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Mac Controller for Steam: How to Choose and Use the Best One for Your Gaming Needs




If you are a Mac user who loves playing games on Steam, you might have wondered if there is a way to enhance your gaming experience with a controller. While some games are designed for keyboard and mouse input, others are more suited for a gamepad that gives you more precise and comfortable control.




Mac Controller For Steam



Using a controller for Steam games on Mac can offer you several benefits, such as:



  • Reducing strain on your wrists and fingers from long hours of gaming



  • Improving your accuracy and reaction time in fast-paced games



  • Enjoying a more immersive and cinematic gameplay on your TV or monitor



  • Having more fun and variety in your gaming sessions



However, finding and setting up a compatible controller for Mac can be challenging, as not all controllers work well with macOS or Steam. You might encounter issues such as:



  • Lack of official drivers or support from Apple or the controller manufacturer



  • Incompatibility or inconsistency with some games or genres



  • Difficulty or confusion in pairing, connecting, or configuring the controller



  • Poor performance or quality of the controller



Fortunately, there are some controllers that work well with Mac and Steam, and can offer you a great gaming experience. In this article, we will help you choose and use the best controller for your gaming needs and budget. We will review the main types of controllers available for Mac users: Xbox One, DualShock 4, and Steam Controller. We will also show you how to connect and use them on your Mac, and give you some tips and tricks to optimize your gaming experience. Let's get started!


Xbox One Controller




One of the most popular and widely used controllers for gaming is the Xbox One controller. This controller has a comfortable and ergonomic design, with offset thumbsticks, large bumpers and triggers, and a responsive D-pad. It also has a wireless performance that can last up to 30 hours on a single charge. You can also choose from a variety of special edition designs and colors to suit your style.


The Xbox One controller is compatible with most Steam games on Mac, as long as you have the latest macOS version and the controller firmware. However, you will need to install some additional drivers and software on your Mac to make it work properly. Here are the steps to do so:



  • Download and install the 360Controller driver from GitHub. This is an open-source driver that allows you to use various Xbox controllers on Mac. Follow the instructions on the website to install the driver correctly.



  • Download and install the Xbox 360 Controller Emulator (x360ce) from x360ce.com. This is a software that emulates an Xbox 360 controller for games that do not support other controllers. Follow the instructions on the website to install the software correctly.



  • Connect your Xbox One controller to your Mac via Bluetooth or USB cable. To pair it via Bluetooth, press and hold the Xbox button and the sync button on the controller until the Xbox button flashes rapidly. Then, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth on your Mac and select "Xbox Wireless Controller" from the list of devices. To connect it via USB cable, simply plug in the cable to your Mac and the controller.



  • Launch Steam and enter Big Picture mode by clicking on the icon in the top right corner of the Steam window. This is a mode that optimizes Steam for use with a controller on a TV or monitor.



  • Go to Settings > Controller Settings and check the box for "Xbox Configuration Support". This will allow you to customize your controller settings for each game on Steam.



  • Enjoy playing your Steam games with your Xbox One controller!



Here are some tips and tricks to optimize your gaming experience with the Xbox One controller:



  • If you encounter any issues with the controller, such as lag, disconnects, or wrong button mappings, try updating the controller firmware via the Xbox Accessories app on Windows 10 or Xbox One. You can also try restarting your Mac or Steam, or reconnecting the controller.



  • If you want to use the controller with games that are not on Steam, such as those from the App Store or other sources, you can use Joystick Mapper or Enjoyable, which are apps that allow you to map keyboard and mouse inputs to your controller. However, these apps are not free and may not work with all games.



  • If you want to adjust the sensitivity, deadzone, or vibration of your controller, you can use Gamepad Companion, which is an app that allows you to tweak various settings of your controller. However, this app is not free and may not work with all games.



DualShock 4 Controller




Another popular and widely used controller for gaming is the DualShock 4 controller, which is the official controller for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. This controller has a lightweight and ergonomic design, with side-by-side thumbsticks, a touchpad, a speaker, a headphone jack, and a built-in battery. It also has a wireless performance that can last up to 8 hours on a single charge. You can also choose from a variety of colors and models to suit your style, including the PS5 DualSense controller, which has adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.


The DualShock 4 controller is compatible with most Steam games on Mac, as long as you have macOS Catalina or later. You do not need to install any additional drivers or software on your Mac to make it work properly. Here are the steps to connect and use it on your Mac:



  • Connect your DualShock 4 controller to your Mac via Bluetooth or USB cable. To pair it via Bluetooth, press and hold the PS button and the share button on the controller until the light bar flashes rapidly. Then, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth on your Mac and select "Wireless Controller" from the list of devices. To connect it via USB cable, simply plug in the cable to your Mac and the controller.



  • Launch Steam and enter Big Picture mode by clicking on the icon in the top right corner of the Steam window.



  • Go to Settings > Controller Settings and check the box for "PlayStation Configuration Support". This will allow you to customize your controller settings for each game on Steam.



  • Enjoy playing your Steam games with your DualShock 4 controller!



Here are some tips and tricks to optimize your gaming experience with the DualShock 4 controller:



  • If you encounter any issues with the controller, such as lag, disconnects, or wrong button mappings, try updating the controller firmware via the PS4 or PS5 console. You can also try restarting your Mac or Steam, or reconnecting the controller.



  • If you want to use the controller with games that are not on Steam, such as those from the App Store or other sources, you can use OpenEmu, which is an app that allows you to play various retro games with your controller. However, this app may not work with all games.



  • If you want to adjust the light bar, speaker, or touchpad of your controller, you can use DS4Windows, which is an app that allows you to tweak various settings of your controller. However, this app is only available for Windows, so you will need to use a virtual machine or Boot Camp to run it on your Mac.



Steam Controller




The last but not least controller for gaming is the Steam Controller, which is the official controller for Steam. This controller has a unique and customizable design, with dual trackpads, HD haptic feedback, dual-stage triggers, back grip buttons, and a removable battery. It also has a wireless performance that can last up to 80 hours on a single charge. You can also choose from different skins and accessories to personalize your controller.


The Steam Controller is compatible with all Steam games on Mac, including those without native controller support. This is because it can emulate keyboard and mouse inputs for any game, allowing you to play them comfortably with a controller. You do not need to install any additional drivers or software on your Mac to make it work properly. Here are the steps to connect and use it on your Mac:



  • Connect your Steam Controller to your Mac via Bluetooth or USB dongle. To pair it via Bluetooth, press and hold the Steam button and the Y button on the controller until the Steam button flashes rapidly. Then, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth on your Mac and select "Steam Controller" from the list of devices. To connect it via USB dongle, simply plug in the dongle to your Mac and press the Steam button on the controller.



  • Launch Steam and enter Big Picture mode by clicking on the icon in the top right corner of the Steam window.



  • Go to Settings > Controller Settings and check the box for "Steam Configuration Support". This will allow you to customize your controller settings for each game on Steam.



  • Enjoy playing your Steam games with your Steam Controller!



Here are some tips and tricks to optimize your gaming experience with the Steam Controller:



  • If you encounter any issues with the controller, such as lag, disconnects, or wrong button mappings, try updating the controller firmware via Steam Big Picture mode. You can also try restarting your Mac or Steam, or reconnecting the controller.



  • If you want to use the controller with games that are not on Steam, such as those from the App Store or other sources, you can use Steam Link, which is an app that allows you to stream your Steam games from your Mac to another device, such as a phone or tablet. However, this app requires a fast and stable network connection and may not work with all games.



  • If you want to adjust the trackpads, haptics, triggers, or buttons of your controller, you can use Steam Controller Configurator, which is an app that allows you to tweak various settings of your controller. You can also browse and download community-made configurations for different games and genres.



Conclusion




In this article, we have reviewed three types of controllers that work well with Mac and Steam: Xbox One, DualShock 4, and Steam Controller. We have also shown you how to connect and use them on your Mac, and given you some tips and tricks to optimize your gaming experience. Here is a summary of the pros and cons of each controller type for Mac users:



Controller Type


Pros


Cons


Xbox One


  • Comfortable and ergonomic design



  • Wireless performance and battery life



  • Compatible with most Steam games on Mac



  • Variety of special edition designs and colors



  • Requires additional drivers and software to work properly



  • May not work well with some games or genres



  • May encounter some issues or bugs with the controller



  • Some apps for adjusting the controller settings are not free or available for Mac



DualShock 4


  • Lightweight and ergonomic design



  • Wireless performance and battery life



  • Compatible with most Steam games on Mac



  • Variety of colors and models, including the PS5 DualSense controller



  • Has a touchpad, speaker, and headphone jack for extra features



  • May not work well with some games or genres



  • May encounter some issues or bugs with the controller



  • Some apps for adjusting the controller settings are not available for Mac or require a virtual machine or Boot Camp to run on Mac



Steam Controller


  • Unique and customizable design



  • Wireless performance and battery life



  • Compatible with all Steam games on Mac, including those without native controller support



  • Can emulate keyboard and mouse inputs for any game



  • Variety of skins and accessories to personalize the controller


  • Requires some learning curve and adjustment to use the controller effectively



  • May not be comfortable or ergonomic for some users



  • May not work well with some games or genres



  • May encounter some issues or bugs with the controller



  • No longer in production and may be hard to find or expensive



Based on this comparison, we can recommend the best controller for different types of gamers and games on Steam:



  • If you are a casual gamer who plays mostly action, adventure, or racing games, you might prefer the Xbox One controller for its comfort and performance.



  • If you are a hardcore gamer who plays mostly shooter, fighting, or sports games, you might prefer the DualShock 4 controller for its features and precision.



  • If you are an experimental gamer who plays mostly strategy, simulation, or indie games, you might prefer the Steam Controller for its customization and versatility.



Of course, these are not hard and fast rules, and you might have your own preferences and opinions. The best way to find out which controller suits you best is to try them out yourself and see how they feel and work with your favorite games. You can also read reviews and watch videos of other gamers who have used these controllers on Mac and Steam.


We hope this article has helped you choose and use the best controller for your gaming needs on Mac and Steam. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please feel free to share them with us. Happy gaming!


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Mac controllers for Steam:


Can I use a Nintendo Switch controller on Mac and Steam?




Yes, you can use a Nintendo Switch controller on Mac and Steam, but it may not work well with some games or genres. You will need to pair the controller with your Mac via Bluetooth or USB cable, and configure the controller settings on Steam Big Picture mode. You can also use BetterJoyForCemu, which is an app that allows you to tweak various settings of your controller. However, this app is only available for Windows, so you will need to use a virtual machine or Boot Camp to run it on your Mac.


Can I use a keyboard and mouse on Mac and Steam?




Yes, you can use a keyboard and mouse on Mac and Steam, but it may not be comfortable or immersive for some games or genres. You will need to connect your keyboard and mouse to your Mac via Bluetooth or USB cable, and configure the keyboard and mouse settings on Steam Big Picture mode. You can also use ControllerMate, which is an app that allows you to map keyboard and mouse inputs to a virtual controller. However, this app is not free and may not work with all games.


Can I use multiple controllers on Mac and Steam?




Yes, you can use multiple controllers on Mac and Steam, but it may not be easy or stable for some games or genres. You will need to connect your controllers to your Mac via Bluetooth or USB cable, and configure the controllers settings on Steam Big Picture mode. You can also use USB Overdrive, which is an app that allows you to assign different functions to different controllers. However, this app is not free and may not work with all games.


Can I customize my controller settings on Mac and Steam?




Yes, you can customize your controller settings on Mac and Steam, but it may not be simple or intuitive for some games or genres. You will need to enter Steam Big Picture mode and go to Settings > Controller Settings. There, you can adjust various settings of your controller, such as sensitivity, deadzone, vibration, button mappings, etc. You can also browse and download community-made configurations for different games and genres.


Can I stream my Steam games from my Mac to another device?




Yes, you can stream your Steam games from your Mac to another device, but it may not be smooth or high-quality for some games or genres. You will need to use Steam Link, which is an app that allows you to stream your Steam games from your Mac to another device, such as a phone or tablet. However, this app requires a fast and stable network connection and may not work with all games. dcd2dc6462


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