam -> Settings” in your current Steam client. From there, you’ll see a “Beta participation” section if there are any betas currently available to you. By default, of course, you’re opted out of all programs. However, you can click “Change” and then choose which program you want to join…We recommend the Steam Client Candidate version if you’re wanting to trial the controller support mentioned above.

Opting out is just as simple. Just head back to “Steam -> Settings” and then choose the “Change” button under “Beta participation.” Click the dropdown menu again, and switch it from “Steam Client Candidate” to “NONE,” Steam will restart, and you’ll be back on the stable version of your favorite gaming client.

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