Fix Game Controller not working in Steam on Windows PC

It’s not uncommon for PC and console gamers alike to encounter issues like USB Gamepad is not recognized or working, Xbox Cloud Gaming Controller not working, Xbox Controller Bluetooth keeps disconnecting. In this post, we will be addressing the issue of Game Controller not working in Steam on Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer.

Game Controller not working in Steam

Game Controller not working in Steam

While playing on PC, you can choose to use either the Xbox controller, the DualShock 1-4, the official Steam controller or any specific type of controller that you prefer. All of these options are compatible with a huge majority of the games that you play on the Steam platform.

So, if your Game Controller is not working in Steam on your Windows 11/10 gaming rig, you can try our recommended solutions below in no particular order and see if that helps to resolve the issue on your system.

  1. Connect Game Controller to PC
  2. Configure Steam Big Picture settings
  3. Use Controller Wired/Wireless connection
  4. Reset or calibrate Game Controller
  5. Update Game Controller firmware

Let’s take a look at the description of the process involved concerning each of the listed solutions.

Before you try the solutions below, check for updates and install any available bits on your Windows 11/10 device and see if the issue is resolved. On the other hand, if the issue started after a recent Windows update, you can uninstall the update or perform System Restore. Also, make sure your Steam client is updated (launch Steam client. Click Steam > Check for Steam Client Updates) and all drivers are updated on your system.

1] Connect Game Controller to PC

You can begin troubleshooting to fix the Game Controller not working in Steam issue on your Windows 11/10 gaming rig by making sure the game controller is properly connected to your PC. To do this, follow the instructions in the guide on how to connect Microsoft Xbox One controller to Windows, Mac, and Linux.

2] Configure Steam Big Picture settings

Steam may have trouble recognizing your game controller if you don’t enable the required settings; especially if you’re using a controller other than the official Steam controller. This solution requires you to configure Steam Big Picture settings to use a controller with the game that you’re playing rather than trying to do so directly.

To configure Steam Big Picture settings to fix the problem with the Steam application not recognizing your Xbox, PlayStation, or any other non-Steam controller, do the following:

  • Launch the Steam client.
  • In the Taskbar Corner Overflow, right-click the Steam icon and select Big Picture.
  • Next, select LIBRARY.
  • In the left pane, select Installed.
  • Next, select the target game.
  • From the left menu, select Manage Game Options.
  • Under the Steam Input section, select Controller Options.
  • In the pop up window, set Steam Input Per-Game Setting to Forced Off.

Once done, your controller should now be recognized and working properly on your PC.

3] Use Controller Wired/Wireless connection

Although convenient, Bluetooth connections with the controller and your PC can regularly cause these issues. In this case, try a wired connection instead as they tend to provide fewer problems of the sort and work really well most of the time.

On the other hand, if you’re experiencing the issue in view with your wired connection, it’s likely due to a faulty or broken wire. In this case, to resolve the issue, replace the controller or try out a wireless connection.

4] Reset or calibrate Game Controller

Reset or calibrate Game Controller

In some cases if your game controller doesn’t seem to work properly, you may need to calibrate the controller on your Windows 11/10 gaming computer. To reset or calibrate Game Controller on your PC, follow the instructions in the guide on how to calibrate Xbox One Controller.

5] Update Game Controller firmware

Update Game Controller firmware

With the issue in hand, it is sometimes necessary to update your game controller firmware to address bugs or improve connectivity on the existing hardware. Basically, a firmware update could make your gaming device work better with the controller. This solution requires you to update firmware on Xbox gamepad on your Windows 11/10 PC.

Related post: Xbox Controller detected as Mouse and Keyboard

How do I get my controller to work with Steam games?

To get your controller to work with Steam games, you need to configure Steam’s Controller Settings. To do this, follow these instructions:

  • Open Steam.
  • Go to the Settings section under the Steam tab.
  • Click on the Controller tab.
  • Click the General Controller Configuration button.
  • In the Controller Settings window, check the boxes to activate the configuration support for whichever types of controllers you will be using.

Why is my controller not working on Steam games?

Amongst other reasons, one of the common causes of your game controller not working on Steam games issues on your Windows 11/10 PC is broken or outdated computer drivers. For your controller to work with Steam with zero error, make sure your PC has the latest drivers installed.

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Jacob MORRIS

MORRIS is an impassioned technology writer. He always inspires technologists with his innovative thinking and practical approach. A go-to personality for every Technical problem, no doubt, the chief problem-solver!

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