A new Steam client beta update from Valve adds Steam Joy-Con support for the Nintendo Switch controllers, meaning that they are now officially supported as a way to play your PC games. This addition rounds out the list of supported Switch pads, which includes the Switch Pro controller and Nintendo’s range of classic style controllers.
The Steam client beta update for August 5 introduces official support for the small, paired controllers which are the mainstay for the Nintendo Switch console. Much like with the Switch itself, you can use the controllers individually – where they will be treated as a mini-gamepad – or pair them together to enable the functionality of a full-size controller.
While the Switch Joy-Con may not be most people’s optimal way to play, they do offer some rather useful functionality. For example, instead of a traditional cross-shaped directional pad on the left, the Joy-Con features four distinct buttons much like those of the “face buttons” typically found on the right side of a controller. These separated buttons can come in handy for games that require tight directional precision, especially in classic titles such as Tetris or Pac-Man where an accidental wrong directional input can spell disaster.
This update also improves Valve’s support for the Nintendo Online classic controller range, which was officially implemented in Steam. This range of controllers, which includes models based on the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, and Mega Drive pads, require you to be a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber to purchase – but if you have one, you can now use it through Steam.
Currently, the update is part of the Steam client beta – to opt into this and test out the newest features ahead of their official release, including the Joy-Con controller support, you’ll want to go to Steam’s settings menu. There, click on the ‘account’ tab and then click ‘Change…’ next to ‘Beta Participation’ and select the ‘Steam Beta Update’ option. You’ll have to restart your Steam client to finish the process.
If you prefer using an Xbox or PlayStation controller, you might want to take advantage of the Steam controller lighting options offered for both. The Steam Survival Fest is running throughout the first week of August, with discounts on a range of games including several of the best survival games on PC. New legislation on the platform is changing the way developers are allowed to present their games, with new restrictions to Steam game art on the storefront.