Steam Controller Modding Begins

Valve’s Steam Controller has been all the rage in the PC gaming world. When it was announced, it caught the internet by storm. It took several prototypes for the device to find itself, but when it did, it looked like something from the near future.

Shifting to the present, the controller is now in our hands and plays as expected. The final design wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary, but it did show an obvious leap in gamepad design while catering to those who enjoy a traditional controller experience or a keyboard and mouse scenario. In other words, it’s perfect for anyone!

I’ve spent a good deal with the Steam Controller and love it. My only regret so far is not having the ability to attach it to gaming consoles. No matter, because it’s a custom players dream on PC.

In short, the Steam Controller has the ability to feel like a mouse, traditional controller, or anywhere in between. Please excuse the less-than-detailed review.

All-in-all, having a pad that can mate itself to any game while suiting a specific gamer’s requirements in one package is an incredible value. One person thought the freedom shouldn’t be limited between the hardware and software however. What if the controller itself could be modified further?

It can be done!

Below are images uploaded by imgur user gc12psj demonstrating such modifications.

Steam Controller with 2 aiming touchpads

Above is a modified Steam Controller with an aiming touch pad replacing the directional pad. Theoretically the mod might enable people to have an even more precise dual analog stick feeling without restriction or dead zones. This is just another way that makes that Steam Controller a unique tool in a PC gamer’s arsenal.

The customization was done by Redditor thereloader . Here’s what the user said in an original post.

“So as I mentioned a month ago in this subreddit I was going to buy an extra Steam controller to testing purposes. I decided to swap the touchpads. Fresh out of the box, I opened up the controller and switched the pad modules from their respective housings. I then put it back together, put batteries, plugged it in, updated firmware, and to my surprise it actually worked very well. The reason I’m surprised is that the housing for the two touchpads are not identical. Thus the touchpad modules had to be rotated 30 or so degrees from their original respective positions. I thought the mouse movement would be off, but when I tried out a point&click game and had the new left pad for mouse movement, it worked flawlessly. With the Rotation option perfectly horizontal (I didn’t check any other state), a perfect horizontal swipe gave me a perfect horizontal movement, and a perfect vertical swipe gave me a perfect vertical movement. For the d-pad touchpad, it’s now an X due to its rotation, but the four sectors now function as the buttons! Maybe the controller was designed to adjust if the pads were swapped. Anyway I’ve only tried it for about an hour. I’ll test it out more if I have time.”

Has anyone been able to replicate the experiment? I’m not ready for the hardware mods yet, especially since the stock controller is offering me a wonderful experience.

Daniel Mihailescu
danjamllc@gmail.com