Steam Controller gets Bluetooth support for Steam Link mobile gaming

Remember Valve's wierdo Steam Controller? It's about to get another day in the sun thanks to the upcoming revival of the Steam Link app - and with it a bunch of new features too.

Steam Link, which allows gamers to stream their library of PC games from one device to another, is getting support for mobile devices too as part of a new update. And that neccesitates an update for Steam's homegrown gamepad, too.

Currently, the Steam Controller requires pairing with a proprietary USB dongle, designed to reduce latency, in order to connect and play. But you'll be hard pressed to find a full-sized USB connection on the majority of tablets or mobile phones, and so Valve is rolling out an update that will bring a Bluetooth Low Energy connection to its pad.

Wider access

Now, a Bluetooth Low Energy connection isn't necessarily the most stable of links to a cloud gaming service, especially a game where pitch-perfect accuracy is required. But it's better than nothing for mobile players.

And, just to hammer the point home, Valve still suggests that where possible gamers make use of the USB connection thanks to its reduced latency.

With its mouse-replacing track pads and strange globular grips, the Steam Controller was a bit of a curio on release, so the fact that MFI controllers for iOS devices can also be used on mobile will be welcome new to dedicated portable players.

It's worth noting that the Steam Controller will only work with games played through Steam Link (streamed from your PC), and it's currently unclear whether support for native mobile games will be available in the future.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.