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In preparation for the upcoming Steam Link app release, the Steam Beta Client has been updated with support for the Steam Controller using a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) mode.

Firstly, here's the changelog for the beta client:

Steam Input

  • Enabled the Steam Controller BLE FW Update, for more information visit here.
  • Added support for the NACON Revolution Pro 2 PS4 controller
  • Added support for the PowerA Wired Controller Plus Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
  • Improved software gyro drift correction

Diving into more detail in another post, Valve explained the new Steam Controller functionality. It's interesting, because it won't just enable the Steam Controller to link up with Android and iOS devices for the Steam Link app that's coming. It will also allow you to link it to say, a laptop, where perhaps you have no USB ports free for the wireless receiver or if you've broken/lost it.

It does require a firmware update for the Steam Controller, which is a simple process. When you load the Steam client from the latest Beta, it will come up with a prompt with a button to update when you turn your Steam Controller on. Warning: You will need to pair your Steam Controller again as this wipes it.

I tested it myself this afternoon and it will come up exactly like this:

It will then bring up a much bigger window, that will warn you about it needing to be done over a wired connection:

The process is a little dumb right now, as soon as I plugged the wire into my Steam Controller that window just vanished. Thankfully, Valve have thought about that and so there's this page which includes a link to force the update.

I had quite a lot of trouble getting my Steam Controller paired again after this, since it wipes it. If you also have the same issue, try unplugging the wireless dongle and then plugging it back in. Then re-try pairing, which made it work for me. And now here we are, all updated:

Once done, you can switch between the modes easily when turning the Steam Controller on. Simply hold down the Steam Button + A for the normal wireless mode and Steam Button + B for BLE mode.

Going a little further, I decided to test out this BLE mode on my laptop. Sure enough, it works! Paired okay after a few attempts of turning Bluetooth off/on:

 

It connects fine and with the Steam Client loaded and having the correct udev rules in place (see Valve's GitHub for them) it did seem to work:

Switching it between modes to test between my desktop and my laptop worked perfectly too. Connection on both was instant. Seems like this is going to make the Steam Controller quite a lot more useful. Good stuff from Valve here, really nice to see them continue to improve their hardware.

Thanks for the tip, pepster!

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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42 comments
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malah 12 May, 2018
Huge ... I always forgot this useless dongle when I travel ...
etam 12 May, 2018
Nice!
chimpy 12 May, 2018
So I guess we'll finally have steam controller + Android working. I'm assuming you'll need the upcoming Android steam app for it to work on Android though :/
aldy 12 May, 2018
Nice update but I'm still waiting for the experimental rumble support on linux.
buckysrevenge 12 May, 2018
So, to clarify, do we need to press the steam button AND A (or B) every time we turn on the controller, or just when wanting to switch modes?
Liam Dawe 12 May, 2018
Quoting: buckysrevengeSo, to clarify, do we need to press the steam button AND A (or B) every time we turn on the controller, or just when wanting to switch modes?
As mentioned in the article, that's for switching the mode, which you do while turning it on.
Liam Dawe 12 May, 2018
Quoting: PatolaDoes it in any way disturbs sc-controller from working? sc-controller is much less bug-ridden than the steam driver and it is much more powerful too. I mostly use it for my steam games instead of steam native support.
It shouldn't get in the way at all, as long the Steam Controller is connected in the normal mode.
Liam Dawe 12 May, 2018
Quoting: Patola
Quoting: liamdawe
Quoting: PatolaDoes it in any way disturbs sc-controller from working? sc-controller is much less bug-ridden than the steam driver and it is much more powerful too. I mostly use it for my steam games instead of steam native support.
It shouldn't get in the way at all, as long the Steam Controller is connected in the normal mode.
Agreed: it shouldn't. But I guess it could. I prefer losing all my steam controller configuration on steam than in sc-controller (and I customize it for every game, no less). So if anyone has tested sc-controller after the firmware update, please let me know!!!
I just tested, works as expected with SC Controller.

Edit: To be clear, that's in normal mode :)


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 12 May 2018 at 3:49 pm UTC
M@GOid 12 May, 2018
The disadvantage of using a Bluetooth controller on a desktop/laptop is that if you reboot to a different OS (other distro or Windows), you need to pair again the controller. USB dongle based controllers do not have this problem.
nox 12 May, 2018
A little issue I've encountered: Pairing with the dongle with a code that contains A doesn't work, it flat out cancels the pairing.

So, keep trying until you get a code without A in it.
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