Playstation Tech News

Steam Input API Adds PS5 Controller Support

Thanks to our most recent Steam client update, all games currently using the Steam Input API are now fully compatible with the new PS5 controller – with no developer updates required, it just works.

Full support for the LED, trackpad, rumble and gyro features are available for players to configure in games such as Death Stranding, No Man’s Sky, Horizon: Zero Dawn and more. This support is now available for players opted into the public beta Steam desktop client with platform wide support targeted to ship after further testing.


What is Steam Input API?

Here is an introduction to the Steam Input API for game developers:

In short, Steam Input API offer gamers a significantly enhanced experience with a limited developer investment. These include:

  • Seamless player experience with correct glyphs for all devices, including any remapping.
  • Support for advanced features such as motion controls, trackpads, additional buttons.
  • Updates just work. Without any additional work required of the developer, when new features and/or devices are added to the API, they will “just work” with these titles.

The PS5 controller joins over 200 input devices supported by the API, including PS4 controller, Switch Pro controller, fight sticks, race wheels, dance pads, and just about any other controller imaginable.

Do people really play PC games with controllers?

In the past two years, the number of daily average users playing a Steam game with a controller has more than doubled, with millions enjoying the growing catalog of controller-friendly titles everyday. In controller friendly games, the percentage of players for that game that use a controller can easily be 60% or higher. Some games, such as skateboarding games, have well over 90% of their players using controllers in game. The growth in controller usage has been even higher among players using PlayStation controllers, which has grown in the past two years from 10.9% of controller play sessions to 21.6% of all controller sessions across Steam.

What does this mean for you as a game developer?

If you are already using the Steam Input API in your game, you don’t have to do anything further to enable this support.

If you aren’t using the Steam Input API and have a game on Steam with some form of controller support, you can check and make sure that Steam Gamepad Emulation is enabled for PlayStation controllers by default (learn more about Steam Gamepad Emulation here).

Steam Gamepad Emulation is a Steam service that allows players to immediately configure a PS5 (and other controllers) to function in that game and can map the controller’s basic buttons to actions in the game. The level of customization and quality of experience provided to the player is limited in this mode, but it can be useful for older games that are no longer supported with development teams, as it can be enabled without any code changes.

We still recommend making use of the Steam Input API for a full integration, as it provides the best default experience for players with just about any kind of controller you can imagine.

Information on how to add the Steam Input API to your title is here:

Information on how to enter the Steam Client Beta is located here:


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Eddie Chim

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