“48 million players have used a controller in a game on Steam”, Valve claims, but they also stipulate that different genres encourage or discourage controller play.
RTS games are still at a figure “below 1 percent”, whilst fighting games or sport sims account for 70 percent of controller usage. FPS games linger around 7-8 percent, whilst action games played in third-person can be anything up to 50 percent. Skating and racing games were at the top position, with over 90% of gamers using controllers to play.
Valve’s provision of this data is, according to PC Gamer, in order to encourage developers to incorporate controller support if their games fall within one of the top categories. “In general,” they state in the post, “a lot of players like to play a large cross section of games on Steam with a controller – which is something many people, including those of us at Valve, find a bit surprising.”
The data also shows that Steam and Switch controllers are among the lowest used, whilst PlayStation controllers occupy a middle ground. Xbox controllers are by far the most used, stemming from the ease with which they are available for plug-and-play gaming.
Valve gave a final summary of their findings, making a suggestion to future developers. “If we have just one thing we’d suggest and promote, it would be for more developers to display the corresponding PlayStation icons in game when there is a prompt for a player to hit a certain button,” they wrote.
“You can make your own or you can use the icons already provided with the Steam Input API integration.”