Steam Controller

I’m not a huge gamer. That is, I don’t play video games competitively.

I’ve gone through the storylines in games like Uncharted and Prince of Persia, played quite a few hours of FIFA and NCAA football, and enjoyed some first person shooters like Call of Duty and Titanfall, but I’ve never been obsessed. It’s never been something I’m extremely good at, and after reaching a plateau in my gameplay I usually don’t seem to get the same level of entertainment from it anymore.

I haven’t bought a console since the PS3 came out, mainly because they are so damned expensive, but also because I usually lived with friends who had the latest and greatest. They were loads better than me and it just wasn’t fun getting my ass handed to me for hours as I learned the game. For the same reason, I don’t really like playing Real Time Strategy or Battle Arena games. Starcraft, DOTA and League of Legends just aren’t for me.

Over the years, if I ever wanted to play something alone it was an RPG of some sort. That’s why I’ve gravitated towards Massively Multiplayer Online games in recent years. I could campaign and get the pleasure of leveling up characters without ever stepping foot into a PVP arena if I didn’t want. If I felt like doing a dungeon crawl with people of my same caliber, I could usually find them. Sometimes there was a sense of community. Trolls can ruin that, but for the most part people are helpful.

Another big plus was that I could play on my computer. I do some graphic design and videography work, so my GPU can hold it’s own in this regard. It just made more sense than spending more money on a less powerful machine like the PS4 or Xbox One.

Last year I went through a spurt of playing Neverwinter a good amount. It was almost perfect. Being based in the Forgotten Realms universe of Dungeons and Dragons made things interesting for me, especially when I could quest with the likes of Bruenor Battlehammer and Drizzt Do’Urden. It was free, which was great. The controls were somewhat simplified compared with other MMORPGS I’d played with a keyboard and mouse setup, and that was kind of perfect as it had been years since I’d messed with things like macros in World of Warcraft.

But there was something that I missed about the feel of a controller. Maybe it was the tactile feedback, the ability to play from the couch, or maybe the joysticks. Either way, I was intrigued when I saw an advertisement for the steam controller.

It seemed like it could be a perfect solution. I mean, I knew there were plenty of RPGs on steam that I wanted to play and that anything not sold on Steam could be added to the library from elsewhere.

After a bit of research I took the plunge. I found a deal on Ebay for a new in box Steam Controller and Steamlink bundle for $65. A steal.

I received my setup in January and immediately purchased Elder Scrolls Online and Portal 1 and 2.

So far it’s been great. The ability to customize the controls is quite elaborate and comfortable. Everything from setting the amount of feedback on the click wheels to the hotkey buttons to radius sizes on the joysticks and wheels themselves is… well, not exactly a breeze. It takes some tinkering for sure, but that’s what I want.

The best part is that there is a community of people out there playing games with these controllers and saving their button setups onto the steam servers. It’s easy to browse through these, find one you think you might like and tweak it into perfection.

This is exactly what I did for Elder Scrolls Online, and I must say, it’s so great to cast gameplay to my TV and play from the couch on a controller that I don’t hate or feel hindered by. It’s not perfect for all games and sometimes can be tricky, but all in all I love my Steam Controller.

If you enjoy gaming and have good enough internet service in your place (google fiber here in Kansas City), you should definitely look into this device. It’s been a blast and I only wish I had more time in my schedule to spend leveling up my dragon knight.

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