Steam Controller not suitable for pro Dota 2 players, Valve staffer says

Wednesday, 8 January 2014 23:24 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The Steam Controller might one day be “90%” as good as a keyboard and mouse setup, but it’ll never be ideal for high-level play in some games, one Valve staffer has said.

In an interview with Polygon, Valve engineer Jeff Bellinghausen said the company is working to get complex PC games working with the twin touchpad controller, citing Dota 2 as an example.

“It’s a real challenge. It’s also something that’s pushing the performance and resolution of the trackpad,” he said.

“For a game like Dota, we’re probably not going to be able to match it perfectly. You’re not going to take [pro player Danylo ‘Dendi’ Ishutin] and have him play at his level with the controller, but that’s not really the goal. That’s true of the controller in general.”

Currently the controller’s legacy mode allows players to customise the controller to emulate traditional controls, but Valve will shortly release an API allowing developers to built controller-specific support. Valve, of course, is already working directly with the controller, but even so Bellinghausen doesn’t expect to match the performance of keyboard and mouse.

“Certainly something like Dota has a sophistication to it that is going to be challenging. We’re thinking we’ll get 90% of the way there,” he said.

Phil tried the Steam Controller at CES 2014 and found it quite inaccessible, and Matt’s kind of baffled by the whole Steam Machine proposition.