Playing games on Steam grants you the flexibility to play games with all kinds of controllers, and Valve has generally done a good job making sure almost any controller can be used. With the latest Steam Beta, that includes the Joy-Con controllers that ship with the Nintendo Switch.
Tht’s right, you can use the Joy-Con with Steam, and you can choose how to use them, too – whether you want to use a single Joy-Con as its own controller or join a pair of them to form a single controller, just as you would on the Switch. You can then map the various buttons to whatever actions you need, just as you would with any other controller.
The Joy-Con have become somewhat infamous for the drift issues that affect the analog sticks – though it’s been shown to happen with plenty of other modern controllers, too – and they’re generally not the most comfortable. Still, the Nintendo Switch has sold over 111 million as of June 30th, 2022, and while roughly 19 million of those are from the Switch Lite model, that still leaves over 90 million units that ship with Joy-Con controllers in the box. A lot of people are bound to have these controllers lying around, and if you want to play PC games with a controller, this makes that much easier for those people.
Oddly enough, this comes after Steam added support for Nintendo’s Switch Online controllers with an update at the end of July. These are special controllers that are only sold to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, with controllers modeled after the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, and Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive) controllers available to buy. These are less capable and less widely available, yet they were supported first. Regardless, that means the majority of official Nintendo Switch controllers are now supported, which can only be good news.
If you want to use your Joy-Con with your Steam games, you’ll need to sign up to get beta updates in your Steam client settings or wait for the update to make its way to everyone. If you’re more interested in the classic-style controllers, those are already supported in the stable version of the client, though this beta client update delivers some (unspecified) improvements on that front. We should note that if you’re using a program like JoyToKey to use your Joy-Con on your Windows 11 PC, Steam will override that software.
Source: Steam Community