It was just over a week ago that Valve updated the beta version of its Steam client to support Nintendo's Switch Pro Controller. While there was already compatibility for Xbox, PlayStation, and other controllers already baked into the client, there seemed to be little harm in bringing Nintendo's higher-end controller into the fold. Now, the company is turning its attention back to its own Steam Controller.
In a Steam Community post, Valve enabled the ability to add Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity to Steam Controllers, a prerequisite capability in order to leverage the Steam Link app that will be hitting iOS and Android mobile devices in the future. However, the firm made clear situations where Bluetooth is best suited, which include:
- Streaming games to your iOS and Android devices with the Steam Link app.
- Connecting your Steam Controller to a tablet or laptop without a USB port.
- You just can't find your Steam Controller Wireless Receiver.
In other scenarios, Valve continues to recommend the existing protocol be utilized in the first instance given its speed, minimal lag, and support for four controllers per wireless receiver given that it "was designed from the ground up to provide the best experience for a Steam Controller".
If you're interested in adding Bluetooth LE support to your Steam Controller, you'll need the latest Steam beta client after which you can connect the peripheral in order to update its firmware. Once the process has been completed, you can then power up the controller in your desired wireless mode using the corresponding button combination which will then be remembered until next changed. However, be warned that the upgrade will wipe existing pairings saved in the controller.
Of course, given that this feature has been distributed via the beta channel, you may potentially run into quirks or issues along the way, so if that doesn't suit you then you may best wait until it is fully tested and released.