It was first mentioned at the Steam Dev Days conference, then it was patched into Steam’s beta branch. And as of this morning, Steam has delivered a most glorious present just before Christmas: full support for the DualShock 4 controller and all of its features.
A patch was released this morning to all clients, and updates various parts of Steam including the In-Home Streaming functionality, navigation when using the Oculus Touch controllers, Steam overlay support for those on the Windows 10 Insider program, an updated web control and better bandwidth options for 4K streaming.
But the bit that really matters is this:
- Added Steam Configurator support for PS4 Dual Shock Controller. Enable in Big Picture settings Add/Test Controller settings. When enabled, PS4 controllers will have access to the same sort of customization/configuration support as Steam Controllers, including native API support. PS4 Controllers using this system can map the trackpad, gyro, buttons, etc. to keyboard, mouse, or x-input outputs and can make use of action sets, touch menus, radial menus, and so forth.
- Added software gyro+accelerometer integration for IMUs without hardware integration. Allows Joystick-Move/D-Pad/Mouse Leaning support for the PS4 gyro input.
- Added New Mode – Joystick Mouse. This is a joystick based mouse control useful for stick based controllers.
- Added controller preference setting for haptics. Haptics can now be globally disabled for a controller or default to the configuration preferences.
- Added support for LED Color setting. Controllers which are capable of setting an LED color can now set this in controller personalization.
- Added LED Brightness/Color controller action binding. The light on the controller can now be changed via a binding. This is useful to mark changes in state such as different action sets or mode shifts, or on start/release press activators for changing while a button is pressed, for example. Light settings are reset to user preference when changing applications/configurations.
Once your Steam client is patched and ready to go, it means you’ll be able to start doing some real cool things with the DualShock 4 on PC. For one, as soon as Steam fires up you’ll be able to use the touchpad as a mouse (which kind of makes the need to buy the Steam controller a little redundant, although it’s far more precise than running a finger across the touchpad).
Other cool options: using the DS4’s gyro controls for racing games, which helps if you don’t have the money for a full racing wheel but don’t want your tyres to wear out too quickly, mucking about with the colour of the LED, being able to have all of the Steam controller’s customisations for the comfier DS4, and creating custom profiles for the controller that can be saved, uploaded and downloaded through your Steam account.
If you want to access those, however, you’ll need to go through the Big Picture mode. That’s a minor annoyance for the benefits, mind you, although most people will probably enjoy just being able to plug in their DualShock without having to muck around with third-party drivers.