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Daily average controller use on Steam has tripled since 2018

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Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

June 26, 2024

1 Min Read
Screenshot of the purple-blue Xbox Stellar Shift controller.
Image via Xbox.

Valve has shared a few choice stats to highlight how players interact with games on Steam, and controllers are becoming increasingly popular on the PC platform 

Since 2018, daily average controller usage has tripled–rising from 5 percent (of users) to 15 percent. 

59 percent of those players are using Xbox gamepads, while 26 percent are choosing PlayStation controllers. 10 percent play on Valve's own handheld console, Steam Deck. 

"More players than ever are choosing to play Steam games with a controller," Valve noted. It added that its Steam Input service (which functions as an emulator for game controllers) was used for 42 percent of controller sessions.

Last year, Valve let developers highlight which PlayStation controllers their games support (between DualShock and DualSense). The feature reflected PlayStation's growing PC presence, which had grown to 27 percent from 11 percent in 2018.

Both PlayStation and Xbox have been adding their exclusives to Steam, often with a recommendation that a controller be used in place of mouse and keyboard. Some types of games (like Helldivers 2 or Starfield) may necessitate a controller.

In the years since controller support was implemented, Valve has added new features and support for over 300 gamepads–including those made by Xbox and PlayStation.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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