Nintendo Switch Online classic controllers now usable on Steam

By Steven Rondina


Jul 28, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Valve is significantly ramping up controller support for Steam, with a new update adding the ability to connect Steam with the Nintendo Switch Online classic controller line and improving support for the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller.

The Steam Deck has enjoyed strong critical success and sales to this point in its existence. Many are viewing the portable PC as a proper alternative to consoles, and its ability to connect to a television via HDMI makes that a possibility in the future.

The trouble is that while the Steam Deck offers enough buttons and sticks to play anything on modern consoles, it’s not feasible for most to hold the Steam Deck in their hands while playing on a TV. Even if it’s workable, there are plenty of people who prefer to play fighting games on an arcade stick, racing games on a steering wheel, and so on.

With that in mind, Valve shipped a sizable update to Steam that offers much greater support for controllers, including some of the most popular options. Players can use the Nintendo Switch Online classic controllers to emulate the feel of classic console gaming and can now enjoy more of the PS5 DualSense controller’s features.

How to connect and use Nintendo Switch Online classic controllers to Steam

Players can connect and use the Nintendo Switch Online classic controllers on Steam through the Bluetooth menu of their PC. Open up the Bluetooth device manager on your computer, select pair devices, and begin searching. Then on the controller, press the sync button. This will make the controller appear on the computer as an option for pairing. Just select it and it will become paired with your PC.

The update on Steam will allow for greater and easier functionality with games. Of course, even if a user does choose to connect a Nintendo Switch Online classic controller it doesn’t mean it will work with every Steam game.

The Nintendo Switch Online classic controller line includes a number of Bluetooth controllers based on retro consoles. There are controllers based on the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and Nintendo 64. They are technically meant to be played with the classic games available on the Nintendo Switch for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, but they are usable on PC as well.

These controllers are fairly limited in terms of what they offer to players. They will likely feel great for classic games available on Steam like Doom 64 and Sonic Origins, as well as modern platformers and some Metroidvania titles. Those wanting to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on a controller might want to look elsewhere, though.

Also included in this Steam update is support for the Qanba Dragon and Obsidian arcade sticks and the Hori Fighting Stick Mini 4. The PS5 DualSense controller will additionally enjoy greater support on Steam with “improved rumble emulation.”


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