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Only around 10% of Steam gaming sessions are played with a controller (PCgamer)

kingfey

Banned

Valve has released a bunch of interesting info in its Steam Year in Review 2021, including controller usage statistics. According to Valve, there are currently 48 million controllers "registered by Steam users," and they're used in over 10% of all gaming sessions. I wonder how many of those are Steam controllers?

Back in February, a Steamworks update added a new controller usage stats page where developers can see a detailed breakdown of how often players are using controllers in their games, and what kinds of controllers they're using. The data includes gamepads, flight sticks, racing pedals, and even dance pads. Basically, anything that plugs into your PC and can be used to play a game (like a banana) but isn't a mouse and keyboard is counted as a controller.

It wasn't surprising to read that, back in 2021, over 70% of fighting and sports games were played with a controller (or a fight stick), while that number falls to below 1% for RTS games. Only 7-8% of players use a controller for first-person shooters. 3rd person action/adventure games like Elden Ring saw a near 50/50 split between controller and keyboard and mouse usage, which is surprising, as the genre often puts controllers first. Elden Ring's mouse and keyboard support isn't the best, for example.

Valve offered examples of how using this data could help a dev improve controller support for their games. Suppose you notice that PlayStation controller usage falls below the global average (24%); you might want to check if the correct PS button prompts are displaying in its game instead of an Xbox controller.

Steam's year in review also noted that players logged over 21% more playtime in 2021 than 2020. The active daily users sit around 69 million, with a concurrent count of 27.4 million. Steam also delivered over 32.9 exabytes of data, which is a lot of games downloaded in 2021.
 
People playing third person non-shooters with a KB/M are weird as fuck. In terms of comical ridiculousness, it's almost on the level of hacking Wii Balance Board or Guitar Hero Guitar support into regular games.
This 100%. Personally I wouldn't play any third person game with KB/M either, but for shooters I can at least understand it to some degree.
 

rofif

Gold Member
Of course because you have to buy it.
For me, controller is more comfortable for my posture and for my hands.
So what you aim slower? Aiming up headshot is just a means to a gameplay. If it’s most of the gameplay, then there are other issues
 
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Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
I use controller for stuff like Elden Ring, Racing Games and Fighting. For FPS and RTS on PC KBM all the way. But I game more on my Xbox Series X and PS5, but was raised on PC so for me it's only the genre that decides what I use for controlling.
 

Shai-Tan

Banned
People playing third person non-shooters with a KB/M are weird as fuck. In terms of comical ridiculousness, it's almost on the level of hacking Wii Balance Board or Guitar Hero Guitar support into regular games.
before I got an Xbox controller I played Devil May Cry 4 with kb/m and it wasn't that bad. however, I remember DMC Devil May Cry having really off kb/m controls because you had to hold shoulder buttons to switch stances and that mapped to holding shift or something on kb/m.
 

Dream-Knife

Member
I play most games with a controller actually. I only play FPS with M&K except for Halo MCC.

I don't play RTS or MMOs though.
 
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Braag

Member
I play first person games, strategy games and certain RPGs (Dragon Age, Diablo) with kb/m, everything else with a controller.
 
All depends on a game.

I can’t imagine playing Doom using a controller the same way I can’t imagine playing Forza Horizon using mouse and keyboard.

It’s good to have options!
I know youtuber that play forza with mouse and keyboard and play better than most of controller player
 

OZ9000

Gold Member
I play every single title on my PC using a controller.

It's much more comfortable and easier for me - with one notable exception - Doom Eternal. I would probably have a slightly easier time if my controller had back paddles but I am not going to pay $150 for a shitty Elite controller.
 
no doubt. Spent all money on PC parts but save by not dropping £50+ on a decent game pad. That was me back in 2011 and just made do with K&M for most of my games even GTA IV was being played on K&M.
 

Protocol7

Member
People playing third person non-shooters with a KB/M are weird as fuck. In terms of comical ridiculousness, it's almost on the level of hacking Wii Balance Board or Guitar Hero Guitar support into regular games.
This!
I remember watching people play God of War and realizing they were playing with a KB/M... I was shocked... litterally...
 
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RoboFu

One of the green rats
I’m a weirdo then. I will never play with m/kb . Ever. Never!! You can’t make me!!
 
Yup, that's the reason a lot of good console games ported to steam receiving mixed review just because of bad K/M implementation
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
 

Hezekiah

Member
People playing third person non-shooters with a KB/M are weird as fuck. In terms of comical ridiculousness, it's almost on the level of hacking Wii Balance Board or Guitar Hero Guitar support into regular games.
I've done it from time-to-time, but after ten years with a gaming PC I finally bought a controller in 2020. Best of both worlds.
 
There are people on Steam unironically playing JRPGs with keyboard. PC gamers are weird.

I switched to PC but I'll always be a console gamer at heart.
 

Midn1ght

Member
I play 90% with Controller (Xbox Series X, PS5 and Steam Controller).

KB/M for CSGO, Halo Infinite and DayZ.
 

JCK75

Member
I would only use controller if I'm running emulation or a racing game, but that's if I'm being too lazy to break out my wheel+pedals.
 

kingfey

Banned
There are people on Steam unironically playing JRPGs with keyboard. PC gamers are weird.

I switched to PC but I'll always be a console gamer at heart.
Jrpg is great with K/M. It makes the game go fast. Since turn based games react faster to mouse, compared to controllers.
 

nkarafo

Member
That doesn't solve the problem of having to use the wrists in both hands. My keyboard hand gets more tired actually.

It also doesn't solve the problem of having to be stuck on a desk.

Lunatics and masochists.
Modern FPS games (and source ports of older ones) usually have pretty good controller support, with the right sensitivity, dead zone, acceleration, response, etc. It's no different than playing an FPS on a console.

Some older ones are more of a pain to play such way (i found Half-Life 2 to be hard to play).

I also don't play multiplayer twitch shooters, so i don't care.
 
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Holammer

Member
Right tool for the right job.
The stats heavily favor m+kb simply because the most played games on Steam are ideal for it. Elden Ring is the only one in the current top10 that's better with pad.
Some may prefer souls games with m+kb, but they are stark raving mad. Possibly dangerous to kids and small animals.

If fighting games were a little bit more mainstream and pulling a huge concurrent crowd, numbers would look different.
 
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SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
I was a M&K stalwart for a long time, but even I'm over it by now. If I'm not playing a competitive FPS, or like an RTS or MMO, I am using an Xbox controller.
 

Graciaus

Member
I play from my couch. I always use a controller unless it is impossible. I don't play online games anymore don't care about precise aiming.
 

Tg89

Member
the most played games on steam generally aren’t controller friendly so this makes sense.

No one is playing counter strike or Dota with a controller.
 

Xdrive05

Member
I play from my couch. I always use a controller unless it is impossible. I don't play online games anymore don't care about precise aiming.

This is the way. Unless you're playing a twitch shooter or RTS, then you're dealing with KB&M on a couch which is not awesome.

I'm using an office borrowed Dell keyboard and mouse for Windows navigation and a long ass USB splitter. Almost tempted to get a dedicated wireless kb&m just for TV use convenience. We could use a thread for comfy couch PC gaming tips.
 
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