How to Use External Controllers on Steam Deck

Here in this content, I would be giving you some amazing details on how to use external controllers on the Steam Deck. The steam deck has built-in, highly customizable controls, but they are not very comfortable for playing games for a long time. thankfully, there are some options.

How to Use External Controllers on Steam Deck

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How to Use External Controllers on Steam Deck

The Steam Deck is compatible with both the wired and the wireless controllers, and you get to connect multiple controllers all at once to play couch co-op with your friends. You can make use of a wired or wireless controller with your steam deck:


Connecting your controller via the method requires a wired USB connection. If you plug in any compatible controller via a USB-C hub or dock, your steam deck would automatically recognize it.


This method asks for a compatible Bluetooth controller, and you have to pair it to your steam deck. Other common options include Xbox controllers, PlayStation controllers, and switch controllers.

How to Connect an Xbox Controller on Steam Deck

The native steam deck controls are quite similar to that of the Xbox Controls with the Face buttons named and arranged in the same way, with the face buttons named and arranged in the same pattern, and in the same iconography for the share and menu buttons. So, the Xbox controller-steam games.

In other to connect an Xbox controller to your steam Deck, the controller would need to support Bluetooth. The models that offer support to Bluetooth include the Xbox X/S controllers and the third generation Xbox One Controller that originally shipped with the Xbox One S.

Below, the steps on how to connect an Xbox controller to a Steam Deck is outlined below:

  • First, tap the “steam button”
  • Then select “settings”
  • Select “Bluetooth”
  • If the Bluetooth toggle is not yet on, tap it to turn on the Bluetooth
  • Push on the Xbox button on your controller
  • Then press and hold the connect button till the Xbox button light starts flashing
  • Select the “Xbox Wireless controller”
  • And Your controller would be connected

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How to Connect a PlayStation Controller on Steam Deck

The PlayStation controllers sometimes require third-party apps or additional configuration to work well with steam in windows, but PS4 and PS4 controllers both work well in Linux. The DualShock 4 and DualSense Controllers both pair using Bluetooth and would work using an extra additional configuration or Third-party apps, but the button iconography you see on screen in some games might not match the buttons that are on your controller.

Below I would be giving you the steps involved in how to Connect a PlayStation DualShock 4 or DualSense controller to your steam deck:

  • First press the “steam Button” on your steam, and then select the “settings”
  • Select “Bluetooth”
  • Then check the “Bluetooth toggle” and then tap on it if it isn’t already on.
  • Press and then hold the “PS button” and the “Share button” or “Create Button” at the same time, till the lights on the controller start flashing.
  • Select “wireless Controller” on your Steam Deck
  • After that, select the “Wireless Controller” available on your steam Deck
  • With this, your controller would be connected.

What Controllers Are Compatible with Steam Deck

In addition to the popular controllers like the Xbox and PlayStation, there are tons of other third-party and generic controllers that also work very well with the steam deck. The controller is expected to have either USB or Bluetooth, also it is expected to be compatible with the steam Deck, but it carries pretty wide criteria.

Below I have highlighted some controllers that would work very well with your steam deck and the connection type that you should be able to make use of with each controller:

  • XBox 360: USB
  • Xbox One: USB and Bluetooth (3rd gen)
  • Xbox Series X/S: USB and Bluetooth
  • Switch Pro: USB and Bluetooth
  • PlayStation DualShock 4: USB and Bluetooth
  • PlayStation 5 DualSense: USB and Bluetooth
  • Steam Controller: USB and Bluetooth
  • Generic XInput controllers: Varies
  • DirectInput controllers: Varies


Where Can I Buy a Steam Deck?

It is quite possible for you to find Steam Decks available for sale on secondary marketplaces just like eBay, but they usually come up with a markup. At the moment, the only place for you to officially purchase the steam deck is directly from Valve.

Can You Connect a PS5 Controller to a Steam Deck?

Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, and other third-party controllers are all compatible with your steam deck. For all those that are looking to get more mileage out of their PlayStation controllers right through their console itself, the steam Deck offers support for both the PS5 and PS4 controllers.

Will there be a Steam Deck 2?

Valve recently confirmed that they would be working on a steam deck 2, which is great news for those that are already having this new handheld.

Can I Connect Steam Deck to TV?

The Steam Deck does not offer HDMI port, so you cannot make use of it using your TV right out of the box. It actually carries a USB-C port though, meaning that you cannot connect it to your TV using the help of their USB-C to HDMI adapter or a USB-C dock that has an HDMI port.

Can the Steam Deck Run 4K?

It has been confirmed that the Dock would be able to output at 4K. if you carry a 4K display that you connect to your steam deck, you should be able to enjoy compatible games at that resolution.

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