Steam is adding support for Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons

A neon red Joy-Con on a table in the foreground, with a Nintendo Switch screen and blue Joy-Con lying on the table in the background, slightly out of focus
(Image credit: Enrique Vidal Flores via Unsplash)

Valve continues to expand the range of Steam-compatible controllers, adding support for Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons as part of the newest beta update.

If you're signed up to the Steam Client Beta, you'll now be able to use the Nintendo Switch's Joy-Cons on PC, as announced in the latest community update post. Both configurations of the controllers are supported, whether you want to use them as individual mini gamepads, or as a pair in one of the many grips available for them.  

Post-update, Nintendo gamers hopping over to Steam can now finally take their pick of the Joy-Cons or the Nintendo Switch Pro controller for a session. Support for the latter was added in 2018, a year after the Switch's launched. So it's taken a while for the Joy-Cons to come on board. 

What a joy

The update isn't available at large just yet, so if you want to try it out you'll need to opt into the beta program. And here's how you can sign up:

  • Open Steam and click on 'Steam' in the upper left corner
  • Select the 'Settings' menu or 'Preferences' on Mac
  • Click on the 'Account' tab
  • On the right-side of this page, there's a 'Beta Participation' section. Click on the 'Change...' button
  • From the drop down, select 'Steam Beta Update' and hit 'OK'
  • A pop-up will ask you to restart Steam, so go ahead and press the 'Restart Steam' 

Joy-Con support follows hot on the heels of Steam support for classic Nintendo controllers. That includes NES, SNES, N64, and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive pads. The patch notes for Joy-Con compatibility also mentions "improved support" for these peripherals, although it doesn't elaborate on the finer details.   

Of course, if none of the Nintendo controllers float your boat, Steam also offers support for the PS5's DualSense wireless controller and the Xbox Elite wireless controller among others. So you're spoiled for choice. 

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.