Steam Controller Not Working: How To Fix Steam Not Detecting Controller Issue

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If you are looking for a solution to fix the Steam Controller not working issue, then you are in the right place.

Steam is full of its own issues, such as the dreaded Steam slow download speed, but it isn't limited just to the software angle. We understand how frustrating it can be when you try to play your favourite game, and the Steam Controller doesn’t work.

So, while you may be wishing Steam is on Xbox so you can use a console controller on Steam, you might not have to. In most cases, it is just a software glitch and you can fix this issue by yourself. We will guide you through the steps to get your controller working again. Let's get started!

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How To Fix Steam Controller Not Working Issue

Many Steam Controller owners have reported that the controller is not working as intended. The good news is that there are a number of fixes for this issue. Assuming that your controller is in working condition, let's get to business. Here is what you need to do:

Steps To Fix Steam Controller Not Working Issue

  • First off, make sure you have paired your Steam Controller to the desired device. Plug your wireless USB dongle into the desired device, turn off your controller and hold (A) and press the Steam button to select the device.
  • You might also want to check if your Steam Client is up to date. Launch your Steam client and select Steam Check for Steam Client Updates…
  • Next, run the Steam Client in Big Picture Mode. The Steam Controller is designed to be used with Steam’s Big Picture Interface and you can turn it on by clicking the rectangle with two opposing arrows icon in the top right corner of the Steam Client.
  • If the problem persists, try running Steam as administrator. To do that:
    • Navigate to the Steam installation folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\ by default)
    • Right-click on steam.exe
    • Select Run as administrator
  • Also, ensure that the Steam Overlay is enabled. To enable:
    • In Big Picture Mode, select the Settings icon from the top right section of the client.
    • Then, select Steam Overlay under Features.
    • Make sure the Enable the Steam Overlay option is checked.
  • It is worth opting into the Steam Client Beta feature. It will allow users to receive updates and fixes before they are made available through the regular Steam Client. To opt-in:
    • While in Big Picture Mode, select the Settings icon from the top right section of the client.
    • Select the System menu.
    • Check the Participate in Client Beta.
    • Finally, select Check for Updates. If updates are available, they will automatically be downloaded and installed.
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If none of the above fixes the issue, then you will have to contact the Steam support team. They will be able to assist you in getting the controller working.

How To Fix Steam Controller Not Working In Games

Steam Controller Not Working: How To Fix Steam Not Detecting Controller Issue
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Credit: Steam

For some people, the Steam Controller is working on the menu but not in certain games like Elden Ring or Rocket League. If that's the case with you, here are some solutions you can try:

  • Start by trying out the steps listed in the previous section. You can skip the first step since your controller is working on the menu.
  • Once you have tried out all the applicable steps in the above section, try changing the controller override settings to Steam Input. To do that, go to the game's Properties > Controller and set it to Enable Steam Input. Restart the game and see if it fixes the issue.
  • If the problem persists, launch the game, go to the Options menu, and select Steam Controller Settings. Immediately, a tiny window will pop up;  Select Browse Configs and then pick Official Configuration for [name of the game] for your appropriate gamepad (Steam Controller) and click Apply Configuration. Then, restart the game.
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Hopefully, the above solutions will help you fix Steam Controller not working in games. If not, reach out to the Steam support team and let them know about the issue. They will surely be able to help you out.