Dealing with Controllers Not Recognized in Steam

If you are like me and use different controllers to play games on Steam, such as the Dual Shock 4 from Sony (don’t forget you can use it on Linux using the excellent ds4drv driver), you will find that sometimes games launched from Steam do not recognize the controller even though it’s mapped like a regular XInput controller (ds4drv allows such a mode). I have for example this issue with Owlboy (note that when I use my Steam Controller there is no issue whatsoever).

There is now a good way to deal with this kind of issues. If you go in Steam Big Picture, you can now activate a new option, in “Controller Options“.

Dealing with Controllers not Recognized in Steam

There, by default, all games will run with “Global Settings” turned on. You need to change this settings to…

…”Forced off“. This way, the controller will be recognized properly by such games.

So, if you ever encounter such issues with your non-Steam controllers, you can consider trying this out.

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This worked for me too with TMNT Shedder’s Revenge. Thanks for the tip!


this worked for me. thanks, Ekianjo.

Paul Stevens

Brilliant, thank you so much for this fixed my steel battalion controller issue


I can’t this find option anymore. It seems they have changed something :S


It’s still there, you have to go to each game’s properties in Big Picture mode.


Oh, nice. Had the very problem with “Tooth and Tails” – was running great with my Steam Controller, but did not recognize Xbox 360 one with Steam Configuration on.

I did not realize one can switch off the Steam configuration per game. Nice.


Yes, it did. 🙂

With the Steam Configuration forced off for “Tooth and Tail” the Xbox360 controller works there, while it still can remain remapped for other games and the desktop.