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Getting Started for Players
So, you're all set to start using the Steam Controller Configurator! But you aren't sure where to begin.

Global Settings

Before we start a game we'll need to make some basic choices and set some global settings in Big Picture mode.

Step 1: Pick a Controller

If you're reading this, it's presumably because you want to use a certain controller with a certain game. If you happen to have more than one, you should start by picking which one you want to use -- various models are supported, and some have unique features:

Steam Controller Devices

controllers.png

Once you decide what controller you want to use, make sure to connect it to your computer, and if it uses batteries, make sure that it is charged.

Step 2: Big Picture Mode

Enter Big Picture mode by clicking the gamepad icon in the upper right corner of the Steam client (You can use the Steam Controller Configurator outside of Big Picture mode, but you'll need to enter it in order to set things up).

getting_started_big_picture

Step 3: Controller Settings

Click the gear icon to adjust settings:

getting_started_bp_settings.png

Then click "Controller Settings":

getting_started_bp_settings_controller.png

If you are using a DS4, XB1, or XB360 controller, make sure you have the corresponding configuration support boxes checked:

getting_started_ds4_xb_config.png

Also make sure your controller(s) is/are plugged in. All detected controllers compatible with the Configurator will show up on this screen.

Step 4: Pick a Game

Figure out what game you want to use your controller with and open its menu from Big Picture mode.

getting_started_select_game_bp.png
NOTE: Disclosure: In this example the author is picking his own game, as he has full control of its Steam Controller API integration and can use it to demonstrate certain features.

Step 5: Manage game

When the game's menu comes up, select "Manage game" in the sidebar:

getting_started_manage_game.png

Step 6: You did plug the controller in, right?

If you don't have a controller plugged in, you will see a menu like this:

getting_started_manage_options.png

Once you plug in the controller, you should see something like this:

getting_started_manage_controller_config.png

Click on "controller configuration" to open up the controller configuration menu.

Step 7: Controller Configuration


Here's what you'll see for a game that has implemented Native API support for the Steam Controller Configurator:

dq_config.png

Note that much of what you see here is specific to this particular game and will be different in other games.

The four buttons at the top -- Editor Controls, Battle Controls, Map Controls, and Menu Controls -- are action sets. Whenever you bring up an in-game menu, the game sends a signal via the API to activate the "Menu Controls" action set. When the player visits the overworld, the game switches to "Map Controls", and "Battle Controls" activates when a Battle begins. All this happens automatically without the users' input.

Action bindings for each action set are entirely independent of each other, so swapping A and B for Cancel / Select in "Menu Controls" will not affect anything in "Battle Controls", for instance.

To change bindings, click on any of the controller regions. Here's what pops up when you select the face buttons:

dq_config_face_buttons_1.png

From here you can choose different actions from each of the button input drop-down menus:

dq_config_face_buttons_choose.png

Note that for this game, all of these are native in-game actions that have been defined by the developer. You can change what actions are bound to which inputs by selecting the input, and choosing an action from the list.

Legacy Mode Bindings


But what if the game doesn't have native Steam Controller support? Let's take a look at legacy mode.

Here's an RPG called Cosmic Star Heroine, which doesn't implement the native Steam Controller API, and unlike Defender's Quest, doesn't have particularly complicated controls.

config_csh.png

We're greeted by a default legacy configuration, selected from one of several templates:

gamepad_w_camera_1.png

Here, instead of binding physical inputs to native in-game actions, physical inputs are simply bound to other physical inputs. The face buttons, shoulder buttons, analog triggers, start and back buttons, and the left joystick are all mapped to their X-Input equivalents. The left touchpad's input source mode is set to "Dpad", with X-Input Dpad buttons bound to each direction. The right touchpad's input source mode is set to "Mouse Joystick", with right-stick-click bound to the right touchpad's click action.

Let's say I want to rebind the "Y" button on the button pad. First, click on the button pad:

gamepad_w_camera_bpad.png

Then click on the sub-input you want to edit. In this case, the "Y" button:

gamepad_w_camera_bpad_y.png

Here you see the legacy input binding menu. You can give this binding a name, as well as choose any of the available hardware inputs to bind to it.

legacy_bind.png

You can bind keyboard buttons, mouse buttons, and even gamepad buttons (emulated gamepad buttons will be seen by the game as X-Input events). You can also bind multiple buttons to a single input (Toggle Multi-Button On), as well as set special conditions for the input (Show Activators), but we'll get into those later.

Further Reading


This should give you a brief overview about how to start playing around with the Steam Controller Configurator. If you'd like to learn more, here's some articles to get you started:

General Concepts
Input Sources
Input Source Modes
Mode Shifting
Browsing Configurations
Activators

(coming soon):
Mouse Regions
Radial Menus
Touch Menus
Tips, Tricks, & Best Practices