Steam Controller?

Right now, Steam Controllers are being sold for $5. I was wondering if they could be used for driving? For the uninitiated, a Steam Controller is like an Xbox controller but with the d-pad and right joystick have been replaced with touchpads. I was wondering how they could be used for robot control with the touchpads instead of the more traditional inputs.

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I have a steam controller atm, and my guess is that yes it could be used as a controller, but not as a typical xinput without some work. The steam controller naturally emulates a mouse and keyboard, so if you read keyboard strokes/clicks it will work fine. However, the steam controller is not easily convertible into a typical xinput device like a logitech or xbox controller without third party programs. I have no experience with these, so I can’t vouch for their ease/consistency/security.

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Do you know if m&k can bee used to drive?

Not through the typical methods. The driver station only looks at joystick devices, so you’d have to write custom software that either emulated a joystick or send the m+kb data over NetworkTables or similar.

It does look like there’s software you can use to emulate a normal joystick though, like

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The Steam controller’s desktop configuration can be set to the gamepad profile, in which it will provide xinput axes and buttons as far as I remember. It may require further tampering, but I was able to take input from my Steam Controller from Java code using JInput in a project I did over the summer last year.

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omae wa na shindeiru


I’d be a bit concerned about needing Steam installed on the driver station computer since I know those are supposed to have basically nothing except the DS and dashboards installed for the best performance. I could see it being very useful if you could fully utilize the touchpads though.

We actually tried it out a couple of years ago, it was certainly fun! It takes some getting used to, but it’s very much an option. Would I use it for competition? No. There’s too many points of failure. It’d be fun for a demo though, it looks pretty space age

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