There are a lot of Steam users that game on a controller. According to Valve’s latest figures, 48 million people have used a controller to play a game on Steam, and roughly 10% of all daily game sessions are done on a controller. That’s more controllers being used to game on Steam than ever before.
And Valve wants its developers to know exactly how many people are using controllers to play their games. That’s why Steam has updated the Steamworks Sales & Activations dashboard to include graphs and statistics about controller usage. This includes lifetime controller stats, daily active controller users, multi-controller sessions for co-op games, and info on what controllers people are using.
For Steam as a whole, the controller usage graph looks like what you see below. Most people use Xbox controllers because of their historic compatibility with any game released on Windows, but there’s a growing number of PlayStation and Switch controller users as well ever since Steam added compatibility functionality for both controllers. Steam’s own controller usage is extremely low because the company stopped making them back in 2019.
The big deal here is that devs can now look in Steamworks to see their own game’s controller usage and they can compare it with Steam’s overall usage. Obviously, a game’s genre plays a role in controller usage; FPS games typically have 7-8% controller usage across Steam, while racing or skating games are well into the 90s.
But if you’ve got just 10% PlayStation controller usage on your game while the Steam average is 20% for all controller users, “then you may have some room to improve your support for PlayStation controllers.”
This statistics-based approach will undoubtedly continue Steam’s climb in controller usage and will hopefully improve the platform’s games when it comes to controller support.
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Actually a collective of 6 hamsters piloting a human-shaped robot, Sean hails from Toronto, Canada. Passionate about gaming from a young age, those hamsters would probably have taken over the world by now if they didn’t vastly prefer playing and writing about video games instead.
The hamsters are so far into their long-con that they’ve managed to acquire a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo and used that to convince the fine editors at TheGamer that they can write “gud werds,” when in reality they just have a very sophisticated spellchecker program installed in the robot’s central processing unit.
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