Devs Should Explain “Partial Controller Support” on Steam

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I believe we’ve all observed the intriguing label of “Partial Controller Support” on Steam, which often appears alongside games that may not be entirely compatible with a controller. From my personal encounters, every game labeled as having “Partial Controller Support” tends to possess its own unique interpretation of it. It is my belief that Steam ought to permit more precise descriptors, or alternatively, developers should incorporate an explanation of partial controller support somewhere on their Steam pages.

The primary rationale behind this stems from the fact that there are instances when utilizing Keyboard and Mouse controls may not be a feasible choice. Certain individuals require the convenience of a controller, thus it becomes essential to ascertain whether the controller is non-functional in menus (while the mouse remains functional) as an illustrative instance. Conversely, comprehending the intended interpretation of “Partial Controller Support” by developers could hold significance, particularly within a distinct genre.

Consider a scenario where a Point-and-Click Adventure game offers only limited compatibility with controllers, which might not pose as significant a problem compared to a Metroidvania game. One factor that discouraged me from returning to Diablo III after a hiatus was the absence of controller support on the PC version, despite the developers creating console adaptations. However, Diablo IV has successfully addressed this concern by seamlessly integrating controller functionality alongside Mouse and Keyboard support, thus mitigating the issue considerably.

Unlike my other accessibility articles, this topic isn’t as profound. It doesn’t delve deep into intricate ideas or make bold statements. Instead, it focuses on a straightforward matter that I believe developers can address. They have the potential to collaborate with Steam to enhance descriptors or directly incorporate the information into their game descriptions. Personally, I have requested refunds for a handful of games due to inadequate controller support, and I’m aware that others have faced similar frustrations.

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Let’s embark on a journey of problem-solving by initiating a discussion about this issue. Hence, perceive this article as an invitation to commence a conversation. Ambiguous explanations regarding the implications of partial controller support not only adversely affect disabled gamers but also those individuals who prefer or are accustomed to playing games with controllers. Interestingly, prominent platforms such as EA, Ubisoft Connect, the Epic Games Store, and Amazon Games conveniently overlook the mention of controller support. What could be the reasoning behind this?

In the realm of gaming, it is the minute details that often pave the way for major issues to arise. The presence of problems and the existence of conflicting opinions in Steam games, particularly those in the Early Access phase, can often be traced back to a dearth of effective communication between Steam, game developers, and the players. A concerted effort towards transparency is not only beneficial for ease of access, but also for the overall satisfaction of consumers.

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